Famous Places to Visit in Trivandrum
Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum
Beside the rich collection that it displays, this museum is an exemplary example of traditional Travancore-style architecture. Intricate wood carvings and distinctive patterns constitute a masterpiece of its kinds. Overhanging attics, pillar-lined courtyards and sloping roofs contribute to the exclusive look of the museum.
Visitors can expect a display of a collection, including Belgian mirrors, paintings, Kathakali mannequins, exquisite traditional furniture. The two royal thrones; one manufactured of Bohemian crystals, embossed with an emblem of ‘Conch’ on the backrest and the other made of ivory are the prime attractions of the museum. Marble-made idols and sculptures, musical instruments and the alcove used by Swami Thirunal have also been kept in the showcase. An illusion portrait by veteran painter Sveroslav Roerich is another attractive feature here.
Kuthiramalika, which is often called as Puthenmalika Palace Museum remains open for visitors from 8.30 AM to 1.00 PM and 3.00 PM to 5.30 PM. Monday is the day that it seeks rests from all week-long visits. The best time of the year to visit Kuthiramalika is January. Commemorating the famous Swathi Thirunal, a lively music festival is conducted each year between 6 and 12 January.
Rejoicing in all its glory, the Padmanabhapuram Palace is located 64 km from Thiruvananthapuram in Thuckalay. This 16th century palace quenches the thirst of art lovers. This fascinating structure has a special air about it. The rosewood carved ceilings and a fine collection of paintings makes it one of the best specimens of Kerala.
Serenaded with fine décor, this palace displays coloured mica windows, antique furniture and Chinese carvings. Ceilings are carved with 90 different floral designs and the Durbar Hall has a glossy floor. Pictures of Lord Krishna, brass lanterns, mural paintings and a four poster medicinal bed add grace to the King’s bedroom. Details like the earthen urns, swimming bath, dance hall, fish carvings on ceilings, Belgian mirrors, 17th and 18th century frescoes and Saraswati Temple sum up to a pleasant structure.
The palace remains open each day from9.00 AM to 5.00 PM. It is to be noted that visits on Mondays are not allowed.
Named after Lord Napier, this art and history museum was established in 1855. An exemplary example of gothic architecture-style, Napier Museum boasts greatly of its natural air conditioning system. It houses an exceptional collection of ornaments, bronze idols, chariots and ivory carvings. The museum offers insight into the rich and glorious culture and history of Kerala.
The great contribution made by Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art along with the skilful work by several Chinese, Japanese and Tibetan artists can be found in here. The Japanese leather figures depicting the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana catches the eyes of tourists.
Napier Museum is certainly one of the most visited tourist places in Trivandrum. Situated in the Museum compound, ground floor of this place houses India’s oldest zoological garden. Another important feature is Sree Chithra Art Gallery, established by Maharaja Chithira Thirunalin in 1935.The gallery contains epic works from much famed Raja Ravi Varma and Nicholas Roerich.Amid a well laid out garden, the zoological park houses a lake and boat club. The park offers an excellent day outing for children and adults alike. It boasts of 75 different species of animals and birds from India, Ethiopia and Australia. It is also a home to the Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Manipur deer, Indian Rhino, Nilgiri Langur, Asiatic Lion and the Royal Bengal Tiger. There is prominent fauna found here along with habitats of giraffe, hippopotamus, zebra and Cape buffalo.
Upto 25% Off On Adventure & Theme Based Team Outings
The Kanakakunnu Palace
Neighbour to the famous Napier Museum stands Kanakannu Palace, an embodiment of excellent craftsmanship and architecture. This palace is the pride possession of the state of Kerala. Built by Sree Moolan Thirunal for holding royal ceremonies and banquets, it retains its image as a place of entertainment for the royal family. At present too, the palace plays host for many cultural programs. It has been named as the heritage monument by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Swathi Thirunal, who was a popular ruler of his time, constructed tennis courts in the premises of the palace. Enormous and exquisite crystal chandeliers and antique furniture are the most attractive features here. The beautiful structure is a living testimony of the lifestyle of royals in Kerala. The picturesque backdrop of small yet lush hills and verdant meadows makes it one of the most visited tourist places in Trivandrum.
Kanakakunnu Palace is the cultural hub of the city. The palace complex now owns two auditoriums, where a large number of cultural events take place. If you plan a visit, make sure you catch up the All India Dance Festival, popularly known as Nishgandhi festival hosted annually here.
Priyadarshini Space Planetarium
Ranked among the most versatile planetariums in India, the Priyadarshini Space Planetarium was opened to public in 1994. It is fitted with advance equipment that allows the projection of all the constituents of universe. This planetarium imparts valuable knowledge about earth and the enormous universe that we all are part of. Simulating the star-studded night sky on any earth location is its most attractive feature.
The museum is situated in the campus of Kerala State Science and Technology Museum. Blessed with a unique blend of architecture, it is oriented horizontally which has a dome-type ceiling used as a screen for the images of celestial bodies. Astronomical phenomena are projected with the help of ocular device. There is a sky theatre, where several planetarium shows are conducted.
One of the major shows held here is ‘The Man and the Universe’, displaying evolving stages of astronomy, constitution of planets and finally the origin of Universe. There are also other shows that display birth and life of a star, including some special events for groups at 10.30 AM, 12.00 PM, 3.00 PM and 5.00 PM.
Vizhinjam RockCut Cave
Situated 17km away from the city, Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple is one of the most visited tourist places in Trivandrum. This 8th century rock cut sculpture is single-celled and houses the deity of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi.
Temples have been an important part of the Indian history, thus this
particular temple is revered highly in South India. The outer wall of
the shrine is replete with images of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
There is also an unfinished sculpture of Lord Shiva, in which he is
shown dancing and holding a bow. The intricate carvings of the wall are
Another significant temple in the proximity of Vizhinjam Rock Cut
Cave Temple is the Bhagavathy Temple. This holy shrine dates back to 9th
and 10th century AD. A Marine Aquarium is also located nearby
featuring rare marine ornamental fishes.
The zoo has a wide array of 35 species of animals, 28 species of birds and 17 kinds of reptiles. The zoo also houses botanical gardens with more than 200 species of trees, thousands of beautiful plants, orchids and snake farm.
How to Reach: The zoo can be reached by any local transport due it's in city location.
Timings: Opened daily from 9 AM to 5:15 PM.
Price: Approximate price starts from 20 INR.
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
How to Reach: Thiruvananthapuram central is about 2 km from the shrine and can be reached by any local transport.
Things to Keep in Mind: Only women are allowed to participate in this rituals during the festival months.
The sunset over the skyline with the lighthouse as a background is a stunning sight. The light is switched on at 5:30 pm and switched off at 6:00 am. Vizhinjam beach encompassing the lighthouse is a piece of the popular Kovalam beach. The lighthouse road is excellent for long walks and cycling. There are also many tiny eateries close to the beach.
How to Reach: Thiruvananthapuram auto rickshaws and taxis are available in plenty to the Vizhinjam Lighthouse.
Timings: The Lighthouse is opened for visitors from 3 PM to 6 pm.
Price: There is an entrance fee of INR 10/- for Indians and 25/- for foreigners.
The complex, is spread over 75 acres, will house numerous attractions including a museum, an underground tunnel, a mirror maze, shadow plays, a virtual supermarket to build mathematical skills, a children’s park, a food court, theaters for live performances and an R&D center.
How to Reach: This facility can be reached by any local transport.
Timings: Opened daily and conducts full day programs.
Price: Approximate price starts from 250 INR.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the famous places to visit. This holy shrine is one of the 108 abodes of Lord Vishnu. A large number of devotees throng the temple on multiple occasions.
The place of worship has lent its names to the capital city as ‘Thiru’ ‘Anantha’ ‘Puram’, which means Sacred Abode of Lord Anantha Padmanabha. Dravidian style of architecture is prominent in this holy structure.
The chief attraction is the deity of Padmanabhaswamy, enshrined in a reclining posture. However, the main deity remains that of Lord Vishnu and his heavenly consorts namely, Sridevi and Bhudevi. The sacred idol is covered with a special ayurveda mixture that helps in keeping the plaster intact and clean. Devotees donate a large sum of money and precious articles in this temple. The assets are believed to be value around 90,000 crores. The invaluable donations are kept safe in 6 different cellars.Padmanabhaswamy Temple should definitely be included in the itinerary of the places to visit in Trivandrum. Indeed, the temple remains impeccable in appearance and religious sentiments attached to it.
Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple
The main idol is placed in a seated stance with the right leg in a folded position. Other deities worshiped at Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapati Kovil are Goddess Durga, Lord Ayyappa, Brahmarakshas, and Nagaraja. Followers can also witness the 32 forms of beautiful paintings and intricate sculptures of Lord Ganesh inside the temple's structure.
How to Reach: The temple is just 1.5 km from Trivandrum Central Railway Station and Thiruvananthapuram Central Bus Station. The nearest City Bus Stand is East Fort (Kizhakke Kotta). Trivandrum International Airport is about 8 km from the temple.
Things to keep in Mind: As with many prominent temples in Kerala, in order to enter the main temple complex of the temple men need to be wearing a mundu and no upper body clothing. Women are required to wear traditional attire like a sari.
Beaches to Visit in Trivandrum
Epicentre of tourist flow, Kovalam Beach needs no introduction. This water delight seizes the top position in the list of tourist places in Trivandrum. Often crowded with both local and foreign tourists, it is located 13km away from the city.
Kovalam Beach is the treasure chest of multitude of adventure activities. Along with the sessions of para-sailing, diving and wind surfing, the beach also allows you to go on a leisure walk and offers a playful swimming time. Tourists have a choice to opt for lounge chairs to just sit and gaze at the most extraordinary sunrises and sunsets. The gleaming blue water and silver sands offers a quality time to enjoy nature at its best.
There are many beach resorts that offer customized services. From lip-smacking dishes to allocation of rooms, these retreats have impeccable services which one can easily avail. The well-trained staff offers comfortable and convenient environment. Assisting in planning a day on the beach, the stays take special care of the guests. It would be ideal to book in advance in order to avoid inconvenience.
Ayurvedic therapies are on the top rank when it comes to things to do in Trivandrum. Enjoy outstanding facilities such as Ayurvedic massages and therapies in God’s Own Country. Kovalam beach proves to be an ideal place to experience the benefits of age old Ayurveda.
Along with sightseeing and mouth-watering cuisines, enjoy a session of rejuvenating Ayurveda massage on the Kovalam Beach. The best time to visit here is during the month of September and March. However, visit in monsoon season allows the best experience of ayurvedic therapies and treatments.
Shanghumukham Beach is an ideal place for those seeking peace and serenity. Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, this place is known for breath-taking sunrises and sunsets; visit to this beach is one of the best things to do in Trivandrum The calm environs and exquisite shoreline here is undoubtedly commendable.
The beach is also considered as the ‘Arattukadavu’ (Seat) of Sri Ananthapadmanabhan. Shamghumukham is also a prime location for the Ganesha Visarjan, where millions of Hindu devotees throng during the Vinayaka Chaturthi.
The best time of the year to visit here is around the Arattu festival. The beach is swarmed with large processions, carrying the deities of Lord Padmanabhawamy, Lord Narasimha and Lord Krishna and led by the former Maharaja of Travancore. The Maharaja is escorted by members of the Royal family, temple authorities, armed guards, police, and officers. The ceremonial bath in this place marks the conclusion of the festival, after which the deities are taken back to their respective temples by the procession.
Preferred due to its isolated location and picturesque landscape, Shanghumukham is the pride of Trivandrum. The famous sculpture of a Mermaid (Jalkanyka) carved by Raja Ravi Varma is an added delight. The sculpture is more than 35m long and is an exemplary piece of art.
Visitors can expect comparatively quite evenings with impeccable sunsets. The breezy shorelines and excellent eating joints make this beach quite popular amongst the tourists. The Indian Coffee house, located across is the vantage point of witnessing beautiful sunset.
This secluded beach is situated 54 kms north of Trivandrum. An exemplary escape from the bustling crowd of the city, Varkala is a paradise in its own right. The beach ensures a refreshing vacation with spectacular landscape, multiple international cuisines and mesmerising sunset view.
[Among many marvels we see in our lives, a beautiful sunrise or sunset is the most exotic, Spend a morning at Sunrise Valley]
Located at a distance of 54 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram is the Varkala Beach, one of the most secluded beaches of Kerala. It is a perfect spot for anyone who likes to escape from the noise and tensions of daily life. With swinging palms above and soft sands beneath, the seashore ensures you to have a rejuvenating vacation. Close by, there is wealth of attractions that one can explore.
There also exists a spring, which is believed to have medicinal properties that can cure several health problems. The best time to visit here is between March and November, when the weather is quite pleasant.
Chowara beach also houses a beautiful old traditional village. There is also hill-top Ayyappa temple which faces the beach. The old-fashioned Analothbhava Matha church is also located on the beach. Chowara beach is perfect for an escape from the tourist-infested Kovalam Beach.
How to Reach: The beach can be accessed by any local transport or by a boat.
Scenic places to Visit in Trivandrum
Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary
There are indeed number of things to do in Trivandrum, including paying a visit to picturesque Neyyar Dam and its neighbouring wildlife sanctuary. Built in 1958, the dam is an ideal family picnic spot which is set against the mesmerizing landscape. It is built where rivers like Neyyar, Kallar and Mullayar confluence. The area is famed for obtaining several medicinal herbs as well.
In the vicinity of this place, a wildlife sanctuary is well laid out. There are deer safari parks, crocodile and lion farms along with watchtower in the region. A guided trek, safari and elephant ride is a must here. Take out at least a day in order to get the best experience of the wild life sanctuary.
Veli Tourist Village
The planned location of the Veli Tourist Village proves to be a successful picnic spot. It is situated 8 kms from the city, where Veli Lake and Arabian Sea confluences. The charming landscape allures one to explore this much sort after destination.
Another attraction of this hamlet is its floating bridge, which is built recently. The village also houses a floating restaurant that offers sumptuous array of food products which indeed delights the taste buds.
Boat rides, rock climbing and other adventure activities offered here makes this one of the most preferred tourist places in Trivandrum. In close proximity of Kovalam, the village remains open between 8.00 AM and 6.00 PM every day.
A traveller’s paradise, Poovar Island nestles between the Arabian Sea, Kerala backwaters and the majestic Western Ghats. Palm-fringed beaches, golden sands and turquoise blue seawater awaits here. This place is Kerala’s most distinctive remote getaway and a perfect place to spend quality time with nature and loved ones.
Poovar Island is a resort that offers a large range of accommodation options. Out of its 78 rooms, 56 rooms can be used as triples. Many of its rooms have hammock in the terrace. You are spoilt for choices as the resort offers Land Cottages, Ayurveda Land Cottages, Superior Land Cottages and Premier Cottages. Deluxe Rooms, Floating Cottages and Ayurveda Floating Cottages flood you with exceptional choices of accommodation.
The retreat provides quality holiday experience in sublime natural surroundings. Enjoy a cruise along the shores dotted with palms and breezy backwaters. The island also offers Ayurvedic therapies and massages to its guests. Developed as a ‘science of life’, Ayurveda promises rejuvenation of mind and soul equally. Therefore, here, this therapeutic form has been given special attention. The centre provides facilities that offer long-term Ayurveda benefits.
At this place packages are thoughtfully crafted and are designed to refresh, relax and rejuvenate. Health is treated as a priority, be it physical, mental or spiritual. The resort makes sure that the Ayurveda establishes energy equilibrium in the functions of the body and simultaneously urge alteration in lifestyle with the simple laws of natures’ rule.
How to Reach: Thiruvananthapuram Central, around 61 km from Bonacaud and the peak can be reached only by a trek.
Things to Keep in Mind: Women are not allowed up the peak and permission is required to trek.