Thiruvananthapuram, which was previously called Trivandrum, is an ancient city with tradition dating back to 1000 BC. Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Raja of Travancore in 1750.
The city gets its name from the word, Thiru-anantha-puram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of the sacred Serpent Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines.
Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland spreading over a total of 2,192sq.km.
The city is characterized by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills with narrow winding lanes and busy commercial alleys. The best season to visit Thiruvananthapuram is during September to May.
King Marthandavarma, the erstwhile founder of Travancore made Thiruvananthapuram his capital. After Marthandavarma, it remained the capital of Travancore and after independence, became the capital of State of Travancore-Cochin.
In 1956, when Kerala state was formed, Thiruvananthapuram was again chosen as the capital of Kerala. Being the state capital, it also throbs with political activity. Thiruvananthapuram and its famous beaches are one of the top tourist destinations in India.
Thiruvananthapuram derives its name from the deity at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, which is the most recognisable icon of the city, nearly 2000 years old. The city has grown as a tourist and commercial centre, with the International airport becoming the main gateway into Kerala.
Shree Padhmanabhaswamy temple: Shree Padhmanabhaswamy temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is held sacred by the Hindus from antiquity. The temple has a large complex with a huge gopuram. It has a tank beside it for ritual bathing.
Kovalam: Kovalam is 12kms to the south of Thiruvananthapuram and is one of the finest beaches in India. It has been developed into an integrated seaside resort. The beach complex has many hotels, cottages, yoga centres etc.
Vizhinjam: About 2kms south of Kovalam, it is believed to be an ancient port. The Dutch and Portugese had commercial establishments here. It is being developed as a modern fishing harbour.
Ponmudi: A pleasant resort at an elevation of 912m above sea level. It is 61 kms from Thiruvananthapuram and connected by road. There are many tree and rubber estates around the hills.
Veli: lagoon The boat club attracts tourists by providing facilities for pedal boating , row boating , swimming on the placid waters of the veli lake.
The Kanakakunnu Palace: This palace in the heart of Trivandrum city is one of the most beautiful buildings. The palace and its sprawling grounds are today the venue for many cultural meets. The Museum building is an architectural splendour. The napier museum, the natural history museum, the reptile house and the Shri Chitra Art Gallery are in the same complex amidst a well laid out garden and park.
The Science and Technology museum, the Government Secretariat, the Kowdiar palace, the Senate house, are some of the other tourist attractions in the city.