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Kerala is known as ‘God’s own country’ for its picturesque scenery, rich heritage, culture, and temples. Every village or city of the state is worth exploring and so is the most talked-about capital city of the state, Thiruvananthapuram. Legends state that the Ays were the first rulers of this land, who were succeeded by Venad rulers, and after them, came the East India Company who stayed there till the time India gained independence. Thiruvananthapuram is famous for Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, scintillating beaches, gigantic forts, ancient temples, and festivals. An interesting fact about the city is that it is named after Lord Vishnu, who, in the local language, is known as Lord Anantha Padmanabha.

Why to Visit Thiruvananthapuram 

There is not just one reason to visit Thiruvananthapuram, the list is long! Thiruvanthapuram is home to backwaters, waterfalls, hill stations, beaches, pilgrim centers, museums and more. The city is a kaleidoscope of diverse cultures that found solace in the divine ambiance of this city. Once a jungle, Thiruvananthapuram started its journey to the current digital age in the 10th century when it was ruled by the rulers of Venad kingdom. The city became a busy trading port where traders from the foreign lands would come to access Indian markets through the sea route. Thiruvananthapuram witnessed the invasion of Dutch, Portuguese, French, and British traders and their influences can be found in the architecture and cuisine of Thiruvananthapuram.

The 17th-century was the golden period wherein the cultural and artistic activities got a big boost, under the rule of Marthanda Varma who is known as the ‘Father of Modern Travancore’. In the 19th century, the city was a prominent place for a lot of political activities and the most prominent of them was the formation of the state of Kerala in the year 1956 when Thiruvananthapuram was declared its official capital. Today, Thiruvananthapuram carries the essence of Kerala, its history and culture together. The annual snake boat races, grand elephant parade, Mohiniyattom, Kathakali, and Koodiyattom are a few signature events and folk arts that define Kerala and its capital city Thiruvananthapuram. 

Places to visit in Thiruvananthapuram

1. Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary

The Neyyar Dam and wildlife sanctuary is located 32km from Thiruvananthapuram and is famous for picturesque scenery and a plethora of wildlife. There is no doubt in the fact that this sanctuary is a visual treat for nature enthusiasts and a guided tour will prove to be quite a phenomenal experience for them. Neyyar sanctuary is natural vegetation spread over 12,000 hectares, where one may encounter Asian Elephants, Travancore Tortoise, and Slender Loris 

2. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Standing tall and proud, this temple is one of the most iconic treats you can give to yourself. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu showcases the golden history of this place. Furthermore, it is one of the 108 Divya Desams which are the holy abodes of the great, Lord Vishnu. This place is 6km away from Thiruvananthapuram and is a must-visit if you ever travel to this majestic travel destination in India known as Kerala.

Also Read: A gem of Doon Valley that's surrounded by river Ganga on one side and river Yamuna on the other

3. Poovar Island

Situated at a coastal village along the natural harbor at Vizhinjam Poovar, it is approximately 25km away from Thiruvananthapuram. The Poovar beach on the island is a popular picnic spot for the locals and tourists, where they get to enjoy boating and witness the simple life led in nearby villages. Moreover, it is believed to have been the place which was known as 'Ophir', where King Solomon of Israel's ships had arrived. And from then on it became an important trading center for sandalwood, timber, and spices.

Things to Do in Thiruvananthapuram

1. Visit Famous Temples

Undoubtedly, the temples of Kerala have huge significance and people from around the world come to witness the same. One gets to see different colours being in sync with the vibes of Kerala. Moreover, the architecture of this place is quite spectacular and perfect enough to make it on to your travel bucket list. Some of the famous temples which must be on your list are Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Karikkakom Chamundi Devi Temple and more.

2. The Popular Indian Coffee House

If you are wondering how to start your day in Thiruvananthapuram then how about a hot cup of sweet coffee? It is just the right way to kick start your day. And what better option to go with other than Indian Coffee House? The indoor area of this place is very peaceful and soothes your mind and soul. This coffee house has got 14 branches and is quite famous around the place.

3. AMAS – Enjoy Skydiving

If you are an adventure junkie then visiting Trivandrum will prove to be a good decision for you. Because here you will get the opportunity to take part in various adventure activities related to water sports such as Scuba diving, rafting, etc.

Events and Festivals in and around Thiruvananthapuram

1. Attukal Pongala

Perhaps there is no place elsewhere you would be able to see literally thousands of women taking over the city streets with hearths! This festival is known as Attukal Pongala which is one of the largest annual gatherings, specifically of women, in the world and that too for a religious purpose. Furthermore, this mega event also found a place in the Guinness Books of World Records for the largest congregation of women. The venue for this festival is Attukal Bhagavathi Temple, where women gather to prepare sweet payasam and offer it to the Goddess Attukalamma.   

2. Onam 

Onam is a 13-day state festival of Kerala which is celebrated as a gratitude to the divine for the good harvest across the state. The festival is also celebrated to commemorate a demon ruler Mahabali, who made this land so prosperous that gods became jealous of him and requested Lord Vishnu to take hold of that land. When Lord Vishnu came in disguise as 'Vamana' and asked for three feet of land Mahabali agreed and Lord Vishnu grew so tall that he covered the entire land in just 2 steps! After that Vamana or Lord Vishnu asked Mahabali where should he keep his third step to which the great Mahabali replied, on his head, and Lord Vishnu was so taken aback by his dedication that he blessed him. From there onwards, this mythological story is being celebrated as Onam. For more information about this festival and how it's celebrated in other parts of Kerala. (Read More)

Best time to visit Thiruvananthapuram

There is no particular time to visit this place as more or less every season is quite pleasant to visit Trivandrum. However, if you still specifically need to visit during a specific time then planning a visit around October to February would be great.  

How to reach Thiruvananthapuram?

By Air. This city has got its own international airport which is known as Trivandrum International Airport. Thus, connectivity with different metropolitan cities across the world becomes very easy to tread. There are direct flights covering all the major Indian cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, etc. Traveling from the metro cities in India to Thiruvananthapuram will take approximately 3 hours and around Rs 10 thousand.  

By Road. If you are planning to visit Thiruvananthapuram by road then you will be happy to know that this place has got an excellent road network connecting with all the major cities such as Kochi, Madurai, etc. You have to travel approximately 2800km majorly by NH-44 and NH 52 to reach Thiruvananthapuram if you are going by car or bike.  

By Train. Thiruvananthapuram is specifically situated within the city and is quite well-linked with all the major Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennaiand many others. You have to get down at the Thiruvananthapuram central railway station to explore the city. Traveling by train will take approximately 1-2 days and Rs 5 thousand.   

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here

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