Places to Visit in Trivandrum spoil you with a choice. Either you long for a solo adventurous ride or planning to relax with friends and family, Trivandrum places promise you a memorable time. Trivandrum tourist places are a mix and match of culture, scenic beauty and history, and tradition.
In this post, let us have a glimpse at the Trivandrum city on its own, the top places to visit in Trivandrum, the life in Trivandrum, and the all about Trivandrum places.
Where is Trivandrum?
Trivandrum, or Thiruvananthapuram, is the capital of the Indian state Kerala. Located at the Southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, Kerala is one of the states that contributes to the Indian economy and Indian tourism. Trivandrum is the IT hub in the state along with another famous city, Cochin.
Though being a city, Trivandrum is a lot different from the rest of the cities in India. Besides being one of the top tourist destinations in Kerala, Trivandrum is an academic and technological hub. The city has many world-famous research institutes including the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). They also form important Trivandrum places to see.
Many established medical institutions like The Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) add to the prestige of the city. You can add these too in your itinerary of Trivandrum places.
Besides, the city is a home for well-established engineering colleges, art colleges, law colleges, and high schools. No wonder that the city is living proof that the state of Kerala is the number one in literacy rate in India.
Trivandrum is also a top tourist destination in terms of medical tourism. The multiple yoga and Ayurveda centers in and outskirts of the city, are a must to see Trivandrum places. People from overseas and from other states of India travel to these Ayurvedic centers to take treatment for long-standing diseases.
Is Trivandrum and Thiruvananthapuram same?
This is an oft striking doubt to many tourists who want to explore Trivandrum Places. The state’s language, Malayalam, being undoubtedly tricky for newbies, adds to this confusion.
Well, Trivandrum and Thiruvananthapuram are both the same. The former is the latest name, while the latter is the earlier name of the city. For an easier understanding, let us compare with the names – India and Bharat. India is the recent name, while Bharat is the ancient name of the country.
How did Thiruvananthapuram get its name?
The name Thiruvananthapuram originates from the Malayalam word Thiru-Anantha-Puram which stands for the City where Anantha Lives.
Anantha is another name for Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. The prominence of this name originates from the fact that Trivandrum houses the world-renowned Vaishnava temple of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy.
Thus, the meaning of the name “Thiruvananthapuram” means “The city of Lord Padmanabha” stands true in every essence.
The city was renamed Trivandrum in 1991. But the city is equally popular with its previous name Thiruvananthapuram even today.
How to reach Trivandrum?
Due to many captivating Trivandrum Tourist Places, the city is often visited by tourists at any time of the year. The city is well connected either by road, rail or airways.
One can easily reach the city by bus from Chennai, Bangalore, Ernakulam to explore Trivandrum places. From other cities, you should check the availability of private buses that run to reach Trivandrum.
Trivandrum is very well connected via trains too. Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station is the biggest and busiest railway station in the city as well as in the state.
Trivandrum International Airport is the fifth international airport in India. With two terminals, the airport displays more of a homely and peaceful appearance rather than flaunting commercial vibes.
Related: Things to do in Bangalore
Best time to visit Trivandrum
Trivandrum being a coastal city, you should plan your visit accordingly in the best season to visit Trivandrum.
Trivandrum Places are best enjoyed during early summer and all through the winter season. During the rainy season, the city might witness heavy rainfalls, and also the climate is quite humid, leaving you with little time to see the Trivandrum Places.
Thus, from the winter season to the onset of summer – October to February is the best time to visit Trivandrum.
Top tourist places to visit in Trivandrum
The very mention of Trivandrum and Kerala sounds like backwaters , beaches, ayurvedic massages and heritage places. It’s true in fact! There are many Places to Visit in Trivandrum. The choice of Trivandrum Places to see should depend on your personal taste and preference.
As we said earlier, the city of Trivandrum is quite different from other cities in India. The Trivandrum Tourist Places are often rich in heritage and culture, calm, silent, and peaceful unlike other noisy commercial tourist places in India.
Here is the list of top Trivandrum Places that you should include in your Trivandrum trip itinerary.
A mention of Trivandrum Places does not feel complete without talking about this family beach in Trivandrum.
Located at a distance of 8kms from the center of the city, Shangumugham beach is a popular family destination and famous among Trivandrum Tourist Places. Its Matsya Kanya figure at the entrance of the beach adds to the beauty of this beach. This statue is a popular photograph spot too.
The beach is relatively less dense, unlike its other Trivandrum places that are occupied with tourists. This gives you ample space to relax and cherish the fresh breeze and gushing waves.
Things to do at Shangumugham Beach
- Enjoy the beauty of the sunset and sunrise.
- Play and relax with your friends and family.
- Enjoy the seafood at the restaurant on the beach.
- Spend fun time in water activities and games in the recreation club nearby
How to reach Shangumugham beach?
RTC buses are available from the central bus stand. You also can get autos and cabs to reach this place.
Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple
The main reason for the existence of this city in the world tourist map and Trivandrum Tourist Places is this gigantic and powerful temple. Located at a 5-minute walk to the Central Bus Stand of Trivandrum city, this is one of the top Trivandrum Places to see. The temple pond adds to the beauty of this place.
The idol of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy is huge, gigantic, and ushers’ powerful vibes. You shall have to take the darshan through three doors. The sanctum sanctorum has no electric lights like in many Hindu temples and the very sight of the huge idol in the magic of oil lamps will give goosebumps. It is an utmost pleasure and luck to visit this temple at least once in a lifetime.
Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple timings
The temple is open from morning 3.30 to 12 noon. After being closed for 5 hours, the temple reopens at 5 PM and is open till 7.20 at night.
Dress code at Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Ranking top among the Trivandrum Tourist Places, the temple follows a strict dress code.
- Men are supposed to wear a white or saffron dhoti (or mundu) and should not wear either shirt or banian on the top. Men should bare their torso before stepping into the temple.
- Women should be either in Salwar Kameez with a dupatta or wear saree, lehenga, and choli or half-saree. Girls below 12 years can wear frocks.
- If you could not pack the dhoti or saree and dupatta, you can rent them at the temple premises and must wear them before entering the temple.
How much time is taken to visit Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple?
The temple premises are huge and full of the softest sand all over. You will have to walk along the queues designated for darshan. On the whole, it takes around an hour to enjoy the darshan and the bliss offered by the divine vibes of the temple.
Things to do at Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple
- You can purchase the prasadam, calendars, and photo cards if they are available on the temple premises.
- In the evenings, cultural activities like classical dance and recitals are also organized during special occasions.
Shopping at Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple
You also find many shops outside the temple, where you can purchase many handicrafts, artworks, coir made items, and Kerala style dresses and sarees.
How to reach Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple?
As we talked about earlier, the temple is in very close proximity to the bus stand. All it takes is a 5-minute walk or a minute drive. You can also find many autos and state-run buses to reach this temple.
Widely hit by foreign tourists, Kovalam is the main feather in the cap of Trivandrum city. With the international craze it carries, Kovalam beach is the top among the Trivandrum places. The black soil, serene waters, and rock conglomerates make the views at this beach fabulous.
For those who are planning to get a sunbath here, let us assure you that this place is a perfect pick for you. With the tropical sun always smiling here, getting a tan is just a matter of minutes here.
How to reach Kovalam beach?
A most sought after one in the list of Trivandrum Tourist Place, there are many ways to reach Kovalam beach from Trivandrum. State-run buses are available directly to this beach and they are the most affordable option. You can also book a cab to reach this place.
Things to do at Kovalam beach
Kovalam beach is a great place for treating your body with ayurvedic massages. With an ample number of ayurvedic spas and massage centers, relaxing in an ayurvedic massage should be on the top of things to do at Kovalam.
- Kovalam is also main among Trivandrum places for adventurous activities. Cruising is the most popular activity here.
- Amongst all the beaches in Trivandrum, Kovalam beach is a hub of shopping. You can shop till you drop and buy many things including and not limited to shell-made items, Indian handicrafts, and textiles, coir made items, jewelry and fashion accessories, and many more.
- There is no dearth of restaurants and stays at Kovalam. Right from Indian cuisine to the international menu, restaurants here give you plenty of food choices. Candlelight dinner on this beach is one of the most romantic things that you can do at Kovalam.
Related: Top Beaches in Goa
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
Popular with its name as Sabarimala of Women, this temple is located near the Central Bus Stand, Trivandrum. This is one of the Trivandrum Places and is known for its international acclaim.
One of the popular Trivandrum Places, the temple is world-renowned for its Attukal Pongal festival where millions of women gather and prepare Pongal in the temple premises and offer it to the Goddess Attukal Bhagavathy Amman here.
Significance of Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
This temple holds immense significance in the culture and traditions of the Kerala people. It is so much revered that a visit to the Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple is considered incomplete, if you do not visit this temple.
The Bhagavathy Amman here, also called Attukal Devi, is none other than the VishnuMaya, a personification of the Maya that is displayed by Great Lord Vishnu. Locals believe that the Amman here is the protector of humankind in this Kali Yuga and destroys all the evil power.
Attukal bhagavathy temple timings
The temple remains open from 5-12.30 in the morning and re-opens at 5 in the evening and closes around 8.30. The timings may vary during festivals and days of religious importance.
Things to do at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
The very sight of Amman during the harathi time is surreal. The divine charm and the power have to be experienced during the harathi time. Besides, the harathi time is associated with the backdrop of the sound of drums and musical instruments. Being present in person in such a harathi moment is definitely a hair-raising experience.
- You can purchase prasadam and calendars, Kumkum, etc. from the temple premises. The temple also provides annadanam at lunchtime where the food served has an unbeatable taste.
- You should not miss tasting the free food here, not because it is free, but for the divine taste that you will never find elsewhere except in temples like this.
- This temple is also a popular spot for vehicle puja where owners bring their new vehicles for divine blessings soon after they purchase them.
How to reach Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
The temple is at a distance of 2kms to Padmanabha Swamy temple. Like most other Trivandrum Tourist Places, you can also find many autos and state-run buses to reach this temple.
One of the Trivandrum Tourist Places that shows you the great history of the city, Napier Museum is one of the Trivandrum places you should visit. You can find a natural history museum that explains in detail animal taxonomies.
The building of this museum was built in the 19th century. Named after Governor-General John Napier, this museum has preserved the evidence of the city’s history and heritage. You can find ivory made items, bronze idols, and ornaments that reflect history.
A special puppet show depicts the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics in a captivating way. Photography inside the museum is not allowed.
Things to do at Napier Museum
- Enjoy the marvelous construction of the building that has its own air conditioning feature
- See and learn from the historical treasures that have been preserved with care
- Enjoy the puppet show that teaches the epics in a catchy way
- Capture the best pics that are ready to share on your Instagram, as this post is one of the sought-after places for captivating photography in the city.
Napier Museum Timings
The museum is open from 10 in the morning to 4.45 in the evening. Wednesday mornings, and Mondays, and on national festivals, the museum remains closed.
How to reach Napier Museum
This museum is just 2km away from Central Railway Station. You can reach this either by auto, or cab.
Sprawling over 55 acres, this zoo is another important Trivandrum Tourist Place. It was built during the reign of Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, a ruler known for his illustriousness. The zoo is vast and homes more than 80 animal species. Most animals here have names.
You will have to walk for a long time to cover the whole of this zoo. So, suitable preparations are a must if you are planning to visit with kids. Separate sections for birds and reptiles are also present here.
How to reach Trivandrum zoo?
The zoo which is one of the Trivandrum places to visit is located at 3kms from the bus stand. You can easily find local autos and RTC buses to reach this zoo.
Trivandrum zoo timings
The zoo is closed on Mondays. Rest of the days, it stays open from 9 Am to 5.15 PM.
If you love seaside cliffs, then Varkala should top the list of Trivandrum places for you. This is the only beach in the city that offers fabulous views of the Arabian sea that you can enjoy from the cliffs. The beach is also called Papanasam beach. It is a popular choice for Hindus who believe in offering sacred rituals to their ancestors.
Things to do at Varkala
Varkala, which is popular among Trivandrum Tourist Places, has plenty of things that you can enjoy. Either you simply bask in the sun or relax at the beach playing with kids, the smooth white sands here let you do anything.
- The beach also has plenty of restaurants that serve both Kerala tastes and an international menu. It’s up to you to relish your favorite food by enjoying the sea views.
- There are ample spas and massage centers for getting a treat of ayurvedic rejuvenation therapies.
- Horse riding, boating, and parasailing are other popular activities here.
- You can also walk along the cliffs, do some shopping and sip in coconut water and sit there the whole day just wondering at the natural beauty of the place.
How to reach Varkala beach?
The beach is at 40kms from the bus stand. Thus, you have to count an hour to reach this place by a local rtc bus. You can easily find local autos and cabs, but they demand more as the distance is long.
Here comes the hill station, pretty and cute, compared to other hill stations of Kerala. Covered with dense forests and promising you the freshest of air, Ponmudi is located at 60kms from the city.
Ponmudi tops the Trivandrum Places if you are in a mood to set on an adventure. The road to the top of the hill is full of bends and all that you can see is endless trees that appear like touching the sky. On the other side lies the deep valley whose sight will take your breath away.
Once you reach the top, the freshest and the coolest air that strikes your nostrils is something you will have to experience in person. Ponmudi is the top choice among Trivandrum Places for both honeymooners and lovers.
Things to do at Ponmudi
Trekking, bird watching, and enjoying the views of the sunset from here
How to reach Ponmudi
Only by private vehicle – car or bike. There is accommodation available on the way to the hill, but you should check the availability before you head off for a night stay at Ponmudi.
A majestic construction that stands as a living proof of the Travancore kings, Padmanabhapuram palace is one of the top Trivandrum places that you should not miss.
The name of the palace originates from the fact that King Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma who ruled Travancore from 1729-1758, and the founder of modern Travancore, dedicated his kingdom to the Lord Vishnu. He considered himself as the servant of the Great Lord Padmanabha. Thus, he called his place Padmanabhapuram.
You will be amazed by the construction and the arrangements in the palace. The palace has a clock tower, meeting hall, resting and study rooms. You will even find many warfare items stored with care in the wooden cabinets. The walls are adorned with paintings that reflect those royal times.
Things to do at Padmanabhapuram Palace
- See the antique items, brass utensils, dresses, weapons, and many more that were used by Travancore kings.
- Marvel at the beauty of the paintings and adornments that are on display.
How to reach Padmanabhapuram palace?
The palace is not exactly on the premises of the city. It is on the way to Kanyakumari, and you have to travel around 50kms from Trivandrum.
Thus, you can visit this place as a full day trip or while returning from Kanyakumari too. But trust us, the palace is best explored when you are full of energy as it is very wide and takes a lot of time to cover all the fascinating aspects of the Travancore kings’ lifestyle.
Padmanabhapuram Palace timings
It is open from 9 AM to 4.30 PM. Monday, the palace remains closed.
If you are a shopping freak, here is where you should head to while in Trivandrum. Chalai Bazar is one of the famous Trivandrum places. Here you find everything Kerali! Right from Nilgiri Tea to coir made items, fruits, and jewelry, this is just a heaven for shoppers.
You can grab good bargains on any item. You can explore multiple shops before you finally settle on one.
How to reach Chalai Bazaar?
The RTC buses stop in front of the entrance of this bazaar. You also find many autos to reach this market.
Also called Anchuthengu Fort, this is a monument that was built during British times. This is one among the top places to visit in Trivandrum. This serene place is located near Varkala. Makes a great choice to explore the heritage of Trivandrum. The fort also offers enthralling views of beaches and backwaters.
How to reach Anjengo fort?
You can easily reach this fort from Varkala beach by auto.
Neyyar Dam is a popular picnic destination and scenic spot from among Places to visit in Trivandrum. The dam is a gravity-based one and is a haven for Nilgiri langur and Sambar deer among many other species. This is one of the serene Trivandrum places that you should not miss.
Things to do at Neyyar Dam
- Neyyar Dam is one of the places to visit in Trivandrum where you can find yoga retreats and ayurvedic therapy centers.
- Boating is also available at this dam.
- There are food joints available around this place.
- Elephant riding and a lake garden make this place a popular picnic spot for families.
How to reach Neyyar Dam?
You can find RTC buses from the central bus stand. A cab or a private auto may also be available but may cost higher.
Long drives places from Trivandrum
Apart from the top these places to visit in Trivandrum mentioned above, you can also explore the following places from the city:
- Puthenthope beach
Life in Thiruvananthapuram
Trivandrum is unlike any other metropolitan city of India. The places to visit in Trivandrum offer a nostalgia. The people here adhere to the strict timings and wrap up their day faster before it gets dark. You rarely find nightlife in Trivandrum. With its greenery and silent life, Trivandrum is a place for all those who want to live in a city that offers plenty of village ambiance.