Tourist places in and around Trivandrum
Trivandrum is a beautiful city built on seven hills. The pagoda-style tiled roofs show the Far-Eastern architectural influence. The Padmanahhaswami temple, the most famous temple in the city, however, is built in the Dravidian style.
Trivandrum is not only on the air map, but also is directly linked with Madras by railways. Also, buses ply to the city from all important towns of the south.
The Padmanabhaswami Temple
This temple, with huge pylon-like gopurams, heavily decorated with sculpture and gilded finials, is dedicated to Vishnu. The Shrine is very ancient, though the structure as it is seen today is the result of renovation and addition by King Martanda Verma of Travancore.
Three hundred and sixty-eight carved granite pillars mark the corridors. Only Hindus can go into the temples wearing dhoti in a certain style. Stitched garments are not allowed.
Chitralayam Art Gallery and Museum
This presents a fine collection of miniature paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali along with Indian art by modern painters as well as the specimens of the Rajput, the Mughal, and the Tanjore Schools of Art. A section of the gallery is devoted to an exhibition of the painting by late Raja Ravi Verma, a great force in Indian art.
In the same precinct is situated the museum, housed in a rambling palace, rich with a good collection of bronzes.
Aquarium and Zoo
The aquarium on the Trivandrum beach presents an attractive selection of fish, other marine creatures and plants.
Next to the aquarium is the zoo, picturesque and well-spread out where many interesting species of animals of southern India can be observed.
Kandiyar Palace is an instructive institution that shows glimpses of life in the princely times. Its architectural beauty is superb. This is the private property of the scions of the ruling family and permission is necessary to visit it.
Tourist attractions around Trivandrum
Kovalam beach is 16 km from Trivandrum. Spread on silk-soft sand, this calm and quite resort is one of the finest beaches in India.
Apart from ITDC's fine Kovalam Beach Resort and a cluster of cottages at Kovalam Grove, there are facilities for aquatic sports, yoga and getting massage-treatment according to the ancient Ayurvedic tradition, and an open-air theatre for the performance of Kathakali.
53 kms on the way to Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin—the Land's End—one can stop to marvel at this ancient palace of the rulers. It is rich with unique murals, and exqusite carvings in bronze and stone.
It is said that in the making of its floor a long-forgotten technique, using charred coconut husks, were applied.
Ponmudi or the golden peak is a one and a half hours drive through jackfruit and mango trees.
Suchindram 87 kms from Trivandrum. It is a site for an excellent temple on the way to Kanyakumari.
Lands' end lies a little further. Here two seas—Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal—meet with the third, the Indian Ocean. The sunrise and the sunset are memorable experiences. Ferry to Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a spot where Swami Vivekananda once meditated. Kanyakurnari is located within Tamil Nadu.
Varkala is 54 kms from Trivandrum go north to Varkala, a small detour on the way to Quilon. Breathtaking scenery of the cliff looming over the beach and spurting springs.
More articles: Trivandrum