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Padmanabhapuram Palace is located close to the town of Thuckalay, about 50km (30 miles) southeast of Trivandrum. The palace was constructed around 1601 by Iravipillai Iravivarma Kulasekhara Perumal who ruled the state of Travancore between 1592 and 1609. From 1590 to 1790, the state was run from here before it was moved to Trivandrum and so the palace lost its former glory. However, the palace complex is regarded to be the best example of traditional Keralan architecture, and some portions of the sprawling complex are also the hall mark of traditional Kerala style building art.
Laid out in a sequence of four adjoining walled compounds, comprising public and private zones, the palace has richly carved wooden ceilings, sculpted pillars, slatted windows, and pagoda-like tiled roofs. The palace complex consists of several structures: Mantrasala (King's Council Chamber); Thai Kottaram (Mother's Palace - believed to have been constructed before 1550); Nataksala (Hall of Performance), a four-storeyed building at the centre of the Palace complex and Thekee Kottaram (Southern Palace).
Even though the palace is a bit out of the way, it shouldn't be missed and can be visited by taking a Kanyakumari bound bus from Trivandrum where you should get off at Thuckalay.
Open: 9am-1pm & 2-4.30pm every day except Mondays. Admission: Rs50 & Rs25 for camera.
Written Sep 24, 2009
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.
Written Sep 23, 2009
Sankhumugham Beach is very near to Trivandrum Internationa Airport and 8 kms away from the Trivandrum city. Sunset watching is interesting to viewers. An indoor recreation club, the matsya kanyaka \mermaid ( sculpture made by famous Kanayi Kunjuraman) and restaurant shaped like a star fish are some of the attractions.
Written May 25, 2009
Aruvikkara \ Aruvikkara Dam
This famous pilgrim centre surrounded by beautiful scenery and has an ancient Bhagavthi Temple built on rock. The spot houses the temple, with a rock cut shrine dedicated to goddess Durga Bhagavathy, the divine embodiment of female power.
It is situates on the bank of the river Karmana, which is filled with large number of fishes which are fed by the devotees.
The famous Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram is located here. This is both a pilgrim centre and a picnic spot which is located 30 kms away from the Thiruvananthapuram city.
Updated May 25, 2009
Attukal Bhagavathy temple, situated 4 km from trivandrum city, is one of the ancient temple of kerala becomes alive with joyous celebrations on the Bharani day in Kumbhom (February- March).This festival is known as Attukal Ponkala. This festival begins with a Thottampattu (a song about Bhagavathy – the goddess), which goes on during all the nine days. On the ninth day, several thousands of women assemble in the temple compound with ponkala pots and it is an offfering ususally made in Bhagavathy temples, prepared in the form of pudding by cooking rice, jaggery, coconut kernel and plantain fruits in varying combinations. After the head priest has blessed the ponkalas, the Devi is taken in procession to Manacaud Sastha Temple accompanied by caparisoned elephants. The Attukal Temple is also known as the Sabarimala of women, as women form major of devotees.
The Pongala Mahotsavam is the most important festival of Attukal Bhagavathy Temple. The offering of Pongala is a special temple practice prevalent in the southern part of Kerala and some parts of Tamilnadu. It is a ten-day programme commencing on the Karthika star of the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (February-March) and closing with the sacrificial offering known as Kuruthitharpanam at night. On the ninth day of the festival the world famous Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam takes place. The entire area of about 5 kilometre radius around temple with premises of houses of people of all caste, creed and religion, open fields, roads, commercial institutions, premises of Government offices etc. emerges as a consecrated ground for observing Pongala rituals for lakhs of women devotees assembling from different parts of Kerala and outside. The ceremony is exclusively confined to women folk and the enormous crowd, which gathers in Thiruvananthapuram on this auspicious day is reminiscent of the Kumbhamela Festival of North India.
Devi ATTUKALAMMA is considered as the incarnation of 'Kannaki', the heroine of 'Silappathikaram' by Tamil Poet Illango in 2nd century A.D and Attukal is one of the places where Kannaki took rest on her journey northward from Madurai to Kodungallur.
Updated May 24, 2009
Thiruvallam Backwaters is situated 13kms away from Trivandrum. Killi and Karamana are the two rivers that come together at Thiruvallam. A temple named Parashurama Swami Kshetra is located on the bank of river. Exotic flowers, vegetation, water birds and others are all there to share scenic beauty of Thiruvallam Back waters.
Written May 24, 2009
This large dam surrounded by gardens and part and wildlife santuary is an ideal picnic spot. (..read more aboout it in my State of Kerala page).
Neyyar Dam is a sparking bluelake within 30 Kms distance from the capital city Trivandrum.
The dam is a part Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and also there was rearest medicinal herbs. A crocodile breeding centre and lion safari park are also located close to the dam.
Updated May 24, 2009
Peppara Dam is constructed across Karamana river. The forests of peppara Wildlife sanctuary is a hilly area with elevation varying from 100 mts to 1717mts. There are 13 tribal settlements in the sancturay. A number of major mammals including lion tailed.
Macaque, Nilgiri lagur, Malabar squirreletc.,water birds and many kinds of snakes, variety of moths butterflies are present in this sanctuary.
Written May 24, 2009
A 40 Km drive from trivandrum along the MC Road (NH 47) will take you to Kilimanoor. Before reaching the junction turn to the right ...opposite the old police station. As you go along the road on your left you will see the Tamburati Para (Literally translated as The Queens Hill). Down below you will see the river and a temple. It is nice place to spend the day (Be sure to pack some eatables and to carry some towels). You can be in the water with only the nature around you ...it is an ideal spot for picnic...you may at times find some locals as your company...
Avoid night travels to this place....
Written Aug 31, 2007
this is a festival which has entered the guiness records for the sheer number of women taking part in a religious gathering. All party, all religion', all women festival where roads and bylanes within a ten km radius from the temple are invaded by women with makeshift kilns made of bricks and firewood from dried coconut leaves .
women after a month long penance take part in this festival by cooking rice and related sweets which are offered as prasadam to attukal devi.This takes place in the month of kumbham (february-march). this is the culmination of a ten day long festivities .This year pongala offering is on march 3rd.
Updated Mar 3, 2007
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