Thiruvananthapuram (aka Trivandrum)

Distance from Anantya:46 Kms

Drive Time:90 mts.

Short Description

Kerala’s capital where you can see some historical buildings, find great places to shop for local art, furniture, silk saris, ride a boat on the backwaters, or enjoy a kathakali performance. Trivandrum is the nearest city from Anantya. It is a wonderful place which feels like a small town, despite all the growth in and around the city. There is plenty see, explore and do in Trivandrum.

Shopping - Buy yourself a traditional Kerala Kasavu Sari a gold edged cream colored sari or a south Indian Kanchipuram silk sari. Shop for souvenirs to take home. Explore the many souvenir shops where you can buy bronze wears or hand crafted wooden items. If you are looking for something distinctly Kerala, try the traditional AranmulaKannadi (a metal mirror), the Netturpetto (a wooden jewelery box), a miniature version of the elaborate and beautiful Kathakali mask or buy yourself a replica of a Ravi Varma painting.

Spiritual & Architecture - Visit the 260-year oildPadmanabyhaswami Temple, which was recently in the news as the place with the biggest archeological find of the century. A vault of the temple was opened and jewelery, gems, and other items valuing over Rs.________ was discovered. This is a grand temple dedicated to the god Vishnu. Vishnu is featured in the serene “ananthashayanam” (lying down or sleeping) position. The idol is made of a mixture of mustard, lime powder and jiggery. The god can be viewed through 3 doors. The temple has some beautiful mural paintings with colors made of vegetable or fruit dyes. Architecturally, the temple is beautiful. If you seek a spiritual experience, you will not be disappointed.

Please be aware that the temple has strict dress code restrictions and non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the temple.

There are many street vendors right outside the temple who sell delicious freshly fried banana chips. These are a must eat! Look for the thinner chips, this writer definitely likes them better.

Historical & Architecture - Trivandrum has many historical buildings some built during the reign of the Travancore kings and others during the British era. One building worth a visit is the PuthenMalika or KutiraMalika Palace, located adjacent to the Padmanabhaswami Temple. This 200-year old palace is named KutiraMalika because of the 122 horses that are carved into the wooden wall brackets the southern roof of the palace. The palace is a fine example of Kerala architecture, which is aesthetically appealing an at the same time functional. From the outside, the palace is hardly visible. When you get past the entrance and walk through the short but winding walkway, you may wonder if the palace is worth the visit. But once you reach the palace door, you will be impressed. An elegant palace with tiled sloping roofs, wooden windows, overhanging eaves, pillared verandahs and enclosed courtyards. You will leave your footwear at the door and walk on cool, smooth and shinning black floors. The floors are special as they are made of egg whites, charcoal, and limestone. Only 20 of the palace’s 80 rooms are open to visitors. But, each room will impress you. Each room has beautifully carved wooden ceilings, each different from the other. Rosewood, teakwood contrasted by granite make this palace a visual spectacle. Part of the palace also houses many swords, pottery, ornate thrones, portraits belonging to the Travancore kings. The central courtyard of the palace also doubles as a concert venue. The venue uses traditional sound reflectors comprising fifty clay pots hung upside down from the ceiling.

For a more modern iconic building, visit the Indian Coffee House designed by the renowned architect Laurie Baker.

Cultural - Watch a Kalarippayat class in progress. The traditional Kerala martial arts is known as Kalarippayat. The CVN KalariSangham is one of the places in Trivandrum where the art form is practiced and taught. Or, watch a Kathakali or kootiattam performance at the Margi Kathakali School

Museum Complex and Zoo - The Museum Complex houses the Napier Museum, the Zoo, and the Sri Chitra Art Galley. Situated on 55 acres of land in the heart of the city, the Zoo is a great place to take the kids. Walk through the Zoo on a path naturally shaded by tall trees, walk past lakes with hippopotamuses and birds, observe the animals housed in large open enclosures. Yann Martel, the author of the book Life of Pi based the animals in his book on those that he observed at this Zoo. The museum housed in the 1880 wooden building has a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The red and white building is by itself worth a look on the outside and from the inside.

The Sri Chitra Art Gallery contains works from Raja Ravi Varmaan Nicholas Roerich, as well as examples of Mughal an Tanjore art.

Veli Tourist village - If your travel does not include any backwater destination, then be sure to stop at the VeliTourise Village. When you walk past the entrance, you will see green lawns on both sides of the walk way. At the end of the walkway is the beautiful blue calm backwaters. Take the short walk across the bridge to be treated to the waves crashing on the beach.

If you travelled to Anantya from Trivandrum, do leave yourself enough time to explore the city on our way out. Tell us your interests and we can help pick attractions in Trivandrum that you will enjoy.