Thiruvananthapuram, formerly known as Trivandrum, is the capital of
. The word Thiruvananthapuram means the land of Anantha or the abode of the sacred snake-god Anantha (the thousand-headed serpent) on which Lord
, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines. The city is best known for its temple and famous landmark, Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
, dedicated to Padmanabha or Lord Vishnu.
Thiruvananthapuram is remarkable for the subtle merging of modern and traditional architecture as evidenced by the various buildings around the city. Red tiled roofs, a beautiful coastline with unending stretches of palm trees, the quaint, narrow, winding streets and above all, the sea, create a fascinating mixture. The
Arabian Sea touching the western shores of Thiruvananthapuram had from ancient times boosted this cityís trade links with other parts of the world.
Kovalam beach, at a distance of 15 km, graces the southern edge of Thiruvananthapuram, providing a haven from the hustle and bustle of the city. At the northern end is situated the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, which plays an important role in Indiaís space program. Other interesting spots in and around the city are the Napier Museum, Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, Natural History Museum, the serene hamlet Veli Lagoon,
Neyyar dam and the rustic
Ponmudi, 3000 ft above sea level.
Thiruvananthapuram is an important entry point into India and provides links to the Maldives, Sri Lanka and many countries to the west of the Arabian Sea. A center of various cultural activities, the city offers everything a visitor may ask for.
The city spurts into life during Onam, during the months of August and September, which heralds Keralaís New Year and harvest season.
Thiruvananthapuram is well connected with the other major cities of the country by air and railways. Trivandrum International Airport is at Shanghumughom, 7 km from the city and Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station is in the heart of the city. By road, the city is connected via the
National Highway 47 to Kanyakumari, Coimbatore, Chennai, and Bangalore.