A culturally rich district dotted with historic landmarks, pristine sandy beaches, age-old temples, churches and more, Thiruvananthapuram has much to offer tourists who want to check out the place. But if you are wondering how to go about it, a 48-hour plan can be made to cover the best of the best the district has to offer. The first day includes visits to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kuthira Malika, Shangumugham Beach, Veli Tourist Village, Kovalam, the museum, and the zoo. The second day can be reserved for sightseeing in Neyyar and Ponmudi. As part of the trip, let us also savour some unique flavours of Ananthapuri.
Museum and zoo
In Thiruvananthapuram city, everyone heads to the museum ground to enjoy a breath of fresh air. The tree shade, grass, and pavilions surrounding the Napier Museum provide respite from the scorching afternoon sun. Built in 1885 and named after the British Governor Napier, the museum features a design by the renowned architect Robert Chisholm. It houses ancient jewellery, paintings of the Mughal and Thanjavur royals, as well as handicrafts in ivory and metal, among other artifacts. shade. Home to wild animals like tigers, lions, langurs, rhinos, zebras, and bison, the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo attracts crowds the most during holidays. Near the zoo is the art gallery where Ravi Varma's paintings are displayed.
Museum visiting hours: 10 am – 4.45 pm. Phone: 0471 231829.
Zoo visiting hours: 9 am – 5.15 pm. Phone: 0471 2316275.
Maharaja Swathi Thirunal built a two-storied palace opposite Padmatheerthakulam and named it Puthan Malika. The palace roof is supported by 122 horses carved out of wood. This is why it is known as Kuthira Malika. It is now a history museum as well. The courtyard of Kuthira Malika is where the Navaratri music festival takes place. The size of the paintings inside the palace is truly astonishing. The thrones, which are the most precious possession in the palace, are an amazing sight.
The road leading south from the courtyard of Kuthira Malika takes one to the Krishnapuram palace. If you walk a little further from the front of Kalari and take the path to the left, you will reach Rangavilasam Palace. Krishnapuram and Rangavilasam were the official residences of the kings. Chitralaya Art Gallery is situated here.
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum timings: 8:30 am to 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Closed on Mondays)
The Ponmudi mountain range is a tourist destination that Malayalis rely on during the hot summer. The road to Ponmudi has 22 hairpin bends. The resting place is Top Station. The trekking season of Ponmudi is from November to May. Prior permission should be obtained from the Forest Office to undertake trekking.
Ponmudi: 0472 2890230 (guest house). For room booking call: 0471 2327366
Route: Thiruvananthapuram to Nedumangad, Chullimanoor, Vithura, Theviyod, Golden Valley, hairpin bends, Ponmudi - 67 km.
Hawah Beach is the nickname of the Kovalam seashore. The beach got its name Hawah Beach as, in older times, foreign women who came to Kovalam used to sunbathe topless. However, this is a story from 50 years ago. Kovalam, which became a tourist centre before Malayalis took to travelling, is still famous internationally. For Malayalis, Kovalam is special for its facility to cruise in the sea in a speedboat. The rocky coast provides a place for tourists to sit and enjoy the evenings and mornings.
Because of the rocky coast, the waves are less powerful here. Visitors can get into the water and swim with confidence. Lifeguards are on standby round the clock to prevent accidents. The lighthouse stands tall to illuminate the coast. Kovalam is also famous for its massage parlours and shopping centres. Kovalam Beach is 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram city. The visiting season is from September–May.
To celebrate the second day of the city tour, set out in the morning for Neyyar. You should reach the Neyyar Dam by 10 o'clock. You can enter the park after buying the pass. The first place to visit could be the area where crocodiles are kept. The Neyyar Crocodile Park is world-famous for protecting the reptilians. The crocodiles are housed inside an enclosure with waist-high cement walls and iron netting over it. Crocodiles caught from the Neyyar Dam are kept here. Another sight is an enclosure where snakes are kept and a nest where parrots are housed.
The Boat House is opposite the Crocodile Park and there is a boat service to Lions Park from here. The lions are housed on a small island in the middle of the dam. A boat trip through the valley of the mountain situated on the slope of the Neyyar Dam, through which elephants come down from the forest, takes visitors to the Lions Park.
Neyyar: 32 km from Thiruvananthapuram (Thirunelly, Malayinkeezhu, Kattakkada, Neyyar).
Phone: 0471 2360762. 0471 2272182 (Lions Park).
Shangumugham, Veli Tourist Village
Shangumugham is a favourite location for both locals and foreigners. Huge crowds of people visit Veli Beach for the Arattu Utsavam, which is associated with the festival at the Padmanabhaswamy temple. The statue of the mermaid here is famous. Veli is the coast where the Veli Lake merges with the Arabian Sea. After Veli was declared a tourist village, it was thronged by visitors every evening. The airport of the Indian Air Force is near the Veli Tourist Village. The water skating training school has made Veli more popular. The star-rated seafood restaurant, which has a host of culinary offers, opens up a new world of flavours to the tourists who come to Veli.
Veli Tourist Village visiting times: 9 am to 6 pm. For more information, call: 0471 2500785. The place is 8 km from Thiruvananthapuram Railway Station.
Seafood at Sagara
Sagara is a restaurant that serves all kinds of seafood. Prawn curry in coconut milk infused with mango, squid perattu, fried squid, cuttlefish, mackerel, trevally, squid, pearl spot, pomfret, anchovy... dishes of just about every kind of fish from the sea are available at Sagara. Twenty types of fish curry are made ready every day by 10 am. The Sagara style is different from the Central Travancore style of eating fish with the meal. Different types of fish curries are available to go with dosa or parotta. Tapioca and Malabar fish curry are ready early in the morning. Phone: 0471 2333434.
Thiruvananthapuram's love for the evening tea time can be experienced in front of the vada shops of Kizhakkekotta. Uzhunnu vada, parippu vada, madura vada, sukhian, and neyyappam are the snacks for the evening tea. One can order tea of one’s choice such as light tea, medium tea, strong tea, black tea, hot coffee, filter coffee, strong coffee with less water, or black coffee.
Bamboo rice and other delicacies Narayana Bhavan
Narayana Bhavan is an establishment near the Secretariat serving hot local eats. This is a restaurant where you can get bamboo biryani and 'cool rice,' which is prepared with the previous day's leftover rice gruel with delicious side dishes. Other dish varieties at Narayana Bhavan include touchings, special chicken varattu, chicken perattu, and beef roast. Phone: 9447248923.
Combine these spots
You can consider travelling by combining the visit to tourist centres in and around Thiruvananthapuram city as mentioned below. It is a travel plan that focuses on ease of travel and time-saving.
Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple (The city is named after the deity), Kuthira Malika, Shangumugham Beach, Veli Tourist Village, and the museum. If you start at 8 am, you can return by 1 pm after visiting all these places.
Museum, zoo, Art Gallery, Kuthira Malika, Kovalam Beach, Padmanabha Swamy Temple. Start at 1.30 pm and return by 7 pm.
Padmanabhapuram Palace (Closed on Mondays). Suchindram Temple, Vivekanandappara, Kanyakumari Temple, Wax Museum. Start at 7 am and return by 9 pm.
Koyikkal Palace: Museum (Closed on Mondays), Golden Valley, Ponmudi. Start at 8.15 am and return by 4 pm.
Neyyar Dam, Kappukadu Elephant Sanctuary. Monday is a holiday. Start at 7.45 am and return by 1.15 pm.
Santhigiri Ashram, Sivagiri Mutt, Varkala Beach. Start at 2 pm and return by 8.30 pm.
Kovalam Beach. Start at 4.30 pm and return by 7.30 pm