Festival: Attukal Pongala
Every year the annual Pongala is held in the month of Feb-March. Lakhs of women throng the city of trivandrum and they make the sweet payasam on the streets across a 3 km radius on the 9th day of the Attukal Bhagawati Temple festival. The year 2006 saw over 15 Lakh devotees from all across kerala who came to perform the ritual, this was a guiness book record for the maximum number of devotees in a day.
As the days approach and people get ready for the festival, one can find the pot vendors shops coming up about a week before the Pongala day. The streets are dotted by a large number of pots arranged one over the other, the business during this time is good.
Two to three days before the festival starts, people would start coming to the city from far flung areas of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. They would occupy the nearest place available to the temple and guard it so that on the day of the pongala they would be able to receive the blessings of the preist. The later you come the farther you will be from the temple as the nearby places would all be occupied.
It is a festival for women and it is widely beleived that the Godess Bhagwati can make your wishes come true if you participate in this festival.
Sreepadam Palace/Post Office
This wonderful looking building, built in 1815 by the British in a colonial style, is located just to the west of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Today it's the rather impressive home of a post office complete with different coloured post-boxes out front.
Ambrosia, being the only fast food outlet in the town is always crowded. This is what prompted me to also visit the restaurant. The restaurant is centrally located at the Bakery Junction. The ambience as i entered was pleasant. The service staff were kind enough to show me a table.
I ordered Burgers, Pizza and French Fries. The french fries were soggy, the pizza base was a soft bread, and the burger tasted awful. Overall it was a disappointment. We could'nt finish our order and had to leave and move out.
Considering that ambrosia is the only fast food outlet, i guess it is a nice place to spent some time.
if you have time to explore the area around kovalam you will find beautiful secluded beaches, scenery and you can meet local people .
vizhinjam harbour is an active fishing harbour. Sleepy during afternoons it wakes up in the evening with fishermen going to the sea and coming back early morning with their catch.
on days when sky is clear you can see parts of western ghats in the background.
A one day trek is organised which has to be booked in advance. The booking cost is 200 Rs per person with a minimum of 10 people. The trek includes a 9 Km boat ride and a trek of 12 kms. lunch is included and you can reach the foothills of Agastyakoodam, the second tallest peak in Kerala (1565 m). The 12Km trek is through the dense forests and you may encounter wild animals. The sanctuary is famous for elephants, tiger, porcupines, deer etc.
Bookings to be done at Neyyar Wild Life Information Center.