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Thiruvananthapuram Travel & Tourism Guide


Altitude: 16 ft (4.9 m) above sea level
Area: 2,192 km2 (846 sq mi)
Language: Malayalam, English, Tamil, Hindu, Tulu, Kannada and a minor percentage speak Gujarati.
STD Code: 0471
Winters (October to March): 20°C- 34°C
Summer (April to September): 28°C- 37°C
Best Time to Visit: October to December & January to February

A small city with a big reputation, Thiruvananthapuram is not only famous for being Kerala's constitutional and social capital. It is also famous for the scenic beauty, benevolent attitude of the locals and jaw-dropping beaches. The composed state stands calmly on the land where the Western Ghats and Tamil Nadu are standing on its right and a never ending Arabian sea leading to perfection on its left. It's a place where traditions run deep, from the nation's birthplace to Kerala's still thriving lush greenery.

Powerful legends and demagogues still roam on the alleys of Thiruvananthapuram. For the business forces, it is a lovely place to explore. The capital not only produces the world's best software engineers but scientist as well. It was in 2012, Thiruvananthapuram was adjudged as the best city to stay as per the survey of India Today. Till 1991, the tinsel town was famous by the name Trivandrum which was christened by the Britons. However after 1991, the name of the state changed to Thiruvananthapuram. The city got its name from the idol residing in Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple-Ananta.The term 'Thiruvananthapuram' is derived from the Malayalam language thiru- anantha-puram which means 'City of Lord Ananta.' Ananta is the serpent Shesha on whom Lord Padmanabha (another form of Lord Vishnu) reclines.

Steeped in a longstanding history of culture and art, the easy paced capital of Kerala, has been home to many famous artists and poets. There's so much to discover in Thiruvananthapuram: widening zoos, historical museums, traditional villages and sparkling beaches that form a perfect backdrop to indulge in an adventure. The Kanakakkunnu Palace, The Napier Museum, Akkulam Lake, Sree Chithra Art Gallery, Science and Technology Museum, Sree Chithra Art Gallery, etc. It's popular for its architectural splendour and historical and religious significance.

Few kilometer drives from Thiruvananthapuram will take tourists to the coastal bays of Kerala-Kovalam, and Varkala. Kovalam is the place where the sun meets the sand and skies together with a subtle background of the sun plays a riot of the color. There are three prominent beaches in Kovalam which every tourist should look forward too- Lighthouse, Hawa and Samudra Beach. The place is much more than an idyllic shore. With scuba diving, kayaking, swimming, and so many others things to do, there is not even a single moment one can feel bored in Kovalam.

In Thiruvananthapuram, tourists can see out at beaches, take blessings of divine shrines, indulge in water sports or peep into the past through the historical museums. People of Thiruvananthapuram welcome travellers and disarm them with their warm generosity. March into the overwhelming hospitality and unleash this mystical land where even elephants are worshipped.

Interesting Facts

  • Mahatma Gandhi is said to have famously called Thiruvananthapuram as the "Evergreen City of India"
  • The city also holds India's first IT Park and Asia's third largest, Technopark.
  • Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram is credited as the richest and oldest temple in India.
  • Padmanabhapuram Palace in Thiruvananthapuram is Asia's largest wooden palace.
  • Thiruvananthapuram is included in the list of "10 Greenest Cities in India".

Things to Do in Thiruvananthapuram:

  • Relax on Varkala Beach, located on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram city. Tourists can also visit the nearby Vishnu Temple here, which is believed to be about 2000 years old. Don't forget to take a dip in the water here, as it is supposed to absolve you of all the sins.
  • Do visit Kalamachal, a tiny hill station located in the Thiruvananthapuram district. It is a little-known destination in Kerala and perfect for those who want to spend their time away from the crowds.
  • At magic academy learn about the evolution of magic tricks.
  • Indulge in healing Ayurvedic treatments at prominent centres in Thiruvananthapuram
  • Go for a laid-back wooden boat ride to Kovalam's Main Beach.
  • Indulge in sports water sports activities like parasailing, paragliding, swimming, surfing, skiing, catamaran ride, and scuba diving among others at Kovalam Beach.
  • Imbibe the spiritual essence of life by practicing a yoga practice amidst the verdant greenery of Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Discover top of Kerala's attractions at your leisure by hopping in a City Day Tour Bus.
  • Tap on your feet on the rhythm of the classical music at Margi Kathakali School.
  • Learn the techniques of martial arts CVN Kalari Sangham.
  • Plan a visit to Thenmala, India's first planned eco-tourism centre. The tiny spot is 70 km away from Thiruvananthapuram.

Where to Stay: Considering the number of foreign tourists that pour through during the season, accommodations here are surprisingly available in large number. Multiple hotels are available in Thiruvananthapuram that vary in terms of luxury and comfort. Relax in leisure where the today meets tomorrow. Mostly hotels in Thiruvananthapuram are furnished with king/twin bed, high-speed WiFi Internet, all safe, mini bar, tea/coffee maker, specially built in work desks and other features. As ever with state capital and other large cities, it pays to book ahead and reconfirm the day before checking in. Some of the best hotels, home stays or resorts to stay in Thiruvananthapuram are:

  • SP Grand Days   
  • The Trivandrum Hotel
  • Uday Suites - The Airport Hotel
  • Park Rajadhani - Fort
  • Biverah Hotel & Suites
  • Pattom Royal Hotel
  • HYCINTH By Sparsa
  • Gago Inn   
  • Hotel Galaxy Inn
  • SFS Homebridge
  • Nandanam Homestay
  • Aabhaa Homestay
  • Ridges Hotel
  • Greenfield Inn
  • Chirag Inn

Shopping Known for its impeccable variety of handicrafts, fabric and spices, Thiruvananthapuram is the right place for shoppers to pamper their shopping thirst. There are malls, shopping complexes, high street markets and local shopping area for customers to indulge in shopping expedition. On a holiday in Thiruvananthapuram, don't forget to purchase rosewood and sandalwood carvings, brass and bell metal lamps, coir mats, spices, coffee, tea and cashew nuts. Other Kerala specialities include gold jewellery, traditional saris, Kathakali masks, bronzes and delightfully yummy banana chips. Miniature Kathakali masks sell like hot cakes here. Following are the shopping areas from where tourist can purchase best of Kerala specialities:

Chalai Bazaar
Timings: 09:00 AM to 08:00 OM, Sunday Closed
Address: Chalai Bazaar, Chalai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Things to Purchase: Bags, shoes, Jewellery, Furniture, spices , flowers, incense, bell-metal lamps.

Address: Sankar Road, Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram - 695010
Things to Purchase: Home decor, furniture items that are made from special wood varieties- teak and rosewood

Antique Home Décor
Address: Opposite Chattamby Swami Temple, Thirumala Road, Poojapura, Thiruvananthapuram - 695012
Things to Purchase: Furniture, Home Decor

Connemara Market
Address: Near Saphalyam Complex, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695034
Things to Purchase: Vegetable, Fabric, crude wooden toys, core, winnowing basket and Christmas decoration

MG Road
Address: M G Road, Thiruvananthapuram - 695001
Things to Purchase: Vegetables, Fruits, Textiles, Handicrafts, Sculptures, Coir Handicrafts, Brass Items

Kedaram Shopping Complex
Address: NH47, Vivekanand Nagar, Kesavadasapuram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695004
Things to Purchase: Inlay on Wood Carving, Kathakali Masks and Traditional Commodities

S.M.S Kerala Government Emporium
Address: YMCA road, Puthenchantal, Thiruvananthapuram-695001
Timings: 9:00 AM to 8:00PM Open all days
Things to Purchase: Art, handicraft, Goodies

How to Reach

By Airways: Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport. The airport is well connected with all the major cities of India and countries as well and is just 6 kilometres far from the railway station. The airport is designed to provide every possible service to tourists.

By Railways: There are around 20 railway stations in Thiruvananthapuram which are well-connected with all the major cities of India. Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station is known as the largest and busiest railway station in South India when it comes to passenger moment. Quite a good number of trains are available each hour that connects the city to the entire nation.

By Roadways: NH-66 connects Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangalore and many other cities of Kerala. There are regular services from the major cities like Cochin, Bangalore, Madurai, Coimbatore and Chennai. Right from volvos to deluxe buses, many types of buses are running by Kerala tourism.

Location Duration (Aprx) Distance (Aprx)
Kottayam 3.15 hours 152 km
Tirunelveli 3.00 hours 153 km
Thoothukkudi 3.30 hours 197 km
Ernakulam 4.15 hours 205 km
Munnar 6.45 hours 294 km
Alleppey 3.15 hours 152 km
Pollachi 7.30 hours 370 km
Thekkady 5.15 hours 207 km
Madurai 5.30 hours 312 km
Bhadra 16.00 hours 737 km
Varkala 1.30 hour 49.0 km
Courtalam 3.00 hours 108 km
Wayanad 10.00 hours 471 km
Poovar 1.00 hours 27.1 km
Kanyakumari 2.30 hours 85.3 km
Chottanikara 5.00 hours 214 km
Idukki 6.00 hours 234 km
Malampuzha-ii 7.30 hours 363 km