Travel to Thiruvananthapuram before a city you might fall in love with disappears. The ‘city of the sacred serpent’, with its winding cobbled lanes, traditional red tiled wooden houses with pagoda tops and languid pace is unfortunately not much of a tourist hot spot.
Still somewhat simple and lovely, Thiruvananthapuram (earlier Trivandrum) is bound to sooner rather than later succumb to the disaster that passes for urban development. A pleasant city in one the most beautiful states in India, Thiruvananthapuram merits more than just a transit stop on the way to Kovalam Beach.
How to Reach Thiruvananthapuram?
By Air : Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is one of Kerala’s largest cities with an international airport at its periphery that receives flights from the Middle-East, South East Asia and all major Indian cities. It is served by a host of international carriers, of which some are Air Arabia, Oatar Airways, Air Asia, Silk Air and Air India.
By Rail : Trivandrum Central is the heart of South India’s rail network. You can get here on almost all trains bound for Kerala. The station is placed 7.5 km from the airport at Thampanoor and receives trains from all parts of the country.
By Road : Thiruvananthapuram is very well connected by road. There are daily buses run by the state Transport Corporation to any place of note in Kerala. Buses to neighbouring Tamil Nadu are run mainly by the Tamil Nadu Corporation and again, it is possible to leave or arrive any day in the week. The booking offices are at the bus stand.
Best Time to Visit Thiruvananthapuram
The best time to visit Thiruvananthapuram is between the months of October and March.
During the months of December, January and February, the weather is dry and reaches down to 18°C, making it a pleasant and comfortable time to visit. Christmas being celebrated in the month of December, makes it even more convenient to travel as local Christians rejoice with grandeur.
The local festivals such as Onam and Vishu are also celebrated during this season. Summers are warm with temperatures rising up to 37°C. During monsoon, while temperatures may fall mildly, the roads are affected and the humidity rises hence it is advisable to avoid monsoon months.
Things to do in Thiruvananthapuram
The list of things to do in Trivandrum are few: visit the beautiful temples, art galleries and if you are interested in the martial arts dance forms that Kerala is renowned for, then take in a show at one of the schools or check to see when they are holding public performances.
To view Travancore heritage at its best, visit the Puttan Mallaga Palace to see the exquisite heirlooms and art owned by the erstwhile royalty of Travancore. To get a bit of beach, make trip to nearby Kovalam and frolic on the golden sands or head to beautiful Varkala – also a beach resort. Get an ayurvedic massage or treatment done and shop for some trinkets and banana chips before going home!
Places Near Thiruvananthapuram
When looking to visit some places near Thiruvananthapuram, consider these. Kovalam, 16 km south of Trivandrum, once a hippie paradise, has seen a drop in hippie tourists with its increasing popularity becoming a major dissuasion of late. No longer an undiscovered rural idyll, Kovalam has made rapid strides towards resort-isation and is now one of the biggest draws to `god’s own country’. It still has a lovely shoreline and beautiful beaches lined with coconut trees, and night fishermen who go out for the daily catch. So close to Trivandrum it’s a convenient hop-skip-and-jump away from the city scene…and definitely the place to go if your prime motive for the Kerala trip is ayurvedic massage!
Varkala, 45 km north of Trivandrum, is really a temple town that is now being promoted as a beach resort because of its location by the sea. It is less crowded than Kovalam and correspondingly, less developed as a tourism destination. There has been some recent beachfront development and the number of places offering herbal massages and care and yoga lessons is on the rise. It is a decent enough stopover since it lies between Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam from where you could go onto Alapuzzha and further north.
Hotels in Thiruvananthapuram – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Thiruvananthapuram ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.