Trivandrum Sightseeing Tour
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Trivandrum, also known as Thiruvananthapuram, is the capital of Kerala, an Indian state and the headquarters of the Trivandrum District. It is situated on the western seaside of India, close to the extreme south of the dry land.
On the second day of our trip to Trivandrum hosted by Kerala Tourism, we visited the following manmade attractions:
This palace was our foremost stop. Just like most temples in Southeast Asia, wearing shoes or any kind of footwear was not allowed inside the Palace.
Before entering the main gate, we were asked to deposit our shoes in a small room that was quite far from the Palace entrance. The palace was full of tourists from various parts of India and while the in-house tour guide gave instructions in the local language, our official guide, Manoj, led us to another door to use a different route to avoid the crowd.
Padmanabhapuram Palace is a glorious wooden palace that was built in the 16th century, and it is located in Kanyakumari – the Southern Tip of mainland India.
It is an appealing site for art and architectural lovers. This palace is an excellent piece of a traditional era which showcases the native architectural style of Kerala.
The historical interiors were stuffed with elaborate sculptured furnishings and rosewood monuments. We also came across a musical bow made of mahogany, splendid seats with some excellent Chinese carvings, windows with tinted mica, and the Queen Mother or ‘Thaikkottaram’ palace with decorated ceilings.
We were overwhelmed by the imperial splendor of this ancient palace by the time we left for our next stop over – Navarathri Mandapam.
Our guide took us to the exclusive Navarathri Mandapam, which was at the front of the palace. Navarathri Mandapam was a setting for gigs, and it used ancient sound reflectors consisting of 50 clay pots which were dangled upside down from the roof.
We were informed that the place was put up during the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma, who was Travancore’s King. Today, the museum has various paintings and an assortment of priceless collected works of the royal king. It opens every day except on Mondays.
The Travancore Heritage Resort
Our Wooden Palace tour was followed by lunch at Travancore Heritage Resort (hotel info) at Chowara in Trivandrum, Kerala. The resort sat on 14 acres of leafy green land on top of a 120 feet cliff. It was placed on the shoreline of the Arabian Sea. The resort is an ancient palace with a cluster of traditional cottages that is a manifestation of the conventional architectural brilliance of the people of Kerala.
Most of the cottages are designed in ‘Naalukettu’ fashion, and the artworks made on the timber roofs are also very appealing.
The patio around the four-winged houses is made of wood, and it allows for aeration, sunbathing and rain thus making it a real haven for nature lovers. Travancore Heritage Resort has several such quarters which are over 60 years old.
After our sumptuous lunch, we had a chance to visit some of the Villas overlooking the beautiful body of water.
The resort’s tour Packages include an individual guide. Tourism and shopping tours can be arranged on call at an extra fee, while attractions near Travancore Heritage include the Cape Comorin (Kanya Kumari) – the tip of Indian Peninsula, Padmanabhapuram Palace, boat cruises next to the backwaters, Napier museum, and Srichitra gallery of arts.
Thiruvananthapuram Park (Napier Museum and Thiruvananthapuram Zoo)
Napier Museum is situated in the northern part of Thiruvananthapuram city and is christened after Lord Charles Napier, who governed Madras between 1866 to 1872.
We were not able to go inside the museum, but by just looking at the facade of the building, I can say that it is a magnificent piece of architectural work. Napier Museum is also known as the Government Art Museum, and its structure is a mixture of the Kerala, Mughal, Italian and Chinese architectural styles.
The Thiruvananthapuram Park, on the other hand, is one of the oldest zoos in India, and it is situated in Thiruvananthapuram region of Kerala. We visited this park after our lunch and had the chance to roam around the vicinity.
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is found at the center of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. It was constructed in Dravidian style, which is unusual in Kerala. The shrine is a model of Adikesava Perumal holy place situated in Kanyakumari, and it has historical artifacts of Hindu religion.
Photography and tourists were not permitted to enter the temple during our visit, but we managed to take photos of the areas that were not restricted. After leaving the temple, we headed to beautiful Turtle on the Beach Resort – our official residence, which had rooms facing the Arabian Sea. We had dinner there and later retired for the night.
Kerala is the best part of India, its culture; people and traditions are unforgettable. The Trivandrum Sightseeing Tour was definitely an experience of a lifetime.
Kerala Travel and Tour Packages
- Exploring Kerala Backwaters on a Houseboat
- Tusker Trail: Exhilarating Elephant Ride In Thekkady, Kerala