Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city of the state of Kerala, and it is also known as Trivandrum. The city boasts major historical and natural attractions that see plenty of visitors every year. The magnificent architecture, most of which date back to the colonial era, coupled with some of the art galleries, are wonders to behold. The rich mix of historical and cultural attractions here can trace their origins back to the 18th to 20th centuries. Such points of attraction include the phenomenal Kuthiramalika Palace that displays various collections of artwork from the Travancore royal family. Here are some of the top things to do in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
1. Tour the fascinating Kerala State Science & Technology Museum & Priyadarsini Planetarium
In 1984, the state of Kerala set up Kerala State Science & Technology Museum as an establishment for learning and appreciating science and technology. The museum is designed to offer a unique, recreational approach to understanding the value of cultivating a knowledgeable population. It is equipped with 10 galleries showcasing hundreds of exhibitions. Each gallery is dedicated to either a specific field of science, computer technology, and even electrical and mechanical engineering.
Kerala State Science & Technology Museum & Priyadarsini Planetarium
Address: Priyadarshini Planetarium Road, Junction, Near, PMG, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695033, India
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
2. Get a glimpse of the impressive Vizhinjam Lighthouse
One of Kerala’s most impressive and longstanding landmarks is Vizhinjam Lighthouse. Located near Kovalam Beach, the lighthouse has been standing over this old seaport for decades. According to the history of Vizhinjam, the seaport was active up until the 19th century when it fell into neglect. There was no lighthouse then except for a beacon that was likely a leftover from the 18th century. Kolachal had a lighted beacon installed, and this village followed soon after. The tower is 36 meters (118 feet) high and has iconic red and white stripes.
Address: Light house Junction, Vizhinjam Thiruvananthapuram Kovalam, Kerala 695521 India, near Kovalam, Kovalam, Kerala, India
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 12:45pm, 2pm - 5:45pm (closed on Mon)
3. Admire the architectural beauty of Kanakakkunnu Palace
Another place to see in Thiruvananthapuram is Kanakakkunnu Palace, an impressive palace of historical significance. The ancient Kanakakkunnu Palace is today a beautiful, sprawling property overlooking a beach. It houses festivals and cultural programs such as the All India Dance Festival held from October to March and organized yearly by the Department of Tourism. The dances and performances are a significant part of Indian culture, and every year, tourists stream in from various places to be part of the experience. This is a beautiful, historic venue that is worth a visit.
Address: Sooryakanthi Rd, Kanaka Nagar, Nanthancodu, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695033, India
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
4. Check out the animals at Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread over the southeast region of the Western Ghats is Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, a wildlife conservation area set up in the 50s. However, the conservation efforts were not that active up until 1985, when things started gaining momentum. The sanctuary occupies an area of 49 square miles (126.9 square kilometers) and it’s one of the best places to see in Kerala. See elephants, tigers, barking deer, different bird species, and more on your visit.
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Kallikkad, Kerala 695572, India
Opening hours: 9am - 7pm (daily)
5. See excellent works of art at Sree Chitra Art Gallery
Sree Chitra Art Gallery in Thiruvananthapuram was established in 1935 and houses some of the best art collections from contemporary and traditional artists. Out of the 1,100 paintings on display in the gallery, you will find some notable works from Raja Ravi Varma, Jamini Roy, K., and C. S. Paniker, among others. The art gallery covers a good variety, from mural paintings originating from India to oriental collections from Japan and China. Some excellent works of art to look out for are the 400-year-old Tanjore painting and works by Russian painter Nicholas Roerich.
Sree Chitra Art Gallery
Address: Museum Bains compound Rd, Kanaka Nagar, Nanthancodu, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695033, India
Opening hours: Tue, Thu - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Wed: 1pm - 5pm; Sun: 10am - 12am (closed on Mon)
6. Admire the spectacular Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
The state of Kerala is home to a popular Hindu temple known as Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The location of the temple itself has a religious significance. It is located in the capital city Thiruvananthapuram, which means “The City of Lord Ananta” in the Malayalam language. It refers to a deity of the temple, Vishnu, who is said to be enshrined here in eternal yogic sleep. One of the temple’s most notable attributes is its architecture, which is a blend of the Dravidian style and the Chera style, sporting high walls and a 16th-century gopura (ornate entrance).
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Address: West Nada, Fort, East Fort, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695023, India
Opening hours: 3:30am - 12pm, 5pm - 8:30pm (daily)
7. Check out the exhibits at Napier Museum
Founded in 1855 and reconstructed in 1874, Napier Museum became an established site for historical and archaeological collections. This place holds ancient artifacts of historical value and also houses the popular Sree Chitra Art Gallery, which contains significant art collections. The rebuilt building was designed by architect Robert Chisholm, in honor of the Governor of Madras, Lord Francis Napier. This architectural masterpiece is a blend of various styles from Gothic to Indo-Saracenic. The museum is just 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) away from the center of Thiruvananthapuram.
Address: LMS Vellayambalam Rd, near Museum Junction, Kanaka Nagar, Nanthancodu, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695033, India
Website: Napier Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon)
8. Enjoy a memorable holiday retreat at Akkulam Tourist Village
Akkulam Tourist Village is a beautiful, laidback destination on the banks of Akkulam Lake. It’s an excellent picnicking spot that’s decked in a serene atmosphere, which is perfect for a memorable holiday retreat. The village boasts a fully equipped children’s park, swimming pools, and access to boating activities. It’s just 6 miles (9.65 kilometers) from the center of Thiruvananthapuram. The village is accessible via train from Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station.
Akkulam Tourist Village
Address: Ulloor - Akkulam Rd, Aakkulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695011, India
Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)
9. Relax on the serene and secluded spots at Samudra Beach
If you have ever been to Ashok Beach in Kovalam, then Samudra Beach is just a few minutes away by car. Those who are fond of serene and secluded spots will fall in love with this lesser-known yet magnificent shoreline. Samudra Beach lies south of Kerala and boasts impressive scenic views ideal for an afternoon picnic. You can also enjoy culinary treats from nearby restaurants while you’re there.
Address: Kovalam, Kerala 695527, India
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
10. Enjoy the wildlife at Thiruvananthapuram Zoo
Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the country. The zoo and the park were added as part of Napier Museum in 1859 to attract the public. Both the zoo and the museum were conceived by Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the state’s Maharajah in 1846. In 1857, the zoo began catering to the public and was turned into a recreational center. However, its primary objective today is animal conservation. The zoo, also called Trivandrum Zoo, is located in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. It sits on 22 hectares (54.3 acres) of land, with magnificent lawns, lakes, and woodland. You will see leopards, monkeys, bears, and zebras here, among others.
Address: Nanthancodu Road, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695001, India
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 5:15pm (closed on Mon)
See the marvels of Thiruvananthapuram
If you’re planning to visit Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, you’ll definitely enjoy the art galleries and the stunning architectural marvels here. Kerala is a great tourist destination for art lovers. However, those who are interested in nature and wildlife will also get the opportunity to visit places like Thiruvananthapuram Zoo and the Akkulam Tourist Village. For beach lovers, Samudra Beach is worth the visit.
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