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Home » Information » Tourism » Thiruvananthapuram

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Thiruvananthapuram - The capital city of God's own country!

General Information
Area: 2192 sq km.
Altitude: Sea level

Located at the southwestern tip of India,Thiruvananthapuram district is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west and Tamil Nadu on the east. The wooded highlands of the Western Ghats in the eastern and northeastern borders give Thiruvananthapuram some of the most enchanting picnic spots. A long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage makes this district a much sought after tourist destination. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala.

PLACES TO VIST

Padmanabha Swamy Temple
(Open: 0415-0515 hrs,06.45-07.30 hrs,0830, 10:30 hrs,1130-1145 hrs, 1715-1930 hrs)
The temple is located inside the East Fort. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidan styles of architecture. It is known for its mural paintings and stone carvings. One among the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India, the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu reclining on Anantha the Serpent. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
Dress code: Men-Dhoti; Women-Saree and blouse
Ph: 450233

Kuthirarnalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum
(Open 0830-1230 hrs & 1530-1730 hrs. Closed on Mondays.)
The Palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma the King of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore style of architecture also has exquisite woodcarvings. The palace museum displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family and is located near the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.
Ph: 473952
Entrance fee Adults Rs.5 children:Rs.3. Foreigners: Rs.20 Camera permit: Rs.25.

Museum Complex
The Napier Museum: (Open 10.00-17.00 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday forenoons) The IndoSaracenic structure dating back to the 9th century, and boasting a natural air conditioning system, houses a rare collection of archeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The use of plastic is banned in the museum premises.
Ph: 316275

Sree Chithra Art Gallery
(Open 1000- 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday forenoons)
Located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India. The collection also includes paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali.
Entrance fee: (Museum & Art Gallery). Adults: Rs.5. Children:Rs.2.

The Zoological Park
(Open 10.00-17.00 hrs. Closed on Mondays)
One of the first zoological park in India, it is located in a well-planned botanical garden. With huge trees like frangipani and iacaranda dotting the sprawling lawns and wild fowl swimming in the lake, it is like a small jungle in the heart of the city. A reptile house with different species of snakes is also located in the premises.
Entrance fee: Adults: Rs.4. Children: Rs. 2.

The Kanakakkunnu Palace
The palace and its sprawling grounds are today the venue for many cultural meets and programs.
Ph: 314615.

Science and Technology Museum Complex
(Open 10.00-17.00 hrs. Closed on Mondays).
The exhibits here are related to science, technology and electronics.
Ph: 306024
Entrance fee:Adults: Rs.2.00 Children: Rs1.00

Priyadarshini Planetarium
Show Time: 10.30, 12.00, 15.00 and 17.00 hrs.
Entrance fee: - Adults: Rs. 10.00. Children (between 3 to 10 years): Rs.5.00

Biotechnology Museum
Entrance Fee: Adults: Rs-5.00 Children: Rs.2.00

Chacha Nehru Children's Museum
(Open 10.00- 17.00 hrs. Closed on Mondays.)
Children of all age groups will enjoy the vast collection of nearly 2000 dolls, stamps and masks displayed here.

Observatory
Located at the highest point in the city, near the Museum complex 60 meters above sea level, one can have a bird's eye view of the city from here.

Secretariat
Built in the Roman architectural style, this is the center of government administration in Kerala and houses the offices of ministers and the bureaucracy.

Kerala Legislature Complex
Located at Palayam, this is the new building where the Legislative Assembly of Kerala meets. With its towering dome, exquisitely carved galleries, ornate teak paneling and ceiling, combined with the most modem acoustic treatment and state-of-the-art sound systems, the hall is a beautiful blend of classical grandeur and modernity.

Shanghumukham Beach
Just 8 km from the city, this is a Favorite haunt or sunset watchers. The beach is adjacent to the Airport and Veli Tourist Village. An indoor recreation club, the matsyakanyaka (a gigantic, 35 in long sculpture of a mermaid) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are some of the attractions here.

Veli Tourist Village
(Open 08.00-18.00 hrs) This picnic spot where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea offers boating facilities.
Pedal boats and paddleboats can be hired to explore the charms of the lagoon in a leisurely manner. For a quick ride over the waters, speedboats are available. Children enjoy climbing over the sculptures, which dot the landscape.
Ph: 500785
Boat rentals (1000-1730 hrs): Safari, boat: Rs. 10.00 per head. Speed boat:Rs. 120 .00.

SHORT TOURS FROM THIRUVANANTHAPURM CITY

Thiruvallam (10 km):
This serene backwater stretch, enroute to Kovalam is famous for its canoe rides. For details contact: Tour India, Thiruvananthapuram Ph: 331507. Soma Houseboats
Ph: 481600

Aruvikkara Dam (16 km-1/2 hour):
This Picturesque picnic spot is on the bass of the Karamana river. Near the Durga Temple here is a stream full of fish that fearlessly come close to the shore to be fed by the visitors.

Kovalam Beach (16 km-I/2 hour):
This internationally renowned beach resort has been a Favorite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southern most, known as the Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular. Kovalam offers accommodation options to suit all budgets.

Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave (17 km1/2 hour):
There are rock cut sculptures of the 18th century in the cave temple at Vizhinjam. The granite cave here encloses a one -called shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave depicts half complete reliefs of the Hindu God Shiva with Goddess Parvathi.

Koyikkal Palace, Nedumangad (18 km -1/2 hour):
Located on the way to the Ponmudi hill station and the ' Courtallam waterfalls, this ancient palace dates back to the 15th century. Here you can see a double storied traditional Nalukettu building with slanting gabled roofs, an inner courtyard and museums of folklore and numismatics set up by the Department of Archeology.
The Folklore Museum set up in 1992 is a treasure house of quaint musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc. Displayed in the Koykkal Palace, they focus attention on the cultural background of the State.
The Numismatics Museum houses rare and historically valuable coins denoting the trade relations of the State.

Sree Mahadeva Temple Kazhakuttom, this ancient temple is believed to date to the 14th Century. Another old temple is the Mitramandapuram Temple on the outskirts of the city.

Neyyar Dam (32 km- I hour) a popular picnic spot, Neyyar Dam has a watchtower, crocodile farm, lion safari park and deer park. Boating facilities are available, at the reservoir.

Varkala (40 km -21/2 hrs)
Varkala is a seaside resort. It is also an important Hindu center of pilgrimage. The final resting place of the great social reformer Sree Narayana Guru is near Varkala, atop a hill called Sivagiri. High cliffs with mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline. In addition to the Papanasham Beach, the 2000 years old SreeJanardhana Swamy Temple and the Nature Care Center are the main attractions here.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary (50 km! 1/2xhrs):
This sanctuary spread over 53sq. km. on the Western Ghats, is accessible from Vithurai, which is on the way to Ponmudi. With its rich flora and fauna, Peppara, dotted with hillocks, forests and eucalyptus plantations, is emerging as a great attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.

Pomnudi (61 km - 2 1/2 hrs):
An ideal hill resort with narrow, winding pathways and cool, green, wooded environment, Ponmudi is located 915 meters above sea level. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets. springs and the deer park nearby, this hill station also has excellent trekking trails.
Food: KTDC restaurant and beer parlor the government guesthouse
Accommodation:
Guest House: Cottages and rooms Rs.250.00 to Rs. 600.00 Dormitory Rs. 800.00.
For reservations contact:
The Secretary, General Administration Department (Political), Govt. Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram.

Padmanabhapuram Palace (63 km 2 1/2 hrs. Closed on Mondays).
The seat of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore, this splendid palace is situated at Thuckalai, on the way to Kanyakumari. This is a well-preserved wooden structure, a glorious testimony to the traditional Kerala School of architecture. The extraordinary murals, exquisite floral carvings and the black glossy granite floor have withstood the test of time.

Agasthyakoodam:
Part of the Sahyadri range of mountains, Agasthyakoodam is the second highest peak in Kerala, at a height of 1890 meters above sea level. Teeming with wildlife, the forests of Agasthyakoodam abound in rare medicinal herbs and plants, and brilliantly hued orchids .A bird Watcher's paradise; this legendary mountain is accessible by foot from Kotoor, near Neyyar Dam, and also from Bonacoud. The season from December to April is advocated for trekking, for which a forest pass has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram.

ACCESSING THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Telephone access code: ++91-471

Air:
Thiruvanthapuram International Airport (6 km from the city) has over 30 air links with convenient connections to Colombo, Maldives, the Middle East and Singapore. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate domestic flights to different parts of the country.
Airlines offices:
  • Airport: Domestic Ph: 501537
  • International Ph: 501542.
  • Indian Airlines, Mascot Jn. Ph: 31 6870, 501 537.
  • Jet Airways, Sasthamangalam Ph: 321018.
  • Air India, Palayam Ph: 310310, 501426.
  • Air Lanka, -Vazhuthacaud Ph: 322309.
  • Gulf Air, Vellayarnbalam Ph: 328003, 501205.
  • British Airways, Vellayambalam Ph; 326604.
  • Oman Airways, Sasthmangalam. Kuwait Airways, Vellayambalam Ph: 321691.
  • KLM. M G Road Ph: 477531, 463531.
  • Air Maldives, M G Road Ph: 501344, 463531.
  • Aeroflot Ph: 320091.
  • Delta Airways Ph: 330546.
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines Ph: 321321.
  • Qatar Airways Ph: 327922.
  • Silk Air Ph: 314141
Rail:
There are direct trains from Thiruvananthapuram to all the main towns in major cities in India. Road:
Long distance buses operate from the Central Bus Station at Thampanoor, opposite the railway station (KSRTC Ph: 323886;Thiruvalluvar Ph: 327756). Short distance buses operate from the City Bus Station, East Fort (Ph: 463029).

Taxi charge:Rs.4 per running km(Non A/c) and Rs.7 per running km (A/c).
Auto rickshaw fare: Rs.3 per running km. The minimum charge for taxis is Rs.70(Non A/c) and Rs.90 (A/c), and Rs.6 for auto rickshaws,

Tourist Information Office:
  • Tourist Facilitation Centre, Department of Tourism, Park View Ph: 321132.
  • Tourist information Center, Railway Station, Thampanoor Ph: 334470.
  • Tourist information Center, KSRTC Central Bus Station, Thampanoor Ph: 327224.
  • Tourist information Center, Domestic Airport Ph: 501085.
  • Tourist reformation Center, International Airport Ph: 502298.
  • Tourist Facilitation Centre, Kovalam Ph: 480085.
  • Tourist information Centre (Govt. of India), Airport Ph: 501498.
  • Tourist Reception Thampanoor Ph. 330031.
  • Central Reservations (KTDC), Hotel Mascot Ph: 318976.
  • District Tourism Promotion Council, Vellayambalam Ph: 315397.

IATA approved Travel agents/Tour operators:
  • Air Travel Enterprises, Palayam Ph:323900
  • Akbar Travels of India, Vellayambalam Ph: 322466
  • Altima Tours & Travels, M.G Road Aries Travels Press Road Ph: 330964 .
  • Balmer Lawfie&Co.,Goureeshapattom Butterfly Holidays, Thiruvallam Ph:460805
  • Chanakya Group, Vazhuthacaud Ph: 324498
  • Chalukya Grace Tours Pvt Ltd., Kunnukuzhi Ph: 444618
  • FORV Holiday Travel Centre, Near Old GPO Ph: 479884.
  • Great India Tour Company, Vanross In. Ph: 331516
  • Ind Travels, Vellayambalam Ph: 325863
  • Jaihind Tours & Travels,Vellayambalam Ph: 324454
  • Kerala Travels, Palayam Ph: 314712
  • Lawson Travels&Tours, East Fort Ph: 476476.
  • Marvel Tours Ph: 333501.
  • Oasis International, Statue Ph: 461771
  • Olympus Travels, Thampanoor Ph: 321106.
  • ODEPC Ltd., Jawahar Nagar Overseas Air Travel & Tours operators, Govt press Jn. Ph: 330075
  • PL Worldways Ltd., Sasthamangalam Ph: 329364
  • Riya Travels & Tours, PMG Jn, Ph: 324927
  • Skymaster Tours &Travels, Vazhuthacaud Ph: 329309.
  • Skypalace Tours & Travels, M.G Road Ph: 472402
  • Sunil Associates Travels Consultants, Sasthamangalam.Swastik Tour & Travels, M.G Road Ph: 331691.
  • Tour India, M.G. Road Ph: 330437.
  • Travel India, M.G. Raod Ph: 478208.
  • Travancore Travels, East Fort Ph: 474388.
  • Universal Tours & Travels LMS PH: 314328
  • United Tours & Travels,M.G.Road Ph: 331655
  • UVI Holidays, Pullimoodu Ph: 470967.
  • Vacation India, Plamoodu Ph: 314561 .
  • Wellmen Travel Links, Panavila Ph: 330781.


FACILITIES
Car rental:
  • Companion Holidays, Sasthmangalam Ph: 329548
  • FORV Holidays & Travels, Old GPO jn. Ph: 463811
  • Great India Tour Company, Vancross Jn. Ph: 331516
  • Vacation India, Plamoodu Jn. Ph: 314561
  • Aries Travels, Press Road Ph: 330417
  • Swastik Travels,M.G. Road Ph: 331270
  • The Southern Travel Trading Company Sasthmangalam Ph: 326850.


Banks and currency exchange
Banking time Monday to Friday: 1000 to 1400 hrs;
Saturday: 1000 to 1200 hrs:
  • Canada Bank,M.G Road:Visa/Master cards Ph: 471161
  • Bank of Baroda, Palayam: Travellers Cheques/Currenct/ Visa card Ph: 325929,461937
  • Canara Bank, Spencer Bldg; Currency travellers Cheques/Visa card Ph: 331536.
  • Central Bank of India, Pulimoodu: Currency/Travellers Cheques/Visa/ Mastercard Ph: 471294.
  • Federal Bank, Palayam: Currency/Travellers ChequesPh:328273.
  • StateBankofTravancore Statue/Airport: Currency, TIC Visa/Master card Ph: 330429
  • Thomas Cook, Airport: Currency andTravellersCheques Ph:502470.
  • UCOBank:Currency/Travellers ChequesPh: 330610
  • HSBC, Vellayambalam - Visa and Master card/Thomas CookTravel Cheques Ph: 326920


Post and Telecom offices
  • General Post Office Pulimoodu Ph: 473071
  • Speed Post Counter Ph: 329696.
  • Railway Mail Service, Thampanoor Ph: 330216
  • Central Telegraph Office Statue Ph: 321494


APPROVED AYURVEDA CENTRES
  • Santhigiri Hospital Complex Ph: 419315
  • Devaki Ayurvedic Health Care Centre Ph: 326022

Kovalam:
  • Somatheeram Ayurvedic Beach resort ph: 481600
  • Ideal Ayurvedic Centre Ph: 481632
  • Ayushya Ayurvedic Center Gopal's Ayurvedic Beach Resort Ph: 480833

Hotels offering Ayurvedic health packages
  • Hotel Samudra, Kovalam Ph: 480089 fax: 480242
  • Hotel Surya Samudra Beach Garden, Kovalam Ph: 480413 fax: 481124
  • Taj Garden Retreat, Varkala Ph: 603000 fax: 602296
  • Yoga centres: Sivanada Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram Ph: 450942.
  • Sivanada Ashram , Neyyar Dam Ph: 273093.
Hotels in Thiruvananthapuram Tariff in Indian Rs Telephone
The South Park 1700-1850 333333
LuciyaConfinental 1575-2400 463443
Hotel Pankaj 1050-2200 464645
Mascot Hotel 1100-1195 318990
Wild Palms Guest House 700-1150 478992
Hotel Horizon 600-2000 326888
Jas Hotel 600-1600 324881
Hotel Keerthi 500 325650
Residency Tower 450-1450 332245
Hotel Chaitram 450-1000 330977
Geeth Hotel 400-1200 471987
Ariya Nivas 400- 700 330789
Hotel Prasanth 350-1700 316189
Amritha Hotel 350- 450 323091
Thamburu International 300-1000 321974
Hotel Regency 250- 700 330377
Paramount Park Hotel 250- 700 323474
Hotel Highland 220- 680 333200
Hotel Navarathna 220- 600 331784
Hotel Ammu 220- 450 331937
Hotel Silversand 200- 600 460318
Hotel SajaDs 200- 550 477202
Hotel President 200- 550 330305
Jacob's Hotel 200- 500 330052
Hotel Hilton 200- 280 331137
Hotel Kyvalya 170- 500 330724


Hotels in Kovalam Tariff in Indian Rs Telephone
Ashok Beach Resort 5350-16450 480101
Hotel SuryaSamudra 4300-15500 480413
Nikki's Nest 3550-8400 481822
Udayasamudra 2900-3900 481654
Lagoon Beach Resort 500-5000 480049
Manaltheeram 2500-3150 481610
KadaloramBeach Resort 2300-2500 481116
Hotel Sea Face 2000-4500 481835
Somatheeram 1900-7150 481601
Coconut Bay 1900-3650 480566
Hotel Palmshore Bethsaida 1800-2400 481481
Hermitage 1550-1700 481554
Bright Resort 1500-3900 481190
Hotel Sea Rock 1250-1500 480422
Wilson Beach Resort 1200-1700 210019
Hotel Samudra 1195-3500 480089
Hotel Rockholm I 100- 1 250 480306
Hotel Aparna 1000-1200 480950
Varma's Beach Resort 1000-1800 480478
Moonlight 1000-1500 480375
Swagath-Holiday Resort 850-3500 481148
Ideal Ayurvedic-Resort 840-2100 481632
Gopal Ayurvedic Beach Resort 800-1750 480833
Santhatheeram 800-1500 481972
Castle Rock 700- 1500
Hotel Bluesea 600-1500 481401
Raja Hotel 500-2000 480355
Hotel Seaweed 500-1400 480391
Sunset Hotel 500 - 600 480661
Aquarius 450-2000 481072
Hotel Orion 350 - 750 480999
Patric Villa 300 - 400
Apsara Beach Cottage 294 -504 480507
Hotel Neelakanta 250-1500 480321
Royal Retreat Cottage 250 - 1 000 480010


Hotels in Varkala Tariff in Indian Rs Telephone
Taj Garden Retreat 2800 603000
Hill Top 600 601737
Varkala Marine Palace 500- 800 603204


Golf:
The Trivandrum Golf Club, Kowdiar Ph: 435834, 9 holes golf course Guest fee: 200 Foreigners: 650

Tennis:
The Trivandrum Tennis Club Kowdiar Ph: 322737
Contact Secretary, TTC, for information on guest fee.

Cultural Centres:
Intemational Centre of Cultural Development, Anayara Ph: 465368
Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Cotton Hill Ph: 326712.
Noopura Dance school, Poojappura Ph: 341466
Margi, Fort Ph: 434066.
Sopanam Alliance Francais, Sasthamangalam Ph: 327776
Drishyavedi.Kerala Chalachitra Academy Ph: 310322.
lntemational Centre For Kerala Studies, University of Kerala, Kariyavattom.

Handicrafts and antiques:
SMSMHandicrafts Emporium, Statue Ph:330625
Kirali, Opp. Secretariat Ph:475627
Natesan's Antiqarts ' .M G.Road Ph: 331594
Hastakala,Gandhariamman Kovil Road, Pulimoodu Khadi Gramodhyog Bhavan, M.G Road Ph: 331627
Gramasree, Vazhuthacaud Ph: 326369

FESTIVALS
Gramam (The Kerala Village Fair), Kovalam (14-23 January):
An entire kerala village is recreated on the beach, during this ten day long festival.
Festival highlights: Arts and crafts fair, Oppana, Kathakali, Thiruvathirakali, Mohiniyattam, Kalaripayattu, Sarpapattu, Theyyam, Kummattikali, Kakkarisi natakain, Panchavadya, Chakyarkoothu, Ottamthullal.

Nishagandhi dance and Music Festival (21-25 February):
This festival of Indian classical dances and music is held at the Nishagandhi open air theatre, Kanakakkunnu Palace grounds, Thiruvananthapuram. Bharathanatyam 'Kathak Kathakali Kuchipudi Avianipuri.Mohiniyattam.Odissi. Specially choreographed ballet combining one or more of these classical dance forms. Instrumental and vocal concerts. Jugalbandi(fusion concerts) etc. are performed in the evening.


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