Trivandrum (also known Thiruvananthapuram) is Kerala’s capital city. It is the biggest and most densely populated city in the state and an important information technology hub.
Due to its many attractions, it is the most popular destination for international tourists visiting the state. For visitors there are plenty of things to do in Trivandrum. Here are our top tips.
The city is located on the placid shores of Rivers Karamana and Killi. Backwaters of Trivandrum are the Vellayani, Thiruvallam and Aakulam backwaters.
2. Hill resorts
Agasthyarkoodam is the district’s highest point. It is perched at an altitude of almost 1870m above sea level. Important hillstations near Trivandrum are Ponmudi and Mukkunimala.
3. Padmanabha Swamy temple
This is a grand and revered ancient Hindu temple. Like many others in the region, it too is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
There are two major festivals associated with the temple – The Alpashy festival and the Painkuni festival. They are celebrated in October/November and March/April respectively, each lasting for 10 days.
The Aarat or the holy bath is the final stage of the festivals, succeeding a grand procession to Shankumugham Beach. The King of Travancore himself leads the procession on foot.
The temple is at its mesmerising best at night when it’s lit-up in all its glory. A visit is a must on your list of things to do in Trivandrum.
4. Napier Museum
This art and natural history museum was created in 1855. It is known for its collection of rare archaeological artifacts, ancient idols and ornaments, a grand temple chariot and ivory creations. The Sri Chitra Art Gallery is also found here and is important as it houses the invaluable works of Raja Ravi Varma, as well as Mughal and Tanjore art.
5. Zoological garden
The Napier Museum is also home to one of the oldest Zoological gardens in India. It was established in 1857 and is spread over 55 acres. Over 80 species from across the world are kept here.
Other than indigenous species like Indian rhinoceros, Asiatic lion, royal Bengal tiger and Asian elephants, animals from Africa such as giraffes, hippos, zebras etc live here. The zoo’s snake farm is home to a wide variety of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.
6. Shankumugham Beach
This beach is located near the Trivandrum International Airport. It is known for its endless stretches of white sand and serenity. The Indian Coffee House, just across the beach, is treasured for its stunning views of sunsets.
The beach’s most recognizable symbols are its massive sculptures, particularly the Jalakanyaka (the Mermaid), which is over 35m long.
Kovalam is the most known region of Trivandrum amongst visitors. It has three shallow beaches, which are ideal for swimming. Due to its popularity it is lined with shops selling all sorts of items. The largest beach is called Light House Beach. It is named after the 35m high lighthouse which stands atop Kurumkal hillock.
The other most popular beach in Kovalam is Hawah Beach, named comically after the topless European women who visited it, which of course is banned now. Samudra Beach doesn’t have a thriving tourists industry and is mainly used by the local fishermen.
After the hippy phase ended, the partially black sandy beaches of Kovalam found new life with Ayurvedic tourism. Hence, treatments are found in abundance.
Where to stay
Hibiscus Court homestay is situated in the heart of the city of Trivandrum.
Lakshmi is an artistic homestay and the hosts are veterans in the world of media, literature and art.
The Lakewoods Retreat is in a captivating setting on the banks of the placid waters of Karamana River.
If you are interested in visiting Trivandrum yourself then our reservations team can help you plan a fantastic trip. Get in touch to find out more!
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.