It is often referred to as the Kashmir of the South. Trivandrum, with its sun-kissed sands, golden beaches and the dominating emerald green of its palm trees, remains a very popular tourist destination for Indians and foreign
nationals. Enjoy a ride through the prismatic splendour of this wonderful land.
Situated near the southern-most tip of India and washed by the rough Arabian Sea, Trivandrum (now Thiruvananthapuram) is the capital of Kerala - the land carved out by the axe of Parasuram, the legendary warrior.
Trivandrum or the City of the Endless Serpent has a cluster of popular temples surrounding it. The city is dominated by the temple of Padmanabhaswamy or quite literally the 'Lord with the Lotus Navel'. A powerful deity clost to Trivandrum is that of Janardhana and about 25 to 30 miles away of "Sivagiri" which
was founded by Sri Narayana Guru, a great social reformer with a secular outlook. A testimony to the secular nature of Trivandrum can be found in the heart of the city - Palayam - where a temple, a church and a mosque are located next
to one another.
The Royal Family was held in very high esteem during the heyday of the Travancore State. People used to believe that the Maharaja and the Maharani were next only to the local diety, Lord Padmanabha. Swati Tirunal, one of the Maharajas of Travancore, composed songs in several languages and left a rich musical
He is remembered to this day on the occasion of the Navrathri festival, when eminent musicians sing his compositions on al the nine days of the festival.
A drive down Mahatma Gandhi road, will see you cut through the heart of modern Trivandrum city which still bears the unmistakable stamp of the British era. On either side of the road are impressive buildings of the colonial times - the Public library, College of Fine Arts, the Victoria Jubilee Town Hall and
the Secretariat. The Napier Museum is an exceptional building, combining indigenous architectural styles with European methods. The museum is housed within a large
complex which also includes the Sri Chitra Gallery, the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. What is worth taking a look at are the paintings of Raja Ravi Verma (1848-1906). Ravi Verma was best known for his dramatic scenes from Hindu epics and the largest collection of his work can be found in the
Sri Chitra Art Gallery.
Trivandrum is home to some leading scientific and technological institutions like the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, the Centre for Earth Science Studies and a museum dedicated exclusively to science and technology. In fact, India's pioneering efforts in space exploration began at Thumba, not far from the city.
The Chala Bazaar-the old market area of Trivandrum-still retains its traditional charm. Jewellery and cloth stores, fresh fruit and flower stalls, fish and vegetable markets co-exist cheek-by-jowl.
Trivandrum is a major tourist centre and with its beautiful beaches, temples and buildings it is not hard to see why.