Built around the 16th century , the Padmanabhapuram Palace is indeed a spectacular place to visit in Kerala.Actually the six-and-a-half acres of land on which the palace complex is built is situated in the State of Tamil Nadu. But by a pact this land is controlled by the Government of Kerala.You will need half a day to see this marvellous palace and learn about Kerala architecture and culture.
This is the single most important site in the city.The temple dates back to the 11th century and additions took place as late as the 18th century when the Travancore ruler Marthanda Varma added the thirty metre tall Gopuram. Last year some of the secret vaults were opened for the first time to reveal an astounding treasure trove of gold worth over 20 Billion dollars !Things have not been the same eversince. Now there is round the clock presence of police and commandos with their assault rifles all around the temple premises.The highest court in India - The Supreme Court of India is directing the governing body in listing and safe keeping of the gold.
This large temple was built by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1733. It has a splendid seven storeyed, 35m (100ft) high gopuram (tower), that dates from 1604, with numerous pillars, intricate carvings and mural paintings. This is the only place where Lord Vishnu (Padmanabha) is enshrined in the yoganidra (eternal sleep) posture. The Temple has been historically significant as the spiritual haven of Travancore kings. The huge idol resides on the holy serpent Anantha, with the head on the southern side, the feet towards the north and the navel with Lord Brahma in the middle. Unfortunately, only Hindu's are allowed inside the temple.
Kerala is home to Ayuervedic Medicine. In places like Kovalam, treatments (massages) are offered for Rs 500, but I tried that and was quite disapointed. I went to a "proper" Ayuervidic Centre in Trivandrum - and had very good treatment. The doctor will see you first, and then the treatment (eg rejuvinating massage) is given by two therapists (masseus).
Name of the place:
Rs 1000 per hour
This is one of the oldest museums in India. The original museum was built in 1857, it was later demolished and the current building constructed in 1880. It houses a vast display of Kerala treasures & antiques.
Set in the observatory gardens the architecture is stunning. There are minarets, gothic roofs and stained glass windows, all in a variety of colours.
The zoo is situated in the gardens that house the Art Gallery and Napier Museum. In the zoo you'll find many different types of animals, birds and reptiles. Species local to India and many from overseas. I'm not really a fan of zoos, but the place seemed very popular with locals who looked to be enjoying it.
The admission was Rs 10 with an extra Rs 25 to pay if you're carrying a camera.
This should not be included under a Trivandrum tip.It is in Tamil Nadu really but it is easily accessible from trivandrum, 63km and was the seat of the travancore rulers.
Compared to other palaces in India, palaces in Kerala are not all impressive from the outside.Once inside the sheer beauty of wooden carvings the environment friendly designs and the floors take your breath away.This is an architectural student's delight.I know carpenters who go there to get inspiration from the exotic mahogany and assorted carvings
The palace is undergoing renovation now but worth a visit.
Kerala Secretariat, the seat of administration of the state, is a mighty white-washed Victorian structure located at Statue Junction in the city centre. The construction was started during the period of His Highness Ayilyam Tirunal, the then Maharaja of Travancore and was completed in 1869. The building is a classical example of British colonial architecture and was designed by Barton, a British chief engineer. The crowning of His Highness Chithira Tirunal, the last king of Travancore, was held here. The assembly hall, now a historical monument, attached to the Secretariat complex, was inaugurated in 1936. Visitors are allowed only after 15.00 hrs with an entry pass.
Victoria Jubilee Town Hall, popularly known as VJT Hall, was built to commemorate the golden jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1896. Even today, this colonial structure has retained all its glory and is one of the most sought-after centres for exhibitions and cultural get-togethers.
This statue of Pattom A Thanu Pillai (1885-1970) stands outside the Victoria Jubilee Town Hall. He was a participant in the Indian independence movement who later served as the Chief Minister of Kerala from February 22, 1960 to September 25, 1962.
This monument is located to the side of the Palayam Juma Mosque and commemorates "The heroic patriots who gave their lives in the struggle for the freedom of India". It was unveiled by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of India on 14th August 1957.
This beautiful mosque is situated at Palayam, one of the busiest places in the city. It is reminiscent of the Islamic style of architecture prevalent in south India. The mosque, St Joseph’s Cathedral and Ganesh Temple co-exist next to each other presenting the perfect example of religious harmony of Kerala. The mosque and the temple share the same wall, and the church is across the road.
This Roman Catholic Church, built in 1927, is among the two churches in the city where Pope John Paul II conducted holy sermon while he visited Kerala. The architectural style of the church is a simple Victorian theme. The cathedral has a large statue of Jesus Christ on the top of the tower.
Founded in 1888 by His Highness Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma, the College of Fine Arts is affiliated to the University of Kerala. It was first known as H. H. The Maharaja’s School of Arts, Travancore. The college has three main departments - painting, sculpture, applied art.
This library is believed to be the first public library in India and was established in 1829 during the reign of His Highness Sree Swathi Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore. The work of starting and organising the Library was entrusted to Col. Edward Cadogan, then the British Resident who was the grandson of Sir Hans Sloane, the founder of the British Museum. His Highness Sree Moolam Thirunal constructed the present building in 1900 for housing the library, which is in the Gothic style, in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.