This is Kerala's gracious capital city with its palaces, museums and the beautiful beaches. Located in the southwest tip of India, having an area of 2192 sq. kms, is bordered on the west by the Arabian sea and TamilNadu on the east. It has a long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, making it a much sought after destination.
Thiruvananthapuram, a 1000 years old city, of legends and royalty, is the capital of Kerela. It is believed to be one of the cleanest and well planned cities in India. This city, built on 7 low coastal hills, was constructed by the then Maharaja of Travancore in 1733.
Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Located inside the East Fort, this beautiful temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Dominating the city is the Padmanabhaswamy Temple with its tall gopurams or gateways.
Built in Dravidian style, the temple has within its sanctum an immense image of the Lord Vishnu reclining on the coils of the sacred serpent Ananta.
Thiruvananthapuram (the abode of Anantha) derives its name from this patron deity. It is known for its mural paintings and the stone carvings.
Sree Mahadeva Temple
Situated in Kazhakuttom, this temple is believed to date to the 14th century.
Padmanabhapuram Palace ( 63 Km -2 ½ hour)
The seat of erstwhile rulers of Travancore, this splendid palace is situated at Thuckalai, on the way to Kanyakumari. The extra ordinary murals, exquisite floral carvings and the black glossy granite floor have withstood the test of time.
Koyikkal Palace, Nedumangad (18Km-1/2 hour)
Located on the way to the Ponmudi hill station and the Courtallam waterfalls, this ancient palace dates back to the 15th century. Here you can see a double storeyed traditional Nalukettu building with slanting gabled roofs, an inner courtyard and museums of folklore and numismatics set up by the Department of Archeology.
Displayed in the Koyikkal Palace, they focus attention on the cultural background of the State.
The Numismatics Museum houses rare and historically valuable coins denoting the trade relations of the State.
The Palace and its sprawling grounds are today the venue for many cultural meets and programmes. The Palace in particular, is a spectacular piece of architecture
PuttamMalika( Kuthiramalika) Palace Museum
Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma-the King of Travancore built this palace. It is built in the traditional Travancore style of architecture also has exquisite wood carvings. The single stone carved pillars, makes the palace more attractive.
The Palace museum displays paintings and priceless collections of the royal family and is located near The Padmanabhaswamy Temple. On the southern portion of the palace there is a beautiful monument of 122 horses which is in position of ready to jump towards the south.
Thus the palace got the name Kuthiramalika. Swords, guns etc. of olden ages are also exhibited here. 'Dantasimhasana' is the most prominent sight in this palace. The palace museum has on display, enchanting paintings and other priceless collections of the royal family.
Located in a park like complex with the Sree Chitra Art Gallery and Zoological Gardens, it was formerly known as 'Napier Museum', named after a former Madras Governor General, John Napier. It is an absolute gem of architectural exuberance, combining traditional Kerala styles with good doses of Chinese and Mughal influences.
It has an excellent collection of bronze images, historical ornaments, ivory carvings and temple-chariots. In the 19th century, an English architect, Chisholm threw in a few torches and ended up with a building that is guaranteed to leave you smiling at its electric charm.
The interior is every bit as intriguing as the exterior, with pink and blue stripes, alternating with stripes of yellow and cherry red, scalloped arches of a banana yellow, interpreting elaborately carved balconies, the whole linked together with red ad white lattice work and mock friezes. The collections are a varied and electric as the building and one likes to spend a pleasant few hours browsing through them.
Chithira Art Gallery
Located near the Napier Museum compound, the gallery has one of the best collections of the work of Raja Ravi Varma, a great force in Indian Art. Notable among the collection are several Roerich landscapes, copies of Rajput and Mughal paintings, works from the Tanjore school of Art and copies of paintings from the Ajanta caves. The gallery also has a fine collection of miniature paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali.
A beautiful, curving, palm fringed beach having golden sand and is the apt place for safe bathing. It is an internationally known holiday destination and a beach resort. It is also ideal for surfing and kayaking. The more adventures can ride out in to the sea on acatamaran. Among the many attractions here are water sports, a theatre that stages traditional Kathakali dance dramas, a Yoga center and facilities for traditional oil bathing and massages according to the ancient Kerala Ayurvedic System of medicine.