A week in Trivandrum- The royal capital of God's own country

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Photo of A week in Trivandrum- The royal capital of God's own country by Kavitha Preetha

Trivandrum is God’s own country Kerala’s capital city with rich royal history and some of the best beaches in the state. The city is blessed with beautiful beaches of Arabian sea on the west and hills of Western ghats on the east. One could easily spend 5 eventful days in Trivandrum tasting a little of everything.

Day 1

Start your visit from Padmanabha swamy temple near East fort- It is undoubtedly the most important landmark in the city and is the essence of the word-“Thiruv-anantha-puram”. Check the entry timings and dress code before you reach to avoid further delays. The spectacular interior has rich stone and wooden carvings and paintings on pillars, walls and roof depicting ancient Hindu epics and gods.

Photo of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, West Nada, Fort, East Fort, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

Kuthiramalika palace & Sri Chithra Art Gallery are just a stone throw away from the temple and has an impressive collection of photographs, royal army’s weaponry, gifts exchanged with the British, royal family’s personal belongings and other artifacts depicting the strong relationship the city had with the Royal family. Photography is prohibited inside the palace, but it is definitely worth a visit to dig into the city’s history.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Kuthira Malika, Bhajanapura Palace Road, Fort, East Fort, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

Head straight to the beaches now. Kick start your beach vibes from the very famous Kovalam beach- best known for surfing (thanks to perfect waves), swimming (deep enough for a good swim) and sunbathing. If you’re on time, you could climb up the lighthouse for some magnificent views of the coastal town. Beach sports are not a thing in Trivandrum, but you could try fresh seafood dishes or do abit of shopping from the stores lining the beach. Enjoy the sunset and call it a day.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Kovalam Beach, Kovalam, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha
Photo of Kovalam Beach, Kovalam, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha
Day 5

Start your day again from the heart of the city- Napier museum. Visit the museum to know more about the rich history of Trivandrum, walk around the amazing garden or visit the impressive collection of animals, birds and reptiles in the Trivandrum zoo that was opened more than a century ago!

Photo of Thenmala, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha
Photo of Thenmala, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

If you are done early, head to the Chalai market near East fort- from flowers to furniture to art supplies to home décor, you name it, you get it in Chalai. It has a lot of by-lanes that are solely dedicated to a single product – take your time to explore the market in its rawness.

Head to the beaches again, but today with a twist- visit Poovar beach by boating through backwaters! Pre-book or spot book your boating to enjoy an hour’s ride through backwaters, choose a bite from any of the floating restaurants and catch the sunset from the beach.

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha
Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

On the way back, visit the Azhimala beach which has a different topography from both Poovar and Kovalam beaches. Climb down the stairs nestled between rocks to reach the beach- it is less crowded and ideal for a peaceful dip in the sea.

Photo of Azhimala Cliff and Beach, Azhimala Temple Road, Adimalathura, Kazhivoor, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha
Day 3

Start early to the Jatayu’s Earth centre at Chadayamangalam to witness the largest bird sculpture in the world set atop a hill surrounded by lush greenery. Opt for cable car ride up or down the hill. An adventure centre is also available in the premises if you would like to spend more time indulging in adventure activities.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Jatayu Earth's Center, Jatayu Junction, Jatayu Nature Park Road, Chadayamangalam, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

Let’s go back to the beaches again but a very different one this time too- Varkala. Walk around the Varkala cliff near to the helipad with quaint souvenir shops and chic restaurants lining the walkway and finally climb down to the beach for a refreshing swim – it is as chilled as the beaches in Goa minus the party scenes.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Varkala cliff, Varkala, Kerala by Kavitha Preetha
Photo of Varkala cliff, Varkala, Kerala by Kavitha Preetha

An interesting addition to the pristine Varkala is Kappil. Drive to Kappil beach from Varkala to witness Kappil lake on one side and Kappil beach on the other- it’s a stunning coastal route, not to be missed when in Trivandrum.

Credits: DeccanChronicle

Photo of Kappil Beach, Kerala by Kavitha Preetha
Day 4

Dust off the sand and let’s go east to the hills and streams – visit Trivandrum’s famous hill station Ponmudi, a short drive from the city. Start early morning to skip the crowd and enjoy the hair pin curved ride through the mist to finally reach lush greenery on the hill top.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Ponmudi, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

On the way back, take a diversion to Meenmutty water falls- though the falls is not open for public, the 2 km trail to the falls offers clear streams that you can cross or take a dip in, picnic spots to grab a bite and a safe rocky path through forest to enjoy nature at its best.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Meenmutty Waterfalls, Kallar Meenmutty Falls Road, Kallar, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

Shopping

Head back to the city to do a bit of shopping – ‘Sarwaa’ for souvenirs, jewellery or home décor, ‘FabIndia’ store and café to grab a coffee while you shop, ‘SMSM Institute - Govt. Handicraft Emporium’ for authentic metal/wooden décor and other art pieces, ‘Silkyway’ boutique for unique silk sarees or ‘Karalkada’ for authentic Kerala sarees.

Day 5/6/7

On the last days in Trivandrum, choose between any of the following day trips north or south of the city

a. Thenmala ecotourism is another step into the nature ideal for a day trip from Trivandrum offering a trail through forest leading to a lake ideal for boating. Head to Palaruvi waterfalls for a dip in the milky waters cascading down rocks.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Thenmala, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Thenmala, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha
Day 6

b. Padmanabhapuram palace to the south of Trivandrum is one of the best examples of traditional Kerala architecture also offering a museum with impressive collection of Kerala style brass lamps, paintings, weaponry, artifacts gifted by Chinese merchants and so on. Head to Thripparappu waterfalls next that is blessed with heavy water flow for most time of the year making it a hotspot for nature lovers.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Padmanabhapuram Palace, Chakala, Thuckalay, Tamil Nadu, India by Kavitha Preetha

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Padmanabhapuram Palace, Chakala, Thuckalay, Tamil Nadu, India by Kavitha Preetha
Day 7

c. Kottur/Kappukadu Elephant Rehabilitation Centre is a care and comfort home for elephants of all sizes and age welcoming visitors to see elephants being bathed and fed, up close along with an elephant ride. Munroe island is another attraction couple of hours of drive away that is an inland island group located at the banks of Ashtamudi Lake. Opt for a local boat to go around the backwaters and enjoy the setting sun in its full glory.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Elephant Rehabilitation Centre Kappukadu, Kottoor, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by Kavitha Preetha

Hope you have a wonderful time in Trivandrum! :)

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