24 hours in Kerala's capital

Tripoto
22nd Oct 2017
Photo of by Radhika Vinod Kumar

Decided to skip this one thanks to the weekend crowd and headed towards the world famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple. For anybody who is visiting Kerala for the first time, the temple rules around here are very strict. Only strict Indian attire is allowed which is sarees and traditional skirts for the women folk while the men need to wear the Kerala 'mundu'. So come dressed accordingly or be prepared to buy them outside the temple premises. The rules aside, the temple is absolutely beautiful and peaceful. The architecture right from the fort walls to the towering gopurm is stunning and ofcourse the mighty Lord Vishnu in his Ananthashayanam is a sight to behold. If you wish to, you can take a walk inside Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Palace as well, which is right outside the temple entrance.

Tired of the overpriced rickshaws, I decided to use only the local transport for the rest of my time in the city which was possibly my best decision yet. Super friendly drivers and conductors who help you get your way through the city and an extremely well connected and impressive bus service, hats off Kerala I have and will always be a fangirl of this place for many reasons, God's own after all.

Photo of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, West Nada, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, West Nada, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, West Nada, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, West Nada, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar

Standing at the bus stop, I was in a bit of a fix. I had no stay booked yet and I wasn't sure where to go next, the sought after Kovalam or the fairly less explored Veli stretch? Went ahead with Veli for some reason and I have absolutely no regrets. In about 20 minutes we were outside city limits and the window seat never felt better. As the cool breeze blew, the views kept getting better. It was like a mini road trip as we were cruising by the international airport towards the coast line. In a bit, I could see the endless Shankhumugham beach flocked with people and soon after that stop we were driving through the town of Kochuveli. Got off at the bus stop and the entrance read Veli Toursit Village. The place was pretty crowded and I wasn't quite sure as to what it would be like as I walked through a pretty garden stretch. The rest of this walk was just nature it its best. I walked towards a beautiful backwater area where there was boating, beyond which was the Veli beach. I was here just around sunset and took a stroll enjoying the silence of the waves, watching kids play, fly kites and ride horses. No doubt the place was pretty packed with what seemed to be mostly the locals, the sunset consumed me nevertheless, drowning out the crowds.

Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Veli Beach Park, Veli, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar

The bus ride back was just as peaceful especially the bustling Shankhumugam beach with a tinge of orange in the skyline. It was late evening by the time I reached the city and I was not ready to leave just yet so, took the last but and of course, headed to Kovalam. It was pretty late when I got there so commute and stay was a bit of a hassle but man was it worth it. The lighthouse stood tall and a perfectly lit beach walkway welcomed me, Hello Kovalam! For the night, I picked a homestay which was about a 10 minute walk from the beach. A quaint house, very warm host and unmatched levels of tranquility. With just a couple of hours left, I wasn't ready to miss out on the beauty of this place and headed back to Kovalam Lighthouse beach. By now, the beach was almost deserted and I just sat by watching the endless waves lash and stargazed for a while before I called it a night.

Photo of Kovalam Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Kovalam Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Kovalam Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Kovalam Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Kovalam Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Kovalam Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Day 1

With just about 24 hours in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, I wondered how much of it I could explore and all I can say is, it was probably one of the most fruitful and scenic 24 hours of my life. Reached Trivandrum Central railway station around noon and had no idea what to do. Tried to find a bike rental to get around town but all those efforts went in vain. So, took a rick and headed to the Napier Museum. A beautiful place with lush green lawns and loads of history to soak in. After about an hour at the museum, I walked towards the zoo which lies within the same compound and had one helluva queue waiting for me.

Photo of Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Day 2

After a quick shower and pack up, I headed to the beach for breakfast. Only in the morning did I realize how pretty my homestay-beach stretch was, completely dotted by palm trees and a rustic walkway. Kovalam mornings are so scenic and have that perfect holiday vibe! The cafes are getting started, kids beaching, some others surfing and the fishermen busy getting to work. Breakfast with a view, sitting in Coconut Grove embracing the beauty of this place asking myself if I really had to leave today. After spending a while strolling, it was time to head home; easily one of the most memorable 24 hours of my life.

Photo of Light House Beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Light House Beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Light House Beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Light House Beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Light House Beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Light House Beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Light House Beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar
Photo of Light House Beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Radhika Vinod Kumar