Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, which is also known by its colonial-era name called Trivandrum, is a city set amidst low-lying hills that offers you fascinating glimpses into the urban life of southern India. The city is home to numerous architectural marvels, fascinating museums, pristine temples, and idyllic beaches. Offering the perfect blend of good sights and food, Trivandrum promises an interesting time in Kerala. Because I had Trivandrum in my bucket list for so long, I finally decided to bring it to fruition.
When I reached Trivandrum, I was welcomed by a city that offers interesting insights into its culture and history. The city is thronged by history buffs, culture enthusiasts, and solace seekers alike. Even after being a capital city, Trivandrum knows how to impress with its marvellously designed spaces and cultural charm. The mesmerizing beaches here also offer you the perfect opportunity to blow off some steam and just relax. I am glad I decided to go sightseeing in Trivandrum because I had a wonderful time in the city. Here is a list of places that I visited on my sightseeing trip to Trivandrum a.k.a Thiruvananthapuram: –
1. Napier Museum
I am instantly drawn to famous museums almost like it is a cosmic connection. I wanted to visit the Napier Museum as the first stop on my local sightseeing trip of Trivandrum. The museum is set inside a wooden building that dates back to the year 1880. It is a marvellous display of Buddhist sculptures, ivory carvings, temple carts, and so on. What specifically caught my interest was the model of Guruvayur temple (a popular temple of Kerala) that is carved out of wood and looks spectacular! Another great aspect of the museum is its architecture. I could not take my eyes of the architectural style that was an interesting infusion of Kerala and neo-Gothic elements. The carnival-esque interiors of the place intrigued me a whole lot. In my opinion, the Napier Museum is one of the most fascinating sightseeing places in Trivandrum.
2. Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
At the spiritual core of Trivandrum is the radiant Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, a beautiful amalgamation of both Dravidian and Kerala architecture. I decided to head to this temple after the museum as a part of my sightseeing tour in Trivandrum. I entered the temple through the 30-metre tall getaway tower or eastern gopuram (a seven-tier tower). Upon exploring the inner sanctum, I got to see Lord Vishnu’s manifestation or Padmanabha. In all, this makes for a great spiritual experience visiting the temple thanks to its aura.
3. Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Nature lovers are drawn the most to the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary during their Trivandrum sightseeing tour. The scenery of this place will beguile you to the extent that you’d want to extend your trip here. As I am a nature enthusiast myself, I decided to visit the wildlife sanctuary as a part of my sightseeing trip to Trivandrum. I was particularly excited to know more about the elephant rehabilitation centre and the crocodile farm here. I also got to capture scenic views as I walked and witnessed nature in its full glory.
4. St Joseph’s Cathedral
Being a neo-gothic creation, St Joseph’s Cathedral was my next pit stop on my Trivandrum sightseeing tour; its architecture fascinated me to no bounds. It is a major church in Tiruvandrum and belongs to the year 1873. I found it to be one of the best sightseeing places in Trivandrum.
5. CSI Christ Church
By now, it almost feels like I am on a religious trail, right?!
Believed to be the very first church to be built in Trivandrum, the CSI Christ Church was the next place I visited as a part of my tour. I fully explored the beautiful church and checked off another great place from my list of the must-visit sightseeing places in Trivandrum.
Do stop at this church as a part of your Thiruvananthapuram sightseeing tour to explore another iconic gem that the city houses.
Being one of the highest peaks in Kerala, Agasthyakoodam or Agastya Mala Peak is a 1868-metre high peak. Travellers can spot it in the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary itself. When I saw the peak, I was mesmerized by its natural charm and beguiling beauty and gawked at it in wonderment. The peak could be seen laden with lovely purple colours of orchids. The spot is a magnet for birdwatchers and is one of the best sightseeing places in Thiruvananthapuram. The peak is also a significant Hindu pilgrimage site for the devotees of the Agastya, a Hindu sage.
7. Chalai Bazaar
Chalai Bazaar is another local sightseeing place in Trivandrum that I visited. Spread over a stretch of 2 kilometres, the Bazaar is an old market that connects East Fort and Killippalam. I found an enormous collection of silver and gold jewellery, furniture, electronics, paint and even hardware over here. Plus, the local fresh produce of vegetables and fruits are also sold here. I make it a point to visit the local markets of every city or town I travel to, that is why I had to pay a visit to the vibrant Chalai Bazaar to know more about the local life of the people of Trivandrum and also buy some souvenirs that I could take back from the city.
8. Science and Technology Museum
I decided to make a stop at the Science and Technology Museum as a part of my Thiruvananthapuram sightseeing. Popular for its tech on display, the museum was founded way back in the year 1984. Science enthusiasts particularly love this place as the museum is home to galleries on electronics, electricity, mechanics, power & motion, solar energy, mathematics, and so on. I spent a great amount of time at this interesting museum, exploring almost everything it had to offer.
A useful tip – the museum is closed on Mondays.
Sightseeing places near Trivandrum
Since I had some time at hand, I visited a few gems tugged very near to Trivandrum. These are:
1. Kovalam Beach
Kovalam is located close to Trivandrum and is a famous surfing destination in the country. Beach therapy is always good, so heading to Kovalam Beach was logical. Being a famous sightseeing place near Trivandrum, Kovalam Beach is one of the well-developed beaches that you will find in Kerala. I had a lovely time sitting on the sands barefooted for hours at a stretch.
My friends and I also visited the Samundra Beach nearby which was actually one of my favourite spots in Trivandrum given the seclusion and quiet it offered.
2. Poovar Beach
Poovar Island is a sightseeing place near Trivandrum that is situated 30 kilometres from it. It lies among the Neyyar River and the Arabian Sea and is actually a fishing village. It is Kerala’s very own paradise with the occasional chirp of birds and the regular splashing of waves that I really came to like. I spent some time on the island taking in and admiring the untouched natural surroundings. I also spotted couples walking hand-in-hand on this bewitching island that made for a perfect romantic setting.
This island is a peaceful abode that I found very hard to leave. I was wrapped in its immaculate charm right from the beginning till the end. I found myself among my own here – people who were searching for peace that they miss back home.
There was never a dull moment during my entire trip to the city, and that is saying something. An extremely useful tip from my side – Choose one of the Trivandrum holiday packages to save time on trip-planning and focus on the actual vacation.