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Thiruvananthapuram
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Thiruvananthapuram which was previously called Trivandrum is an ancient city with tradition dating back to 1000 BC. Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Raja of Travancore in 1750. The city gets its name from the word, Thiru-anantha-puram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of the sacred Serpent Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines. Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland spreading over a total of 2,192sq.km. The city is characterized by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills with narrow winding lanes and busy commercial alleys. The best season to visit Thiruvananthapuram is during September to May. King Marthandavarma, the erstwhile founder of Travancore made Thiruvananthapuram his capital. After Marthandavarma, it remained the capital of Travancore and after independence, became the capital of State of Travancore-Cochin. In 1956, when Kerala state was formed, Thiruvananthapuram was again chosen as the capital of Kerala. Being the state capital, it also throbs with political activity. Thiruvananthapuram and its famous beaches are one of the top tourist destinations in India. Thiruvananthapuram derives its name from the deity at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, which is the most recognisable icon of the city, nearly 2000 years old. The city has grown as a tourist and commercial centre, with the International airport becoming the main gateway into Kerala.

The Places of Interest:

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple - The imposing 18 feet long idol of Lord Vishnu in his Sheshashayana (recline on the serpent, Shesha) is reminiscent of Sage Vilvamangalam's first spectacle. The sprawling temple holds the key to the city's very essence.

East Fort - Preserved inside its walls, the East Fort holds the heritage of the royal family of Travancore and their golden history resounds in the premises. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is situated inside the confines of this fort.

Science & Technology Museum - In the year 1984, the government decided to build the Science and Technology Museum in the heart of the city with an aim at inculcating the younger generation's scientific temperament and spirit of enquiry.

Government Museum - In 1857, the Government built this repository of art and architecture. Also called Napier Museum, it houses innumerable artifacts such as ivory carvings, paintings, bronze and stone carvings and idols.

Sri Chitra Arts Gallery - This houses a collection of famous and ancient masterpieces including Raja Ravi Verma's original oil paintings and ancient Tanjore miniature paintings among others.

Zoological Gardens - The zoo and marine aquarium of Trivandrum is a recreational and educative project. The natural habitat of the wild creatures has been simulated by planting tall trees, shrubs and foliage. A lake serves as the home for all the marine creatures housed there.

Public Park and Observatory - The public park of Trivandrum is the symbol of human protest against pollution and contamination of natural habitat due to urbanization. Such clean air and greenery in such an advanced city, what a wonder!

Shangumugham Beaches - This beautiful tourist attraction is about 8 km from the city and is a favorite spot of those who love serenity. The aggressive waves belie the tranquility of the beach and the russet rays of the sinking sun sparkle on the waters creating a calm in the spectator's heart.

Veli Tourist Village - This place offers a glimpse into the backwaters of Kerala. Cultivated as a picnic spot, boating and other amuzenent facilities are available here.

Akkulam Boat Club - Another picnic getaway, Akkulam is famed for its boating options. A swimming pool for children is also accommodated here.

 
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