Travancore Heritage Tourism Project promises to liven up the nightlife of the capital city

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The name Kerala invokes images of a quaint land serene with endless greenery, lakes, and mountains. There is something very pious and innocent about this God’s own country. The vibe you get in Kerala is different from what you get in Bangalore, Mumbai, or Dubai. But the face of our little Kerala will soon change; the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram is all set to be transformed with an array of colorful light and vibrant streets at night. Soon Thiruvanthapuram will be a city that will not sleep.

The tourism department is gearing up to make nightlife in the capital more vibrant as part of the Travancore Heritage Project, which was inaugurated last March. As part of the first phase, facade lighting will be installed at about 30 heritage sites in the city. Tourists can also walk or drive through these places at night. It is hoped that this will pave the way for a dream-like nightlife along with the protection of heritage institutions.

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A total of Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for the Travancore Heritage Project. The first phase will see the inauguration of the facade lights at the Martyrs' Hall on November 1 by Tourism Minister Mohammad Riyas. Steels Industries Kerala Limited is responsible for the implementation of the project.

The total cost of the first phase is expected to be around Rs 35 crore. Facade lighting will be themed on the various festivals in Kerala depending on the season. Recently, a similar lighting system was installed in Jaipur. This is the first such experiment in Kerala. The project is expected to be completed within eight months. Tourists visiting the tourist spots at night can visit various heritage sites and spend time near them till midnight.

In addition to the Martyrs' Hall, the Public Office, Trida, Police Headquarters, Napier Museum, Kanakakunnu Palace, Kerala Museum, Muscat Hotel, PMG Building, CSI Church, LMS Women's Hostel, Fine Arts College, Central Library, Government College Hostel, CSI College, Department of Sanskrit, University College, St. Joseph's Cathedral,  Palayam Juma Masjid, Sree Shakti Vinayaka Temple, VJT Hall, AGS Office, Kannimara Market, East Fort, Vettimuricha Fort, Srivaraham Fort, Sundaravilasam and West Fort will be the places where Facade lighting will be available in the coming months.

Despite being a city located in the Technopark, one of the largest IT parks in the country, Nightlife has always been alien to the city dwellers. It has long been the need of the younger generation, including techies, to make Thiruvananthapuram's nightlife as vibrant as other metro cities. This dream will come true with the implementation of the project.

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If you are new to the city, here are a few places to visit
Napier Museum
: If you are interested to learn about the Indo-Saracenic architectural style, created by British architect Robert Chisholm, do visit the Napier Museum in Trivandrum. With its impressive architectural design featuring minarets, a Gothic roof, and a natural conditioning system, the museum is one of the hidden treasures of Trivandrum. Home to the art collection of Raja Rama Varma and works of Russian philosopher Nicolas Roerich, the museum also features an impressive collection of ancient artifacts, bronze idols, and temple chariots.

Kuthira Malika Palace: Built in the 1840s by the great Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, the Kuthira Malika Palace stands as an iconic monument that gives you a curious insight into the glorious history of Kerala. 'Kuthira Malika' literally translates to 'Mansion of horses', and it has been named so because of the 122 horses that adorn the many pillars that support the southern roof of this majestic structure.

Kannakakkunu Palace: Kannakakkunu Palace hosts the All-India Dance Festival which is conducted annually from March to October, attracting visitors from around the world. The palace, surrounded by a beautiful landscape characterized both by lush vegetation and rocky mountains, was originally built to entertain the guests of the royal family. Today, this heritage monument is an architectural treasure and one of the last visual witnesses to the grand Raj era.

Poovar: One of the main tourist attractions around Trivandrum which is popular among the tourists for its golden sandy beach. The beach is clean and a great spot to have some fun time with family. You can relax or play beach volleyball with your family or friends here.

Padmanabhapuram Palace: Located 64 km from Thiruvananthapuram in Thuckalay, this 16th-century palace quenches the thirst of art lovers. This fascinating structure has a special air about it. The rosewood carved ceilings and a fine collection of paintings make it one of the best specimens of Kerala. Serenaded with fine décor, this palace displays coloured mica windows, antique furniture, and Chinese carvings. Ceilings are carved with 90 different floral designs and the Durbar Hall has a glossy floor. Pictures of Lord Krishna, brass lanterns, mural paintings, and a four-poster medicinal bed add grace to the King’s bedroom. Details like the earthen urns, swimming bath, dance hall, fish carvings on ceilings, Belgian mirrors, 17th, and 18th-century frescoes, and Saraswathi Temple sum up to a pleasant structure. By the way, the climax portions of the iconic Manichithrathazhu were shot here.

Priyadarshini Space Planetarium: Ranked among the most versatile planetariums in India, the Priyadarshini Space Planetarium was opened to the public in 1994. It is fitted with advanced equipment that allows the projection of all the constituents of the universe. This planetarium imparts valuable knowledge about the earth and the enormous universe that we all are part of. Simulating the star-studded night sky on any earth location is its most attractive feature. The museum is situated on the campus of the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum. Blessed with a unique blend of architecture, it is oriented horizontally which has a dome-type ceiling used as a screen for the images of celestial bodies. Astronomical phenomena are projected with the help of an ocular device. There is a sky theatre, where several planetarium shows are conducted. One of the major shows held here is ‘The Man and the Universe’, displaying evolving stages of astronomy, the constitution of planets, and finally the origin of the Universe. There are also other shows that display the birth and life of a star, including some special events for groups.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary: Located 50 kilometers northwest of Trivandrum, it sits in an idyllic spot, overlooking rocky mountains and the Karamana river. Rich in biodiversity, the sanctuary is especially renowned for its mammalian fauna: tigers, leopards, bears, elephants, and the Nilgiri Thar are some of the examples. Visitors enjoy the trek to the enchanting forest areas, Bonafallas, and the powerful Kalarkad waterfalls. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for all nature lovers.

Magic Planet: This magic-themed park located at the Kinfra Film and Video Park boasts of innovative facilities and promises to be a revelation for the young generation and is, dedicated entirely to the improvement of India’s street magicians. The complex is spread over 75 acres, will house numerous attractions including a museum, an underground tunnel, a mirror maze, shadow plays, a virtual supermarket to build mathematical skills, a children’s park, a food court, theaters for live performances and an R&D center.

Sree Chitra Art Gallery: One of the major things to do in Trivandrum is visiting the Sree Chitra Art Gallery. This art gallery was opened in 1934 by the Maharaja of Travancore Sri Chitra Thirunal. You can see some interesting artwork that will give you an insight into the kingdom of Travancore as well as the state of Kerala.

Hawa Beach: Hawa Beach is also called Eve's Beach. This scenic place is ideal for travellers looking for secluded and tranquil stretches of sandy shores. Hawa Beach and Kovalam Beach are separated from each other by a foreland called Edakallu. It offers one of the most beautiful sunset views from this headland.

Also, visit their iconic Indian Coffee house and shop at the Mall of Trivandrum. 

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