Trivandrum, the capital of the state of Kerala, the God's Own Country, now known by the name.Thiruvananthapuram, literally translates into the "abode of Lord Anantha". The Sri PadmanabhaswamyTemple, a highly venerated temple for Keralites, in the heart of the city is devoted to the deity Lord Anantha. The city of Thiruvananthapuram is located in the South of the state and bordered by Tiruneveli in the East, Kanyakumari to the South and Kollam district located to its North. The city is a must on the itinerary of any visitor to the South India.
Thiruvananthapuram district lies at the southern tip of Indian peninsula. The name Thiruvananthapuram can be divided in to thiru-anantha-puram which in local language means ‘the abode of Lord Anantha’, where Anantha is the serpent on whom Lord Vishnu reclines. Lord Vishnu or Padmanabha (The one who has Lotus on his naval) is the presiding deity of Sree Padmanabhasami temple here. The district and the royal kingdom Travancore (Thiruvithamkoor in local language) grown around this temple, which has a huge part in the modern Kerala history. Having Arabian Sea and the wooded Western Ghatts on the boundary, Thiruvananthapuram offers the most enchanting tourist spots. The very long shoreline, beautiful beaches, historic spots and palaces, famous shrines and mystic backwaters and also the very rich history that dates back to 1000 BC are the main things that invite tourists. Thiruvananthapuram is a major center of the Medical tourism in India. The city was officially called as Trivandrum in English until 1991, the anglicized name of Thiruvananthapuram. The very clean and green Thiruvananthapuram city is the capital of kerala and the headquarters of Thiruvananthapuram district. The city is built on seven low hills. Raja Marthanda Varma is considered as the Father of modern Thiruvananthapuram. 

The modern history of Thiruvananthapuram starts from early 18th century, during the reign of Sree Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma of Travancore. Most of the historians believe that the district was part of the Venad, the oldest kingdom in Kerala region. Some believes that it was the part of Ay kingdom, which reigned here till the 10th century. However Thiruvananthapuram was the trading post of spices, sandalwood and ivory. The rise of modern Thiruvananthapuram began with accession of Marthanada Varma as the ruler of Travancore. The golden age in the districts history was during the mid 19th century under the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal.

The district economy is very much dependent on tourism. Thiruvananthapuram is ranked first in the number of foreign tourists visiting Kerala. It is also a major destination for Medical Tourism, Ayurveda etc. More than 60 % of workforce of this district being employed as government servants. The modern economy of Trivandrum is depended on the media and IT sector here. All major channels in Malayalam have headquarters here. Thiruvananthapuram is the home of several studios and related industries. India's first and only animation park, The Kinfra Animation Park, is situated here. IT companies having global fame like NeST Software, Infosys, TCS, McKinsey & Co., Ernst & Young, Allianz Cornhill, Tata Elxsi, UST Global etc. have campus in Thiruvananthapuram  Technopark. The presentday economy of the district is growing with the contributions from more professionals in the fields of IT, and Medical/Bio-Technology. The city contributes 80% of software exports from Kerala.

The district Thiruvananthapuram is well connected with road, rail and air. Thiruvananthapuram International Airport lies 6 kilometers from the city and 18 kilometers from Kovalam, and the airport have connection with countries like Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Singapore and also with the Middle East. Domestic flight services are also here to travel across the country. The Thiruvananthapuram City railway station is connected to all major cities in Kerala and rest of the country. KSRTC operates bus services to all major cities in Kerala and metro cities like Banglore, Chennai, Manglore etc.

District Profiles

District Name Thiruvananthapuram
State Kerala
Country India
Area 2,192 sq km
Population 2,938,533 (Approx)
Rain Fall 170 cm (annual)
Temperature Min 20 °C - Max 35 °C
Geographical location

North Latitudes : 8º 17' and 8º 54'

East Longitudes : 76º 41' and 77º 17'
Tourist Seasons August to May
STD Code 0471

District Map

Tourist Attraction in and around Thiruvananthapuram

1. Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple      

The Sree Padmanabha Sami Temple rests in the heart of the city inside the eastern fort area. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mahavishnu (Padmanabha Swami in local tongue means God with a Lotus on his Naval). The temple is a blend of Dravidian (Chola, Pandya etc) and Kerala architecture. The temple is one of the major pilgrim centers of this region. The temple is also renowned for the mural paintings and stone sculptures here. The ‘Ottakkal Mandapam’ (a building made of a single stone) here attracts a lot of people. The Padmanabha Sami Temple was the venue of the historical event Thrippadidanam (Donating everything to thee). After establishing the kingdom Travancore, Raja Marthanda Varma dedicated his life and his kingdom to the deity here. After that event the King and his descendants known as Padmanabha Dasa(Servants of God Vishnu).
The temple permits only Hindus to enter. We need certain dress codes to enter here. Men have to wear ‘mundu’ without any upper clothing, for boys too. Women need sari or pavada with blouse. Small girls below 12 can wear frocks. Handbags, mobile phones, Cameras are not permitted in the temple.

2. Kuthira Malika (Puthenmalika)
The place was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal in 1844. The name Kuthiramalika  (Horse palace) because the palace exterior contains a lot of wooden horse figures. This beautiful, two storied, 80-room palace was built based on the traditional Kerala architecture. The palace is now converted in to a museum. The museum is well stored with artifacts and paintings belongs to the Travancore Kingdom, Wood carvings, huge chandeliers, Belgian glass mirrors, marble sculptures, armory of Kings, Portraits of Travancore kings, Thrones etc. The palace is located near to the temple. Visiting time here is from 8.30 am to 1.00 pm and from 3.00 pm to 5.30 pm. The Museum opens all days except Mondays. Photography is not permitted inside the museum and a cheap rate is here to enter.

3. Napier Museum

The museum was built in 1855 making it the oldest in Kerala. The museum is better known as Trivandrum museum or Art museum. The museum is well stored with a huge collection of archeological and historical artifacts. Bronze idols, Stone Sculptures, wooden carvings, ornaments dating from 11th century to the 18th century can be seen here. The museum has a clock and it is said that the clock is 400 years old. The museum opens all day except Mondays and Wednesday morning. The visiting time here is between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm. Photography is banned here. Plastic also banned here in the museum compound.

4. Sree Chitra Art Gallery

The art gallery was opened by Sree Chithira Thirunal of Travancore in 1935. The Gallery has a huge collection of paintings from Raja Ravi Varma, Russian painters Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich etc. Also here are paintings from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore School of art in India. Paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali are also displayed here. The gallery also includes some of the rare mural paintings dates back to pre historic time. The gallery located nears the Napier Museum. The gallery opens every day except Mondays and Wednesday morning.
The Sree Chitra Enclave is located adjacent to the gallery.  This museum depicts the history of the Travancore Royal Family and displays their personal belongings and artifacts. Old newspaper footage is exhibited here.

5. The Zoological Park

The Zoological Park was established in 1859 and it is one of the oldest zoos in India. The zoo is spread over a vast area of 55 acres in a very planned beautiful woodlands and lawn. The main goal of the zoo was recreation but soon it changed to conservation. The zoo contains almost all the types of animals including wild animals. Several rare reptiles also can bee seen here. The Zoo has 75 different species of animals not only from India but from abroad also. Lion tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Indian Rhino, Asiatic Lion, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard etc can be seen here. A Botanical garden is also within zoo, which contains several varieties of tropical plants and trees. There is also a beautiful lake in the premise. People can enter here in between 9.00 am and 6.15 pm.

6. Veli Tourist Village

Veli is an attracting tourist spot, where Veli lake merges with the Arabian sea. The lake offers boating. There is a beautiful garden in this tourist village, which is filled with the beautiful sculptures designed by Kanayi Kunjiraman, a renowned sculptor in Kerala. Walking on the floating bridge to the 'pozhi' (sand bed between the sea and backwater) and boating are the main attractions here. There is also an open-air auditorium for cultural performances. The Veli tourist village lies 12 kilometers from the city. The visiting time here is between 8.00 am and 7.30 pm.

7. Shanmugham Beach

Another splendid beach, the Shanmugham beach is the best place for sunset viewers. The beach is close to the Travancore airport and Veli tourist village. There is an indoor recreation club, probably the oldest in Kerala. 'The Matsya Kanyaka' (the mermaid) sculpture which is 35 m long, designed by Kanayi Kunjiraman and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are good attractions here. The Chacha Nehra Childrens Traffic Park is located here. The park provides opportunity for children to learn the traffic rules. The beach lies 8 kilometers from the city.

8. Aakulam Tourist Village

The village is located at Aakulam, on the banks of backwaters. The village contains separate swimming pools for men, women, children and beginners. Boating is possible here on backwaters. The Children's Park and the Musical Dance fountain are the other attractions in the village. The village lies 10 kilometers from the City railway station. The village opens everyday and pool opens from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm. The Children park here opens from 9.30 am to 7.00 pm. An entrance fee of 20-rupees/ hour is charged here.

9. Kanakakunnu Palace

The Kanakakunnu Palace in Trivandrum  is one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Trivandrum. The palace is located in the central area of the city. It is just beside the famous Napier Museum. The palace reflects superb artistic skill of past generations and In front of the palace there is a huge ground used for several cultural programs. The Travancore King, Sree Moolam Tirunal, mainly built this palace for the royal banquet ceremonies. The Palace situates on the crest of a small hill surrounded by meadows and grooves. The Nishagandhi open-air auditorium and the newly constructed Sooryakanthy auditorium in the Palace compound are the usual venues for various cultural events.

10. Priyadarshini Planetarium

Priyadarshini planetarium is one of the most splendid planetarium of the country. The projector here can visualize almost the entire universe. It can visualize the sky on any day up to 12,500 years back or 12,500 years ahead. The Kerala State Science and Technology Museum lies adjacent to the planetarium. The museum has galleries on Electronics, Motion and Power, Electricity and Magnetism, Mechanics, Automobile Engineering, Computer Engineering, Bio-Medical Engineering, Mathematics etc. The sole purpose of the museum is to provide extensive knowledge about the new dimensions of Physics to scholars as well as ordinary people. The museum park at the planetarium premises has numerous outdoor exhibits, which include models of rockets and airplanes. The planetarium complex opens everyday except Monday. The planetarium have shows at 10.30 am (Malayalam), 12.00 pm (English), 3.00 pm (Malayalam) and 5.00 pm (Malayalam).

11. Vyloppilly Sanskrithi Bhavan

The Vyloppilly Sanskrithi Bhavan was established for the preservation of Kerala's vast culture and traditional performing arts. The whole complex is named after Vyloppilly Sreedhara Menon, a great Malayalam poet and social reformer. One building in the complex is completely dedicated to him, where his personal belongings are stored. The complex includes a 'Koothambalam' (for stage performances), a Kalmandapam (building made of stones), an Art Gallery, a Library, a Rangamandapam, a Nrithamandapam etc. There are regular cultural programs at Vyloppilly Sanskrithi Bhavan on Mondays. The complex is open to all without any entrance fee. Some of the findings from 'Pattanam Excavation' are displayed here, which also attracts a lot of people. Recent archeological excavations proved that the place 'pattanam' is the ancient sea port and main trading center 'Musiris'

12. Navarathri Mandapam

The Navarathri Mandapam is located near to the Padmanabha Swami temple, before the entrance to the Kuthira Malika Palace. It is the venue of the 10-day annual Navarathri celebrations. The Navarathri music festival here addressed by famous musicians across the country. The event features some of the exceptional ‘kritis’ (compositions) of King Swathi Thirunal, the music maestro who ruled the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.The event dates from September 30 to October 8.

13. Beemapalli Darga Shareef

The Beemapalli lies 12 kilometers south of the Trivandrum city, close to the International airport. The Beemapalli is dedicated to pious Muslim women, who had great spiritual powers, namely Bee Umma and to her son. It is believed that she came from Arabia centuries ago to preach the 'thoughts of Allah'. The annual festival here is known as 'Uroos' festival and the vary famous ritual 'Chandanakudam' (Pot made of Sandal) is a part of this festival. In Chandanakudam devotees offer earthen pots to the deity and there will be coins on each pot. Thousands of pilgrims from across the state take part in this event.

14. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on Thiruvanthapuram-Ponmudi Road, about 50 km northeast of Thiruvananthapuram. This hilly area having elavation ranging from 100 meter to 1800 meter. The peaks Chemmunjimottai , Athirumalai , Arumukhamkunnu, Koviltherimalai  and Nachiyadikunnu etc are located in this region. The Peppara dam here was built across Karamana River for the drinking water facility of Thiruvananthapuram district. This bio diverse region is rich in flora and fauna. The sub tropical and tropical evergreen forests are populated with a variety of wildlife. The major wildlife species found in the wildlife sanctuary are tiger, panther, wild dog, lion tailed macaque, elephant, gaur, sambhar, barking deer, mouse deer, wild boar, Nilgiri langur, Malabar squirrel etc. The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram lies 32 kilometers away. The nearest railway station is the Trivandrum railway station and the sanctuary is well connected by road.

15. Neyyar Dam and WIldlife Sanctuary

The place is located 30 kilometers from Trivandrum on the foot of Western Ghatts. The dam here established for the irrigation purpose. The famous peak 'Agasthyakoodam' is very near to the dam. The dam built across Neyyar River. The dam and the wildlife sanctuary here are ideal for picnics. The dam has a watch tower which offers panoramic view of the dam and its surroundings. Boating facilities are available in the reservoir.  A Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Center is also here which attracts people. Besides these attractions the dam also include a lion safari park and a deer park. Wildlife like gaur, sloth bear, Nilgiri Tahr, jungle cat and Nilgiri langur, wild elephants, sambar deer etc can be seen here. The place lies 32 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram railway station and can easily reached.

16. Agasthyakoodam

The peak Agasthyamala or Agasthyakoodam (Agasthya's peak), which is 6129 feet high, lies within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghatts. It is the second highest peak in Kerala. The famous river ‘Thamarabarani’ originates from here and flows into Tamilnadu. Agastyakoodam is a pilgrimage centre for Hindu devotees of sage Agastya, who is considered to be one of the seven ‘rishis‘(Saptarishi) in Hindu mythology. There is a full-sized statue of Agastya at the top of the peak. The peak of Agasthyakoodam can be reached only by foot and thus it offers trekking. The Agasthyakoodam Biosphere Reserve contains rare flora and fauna. The forests of Agasthyakoodam are rich in rare medicinal herbs and plant, and orchids. Prior permission needed for trekking and entering here. The place can be easily reached.

17. Varkala

Varkala is an important Hindu pilgrimage center in this region. Its because of the 'Papanasham' (Papanasham means redemption from sins) beach, The Janardhana Swami Temple and of Sivagiri. The beach Papanasham also known as Varkala beach lies 45 kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram and can be easily reached. Its an ideal place for sunset viewing. Mythology says that sage Narada created the place Varkala with his 'Valkalam' (cloth made of the bark of a tree), and he advised his disciples to pray sitting along the seashore for their salvation. The seashore is the famous Papanasham beach.
The Janardhana Swami temple here said to be 2000 year old. Lord Siva, Lord Krishna and Hanuman are the important deities here. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the inner sanctum of the temple but can hang around the temple.
The final resting place of the great social reformer Sree Narayana Guru lies in a hilltop 3 kilometers from Varkala at Sivagiri. Every day huge amount of devotees comes to the memorial of this great philosopher who advocated 'One god for entire mankind'.
Red laterite cliffs overlooking the beach are a main attraction here. Varkala is also a main center of Ayurvedic treatment and Yoga.
The place is easily accessible.

18. Kovalam

The most famous beach in Kerala, Kovalam located 16 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram. The internationally renowned beach is been a famous tourist spot since 1930. Today this tiny beach is the focus of a multi-million dollar business, drawing thousands of tourists across the globe. Kovalam beach is known as the "Paradise of the South". "Kovalam" in local vernacular means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost beach known as the Lighthouse beach is the most famous. The beach offers an amazing view of Vizhinjam mosque. 'The northern Samudra'  and the 'hawah' are the other beaches here. Speedboat ride is possible here. Surfing and swimming are the other attractions in the beach. The village Kovalam consists several restuarants, which provide western style food as well as Indian, which is delicious. Kovalam also offers wide variety of accommodation options suits all pockets. Ayurvedic massage parlors, yoga centers and water sport facilities are the other attraction in and around Kovalam. The nearest airport here is Thiruvananthapuram lies 20 kilometers from the village. The place is also connected with rail and road and smoothly reached.
The Vizhinjam harbor lies 3 kilometers from Kovalam. The Proposed International Trans shipment Terminal at Vizhinjam is also close to Kovalam.

19. Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple

Vizhinjam Rock Cut Caves contains the rock cut sculptures belonging to the 18th century in the cave temple. The temple is dedicated to Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi and can see a loose sculpture of this deity in a granite cave. There is also sculptures related to Lord Siva and Parvathy. It is about 17 kilometers from the Thiruvananthapuram city. The cave was unknown for a long time.

20. Sree Parasurama Temple, Thiruvallam

This 2000 year old temple lies on the banks of Karamana River. It is the only temple in Kerala dedicated to Parasurama. It is believed that Parasurama created this land namely Keralam, by his axe. The temple lies six kilometers south from the city, on the Thiruvananthapuram-Kovalam road. Its a famous spot for 'Balitharpanam' (annual offering to dead). The temple is a protected one, dates back to the 13th century.

21. Padmanabhapuram Palace

This was the palace of Travancore Rajas and once the state capital of Travancore. Padmanabhapuram palace is built in traditional Kerala architectural style. The palace is situated at Thuckalay in Kanyakumari district. The palace is located at the foot of the Veli Hills, a part of the Western Ghats. The river Valli flows nearby. The Padamanabhapuram Palace complex consists of several section and they are' Mantrasala '(Council chamber), 'Thai Kottaram' (Mother's palace), 'Nataksala '(Hall of performance), 'Thekee kottaram' (Southern palace), and Four-storeyed central building. The Palace though surrounded entirely by the State of Tamil Nadu, still its a part of Kerala and the land and Palace belongs to the Government of Kerala. There is a clock in the clock tower which 300 years old still shows the right time. Some rare extraordinary murals and floor carvings can be seen in the Palace. The Padmanabhapuram palace is a must watch if you are interested in Kerala history. The palace lies 52 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram and easily accessible. The Palace opens every days from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm except Mondays.

22. Koikkal Palace

Koyikkal Palace is located at Nedumangad 18 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram on the way to Ponmudi. The palce was built in the 15th century by Umayamma Rani of 'Venad' kingdom, the most ancient rulers in this region. The palace was built in the traditional 'nalukettu' style. Today Koyikkal palace includes a Folklore Museum and a Numismatics Museum set up by the Department of Archaeology. This is the one and only center for coin collection in Kerala. The museum collection includes coins of various Indian dynasties like the Gwalior royal family, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan etc. World's smallest coin, Rasi is also on display here. Many old musical instruments and the 'Chilambu' (anklet) and the 'Thaliyola' (old manuscript) belongs to Umayamma Rani are also preserved here. The Palace museum opens all days except mondays from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

23. Ponmudi

An ideal hilltop having misty peaks and wooded forests around, Ponmudi is located 915 feet above the sea level. It is one of the major tourist centers in this region. The place is located on the Western Ghatts and an excellent place for trekking. Ponmudi is famous for the tea plantations here. The narrow road to Ponmudi itself is offering a scenic view of Kerala environment. Ponmudi is an attraction to people who are interested in tropical vegetation, though located in rich forest area. The main attraction near Ponmudi is the Golden Valley. This peak offers splendid views of Western Ghatts and other peaks. Agasthyakoodam can be seen from here. Ponmudi is the home for several exotic butterflies and rare beautiful mountain flowers. There is also a rich wildlife around these hills. A number of rivulets and rapids are also here. Prior permission needed to trek here. The place is located 61 km northeast of Trivandrum city and can be easily reached.

24. Aruvikkara Dam

Aruvikkara dam is another beautiful picnic spot lies on the shores of Karamana River. The dam lies 16 kilometers from the Thiruvananthapuram city. The dam and a waterfall, a Durga temple, a fish tank associated with the temple are the main attractions here. The Head Quarters of the Wellington Water Distribution project is located here. Aruvikkara dam provides water to the capital city. The place is easily accessible by road.

25. Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium
Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium located near Theatre Junction, the aquarium which houses a rich treasure of marine wealth has perfected the Image Pearl production technique, by which a mould of any shape made of shell cement is implanted into the pearl oyster. In 2-3 months a pearl in the shape of the mould will be ready. Entrance fee: Adults: Rs. 20 Children: Rs. 10.Opening time-0900 - 1800 hrs

26. Kallar
Kallar, located in the foothills of the Western Ghats, is a favourite hot spot for picnickers. It is situated en route to Ponmudi. Kallar gets its name from the River Kallar, which flows through the region. The main attractions are the Golden Valley, and the Meenmutti waterfall.Vistors can enjoy a cool dip in the crystal clear waters of the Golden Valley. The valley is easily accessible from the main road. The adventurous ones, can opt for trekking and bird watching. A narrow track, starting from the right side of the Kallar Bridge, will lead to a medium sized, but captivating waterfall, known as Meenmutty. The waterfall is situated 3-4 km from the main road. The walk to the waterfall is a feast to your eyes. You would come across many species of butterflies and birds. The forest here is mostly tropical in nature, and during the rainy season, one has to be on the alert for leeches.

27. Meenmutty Waterfalls
Two glitterig waterfalls, Kombaikani and Meenmutty Waterfalls are situated on the upper reaches of the Neyyar Reservoir in Thiruvananthapuram District. Located near Kallar, on the way to Ponmudi from Thiruvananthapuram, the waterfalls along with its serene surroundings offers a unique and invigorating experience. A trek of two kms from Kallar, through dense forests, would take one to Meenmutti waterfalls and a further two kms, to the Kombaikani waterfalls.

On the way to the waterfalls, one could come across ample bird life, and many species of butterflies.

28. Mankayam
Mankayam Waterfalls is situated in Mankayam, near Palode in Nedumangad Taluk, Thiruvananthapuram district.Mankayam was recently launched as a zone for ecotourism, managed by the State Forest Department. The Mankayam River in its course further down, produces two spectacular waterfalls.From Mankayam, visitors can go to nearby picturesque spots and can also go for trekking. Rising from the hill ranges of Chemunchi, the River Chittar, flowing down through the forests of Brymore creates a tributary in the form of Mankayam River. The Mankayam River in its course further down, produces two spectacular waterfalls.At the Mankayam ecotourism zone, visitors can seek the assistance of guides with the entire activities coordinated by the Vanasamrakshna Samithi (Forest Protection Group), working under the forest department of the State.

29. Anjengo Fort
Situated close to the town of Varkala is the Anjengo Fort or the Anjuthengu Fort, meaning five coconut trees. The belief is that the Fort got its name from the fact that there was a piece of land which had five coconut trees which was given on lease to the East India Company by the Queen of Attingal. If you are game for a long walk and a little expedition then you should not miss this Fort. The British chose this place as their first establishment to start trade with Kerala. This fort reminds you of the stronghold of the East India Company during the period of the British Raj.

30. Kappil Lake  
About 6 kilometers (3.75 miles) north of Varkala town is the scenic Kappil Lake that gives way to the enchanting world of Kerala backwaters. This serene estuary meanders through dense coconut groves before merging into the Arabian Sea. The bridge over the lake is quite a vantage point to view the backwater stretching white and grey to the distant blue horizon. Boating is another great way to browse this tranquil waterway. For this measure Kerala tourism has set up the Kappil Boat Club in the area, from whom you can hire row/pedal boats. Lots of people taking trains and buses through this area get a scenic view of the estuary in between Edava and Kappil. Do explore as far as Kappil beach, the meeting point of Kappil Lake and Arabian Sea. It is a secluded, rocky stretch lacing a grey sea.

In this part of the Varkala coastline you will not find a single fishing boat. Perhaps the sea is too choppy for such an endeavor. In the quietude - only broken by the waves crashing on the shingles – you will fell like spending hours perched on a rock and gaze at the blurry white-grey sea swelling and breaking tirelessly. If getting great pictures is also important to you, amble down this narrow strip of country road lined with swaying palms between the roaring sea and the placid backwater. The place brings upon you an absolute sense of calm.

Origin of Name
Thiruvananthapuram literally means "City of Lord Anantha" in Malayalam. The name derives from the deity of the Hindu temple at the centre of the city. Anantha is the serpent Shesha on whom Padmanabhan or Vishnu reclines. The temple of Vishnu reclining on Anantha, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is the most recognizable iconic landmark of the city. The city was officially referred to as Trivandrum in English until 1991, when the government decided to reinstate the city's original name Thiruvananthapuram in all languages. However, the city is still widely referred to as "Trivandrum".

Thiruvananthapuram is an ancient city with trading traditions dating back to 1000 BC. It is believed that the ships of king Solomon landed in a port called Ophir (now Poovar) in Thiruvananthapuram in 1036 BC. The city was the trading post of spices, sandalwood and ivory. However, the ancient political and cultural history of the city was almost entirely independent from that of the rest of Kerala. The early rulers of the city were the Ays. With their fall in the 10th century, the city was taken over by the rulers of Venad.
The rise of modern Thiruvananthapuram began with accession of Marthanda Varma in 1729 as the founding ruler of the princely state of Travancore (Thiruvithamkoor in the local vernacular). Thiruvananthapuram was made the capital of Travancore in 1745. The city developed into a major intellectual and artistic centre during this period. The golden age in the city's history was during the mid 19th century under the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal. This era saw the establishment of the first English school (1834), the Observatory (1837), the General Hospital (1839), the Oriental Research Institute & Manuscripts Library and the University College (1873). The first Lunatic Asylum in the state was also started during the same period. Sanskrit college, Ayurveda college, Law college and a second grade college for women were started by Moolam Thirunal (1885–1924).
The early 19th century was an age of tremendous political and social changes in the city. The Sree Moolam Assembly, established in 1904 was the first democratically elected legislative council in any Indian state. Despite not being under direct control of the British empire at any time, the city however featured prominently in India's freedom struggle. The Indian National Congress had a very active presence in the city. A meeting of the Indian National Congress presided by Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramaiah was held here in 1938.
The period of Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma, who took over in 1931, witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of "Temple Entry Proclamation" (1936) was an act that underlined social emancipation. This era also saw the establishment of the University of Travancore in 1937, which later became the Kerala University.
With the end of the British rule in 1947, Travancore chose to join the Indian union. The first popular ministry headed by Pattom Thanu Pillai was installed in office on 24 March 1948. In 1949, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Thiru-Kochi, the state formed by the integration of Travancore with its northern neighbour Kochi. The king of Travancore, Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma became the Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from July 1, 1949 until October 31, 1956. When the state of Kerala was formed on November 1, 1956, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of the new state.
With the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1962, Thiruvananthapuram became the cradle of India's ambitious space programme. The first Indian space rocket was developed and launched from the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) located in the outskirts of the city in 1963. Several establishments of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) were later established in Thiruvananthapuram.
A major milestone in the city's recent history was the establishment of Technopark—India's first IT park—in 1995. Technopark has developed into the largest IT Park in India and third largest in Asia and is home to IT giants like Infosys and TCS, employing around 12,500 people in close to 110 companies. This placed Thiruvananthapuram on the IT map of India and it is today one of the most promising in the country in terms of competitiveness and capability.

Thiruvananthapuram district is situated between north latitudes 8º 17' and 8º 54' and east longitudes 76º 41' and 77º 17'. The southern most extremity, 'Parasala', is 56 kms away from Kanyakumari, the "land's end of India". The district stretches along the shores of the Arabian sea for a distance of 78 kms. District boundaries are:
East:Thirunalveli District, Tamilnadu.South:Kanyakumari District, TamilnaduWest:The Arabian Sea.North:Kollam District.

The district is situated between North latitudes at 8.17°– 8.54° and East longitudes 76.41°– 77.17°. The southern-most extremity, Parassala is just 54 kilometres (34 mi) away from the southern peninsular tip of India, Cape Comorin (Kanya Kumari). The district stretches 78 kilometres (48 mi) along the shores of the Arabian Sea on the West, Kollam district lies on the North with Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu on the East and South respectively.
Unlike the flat portion of the Kerala coast, at the northern coastal region of the district, cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea at Varkala. It is the only part in southern Kerala where cliffs were found. These tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs are considered as a unique geological feature. It is known among geologists as the "Varkala Formation" and a geological monument as declared by the Geological Survey of India.
The district can be divided in to three geographical regions: Highlands, Midlands, and Lowlands. The Chirayinkeezhu and Thiruvananthapuram Taluks are located in the midland and lowland regions, while the Nedumangad Taluk lies in the midland and highland regions, and the Neyyattinkara Taluk stretches over all the three regions.The highland regions on the east and the north-east comprises the Western Ghats, and this area is ideal for major cash crops like rubber, tea, cardamom and other spices.Timber trees like teak and rosewood are grown in this region. The Ghats maintain an average elevation of 814 metres (2,671 ft). The part Agasthyarkoodam, which is the second-highest peak in the Western Ghats (1,869 m or 6,132 ft above sea level), lies in the district. The forests in the tail end of Western Ghats form the most diverse and unknown ecosystem in Peninsular India.The midland region lying between the Western Ghats and lowlands is made up of small and tiny hills and valleys. This is an area of intense agricultural activities. This region is rich in produce such as paddy, tapioca, rubber, eucalyptus, spices and cashews. The lowlands are comparatively narrow, consisting of rivers, deltas and seashore. This area is densely covered with coconut trees. Water bodies cover about 55.25 km2 (21.3 sq mi), while forest area is estimated to be 498.61 km2 (193 sq mi).

Among the three rivers in the district, the Neyyar (56 km or 35 mi), the southernmost river of the Kerala state, has its origin in the Agasthyamala, the second-highest peak in the Western Ghats. The Karamana river (67 km or 42 mi) originates from Vayuvanthol (Vazhuvanthol), another mountain in Western Ghats, and the Vamanapuram River has its origin from Chemunji Mottai of the Western Ghats. There are 10 major back waters in the district. The major lakes are Veli, Kadinamkulam, Anchuthengu (Anjengo), Kaappil, Akathumuri and the Edava-Nadayara lakes. Besides these, there is a fresh-water lake at Vellayani in Thiruvananthapuram taluk, which has the potential to become the major water source of Thiruvanthapuram city in future.

The extensive backwaters of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala present a beautiful kaleidoscope of the dynamic scenery. One of the best ways to enjoy your trip is to go on Trivandrum backwater tours. The traditional houseboats called "Kettuvalloms" are available for a tour on the scenic backwaters of Trivandrum. The meandering waterways lined with lush green vegetation with the blue sky as the backdrop is no less than paradise on earth.

Sail on the calm waters of the 200 square kilometer stretch of crystal clear lakes and lagoons. The only sounds that you will hear while sailing are the chirruping of birds and the gushing water as the houseboat sails on the placid waters. The two main backwater areas of Trivandrum are Veli and Thiruvallam. Both these areas are the best places to go on houseboat rides on Trivandrum backwaters. The Thiruvallam backwater has a temple dedicated to the founder of Kerala, Parashuram. One can also enjoy some water sports that are provided at these backwaters for tourists.

Thiruvananthapuram district has a reserve forest area of 495.1 km2 (191 sq mi) and vested forest area of 3.534 km2 (1.4 sq mi). The forests are spread over three ranges: the Kulathupuzha range in the north, Palode range in the middle, and the Paruthipalli range in the south. These forests may be broadly classified into three categories, namely, Southern tropical wet evergreen forests, Southern tropical and semi-evergreen forests, and Southern tropical moist deciduous forests. Social forestry programmes are being implemented under the World Bank-aided Kerala Social Forestry Project, National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) and Rural Fuel Wood Schemes to assist small and marginal farmers.

The large forest reserves favourably affect the climate and induce rain cold weather is experienced in the mountain ranges whereas lower down, the weather is bracing and in the plains, it is generally hot.
Though the mean maximum temperature is only around 90 °F, it is oppressive in the moisture-laden atmosphere of the plains. Humidity is high and rises to about 90 per cent during the south-west monsoon.
The average rainfall is around 150 cm per annum. It is significant that the district gets rainfall both from the south-west and the north-east monsoons. The south-west monsoon starts by the end of May/beginning of June, and fades out by September, while the north-east monsoon commences in October. Dry weather sets in by the end of December. December, January and February are the coolest months of the year, March, April and May are generally hot.
During the months of April and May, the mean daily maximum temperature rises up to 35.2 °C and during December-January, it sometimes goes down to 18 °C.

Trivandrum, being a coastal area, has dry and humid weather during summers in March to May with maximum temperatures reaching nearly 37°C. June to September the monsoon months experience heavy rains and December-February months are winters with pleasant climate with temperatures between 20°C to 30°C. Trivandrum is best during the winter months from Oct- Feb when the weather is pleasant making it ideal for sightseeing. March to May is best avoided as the coastal region is hot & humid. Avoid travel during rainy months of June to September as water clogging on the roads may make your travel tedious.

The total annual average rainfall in the district is about 1,500 mm (59 in) per annum.The southwest monsoon, from June to September is the principal rainy season. The district receives most of its annual rainfall in this season. The second rainy season is the North-East monsoon. It is from October to November. The district also gets thunderstorm rains in the pre-monsoon months of April and May.

According to the 2011 census Thiruvananthapuram district has a population of 3,307,284, roughly equal to the nation of Uruguay or the US state of Connecticut. This gives it a ranking of 103rd in India (out of a total of 640 districts). The district has a population density of 1,509 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,910 /sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 2.25%. Thiruvananthapuram has a sex ratio of 1088 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 92.66%.
Language: Malayalam is the mother tongue. Thiruvananthapuram city is more cosmopolitan, with people speaking various languages like Malayalam, English, Tamil, Hindi, Tulu, and a minor percentage speak Gujarati.
Religion and Caste: Hindus (68.09%) constitute the majority of the population, followed by Christians (18.41%) and Muslims (12.52%).The Hindu community lies grouped on the basis of castes and sub castes as elsewhere in the state. The Brahmins, Nairs, Ezhavas, Nadars scheduled castes and 11 tribes form the majority of the Hindu community. Christians belong mainly to the Latin Catholic Church, the Church of South India and the Syriac Orthodox Church. The Muslim community also forms a major division of the total population. Economic, social and other ties bind the members of different religious groups at the local level. People live in peace and amity, influencing and being influenced by the culture of one another.
Socio-Economic Conditions: More than 50% of the total population depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Agricultural labourers constitute 42% of the total labour class. Most of the people are engaged in low-remunerative pursuits which require very little capital. Political and social consciousness, coupled with the efforts of the social, religious and cultural leaders, have helped to pull down the age-old feudal order. Economic changes have also affected the social life and attitude of the people.

Thiruvananthapuram witnessed a cultural renaissance in the twentieth century. Kerala Varma Valiakoi Thampuran (1845–1914), who spent a major part of his life in Thiruvananthapuram, translated Kalidasa's Abhijñānaśākuntalam into Malayalam which won him the title of Kerala Kalidasa. He is also regarded as the father of modern Malayalam prose.
The contributions of A. R. Raja Raja Varma (1863–1918), known as "Kerala Panini", marked an important stage in the development of Malayalam literature. Another notable writer is C. V. Raman Pillai (1858–1922), who was a novelist par excellence  Mahakavi Kumaran Asan (1873–1924) and Mahakavi Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer (1877–1949) were the two outstanding poets from Thiruvananthapuram. Kumaran Asan was the true representative of the cultural renaissance. Ulloor was not only a poet, but also a scholar, researcher and historian.
Shabdatharavali, the comprehensive dictionary in Malayalam, was written by Sreekanteswaram Padmanabha Pillai who hailed from the district. The two all-time great social reformers in Kerala, Narayana Guru and Chattampi Swamikal, also were born here. They contributed much to the Malayalam literature through their books.



Agriculture has been the primary occupation of the people of the district. Cultivable land may be classified as wet, dry, garden and plantations. Rice is the most important crop cultivated in the wet lands. Tapioca and pulses are the important dry-land crops. Coconut, one of the most important crops of the district, is cultivated in an area of 843.08 km2 (325.5 sq mi). The annual production is about 516 million coconuts. Rubber cultivation is mainly confined to Nedumangad taluk. At present, there are about 269.99 km2 (104.2 sq mi) of rubber plantations and the annual production is estimated at 30,717 tonnes. Newly introduced agricultural development schemes have opened new vistas in this field. Fresh schemes are introduced in every panchayat with a view to maximise yield per unit area by exploiting the production potential of paddy and vegetables. Cashew is grown in 21.84 km2 (8.4 sq mi) of land and the production is about 1,745 tonnes. Pepper cultivation covers an area of 50.9 km2 (19.7 sq mi), and the yield is about 1824 tonnes. Soil conservation projects are being implemented with subsidy and loans.

Flora & Fauna
The district has a rich variety of plants ranging from rare orchids, medicinal plants and spices to hedge plants, tuber crops, plants yielding edible fruits and fibre. Aromatic plants and spices such as pepper and ginger are cultivated on a large scale on the hilly tracts. Nedumangad taluk is one of the biggest centres of cultivation and trade of pepper and other hill produce. A major portion of the district comes under the middle plain and the region is under the cultivation of coconut, rice, tapioca, tuber crops, plantains and vegetables.
The forests of the district abound in a variety of animals and birds and are excellent wildlife habitats. Elephants, bisons, monkeys and rare species of reptiles have the place of prominence in them. The Neyyar reservoir and nearby areas abound in wild life. Nestled in the lap of the Western Ghats, a wildlife sanctuary is quickly growing over an area of nearly 777 square kilometres (300 sq mi) around this reservoir. The forest under the Kulathupuzha range is the habitat of rare species of snakes and lizards. Mammals are well represented in the district. Nilgiri Langur (Kasi Fohnii), the Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca Silenus), the Nilgiri brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) and the Malabar civet (Moschothere Civettina) are characteristic to this region. Carnivores include: tiger, wild cat, jackal, leopard and wild dog. Sloth bear, gaur, a few species of deer and elephants are also seen. Reptiles include snakes, lizards, crocodiles and tortoises. There are about 75-80 species of snakes in this area, and some of them are very poisonous.

How to Reach
By Air: Trivandrum has an international airport in the city(6 km). Major public and private including a number of international airlines operate regular flights to and from Trivandrum. Many Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi are well connected to Trivandrum.
By Road: An extensive road network connects Trivandrum with most of the cities in Kerala like Kochi, Alleppey, Kumarakom. You can also approach the city from other south Indian cities like: Chennai, Bangalore.
By Rail: Trivandrum is a major Railway Station in India. Key destinations in Kerala and South India are linked to Trivandrum by rail.