Formerly known as Trivandrum, Thiruvananthapuram is gateway to one of the most beautiful states in India - Kerala. The climate is pleasant all the year around, though June - November could be very wet. Thiruvananthapuram opens the gates to a world of beaches, mountains, backwaters, wildlife sanctuaries and islands. The city of Thiruvananthapuram presides over one of the most scenic states stretching along the southern coast of the country, with the backwaters of the Arabian Sea reaching deep into the verdant countryside Kerala affords a fascinating experience. The city once formed a part of the kingdom of Travancore which had its capital of Padmanabhapuram (now in Tamil Nadu). Most of that royal heritage of fine buildings and palaces now houses the State Secretariat and other offices. But the beauty of the city is still intact in the wide open avenues, parks, gardens, cultural institutions and undulating countryside.
How to reach
By Air - Thiruvananthapuram the capital of Kerala is well connected by air from all majore cities in India and abroad. Airport is 8 kms from the city center
By Rail - It is also a important terminus and broad and metre gauge services operate. A convenient connection with Chennai is Thiruvananthapuram mail. The southern most tip of India mainland, Kanyakumari is 2 hours 20 minutes by train
By Road - At the junction of four national highways, No7, 17, 45 and 47 the city is connected to all parts of the country by good roads. Bus services of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and road transport corporations link the place to all parts of India.
51 kms north of Thiruvananthapuram and 20 kms south of Quilon the town is known for its 2,000 year old Vishnu temple of Lord Janardhana. Shivagiri Mutt at an elevation 3 kms east of the temple is sacred for Hindus. Varkala is a sea side resort with mineral water springs. There is a Governement Guset House and many mid range hotels here.
24 kms away a Shiva Temple attracts devotees during the Shivratri festival. There is also a small waterfall here.
16 kms a pilgrim centre with a Bhagavathy temple on a rock on the river's bank.
32 kms a picnic spot with a lake and dam. Boating facilities provided in the reservoir. There is a crocodile farm and a lion safari park to visit with the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary . The peak Agasthya kooodam is very near to Neyyar dam.
This is a prominent peak in the Sahyadri ranges and conspicous by its height and isolation when seen from a distance. It is approached on foot from Bonacadu which is 61 kms from Thiruvananthapuram and from Neyyar Dam which is 32 kms away.
54 kms a teak edifice of the yesteryears is where the great king Raja Ravi Varma ruled Travancore. Set in the scenic sorroundings along the Thiruvananthapuram - Kanyakumari route the palace is well maintained attracting lots of tourists all the year round. It has beautiful carvings from the 17th and 18th century murals.
74 kms from Thiruvananthapuram and 20 kms from Padmanabhapuram Palace on the Kanyakumari route this Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu temple with intricate stone carvings, a huge Hanuman statue and a musical pillar.
Veli tourist village & Aakulam
9 kms from the city in the airport's direction is Veli tourist village along the sea near a lake, and separated by by a bund. Land scaped with facilities for boating ( hovercraft, water scooters, pedal boats, safari, speed boats, row boats etc) it is an excellent place for water sports. Also a floating bridge , floating restaurant and toy train. Not far away is is another lake, Aakulam. It has a childrens park here A tourist taxi or the city bus service can be used to reach Veli from Thiruvananthapuram. One can spend some time some time at Sankumugham beach, a short diversion from the airport.
Ponmudi hill station is 2,000 ft above sea level. A pleasant climate and forest trails will interest trekkers. On the road to Ponmudi from Thiruvananthapuram and about 30 kms from either station, a road diverts to papara, 10 kms from the diversion. Papara is located on the banks of a reservoir and amidst forests which harbor elephant , leopards and a variety of deers amongst other wildlife. The reservoir offers boating facilities and there is always a chance to encounter wildlife in this area.
Tourist Village Aakulam
10 kms from Central bus stand has been developed as a picnic and entertainment center. Situated on the extension of Veli lagoon the tourist village provides facilites for water sports with speed, safari row and pedal boats. Traditional houseboats or kettuvallams as popularly known is also available for cruises to Veli tourist village and else where. Other facilities include a swimming pool, children's park, anthurium plantation and snack bar.
Shanghumugham Beach Resort
is near the international airport and 8 kms from the Central bus stand. A clean beach of white sands in serene sorroundings is its main attraction. Facilities here include a restaurant and open air theatre.
Winters in December to March and monsoons in May are the best time to go to Kerala. The day time temperature is about 32 degrees and night temperature drops to the lowest of 20 degrees. The hottest months are April, May and June, where the temperature soars above 36 degrees with high humidity.