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Trivandrum (Malayalam: Tiruva antapuram) has been recently renamed to Thiruvananthapuram. It is the capital city of one of the most beautiful south-Indian states, Kerala. Trivandrum has been helmed the name of the City of Seven Hills owing to the fact that the city has been built along the sea-shore over the seven aligned hills. It is one of ancient and heritage-rich cities of India and thus, numerous temples and palaces adorn the place.
Trivandrum – City of Seven Hills
Thiruvananthapuram also houses remarkable British colonial architecture. The Puthenmalika palace, which was once the abode of the Travancore royal family, is a magnificent structure comprising of exquisite wall-carvings and statues. The city of Trivandrum was founded by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma. The official languages are Malayalam and English but local people speak Hindi and Tamil as well.
Trivandrum is the political ganglion of the state of Kerala and home of central and state government offices and organisations. It is a popular and people’s favourite destination for both domestic and international tourists. Trivandrum is one of the perfect examples of the amalgamation of the beauty of nature mixed and the grandeur of human creations. It has hills, backwaters, beaches, greenery and marvellous architectural splendors! It is also a major educational hub of the country. Premiere Indian institutes like ISRO are present here.
If you are looking for some fine stone work or cultural heritage around Kerala, the city of seven hills is sure to suffice your cravings. The city provides treat to the eyes at every corner. The five major and most popular points of interest around the city are:
The proper name being Sree Padmanabhaswamy, this temple primarily worships the Hindu Almighty, Lord Vishnu. Padmanabhaswamy temple presents a picturesque work of Dravidian architecture (Kovli) and is an outstanding specimen of fusion art that includes the indigenous Kerala style mixed with the Dravidian style. This type of style mainly features high walls and a 16th century Gopuram. The temple enshrines Lord Vishnu in his eternal sleep posture or “Anantha Shayanam”. Inside the temple, there are two other shrines – Thekkedom for deity Urga Narasimha and Thiruvambadi for Lord Krishna. There are huge idols of Hanuman and Garuda around the Valiya Balikkal area. The presence of such gigantic statues and sculptures rightfully makes Trivandrum the city of statues.
The Kowdiar Palace was built in 1934 for the occasion of wedding of Maharaja Sree Chthira Thirunal’s sister. It is famous for its architectural works and has about 150 rooms. However, entry to this splendid palace is restricted, Kowdiar being the private residence of the royal family settled in Trivandrum. For people with an affinity towards studying ancient Indian culture and heritage, the Kowdiar Palace is a must visit for them.
Established in 1855, the Napier museum is basically an art and natural history museum. The architectural masterpiece was a brainchild of the consulting Architect of Madras govt., Robert Chisholm. It is also regarded as a city landmark and is a primary sight-seeing destination among the tourists. The main attraction of the museum is the unique work of ornamentation of the minarets and the gothic-styled roof. The unique Indo-saracenic structure acts as a natural air conditioning system which endows a comfortable atmosphere to the place.
Palkulangara Devi Temple:
It is a Hindu temple about 1.5km to the west of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. It is one of the most glorious temples of Kerala and an excellent specimen of the the culture of ancient South India. The temple is a marvellous example of Kerala’s Vastu Vidya. The principle deity is Goddess Durga who is worshipped here in her Durgabhagavathi avatar. Palkulangara Temple is perhaps one of those essentital assests of Thiruvananthapuram that makes the place so grand yet so serene.
The Malankara Church loacted at Changanacherry in Trivandrum is a church of Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala. It is commonly called the Indian Orthodox Church and is one of the ancient churches established in India in as early as the 1st Century. Founded by Saint Thomas the Apostle, the Malankar Church is a pure blend of Christian tradition and ancient foreign architecture in India.
The beauty of Thiruvananthapuram doesn’t end here and there are several other places of interest like the Thiruvananthapuram zoo, the Vellayani Lake, etc. Trivandrum is truly a wonderful place to visit if you are planning for a long trip. It is refreshing as well as enriching.