The last stretch of the journey and to the capital city of Kerala. A mix of both modern improvisation and typical South Indian tradition are residing together in peace here. Though usually tourists prefer Kovalam (a beach town about 15 km from Trivandrum) in place of the main city while planning a holiday in #Kerala, but as I had been to Kovalam before and have been to many beach towns at this visit, I wanted to see the Tiruvananthapuram city; and undoubtedly the city has its own charm.
How to reach Tiruvananthapuram:
Airport: #Trivandrum has International airport, so coming here from any part of the world is no problem.
Train: The city can also be reachable by train from any part of the state/ country. I came to Tiruvananthapuram from Varkala, and frequent trains are available between these two places. From Varkala there are trains at every 20-30 minutes and it take lest than an hour’s time.
Road: The city is well connected by roads, highways/ national highways, hence this part of accessibility is sorted.
Places to see in Tiruvananthapuram/ Sightseeing in Trivandrum:
A. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple: One of the widely visited temple by locals and tourists in this city. Men are only allowed inside the temple wearing white mundu and ladies (even toddlers or kids) should wear Saree, if not a saree then they also have to wear a white mundu over their dress. People who aren’t local or not carrying any such things with them, have to purchase the mundu/Dhoti from the stall inside the temple ground (min 50 rs), all phones, and big bags are to be deposited at a minimum cost to their locker (yes, it’s mandatory and doesn’t matter if you say no!!). Only a small purse is allowed inside. Photography is strictly prohibited inside the temple (but it’s very photogenic inside!) hence one has to follow all the rules.
- Temple opened from 8:30 to 11 am in the morning.
- With public bus one has to get down at Kirikekota bus stop, the temple is opposite to the bus shelter. Then apart from private car/ taxi, auto is also available throughout the city.
- The tour inside temple depends on the darshan time of the God Narayana/ Vishnu. If the door to darshan is open early (mostly depending the arrival of the royal family, once they visit, then it’s open to the tourists) then the tour of the temple may take around an hour on own.
On the way to the temple there is Puthen Maliga museum, so while coming out of the temple after Darshan the museum will be opened.
B. Puthen Maliga Palace and art museum : [Entry fees: 70 rs per Indian/ INR 250.00 per foreign tourists.]
The museum is divided into few divisions; there is a palace visit first then visit to the art gallery. This place is again has the typical Kerala style palace with mahogany brown portico and veranda surrounding the building, and a combination of light and shadow coexisting inside the house. The art gallery is a short walking distance away, within the premises though, safe keeping 18th century royal collection. Guides are allowed inside the palace and they help tourists (especially who aren’t aware of the local culture) to understand the meaning and feature of the collection.
- No photography allowed inside the museum and a 2 hours time required inside the place.
PMG is the core central area of Tiruvananthapuram. And one can plan their stay close to this place. The next three sightseeings are coinciding inside the same premise and even if one wishes to skip any of the place and just relax in the park, its completely fine, no big deal is missed!!
C. Naiper Museum: Entry fees: INR 20.00 per Adult : : A 10-15 minutes walk across the place is enough to see all the collection and photography is not allowed inside. The Museum is quite small with few primordial stone statue collection and some different various. A quick round is sufficient.
D. Zoo: Entry fees: INR 30.00 per Indian : : The zoo is occupying quite a big area and has a varied collection of animals, birds creepers etc. Spending time here depends on one’s energy or interest. A good 2 hours can easily pass by strolling inside the zoo.
E. Art Museum: entry fees: INR 25.00 per Indian : : Well preserving a collection of hand paintings from 17th-18th century of the royal family, then few modern day art as well this place takes some patience to go through all the colourful collection of the gallery. 30-40 minutes passes by quite easily if one has good interest in art.
F. Sankhumugam Beach: A good option to spend a breezy evening with a lot of option to choose from the tangy street foods. Not very popular among the tourists but to the locals, Sankhumugam beach is also a weekend place among the locals.
CHIPS: dont forget to buy vegetable chips while in Tiruvananthapuram. Mahachips is a good place to buy Chips, the shop is just behind the Padmanaviswami temple, locals are well aware of this shop. Banana chips and jackfruit chips are quite a delicacy here.
** Kanakaunnu Music festival:
I was lucky enough to unknowingly plan my holiday in Tiruvananthapuram during the time when a remarkable music festival was going on at Kanakakunnu. A 5 days long music festival mostly participated by young talents who are so passionate about the classical Indian music. There were classical singers, accompanied by fellow young musicians and the versatile Bharatnattyam/ Moiniattyam dancers, the evening was surreal to see them performing immaculately.
The entry is free and everyone is welcome to be an audience of the shows.