the southern end of the state, Thiruvananthapuram
is a district surrounded by the Arabian sea and
the Western Ghats. The district headquarters, also
of the same name, is the Capital of the state. During
the British period and till a few years ago, it
was known as Trivandrum, a name that suited the
English to pronounce. A quiet, neat and clean city,
it has a rich cultural heritage too.
temple:The most impressive landmark in the town, the temple's presiding deity is Vishnu reclining on serpent Anantha. It has a seven-story
tower, umpteen number of pillars, intricate carvings
and mural paintings. Only Hindus are allowed in.
There are other entry regulations too. The temple
is located in East Fort.
Museum complex: Art and natural history museums,
art gallery and zoological and botanical gardens
are located in a plot in the heart of the city.
Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) palace museum: Located
near Padmanabhaswamy temple, the palace was built
by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma. The
king was a great poet, musician, social reformer
and statesman. The museum contains paintings and
other collections of the royal family.
Kanakakkunnu Palace:Today it is a venue for cultural
and other public functions.
Science & Technology museum:Located near Mascot
hotel, it is a valuable site for students and researchers.
Sanghumugham beach:A favourite haunt of sunset watchers.
A gigantic 35 m sculpture of a mermaid, called Matsya
Kanyaka, is a major attraction here. There is facility
for recreational activities. The place is near the
airport and the Veli tourist village.
Veli tourist village:An ideal picnic
spot where the lake joins the sea. Boating facility
is available in the lake. A popular retreat, it
has a children's park and other attractions.
Padmanabhapuram palace: This is a magnificent edifice, all
built of impeccable wood from nearby forests. Architecturally
it can be described as a great marvel in wood, monumental
in concept, design and execution. The whole palace
is a massive work of art - the immense, intricate
carvings all over the building- on roof, pillars,
walls, doors and so on - leave the visitors spell-bound.
It is a unique example of an art form - carvings
in wood - in which Kerala excels. The construction
of the Padmanabhapuram palace was started in the
latter half of the 16th century by Trippappur Muppan
whose descendants came to be associated with Trippappur
Swarupam, the royal lineage, later came to be known
as Travancore kings. Marthanda Verma, the warrior
king who knitted together the state of Travancore
later in the 18th century, expanded it. Dharma Raja,
who succeeded Marthanda Verma, shifted the Capital
of Travancore around 1795 from Padmanabhapuram to
Trivandrum which he thought was more befitting a
location for a Capital.
Neyyar dam:(32 km) A popular picnic spot, it has a watchtower, crocodile farm,
lion safari park and a deer park. Boating facility
is available at the reservoir.
Aruvikkara dam:(16 km) A picturesque picnic spot on the banks of Karamana river.
Varkala: (40 km to the north on NH
47) A coastal town and pilgrim centre, Varkala has
high cliffs with springs which yield mineral water
said to possess medicinal property. The 2000-year
old Sree Janardhana Swamy temple and a nature cure
centre are two main attractions.
Ponmudi:(61 km) It is a hill
station at an altitude of 1000 mts. Climate is cool.
It has good trekking trails. Government accommodation
Kollam (Quilon):(71 km towards
north on NH 47) The town is on the Ashtamudi lake.
The picturesque promontories, the beaches at Thirumullavaram
and Kochupilamoodu and the Thangassery lighthouse
are the attractions. Boat rides and backwater cruises
are available. In Ochira, 34 km north of Kollam,
there is the Parabrahma temple dedicated to universal
consciousness. The temple has no idol or deity.
Half an hour's drive from Kollam to the north takes
one to Vallikkavu or Amritapuri, the birth place
and ashram headquarters of the world famous Indian
godwoman, Mata Amritananda Mayi. Mayyanad, 10 km
south of Kollam, has several temples. The shrine
at the Subramanya temple at Umayanallur is said
to have been consecrated by the greatest of Indian
saint-philosophers, Adi Sankaracharya.
Kovalam:(See Next Page)