Proper name Thiruvananthapuram. Thiruvananthapuram is the largest city in Kerala.The city is the state capital and houses many central and state government offices, organizations and companies. Apart from being the political nerve centre of Kerala, it is also a major academic hub and is home to several educational institutions including the University of Kerala, and to many science and technology institutions, the most prominent being the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Technopark, the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET) and the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER).
One of the oldest cities in India, it is referred to by the Greeks and the Romans. A new kingdom of Travancore in the 17th century had Trivandrum as its capital. With the independence of India, the Travancore chose to ascend into the Indian union. After the formation of Kerala state in 1957, it was decided to retain Trivandrum as the capital city. In early 1990s, the Kerala Government decided to establish Technopark- a large IT Park. The growth of Technopark, as the largest Information Technology park in South Asia, made a major impetus for the growth of the city.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
One estimate has this temple at over 5 thousand years old! The temple was almost fully destroyed in 1686 CE. The temple was renovated by the Travancore king with 4000 sculptors, 6000 labourers and 100 elephants for 6 months. This temple has many many festivals.
Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple
The temple is situated close to Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. The principle diety is Maha Ganapathy (Ganesh). Other dieties are Shree Durga, Shastha and Nagaraja. The posture of Ganesh is unique to this temple. Note there is a dress code: no shirts for men and traditional dress for women.
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
Attukal temple is the abode of the goddess, who is the supreme preserver and destroyer. She cares for her devotees like a mother does her children. For the devotees, Attukal Devi (Attukal Amma or Attukal Bhagavathy) is supreme power, capable of delivering all the wishes of her devotees. Several women devotees testify the supreme power of this shrine, and tell you how Attukal Devi has blessed them with progeny and wishes of bountiful life.
Devotees from all parts of India come and bow before the all powerful goddess, seeking an end to their afflictions and to receive blessings. The temple is just 2 Km from the main city center of Thiruvananthapuram and is located at a rural-looking area, although the surroundings are highly urbanized.
The architecture of Attukal temple has elements of both Kerala and Tamil architecture styles. The exteriors of the temple are carved with hundreds of sculptures of gods, goddesses, the stories of Dasavataram of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Kannagi (Kannaki), Dakshayaga etc. The main building also depicts Goddess Kali, Sree Parvathy, Lord Siva, Rajarajeshwari, and several others. The Gopura (main rise building) is covered by such idols, which surely are a work of a team of artisans under the leadership of an able sculptor.
The temple doors and internal corridors also have several sculptures of Gods like Lord Ganapathi (Ganesh), Lord Siva, etc.
A record number of female devotees have come to this temple.
In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple lies the diety herself, Attukal Devi, adorned with jewels.
The Village Fair
For one week from 3rd January. A traditional village near Kovalam is used and it shows how artisans lived in bygone days.
Second week February. Stalls from various regions of India, some selling food. Feel free to sample!
Nishagandhi Dance Festival
End January. Many dance forms, including Bharatanatyam, and other classical Indian forms, together with modern ballet. Will perform at the open-air theatre of Nishagandhi in the Kanakakunnu Palace compound.
Vetta and Arattu
This festival is celebrated twice in the year, once in Oct-Nov and once in Mar-Apr. Vettu represents Vishnu hunting down the evil demon in the forest. The next day, the Arattu procession begins, where images of the dieties are ritually carried into the sea, after which the gods are carried back to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The day is rounded off with several cultural programs, some all night.
Attukal Pongala is celebrated between 18-26 of February, every year, at Attukal Bhagavati Temple. It is a ten-day festival. On the 9th day, thousands of women devotees from many parts of the state gather in the vicinities of the temple to prepare pongala, a favourite offering to the goddess. They prepare pongala by cooking jaggery, coconut and banana in certain proportions and offer to the goddess. The ritual starts early morning and ends by afternoon. The uniqueness of the festival is that only women are allowed to do the offerings on that day.
Trivandrum Airport (International) is linked by flights to Cochin, Madras, Delhi, Goa and Bombay. International flights operate to and from Colombo, Mali, Dubai, Abudhabi and Kuwait.
Trivandrum station has links to all major train stations all over the country
Thampanoor is the main bus station, for long distance buses. City buses go from Fort.
June July and August are coolest months with average high of 30 °C. Wet weather June to October Remember whenever you come Trivandrum is likely to be hot.