It suddenly feels as if I took a long break from writing. This post is long overdue as it's already been a good 3 months since I visited the capital of the God's own country.
Our first stop in Thiruvananthapuram was Kovalam, a crescent-shaped beach town by the Arabian Sea. Kovalam is very close to the city center. There are many hotels and resorts on the beach, each offering a magnificent view of the ocean and an endless sight of coconut trees.
It is always a good idea to go strolling on the beach, beholding the beautiful setting sun at the horizon and click a few pictures for keeps
Another spectacular beach destination in the Thiruvananthapuram district is Poovar which happens to be the southern tip of Kerala and one can see the border of Tamil Nadu. Blue sky, golden sand beach, backwaters of river Neyyar, a 2-hour boat ride through the mangroves - this was Poovar for us. If you are lucky you can spot few rare birds here.
Thiruvananthapuram offers a balance of exalted, lowly and everything in between. It brings together ancient temples, ornate palaces, beaches, a kaleidoscopic culture and delicious food. Perhaps, it is appropriate that in the capital of God's own country the definitive attraction is an abode of God - the centuries old Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple.
The temple sanctum has a 18 feet long idol of Lord Vishnu reclining over Anantha, the serpent. One has to look through three doors, to see the idol head to toe. The temple is open only for Hindus who have to follow a strict dress code (women is saree or skirt and men in dhoti/mundu). The temple sits atop a cauldron of riches worth billions. Adjacent to the temple is a palace, converted to a museum. Unfortunately, it was closed by the time we came out of the temple. Thiruvananthapuram also houses art and natural history museums, zoos, and botanical gardens.
A holiday is incomplete without savouring local delicacies. We treated ourselves to Kerala Sadya, a traditional salubrious and delicious meal served on banana leaf.
Bananas are ubiquitous and varied. There are reds, yellows, greens, and golden found at ever street corner. Don't miss tasting and buying few kilos of banana chips before flying back, along with varieties of teas and spices.