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The capital of Kerala still trades by its colonial name of Trivandrum, despite attempts to stamp a more authentically Indian name on the city. Sprawling over a series of hills just inland from Kerala's premier beach strip, modern Thiruvanathapuram is a typically bustling South Indian city, with a distinctively Keralan atmosphere. Although there are few must-see attractions, a tropical mood hangs over the city, and the Thiruvanathapuram Zoo is surrounded by interesting museums exploring the culture, flora and fauna of the Indian south. Most foreign visitors are bound for the resorts at Varkala and Kovalam, but the city is a major pilgrimage ...

The capital of Kerala still trades by its colonial name of Trivandrum, despite attempts to stamp a more authentically Indian name on the city. Sprawling over a series of hills just inland from Kerala's premier beach strip, modern Thiruvanathapuram is a typically bustling South Indian city, with a distinctively Keralan atmosphere. Although there are few must-see attractions, a tropical mood hangs over the city, and the Thiruvanathapuram Zoo is surrounded by interesting museums exploring the culture, flora and fauna of the Indian south. Most foreign visitors are bound for the resorts at Varkala and Kovalam, but the city is a major pilgrimage destination and Hindu devotees flock to the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple during the Alpashy festival in October/November and the Painkuni festival in March/April, which are marked by riotous parades. More and more international flights are landing at Thiruvanathapuram from Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Asia and the Gulf, making this a useful gateway to Kerala and the steamy south.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Capital city of the state of Kerala located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland.
  • Language: Malayalam, English, Tamil
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    August to March; avoid the hot and steamy monsoon months from June to September.