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Places to see in Trivandrum

Discussion in 'Kerala' started by Nath31, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Nath31

    Nath31 New Member

    I am going with my mum and dad to Trivandrum for darshan at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, which is the primary purpose of our trip. The darshan would be done within one day, and I am trying to persuade my parents that we should stay for a week to see the place.

    I know Trivandrum has some good wildlife sanctuary's, but no sure which ones they are. Amongst the name of the wildlife sanctuary's I would also like to know about the other places to see in Trivandrum. I hope from the list I my parents would agree to stay in Trivandrum for a longer duration.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala. The city was once an important spice trading destination. Now, it's one of the fast progressing cities in the country. Despite this, it has preserved many of its ancient structures like temples and palaces. It also has many beaches and wildlife sanctuaries worth visiting. Don't forget to taste some of the local cuisine, being one of the spice trade destinations, the food here is really quite tasty and unique. Here are some of the best places to see in Trivandrum:

    • Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple - Dubbed to be the richest temple in the world, the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. It is not known exactly when the temple was built. However, the temple was mentioned many times in the Sangam literatures, which can be traced back from the 500 BC to 300 AD. The temple is part of the 108 Divya Desams in the country. These Divya Desams are the most scared temples dedicated to Vishnu. The presiding deity, Vishnu, is known as Padmanabha here. The idol is in the Anantha Shayanam position, wherein he is reclining on the hooded serpent. This idol also has over 12,000 shaligrams or fossilised shells, gathered from the Gandaki River in Nepal. There are six vaults as well under the temple, which holds numerous treasures. The treasures are believed to have been collected over a thousand of years as donations to the deity.
    • Santhigiri Ashram - This ashram was founded by Karunakara Guru in 1968. Although the ashram started out as just a small hut, it now has one of the grandest structures in the city. Its imposing lotus design, made by using white Makrana marble is impossible to miss. This lotus parnasala is where the remains of Karnukara Guru are located. The ashram provides free meals, three times a day for its devotees. Various health programs and treatments are also catered to the poor communities around the ashram.
    • Sree Kanteswaram Mahadeva Temple - This temple is about three kilometres away from the Trivandrum Central Railway Station. It is a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva, under the form of Kanteswaram. The shivalingam of the Lord Shiva here is believed to be a swayambhu. Some of the other deities here are Goddess Parashakti, Lord Ganapati, Lord Hanuman and Lord Murugan.
    • Sree Varaham Lakshmi Temple Pond - This temple is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu, which is known as Varaham here. Only few temples are dedicated to Varaham in the country. The Sree Varaham Lakshmi Temple Pond is one of these 23 temples. A unique feature of this temple, one that makes it stand out from the other Varaham temples, is that Vishnu's consort, Lakshmi, is within the temple premises as well. A Varaham and Lakshmi temple is quite rare in the country. It is also the largest temple pond in Kerala, with over 8 acres of land, sometimes referred to locally as Varaham Tirtha.
    • Sarkara Devi Temple - This temple is one of the oldest temples in Kerala. It is located in the northwestern side of Trivandrum. Sarkara simple means molasses, since the idol of the presiding deity here is believed to have come from molasses. This presiding deity is known as Goddess Bhadrakali. Other deities worshipped in the temple are Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama, Lord Ganapathy and Lord Krishna.
    • Lokambika Temple - This temple is located near the Neyyar Dam. The presiding deity here is Mother Goddess, which is locally known as Goddess Lokambika. Devotees can only visit the temple during late afternoons to evening, as that is when it is open for darshan and pooja. Its location near the dam is another reason why tourists visit it. The views from the temple are quite beautiful and adds serenity to the place.
    • Beemapally Mosque - This mosque is located in Muttattara in Trivandrum. It's quite a contrast to the busy streets due to its pink colour which is very pleasant to the eyes. The mosque also has mausoleums for Syedunnisa Beema Beevi and her son, Syedushuhadamaheen Abubacker. Syedunnisa Beema Beevi is believed to have been a member of the prophet's family and she is revered for having divine powers. This is also the first mosque in India in which Juma prayers were held.
    • Padmanabhapuram Palace - Originally, this palace was built around the 1600s by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal. The present structure though can be attributed to the renovations done in the 1750s under King Marthanda Varma. Geographically, the palace is under the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. But the palace is managed by the Government of Kerala and is also located near Trivandrum. The palace complex is inside an ancient fort. The structures within the complex are namely: the Mantrasala, the Thai Kottaram, the Nataksala, the Thekee Kottaram and the Central Mansion. The whole complex is a fine example of the brilliance of the Keralan style of architecture. But its best feature have to be the intricacy of the use of wood for most of the structures.
    • Koyikkal Palace - This palace as built under the reign of the Venad Royal Family during the 17th century. The palace was built using the traditional Keralan style of architecture. It has a sloping terracotta roof, intricate wooden interiors and large private balconies. Now though, the palace has a Numismatics Museum on the ground floor and a Folklore Museum on the first floor. The Numismatics Museum houses many coins, not only from India, but also from different countries. The Folklore Museum houses tribal artefacts like musical instruments, house wares and costumes.
    • Kanakakunnu Palace - This palace used to be the guest house of the royal family, built by Moolam Thirunal Thamburam. Like the other palaces, it also used traditional Keralan style of architecture. Its terracotta roof is a bright red in colour while the rest of the exterior is also an imposing bright red. Other materials used in the palace are granite stones and laterite stones. Inside, you can find various wood structures and sculptures too. The palace has many open grounds and theatres, thus, many social and cultural events were done here. After the Indian independence and even until now, the palace is a central location for many social and cultural events as well.
    • Puthen Malika Palace - This is also referred to as the Kuthira Malika Palace, which means The Horse Palace. It was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma in the 1840s. On the southern edge of the roof, the wooden wall supports have carvings of about 120 horses, from which the palace gets its name from. The architectural style of the palace is still in the traditional Keralan one. It has sloping roofs, wooden interiors and private large balconies. A unique part of the palace is its Navarathri Mandapam or the concert hall. Its acoustic system is comprised of 50 upside down claypots, which are the sound reflectors of the hall. The palace is open for visitors but you cannot visit all of its parts.
    Bodies of Water
    • Akkulam Lake - This lake is an extended part of the Veli Lake. It is a famous local picnic spot due to the serenity of the place. There are also facilities for boating here. The children's park has a swimming pool and some small rides for kids. The musical fountain is also an added attraction nearby the lake.
    • Vazhvanthol Waterfalls - Although this waterfall is about 50 kilometres away from Trivandrum, don't give it a miss. You need to trek for about two kilometres before you can reach the waterfalls. It's not a popular attraction, thus you won't find crowds within the area. It is best visited during the summer, as the monsoon rains can make the roads slippery when reaching the waterfalls. It's not commercialised so you won't find food stalls nearby. It's best to bring your own food and water. The views after the two hours trek are your reward. The water from the waterfalls is quite cold and fresh. Swimming is permitted but the water depth is not known so make sure you are careful or you know how to swim.
    • Kalakkayam Waterfalls - This is yet another hidden attraction, about 47 kilometres from Trivandrum. The waterfall is surrounded by a dense forest, which looks stunning as a backdrop to the falls. Reaching the falls can be quite tricky, as you need to pass through moss-covered rocks. So make sure you wear shoes with good grip. Once you reach the falls, you can take a dip in its cold and inviting water. There are no food stalls nearby though so make sure you bring your own snacks.
    • Shanghumugham Beach - This beach is mostly frequented by locals. It has golden, sandy shores and blue water but the waves are too rough for swimming. It is an ideal beach for just enjoying the views of the sea. The main attraction of the beach is a giant mermaid statue named as Sagarakanyaka. There's also an indoor gaming centre here, where you can play badminton, table tennis and even skating. There's a small park within the beach as well, which teaches kids the basics of the traffic rules while having fun. The beach only has one restaurant named the Star Fish Restaurant. But there are many snack stalls within the shores for quick meals.
    • Chowara Beach - This is mainly a beach for the fishermen. You can find them gathering their catches in this beach. The shores are lined with their fishing boats too. The shores here a shade of gold and very powdery. You can enjoy viewing the fishermen and the sea from the shores. Nearby the beach, there's an Ayyappa Temple that you can visit.
    • Puthenthoppu Beach - This is a very secluded beach in Trivandrum. It's another fishing village beach so you would also spot lots of boats along its shores. There are also numerous crabs crawling amidst the sandy shores which can be fun to watch. There are no eateries or beach shacks nearby so do bring your own.
    • Thumba Beach - This beach is ideal for couples or those seeking some isolation. It is very deserted and away from the crowds of other beaches in the state. Just like the other two beaches, you can find various fishing boats along its shores. The water of the beach remains clean and suitable for walking along. Do visit before evening time as its location is a bit isolated.
    • Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary - This sanctuary is located near the Neyyar Dam. The sanctuary houses about three lions and many varieties of crocodiles. Other animals residing in the sanctuary are elephants, gaurs, sloth bears, wild boars and Nilgiri tahrs. You can opt for a safari ride which takes you directly to the lions in the sanctuary. Trekking is also permitted within the sanctuary, as long as you have a naturalist or guide with you. There's also an elephant rehabilitation centre inside the sanctuary. Here, you can feed the elephants and even ride them. Another activity that tourists enjoy here is the boating ride across the lake inside the sanctuary.
    • Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary - This wildlife sanctuary is about 45 kilometres away from Trivandrum. Entry here is absolutely free which is quite rare for wildlife sanctuaries. The Ponmudi Hills can be viewed from the sanctuary. Inside it, there are dams, electric power plant, forests and of course, wild animals. Some of the animals residing here are Asian elephants, leopards, sambars and lion-tailed macaques.
    • Trivandrum Zoo - This is the oldest zoo in Asia and has a wide variety of wildlife living in its premises. You can see animals like white tigers, rhinos, Nilgiri langurs, elephants, giraffes, zebras and cape buffalos. Another attraction of the zoo is its Snakes Section, which houses pythons and anacondas. The zoo is located around a large area so allot about half a day toe explore it.
    • Napier Museum - This is located just nearby the Trivandrum Zoo. Sir John Napier was the Governor of Madras and the museum was named after him. The museum itself was built using the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and is a masterpiece in itself. It is one of the few eco-friendly museums in the country, boasting of using a unique system of air-cooling, which saves electricity. The main museum houses rare artefacts from tribal groups. These are ornaments, sculptures, bronze idols and even rare ivory carvings. The Sri Chitra Art Gallery is also located within the museum. This gallery has collections of paintings around the world and around India.
    • Priyadarshini Planetarium - This is known as one of the best planetariums in the country. The planetarium has different shows and exhibits about the universe and the solar system. There are also outdoor exhibits showcasing airplanes and rockets. Recently, a science gallery was added into the planetarium. It's a fun and educational place to visit, especially if you have little children with you.
    I hope this helps you.

  3. Prits

    Prits Member

    That sounds like a great plan to explore Trivandrum more! Besides the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, there are several other attractions and places to visit in Trivandrum. Here's a list of some notable places you can explore:

    1. Napier Museum: This museum is known for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and houses a great collection of historical and artistic artifacts.

    2. Kuthira Malika (Puthen Malika) Palace: Located near the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, this palace is famous for its architecture and the collection of the erstwhile Travancore royal family.

    3. Kovalam Beach: Relax at one of Kerala's most famous beaches, known for its pristine waters and lighthouse.

    4. Varkala Beach: About an hour's drive from Trivandrum, Varkala Beach is known for its dramatic cliffs, mineral springs, and a vibrant seaside.

    5. Shangumugham Beach: Another lovely beach where you can enjoy a nice walk along the shoreline.

    6. Poovar Island: Visit the estuary where the Neyyar River meets the Arabian Sea, with backwaters and a serene beach.

    7. Kanakakunnu Palace: This historical palace is a great place for a leisurely stroll in its well-maintained gardens.

    8. Aruvikkara Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary: Explore the picturesque dam, the Aruvikkara Rock Cut Temple, and enjoy nature at the wildlife sanctuary.

    9. Neyyar Dam & Wildlife Sanctuary: A bit further from the city, but worth the visit for its scenic beauty and wildlife.

    10. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary: Another wildlife sanctuary offering a chance to see diverse flora and fauna.

    11. Agasthyarkoodam: If you're into trekking, this peak in the Western Ghats offers an adventurous trekking experience.

    12. Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium: Ideal for marine life enthusiasts.
    These attractions should provide a good mix of cultural, natural, and historical experiences for your extended stay in Trivandrum. It's a beautiful city with a lot to offer beyond the temple.