|The Kanakakunnu palace||Located very close to the Napier Museum|
|Padmanabhapuram Palace||Located at the foothills of the Veli range, about 63 km away from Thiruvananthapuram|
|The Napier Museum||Located in the capital city of Kerala at Thiruvananthapuram|
|The Neyyar Dam||Located about 32km away from Thiruvananthapuram|
|Sree Chithra Art Gallery||Located adjacent to the Napier Museum, about 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) from the Thiruvananthapuram railway station|
|Science and Technology Museum||Located close to the Napier Museum and the Postmaster General's Office in Thiruvananthapuram|
|Aruvikkara Dam||Located at a distance of 8 km from Thiruvananthapuram|
|Putan Malika Palace||Located next to the Padmanabhaswamy temple.|
|Backwaters in Kovalam||Located about 16 km away from Thiruvananthapuram|
|Lighthouse Beach||Located on the southernmost part of the beach resort of Kovalam, at a distance of only 10 km from Thiruvananthapuram.|
|Hawah Beach||Located 51 km north of Thirvananthapuram district|
|Varkala||Located about 54 km from Thiruvananthapuram|
|Ponmudi||Located almost 61 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram|
|Shanghumukam Beach||Located near the Thiruvananthapuram airport, the Shanghumukham Beach is just 8 km away from the main city.|
|Veli Tourist Village||Located at a distance of about 8 km from Thiruvananthapuram|
|The Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple||Located inside the East Fort of Thiruvananthapuram.|
Historical and cultural sites in Thiruvananthapuram
The Kanakakunnu palace
The Kanakakunnu palace was built during the reign of King Sree Moolum Thirunal. Located very close to the Napier Museum, this palace is a great attraction to the tourists not just for being a relic from the past but also for having been renovated as a center for cultural promotion and an area of exhibition. The palace was later renovated by Chithira Thirunal, one of the most popular rulers of Travancore, who later built a Tennis court within the palace. The Kanakakunnu palace was originally used by the royal family as a summer retreat and as a venue for royal banquets.
The State Government has helped the Kanakakunnu palace to rediscover itself. Under the guidance of the tourism department, the sprawling grounds of the palace have now been turned into a venue for cultural meets and spot for family outings. The Nisagandhi Open air Auditorium within the palace is now the venue for a week long dance festival that witnesses classical performance by the legendary dancers of Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathak, Odissi, Modern Ballet and other folk dances. The Kanakakunnu palace is also the place for a week long food festival that sees the participation of the major hotels from across Kerela.
Located at the foothills of the Veli range, about 63 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, the Padmanabhapuram Palace is encased within the walls of the Padmanabhapuram fort. The palace was the capital of the kingdom of Travancore and hence the structure of this massive erection shows a heavy influence of the Travancore architectural plan. The Padmanabhapuram Palace is well known for a rich collection of murals, carved mahogany ceiling, coloured mica windows, secret underground passages, inner courtyards, museum, four poster medicinal bed, granite dance halls and special black shiny floors which are made from a unique combination of egg white, jaggery, lime, burnt coconut, charcoal and river sand. It was built around 1601 A.D. by Iravipillai Iravivarma Kulasekhara Perumal, who ruled Travancore between 1592 A.D. and 1609 A.D. The palace has a number of chambers like Thai Kottaram, Natakasala, Mantrasala and Thekee Kottaram. Overall, the Padmanabhapuram Palace is a relic from the rich cultural and Architectural heritage of Kerela that is bound to leave the spectators dumbfounded with its architectural splendor and the magnitude of engineering ingenuity. The palace remains closed on Mondays.
The Napier Museum
The Napier Museum is one of the premier landmarks in the city of Thiruvananthapuram. Dating back to the Nineteenth century, this museum is the showcase of the historical and cultural assets of the state. The architectural ingenuity of this massive structure shows a heavy influence of the Indo-Saracenic tradition. The gothic roofs and minarets add to the splendor of the museum. The bronze and stone sculptures and the wood and ivory carvings of the building captivate the viewers and inspire in them the sentiments of awe, wonder and nostalgia for the past world. The Napier Museum basks in a rich collection of historical and archeological artifacts, bronze idols, antique jewelry, temple chariots and ivory carvings. With the natural air conditioning system, an art gallery and a zoological garden encased within it, the Napier Museum is a must see place for the tourists
The Neyyar Dam
The Neyyar dam is located about 32km away from Thiruvananthapuram, where the three rivers- the Neyyar, the Mullar and the Kallar meet. The dam is also a seat of wildlife safaris. A number of wild animals can be seen here like elephants and deers. A lion safari park is also very close by to the dam. Built in 1958, the dam is also a proud possessor of a watchover and a crocodile farm.
Sree Chithra Art Gallery
The Sree Chitra Art Gallery displays some of the choicest paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich. It also houses exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughals and Tanjore schools of art. With bronze statues and ivory carvings, this building is also a testimony of architectural splendor.
Science and Technology Museum
The Science and Technology Museum has been established by the Government of Kerela in order to imbibe within the children a thirst for scientific study and new technological discoveries. These attempts to combine playful activity with serious learning
The place called Aruvikkara is located at a distance of 8 km from Thiruvananthapuram. Placed in the bank of the Karamana river, the Aruvikkara dam has now turned into an important picnic spot for the tourists. The dam also has other attractions, like the temple of the Goddess Durga, and a stream nearby, famous for its huge collection of fishes. People often come to this place to feed these fishes that come adequately close for food.
Putan Malika Palace
The Putan Malika Palace is a recent addition in the plethora of attractions of Thiruvananthapuram. It is owned by the royals of Travancore, who have opened the gates of their Royal heritage just to generate and raise funds for the maintenance of the palace. It is located on the South east of the Padmanaviswamy temple. Characterized with cool chambers, delicately carved wooden screens, portraits of the royalties, royal regalia, and a crystal throne presented by the Dutch, the Putan Malika palace breathes the air of aristocracy and majesty. Adding to the inherent grandeur of the place is the muted but extravagant Kerela style of architecture. This palace is also the venue for an open air Carnatic Musical festival that is held every year and which is organized by the royal family itself.
Nature in and around Thiruvananthapuram
Backwaters in Kovalam
The beauty of Kovalam, located about 16 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, can only be fully realized with a ride to its backwoods on a backwater cruise. The eye catching greenery there along with the mesmerizing aroma of the forests adds a different dimension to the scenic beauty of the place. Catamarans, houseboats as well as country boats are given to the tourists on rent at very cheap rates. However, given the increasing demands of the industry of tourism in Kovalam , it is advisable to book a backwater cruise prior to the arrival here.
Named after a Vizhinjam Lighthouse situated on a hill top called Kurumkal, the Lighthouse Beach is located on the southernmost part of the beach resort of Kovalam, at a distance of only 10 km from Thiruvananthapuram. The 35 meters tall lighthouse is beautifully painted in red and white and is clearly visible from almost all the corners of the beach. Around the light house are memorials of Ayyanappilla Asan and Ayyippilla Asan which are also visited by tourists in abundance.
This beach defines beauty to the truest sense of the term. With the swaying palms and the sapphire blue sea embellishing this beach, it is often referred to as the “Paradise of the South”. The tourists derive particular pleasure in fending off the cool breeze that blows in from the Arabian sea.
The lighthouse beach is also equipped with lifeguards throughout its length and breath. The area behind the beach has been concretized and developed into a cafeteria that excels in almost all kinds of seafood. Tourists can even indulge in refreshing Ayurvedic massages, sunbathing, water surfing and all sorts of adventurous water sports in the Light house Beach. The lighthouse road is also convenient for long leisurely walks and cycling.
Also called Eve’s Beach, the Hawah Beach is known for its own beauty and splendour in Kovalam. This is separated from the Kovalam beach by the Edakullu foreland. It is said that in this beach the sunset has a different thing to offer each evening. It also contains a number of shops that sell bedspreads, clothes, silver ornaments and the like.
The Varkala Beach is located about 54 km from Thiruvananthapuram and is also an important pilgrimage spot for the Hindus.( more on the website)
Ponmudi is a hill resort, almost 61 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram. A host to beautiful meandering pathways and cool, green, wooded environs, Ponmudi is located about 915meters above sea level. Apart from the towering mountains, nameless yet charming wild flowers, small rivulets, exotic springs, colorful butterflies and a deer park nearby, this hill station is also well known for mountaineering or trekking. Taxis and rent cars for Ponmudi can easily be got hold of from Thiruvananthapuram and that too in quite cheap rates. Ponmudi is connected to Thiruvananthapuram through a narrow winding road that is famous for the scenic view that it offers to the travelers. Another attraction in Ponmudi is a number of rivulets, some of which even flow across the road. The Golden Valley also fascinates the tourists with its fascinating hinterlands and lush green landscape. An access-point to River Kallar, the Golden Valley in Ponmudi can turn any layman into a romantic poet with its inherent beauty and charm.
Located near the Thiruvananthapuram airport, the Shanghumukham Beach is just 8 km away from the main city. This is an exotic location to enjoy sunset from. Tourists who are in the look out for a serene and peaceful holiday in the lap of nature, the beach of Shanghamukham are a perfect place for them. Apart from being decorated with a 35meter long statue of a mermaid, the beach is also famous for a quaint looking restaurant in the shape of a star fish. This proves to be particularly amazing to children who enjoy fun and frolic amidst nature in her serene best.
Veli Tourist Village
Located at a distance of about 8 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the Veli tourist village has come up at the meeting point of the Veli lake and the Arabian sea. Speed boats and pedal boats available on rent are the popular means of exploration of this village. Children immensely enjoy these boat rides and the sculptures with which the shore is dotted with.
Religious places in Thiruvananthapuram
The Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple
The Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple, a 16th century shrine, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is a must see place for the tourists to Thiruvananthapuram. The word “padmanabhaswamy” implies a deity with “lotus navel” and this is considered to be the most sacred of all the 108 Vaishnavite shrines. The main deity in this temple, an 18 ft long idol of Lord Vishnu who is seen reclined in a half sitting posture on the mythological serpent, Anantha. A lotus is shown to grow from the navel of Lord Vishnu on which sits Lord Brahma. The gopuram and the large pavilion lined with fine stone carvings make the temple a melting pot of history, art and culture. The temple is open only to the Hindus and a strict dress code is still adhered to both for men as well as women. The architecture of the building shows a clear inflictment of the Dravidian school upon the traditional Kerela school of architecture