"Trivandrum ( Town of holy serpant)" Top 5 Page for this destination State of Kerala by Justin_goa

State of Kerala Travel Guide: 1,698 reviews and 4,232 photos

My Home town

Thiruvananthapuram which was previously called Trivandrum, is an ancient city with tradition dating back to 1000 BC. Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Raja of Travancore in 1750.

The city gets its name from the word, Thiru-anantha-puram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of the sacred Serpent Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines.

Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland spreading over a total of 2,192sq.km.

The city is characterized by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills with narrow winding lanes and busy commercial alleys. The best season to visit Thiruvananthapuram is during September to May.

King Marthandavarma, the erstwhile founder of Travancore made Thiruvananthapuram his capital. After Marthandavarma, it remained the capital of Travancore and after independence, became the capital of State of Travancore-Cochin. The royal family still lives in Kowdiar Palace in Trivandrum.

In 1956, when Kerala state was formed, Thiruvananthapuram was again chosen as the capital of Kerala. Being the state capital, it also throbs with political activity. Thiruvananthapuram and its famous beaches are one of the top tourist destinations in India.

Thiruvananthapuram derives its name from the deity at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, which is the most recognisable icon of the city, nearly 2000 years old. The city has grown as a tourist and commercial centre, with the International airport becoming the main gateway into Kerala. This temple is still owned and maintained by the Kowdiar Palace.

Kovalam

Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches.It has been a favourite haunt of tourists,especially Europeans,since the 1930s.A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse-sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages,special cultural programmes, Catamaran cruising etc.The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes.Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night.The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages,Ayurvedic health resorts, convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centres etc.Thiruvananthapuram,the capital city of Kerala, is just 16 km away from Kovalam and getting there is no hassle.

The Wooden Palace

A magnificent wooden palace of the 16th century, Padmanabhapuram Palace lies at the land's end of mainland India. An enticing piece to any lover of art and architecture this old palace of the Rajas of the erstwhile Travancore (1550 to 1750 AD) is a fine specimen of Kerala's indigenous style of architecture. The antique interiors are replete with intricate rosewood carvings and sculptured decor. The palace also contains 17th and 18th century murals. One can see: the musical bow in mahogany, windows with coloured mica, royal chairs with Chinese carvings, 'Thaikkottaram' or the Queen Mother's palace with painted ceilings, rose wood and teak carved ceilings with 90 different floral designs. Durbar Hall with a shiny black floor specially made from a combination of egg white, jaggery lime, burnt coconut, charcoal and river sand, granite tubs to cool curd and buttermilk, secret underground passages, the King's bedroom with a four poster medicinal bed, mural paintings, pictures of Lord Krishna, hanging brass lanterns lit continuously since the 18th century, hanging cage through which eagles tore criminals to death, open air swimming bath, the King's sister's dressing room, granite dance hall, Saraswathi (goddess of knowledge) temple, large earthen urns, room for scribes and accountants, carved figures on columns holding oil lamps, pooja (worship) rooms with jackfruit tree columns, fish carvings on the ceilings, enormous teak beams, Belgian mirrors and an outer cyclopean stone wall fitted together without mortar. The visitor is often overwhelmed by the royal splendour of erstwhile Travancore. Though the palace is situated in Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu State, it comes under the purview of the Government of Kerala's administration.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A nice city to live in, very laid back, well connected to rest of the world by air
  • Cons:Being capital city the socio-political issues can affect the daily life.
  • In a nutshell:A mejestic city with the charm of old historic kingdom 'Travancore'..
  • Intro Updated Aug 22, 2009
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Reviews (88)

Comments (21)

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Apr 19, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Nemaste Justin. Birthday greetings from Alaska.

  • nightcowboy's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2009 at 3:22 AM

    Hi just been reading your State of Kerala Page, v/good made my mind up to vist Kerala on my next visit to india in 2010. more tips?

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2008 at 1:43 AM

    Hi Justin, one of the best pages I read recently! Will be visiting Kerala for 2nd time, can't wait. Pierre

  • nada1712's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2007 at 2:32 PM

    Sounds gorgeous - did they pay you to write this!! :))

  • MaheshSamtani's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2007 at 2:53 PM

    Justin, How about airfreigting some puttus and appams - cheers

  • Mar 19, 2007 at 2:13 AM

    Unfortunatly not :) Maybe in a couple of years :) Of course I'll let you know!!

  • nixca316's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2007 at 4:31 PM

    Thanks a lot for your fabulously helpful tips. (oh, I tried clicking your external page, but was led to a blank page...)

  • Escadora7's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2006 at 12:58 AM

    Hi Justin! Very much enjoyed your off-the-beaten-path Kerala tips. Hopefully on our next India trip we'll make it down south (got rained in in Bombay in August!) Best wishes, Ash & Eve

  • suvanki's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2006 at 8:51 AM

    Hi, Hope You're well. Enjoyed reading your new restaurant tips, very helpful and interesting. Did You see Marsh at Christmas? Best Wishes, Sue

  • AyurinHiro's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2006 at 8:46 PM

    Hi,Justin! Thanks for visiting our homepage :-) Your country has a lot of wonderful culture! Now my mother exercise Yoga every Thursday in the gym near our house. Have a great time in India!

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