Thiruvananthapuram which is the capital district of Kerala has great cultural importance and is also the center of cultural and heritage of Kerala. There are many beautiful beaches, forts, palaces, museums, waterfalls, hills etc which are visited by a large number of tourists daily. A tour in Thiruvananthapuram is definitely a memorable experience to anyone who visits this place. There are numerous beaches here which includes Kovalam beach, Shanghumukham beach, Veli beach, Varkala beach, Vizhinjam beach etc.
The monuments in Trivandrum which stands as examples of architectural beauty include palaces such as Kanakakunnu palace, Kuthiramalika and Koyikkal palace. The museums here are Napier Museum and art gallery, Natural History museum and a planetarium. The natural attractions in Trivandrum include waterfalls, wildlife reserves, peaks and hills. There is a water theme park also here which is named as Happy Land. One out of the 2 Zoos of Kerala is in Thiruvananthapuram. The other main centers of tourist attractions are given below
Thiruvallam is a famous tourist backwater destination in Thiruvananthapuram district. The two main rivers that flow to thiruvallam are the Killi and Karamana rivers. This backwater is famous for canoe riding. A tour through the thiruvallam backwaters is a memorable one to all those who visits there.
Kovalam beach is situated in Thiruvananthapuram district and is a beach town. Earlier Kovalam was just a fishing village and was later transformed into a major tourist destination from the early seventies onwards. The main land of the beach is covered by numerous palm trees and coconut trees. As there are ilmenite and thorazite present in the sand, it is usually partially black colored.
Shankumugham beach is in Thiruvananthapuram district. The word meaning of ‘Shankumugham’ is ‘Shanku’ which means ‘Conch’ and ‘Mugham’ meaning ‘face’. It is a calm and serene beach which is a favorite tourist destination of many. As this place comes at the tip of our country, it is spectacular to view the sunset from here. Fishing is done from this beach.
Varkala beach is situated in Thiruvananthapuram district. It is also called as the Papanasam Beach. The word meaning of ‘Papanasam’ is ‘Destroy the sins’. People believe that taking a dip in this sea water would wash away all our sins, hence the name. In this beach, there are high cliffs adjacent to the sea.
Veli beach is located in Thiruvananthapuram district. It is a beautiful beach with a park near to it. The Veli tourist village joins the Veli beach by a floating bridge. There is a sand bar that separates the sea from the Veli Lake. It is a pleasure to take a walk through these sand bars. There is a floating restaurant that is offered by this beach.
Vizhinjam beach is located in Thiruvananthapuram district. One of the main attractions of this beach is the rock cut temples that is built in 8th century. This temple has carvings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi which is not completed. This is a fishing village and is a beautiful sight to see the fishermen engaging in various fishing methods, repairing their nets etc.
East fort is located in Thiruvananthapuram district. This fort is built around the Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple. The construction of the fort started during the rule of Maharaja Marthandavarma, but it came to a completion during the reign of Karthika Thirunal Dharma Raja in the year 1787.
Ponmudi is a hill station in Thiruvananthapuram district. It has at a height of 1100 m above sea level and is part of the Western Ghats. The road to Ponmudi from Thiruvananthapuram is narrow. In Ponmudi there are many tea gardens and plantations of rubber, pepper etc. The highest peak here is the Agasthyarkoodam which has a height of 1868 m.Access to this peak can be made only with permission from the Forest Department.
Kanakakunnu palace is a very beautiful building situated in Thiruvananthapuram district. This palace is constructed on the crest of a hill. Kanakakunnu palace is an important tourist destination and many people from all over the world visit this palace. Some cultural fests are also conducted from the large ground in front of the palace.
Koyikkal Palace is located in Thiruvananthapuram district. The main attractions of this palace include the Palace and two museums. The museums are the Folklore Museum and Numismatics Museum which is set up by the Department of Archaeology.
Kuthiramalika is stuated in Thiruvananthapuram district. It is also called as Puthen malika palace. This palace was constructed in the year 1840 by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma on the southern side of Padmanabha swami temple. It got its name Kuthiramalika due to the design of 122 horses carved in wood which supports the roof of the palace.The palace has sloping roofs, verandas, courtyard etc which are built in the traditional Kerala style.
Napier Museum andArt Gallery
Napier museum is located in Thiruvananthapuram district and was constructed in the 19th century. It is named after the Madras governor general John Napier. This museum is also called as the Government Art Museum. The Napier museum and the art gallery lies in the same compound.
Natural History Museum
The Natural history museum is located in Thiruvananthapuram district. This museum was established in the year 1885 with the personal collection of books of General Cullen. He has presented his collections to the museum which alone was available in this museum in the early stage.
The Priyadarshini Planetarium is located in the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum. It is one of the best sophisticated planetariums in India. In this planetarium there is a Sky theatre, conference hall, workshops, sound studios etc. This planetarium can seat 184 persons at a time and has global standards.
Aruvi waterfall is a beautiful waterfall that is located in the Peppara forest range. In order to reach here, one has to go up to Bonecaud estate which is at a distance of 7 kms from the waterfall. From here, the visitors will be guided by the Kanni tribal men through the mountains.
Kaalakkayam waterfall is situated in Thiruvananthapuram district. It lies near Idinjaar forest. This waterfall is a part of Mankayam River that originates from the Agasthyavanam forest. Mankayam River is a tributary of Chittar River. The Chittar River originates from the Chemunchi hills and flows through the Brymore forest to form this tributary.
Kombaikani Meenmutti Waterfalls
Two famous waterfalls on the upper part of Neyyar reservoir are the Kombaikani waterfall and the Meenmutti waterfall. Meenmutti waterfalls are located near Kallar in Thiruvananthapuram district. About 2 kms from this fall lies the Kombaikani waterfalls.
Mankayam waterfalls are located near Palode in Thiruvananthapuram district. Mankayam River is a tributary of Chittar River. The Chittar River originates from the Chemunchi hills and flows through the Brymore forest to form this tributary. Mankayam River on its way produces two waterfalls, one at Kaalakkayam and Kurissadi
The Neyyar wildlife sanctuary was set up in 1958 and it is covered with around 12,000 hectares of vegetation. It is at a height of 1,868 m above sea level. It has a wide variety of flora and fauna and the vegetation consists of tropical evergreen, mixed deciduous, sub tropical savannahs etc.
Peppara wildlife sanctuary is on the Western Ghats in Nedumangad Taluk. This sanctuary includes part of Palode and Kottoor Reserve forests. It was established as a sanctuary in the year 1983 due to its ecological importance. It is at a height of 1,715 m above sea level.
Akkulam tourist village is located near Ulloor in Thiruvananthapuram district. It is a picnic spot that is set along the banks of the lake Akkulam. This is a part of the Veli lake. There is a boat club where boating facilities are available. There is a children’s park, swimming pool, artificial waterfall etc
Aruvikkara dam is located on the banks of the river Karamana. It is an important picnic spot that is located in Thiruvananthapuram district. This place is very beautiful and is famous for the greenery around here. There is a Durga temple nearby that is constructed on top of a rock.
Kallar is a town that is located in Thiruvananthapuram district. The river Kallar flows through this whose water level rises greatly during rainy seasons. The area also got this name due to the river. The word Kallar is derived from two Malayalam words ‘Kallu’ meaning stone and ‘Aaru’means river.
Neyyar dam which was established in the year 1958 is located in Thiruvananthapuram district. Neyyar dam got its name from the Neyyar river that flows through this and occupies the basin of this river. It lies near the Western Ghats and is an ideal park for family picnic. The Agasthyakoodam peak is located near to this dam
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave is a historic spot in Thiruvananthapuram district. It is a granite cave which has rock cut sculptures in it. These sculptures belong to the 18th century and have a one cell temple. The sculpture here is that of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthy
Agastyarkoodam peak which is located in Thiruvananthapuram district is the second highest peak in Kerala. It lies in Tamil Nadu border and houses many ayurvedic plants known for its medicinal value. It has a height of 1868 meters. According to the legend, people believed that Sage Agastya lived here who was a bachelor; hence it is called as Agastyarkoodam and women are not allowed here as they are disliked by the aborigines.
Thenmala is situated in Thiruvananthapuram in Shenkottai Road. It is located at a height of 1,640 ft above the sea level. Thenmala is famous for the honey which had several medicinal properties. It is this place which is the first planned ecotourism project of our country. Thenmala is covered with acres of evergreen forest
Happy Land water theme park is located in Vembayam in Thiruvananthapuram district. The thrilling rides here make the visit to this park a worth. It is an eco friendly theme park that settles among trees, rocks, hills and waterfalls. The facilities in this theme park includes various rides, kids village, restaurants, dressing room with lockers, ice cream parlors, telephone, first aid etc.
Thiruvananthapuram zoo which was established by Travancore King in the year 1857 covers a total area of 55 acres. It is a well designed zoo and is one of the oldest zoo in the country. There are about 82 species of animals from all over the world.