Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruananthapuram, the jewel in the emerald necklace that Kerala is for the Indian sub-continent, must surely have Parasuramanbeen a "must see" destination for ages, long before National Geographic Traveller classified it as one. Surely long before Sage Parasurama , according to local legend, threw his divine battle axe from Kanyakumari to Gokarnam to wrest Kerala, God's own land, from the Varuna the sea god; before the times of Mahabali the democratic and just ruler of this wonderful land who was sent down to the netherworld through deceit. It doesnt take any flights of fancy to imagine that this land fired the imaginations of intrepid travellers and explorers like Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Marco Polo, Fa Hien, and quite possibly, countless others from the pages of history, recorded or not.
Thiruvananthapuram, or Trivandrum, as it was conveniently re-christened by the English, is the southern-most district and Thiruvananthapuram city is the district headquarters as well as the State capital of Kerala. Thiru Anantha Puram, or the city of the Holy Anantha, is named after Ananthan, the cosmic serpent with a thousand heads, on whose coils Lord Mahavishnu reclines. This iconic representation is theSri Padmanabhaswamy chief deity in the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The temple was built by King Marthanda Varma of the Travancore Royal family when, in 1745, he shifted the Travancore capital from Padmanabhapuram in the south (today in the neighbouring State of Tamil Nadu) to ThiruvananthapuramKing Marthanda Varma and started reigning as 'Padmanabha Dasa', the servant and representative of Lord Padmanabha--perhaps a nobler variant of the 'Divine Right Theory' that the West is familiar with . The vast temple complex, with its tall 'Gopuram' decorated with detailed carvings reflected in the huge temple tank, is today a centre of attraction for the pious, the tourist and the merely curious.
Blessed with a pleasant climate virtually throughout the year, Thiruvananthapuram city sparkles after the monsoon rains.Monsoon Rains After the 'hot' summers, which thankfully pale in comparison to the 'hotspots' of India, the welcome summer showers augur the festival season when Kerala decks herself out, and traditional colours and rhythms and characters straight from the pages of her ancient lore entice the visitor to another world. The festivities are crowned by Onam , the Spring harvest festival, today marked by traditional fare throughout the State, KADHAKALIincluding the spirited race of the picturesque and majestic snake boats , the grand elephant parade, when hordes of caparisoned pachyderms lend an air of fantasy to the setting, and the special presentations of Kathakali , Mohiniyattom , Koodiyattom and other traditional arts of Kerala.

Get our free newsletter

Send me the latest travel inspiration, insider tips and deals from etrip