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Thursday, April 10, 2008

India : Kerala : Thiruvananthapuram : Attractions & Excursions - 3

Image Source : Thiruvananthapuram

Guys, Thiruvananthapuram city is considered as one of the loveliest cities in India. Built on seven low coastal hills, the city has on interesting mixture of tree-lined avenues. Massive buildings, ancestral homes and a long sea coat washed by the waves of the Arabian Sea, Clean, Green Thiruvananthapuram, with its spacious layout and regulated life, is also an excellent base to explore the interiors of Kerala.

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple :

The temple, located near the bus stand at East fort, is one among the 18 sacred Vishnu Temples in India. It is the city's most impressive landmark. Its 7 storeyed gapuram built in the 16th Century is one of the finest specimens of traditional South Indian temple architecture which reflects the Kerala influence. The temple corridors are lined with 368 sculpted stone pillars. Beautiful murals and ornamentation adorn the walls. The temple was renovated by the Maharaja of Thiruvithamcur in 1733. Only Hindus can enter the temple, wearing dhoti in a certain style.

Image Source : Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum :

Image Source : Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum

The Palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore style of architecture also has exquisite wood carvings. The palace museum displays paintings and various priceless collections of the roual family and is located near the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.

The Napier Museum :

Image Source : The Napier Museum

Built in the 19th century, the Indo-saracenic structure boasts a "natural" air conditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings.

Sree Chithra Art Gallery :

Image Source : Sree Chithra Art Gallery

This art gallery located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays among others, select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India. The collection also includes paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali.

Shankhumugham Beach :

Image Source : Shankhumugham Beach

This beach is just 8 kms from the city, this is a favourite haunt of sunset watchers.

Veli Tourist Village :

This picnic spot, where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea, offers boating facilities. Paddle boats can be hired to explore the charms of the lagoon in a leisurely manner. For a quick ride over that waters, speedboats are available for hire. Children enjoy climbing over the huge sculptures which dot the landscape.

Image Source : Veli Tourist Village

Kovalam Beach (16 kms) :

A beautiful, curving, palm-fringed beach of golden sands and safe bathing have made India's major beach resort. It is an internationally known holiday destination. Kavalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach. is the most popular.

Image Source : Kovalam Beach

Varkala (40 kms) :

Varkala is a seaside resort and spa. It is also an important Hindu center of pilgrimage. The Papanasham Beach (Papanasham means redemption from sins), the 2000 year old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple, a century old tunnel and Nature Care Centre are the main attractions here.

Image Source : Varkala

Ponmudi (61 kms) :

an idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding pathways and cool, green, wooded environs. Ponmudi is located 915 meters above sea level. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets, springs and the deer park nearby, this hill station also has excellent trekking tracks.

Image Source : Ponmudi

Peppara Wildlife Sanctury (50 kms) :

The sanctuary spread over 53 sq. km on the Western Ghats, has rich flora and fauna and is dotted with hillock, forests and eucalyptus plantations.

Image Source : Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

Padmanabhapuram Palace (52 kms) :

The seat of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore, this wooden palace has extraordinary murals, exquisite floral carvings and black glossy granite floor that have withstood the test of time.

Image Source : Padmanabhapuram Palace
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