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Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram)

Thiruvananthapuram, formerly known as Trivandrum is gateway to one of the most beautiful Indian states, Kerala. Stretching along the southern coast of the country, with the Backwaters reaching deep into the verdant countryside, Kerala affords a fascinating experience. The city of the Thousand - headed Anatha, the holy serpent on which Lord Vishnu reclines.

Trivandrum is one of the most beautiful cities of India. Perched on undulating terrain of low coastal hills near the southern edge of the Indian mainland, clean and green Trivandrum, which was previously called Trivandrum, is an ancient city with trading tradition dateing back to 1000 BC. The city once formed a part of the capital of Travancore, which had its capital at Padmanabhapuram, now in Tamilnadu.The city is also a welcome departure from other large cities of India in its spacious layout and regulated life.

Napier Museum at Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram)It is also an excellent base to explore the interiors of Kerala, the southernmost region of India, and from Kochi, the Lakshadweep Islands. The city offers all modern facilities needed by a visitor and is a centre for cultural activities.

Trivandrum - Location

Trivandrum (official name Thiruvananthapuram), lying on the southwest coast of India, is the capital to the state of Kerala. The city extends from latitude 8°29' N to longitude 76°59' E. The place is well connected to most of the other major cities of India through rail, road, and air network.

Trivandrum - Climate
Because of its nearness to the sea, the climate of Trivandrum is tropical. This also gives Trivandrum a very pleasant weather round the year. The average maximum temperature can go up to 36.2°C in summer months and to a minimum of 18.0°C in the winters. Monsoon comes to Trivandrum in the month of May and remains there until November.

Unique Travel Attractions

Varkala is a sea side resort, as well as an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline.

It's a beautiful beautiful beach that has a more than 2000 years old shrine of Lord Vishnu. Varkala beach is rich in mineral water springs that are known for their medicinal value. A dip in the holy waters of Varkala beach is believed to purge the body and the soul of all the sins hence the name 'Papanashini' for this shore.

Kovlam Beaches
Kovalam beach is the most famous South Indian beach. Mainly there are two beaches in Kovalam along with many private beaches. Eve's beach is a semi-circular one, well known for its secluded location and its relatively good beach area. Another famous beach is that of Lighthouse beach where a lighthouse situates, which belong to the British period. Apart from the beach holidays Kovalam offers Ayurvedic massage, Ayurvedic rejuvenation, Yoga (Indian way of meditation) etc.

Neyyar Dam
Neyyar is well known for Neyyar Dam is a popular picnic sport with a lake and a picturesque dam site. Neyyar has some of the rarest medicinal herbs in Kerala. The lake formed by the dam across the Neyyar river is the bluest of blue, making boating irresistible for tourists.

The Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary of which the dam is a part is the habitat of over a hundred rare species of fauna including elephants, wild buffaloes, wild boar, porcupines, tigers and a variety of snakes. A crocodile breeding centre and a lion safari park are also located in the dam site.

Veli Tourist Village
An exciting place for picnics, the Veli Tourist Village is built near the Veli lagoon fringed with greenery and easily accessible by road. Veli is located 8 kms from Thiruvananthapuram city. The village provides an excellent atmosphere for relaxing. A beautifully landscaped garden and facilities for swimming, boating, etc, on the placid waters of the lake attract hundreds of visitors everyday.

The village is borded by Veli lagoon and Arabian sea which makes it one of the picturesque location. Besides water sports, 18 acre waterfront park with floating bridge connects the village to the Shankhumukham beach and also there is a children's park around the floating bridge.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
Peppara well known for the Peppara wild life sanctuary is accessible from Vithurai on Thiruvananthapuram - Ponmudi road. This sanctuary with its rich fauna and birds is emerging as a big attraction to wildlife enthusiasts. It is spread over an area of 53 Sq. km. on the Western Ghats. This is dotted with large hills and numerous hillocks with forests and Eucalyptus plantations. Elephant, Sambar, Leopard and Lion tailed macaque are commonly seen.

Festive Moods of Trivandrum

Boat Race at Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram)Paripally Gajamela
Paripally, 48 kms north of Thiruvananthapuram is noted for its Gajamela or Elephant pageant. Over 50 elephants are taken out on a ritual procession on the tenth day of the festival (February- March).

No celebration in Kerala is complete without an elephant pageant. The gentle giant has been revered like divinity and accorded the privilege of escorting the numerous gods and goddesses of this land. Most festivals of Kerala feature spectacular elephant processions. The pooram and vela festivals are the best occasions to watch the majestic tuskers in all their caparisoned splendour.

Nishagandhi Festival
Every year, from February 21st to 27th renowned classical dancers perform at the Nisangandhi, an open air theatre in Thiruvananthapuram city. Classical dances of almost all the states of India are staged during the festival. Mohiniyattam (Kerala), Bharatha Natyam (Tamil Nadu), Kutchippudi (Andhra Pradesh), Odissi (Orissa), Manipuri (Manipur) and Kathak (a north Indian Classical Dance) are the major dances performed. Renowned artist and connoisseurs of dance from all over India come to enjoy this cultural treat.

Gourmet Delight - Flavour Food Festival
Flavour, the exotic food festival provides a rare opportunity to the gourmets to taste the traditional, authentic Cuisine of Kerala and India. The national food festival is held in Thiruvananthapuram from 5th to the 11th of April, every year.
Renowned hotels from across Kerala participate in this weeklong international festival of the various cuisines of the world held at the Thiruvananthapuram. Flavour, the exotic food festival provides a rare opportunity to the gourmets to taste the traditional, authentic Cuisine of Kerala and India.

The Boat Race Carnival
The Aaranmula Boat Race is staged each year in the scenic village of Aaranmula in August/ September. This river carnival is part of the Aaranmula Temple festival. Masses throng the shores of the River Pamba to watch an imposing cluster of snake boats called 'Palliyodams'.

Each boat, nearly 100 feet long, is a remarkable feat of craftsmanship, with the stem curved to resemble the hood of a snake and a tampering bow. Festooned with silk and gold spangled umbrellas, the boats are manned by a crew of more than 100 men.

Trivandrum Backwaters

The lagoons, lakes, canals and rivers are lined up with dense tropical vegetation on either side. It is a breathtaking bout to experience a solitary and calm glide through this network of waterways. The backwaters form a specially attractive and economically valuable feature of Kerala. They include lakes and ocean inlets which stretch irregularly along the coast. The biggest backwater is the Vembabad lake, some 200 sq kilometers in area, which opens out into the Arabian Sea at Cochin port. The Periyar, Pamba, Manimala, Achenkovil, Meenachil and Moovattupuzha rivers drain into this lake. Veli, Kadhinamkulam, Anjengo (Anju Thengu), Edava, Nadayara, Paravoor, Ashtamudi (in Kollam Dist.) are some of the other places where you may go for backwater cruising.

Thiruvanthapuram - Shoppers Stop

Carved rosewood, teak furniture and decorative items, masks depicting various characters of Indian mythology (usually worn in Kathakali performances, Thyyams and other classical dances), are important products in the markets of Kerala.

A speciality of Thiruvananthapuram is Arammula metal mirror produced by mixing certain herbs with molten metal to give it a highly reflective surface.

The main shopping area of the city is the stretch on M.G. Road between East Fort and Palayam. Most emporia are located in this area. Gram Sree, the village crafts centre, is one of the best places.

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