Trivandrum is a famous tourist destination in Kerala and has got its popularity from the beautiful
monuments and a number of cultural and traditional events that take place all round the year.
Apart from scenic beauty and traditional monuments, Trivandrum is also famous for its gaudy
and elaborate festivals which are celebrated with great pomp and zeal, especially the large
processions prepared and displayed on roads during major festivals. Aaranmula Boat Race is one
such festival, during which, large boats are ornately decorated and raced. Besides, you have a
number of museums, temples, and pilgrimages which make Trivandrum an interesting and
noteworthy place to visit. Check out in the lines below the myriad of tourist attractions that
Trivandrum has to offer its admirers.
Aaranmula Boat Race
Aaranmula Boat Race is held every year in the beautiful village of Aaranmula in
August/September. The oldest river boat fiesta in Kerala, this river carnival is a part of the
Aaranmula Temple Festival. At the end of the race, a traditional feast is organized inside the
temple premises by devotees as an offering to God. The venue of the annual Snake Boat Race in
Pampa River, characterized by huge boats having four helmsmen, 100 rowers, and 25 singers,
who sing Vanchipattu songs throughout the race.
Not just that Varkala is a magnificent seaside resort, it is also an important Hindu center of
pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline. The 2,000-
year-old Janardana Swamy Temple and the Nature Center form the major attractions here. This
beach has been included in the list of "Top Ten Beaches in the World" by Discovery Channel.
The final resting place of the great social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru is near Varkala, atop a
hill called Sivagiri.
Parthasarathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, is believed to date back to the days of
Mahabharata. The Vaishnavite Alwar saints have sung its glory. Spectacular snake boat races are
organized at the river near the temple during festival season, wherein boats from 39 Karas
participate in various water sports. The temple is beautifully built and the architecture is
distinctly inspired from the traditional Kerala architecture with magnificent carved Gopurams
and designed in such a way that a fleet of stairs directly climbs down to Pampa River.
The second highest peak in Kerala, Agastyarkoodam is located in the Western Ghats, rising to a
majestic height of about 1868 m in the form of a sharp cone. With 61 km of trekking from
Bonacaud, and 32 km from Neyyar Dam, this peak is regarded as the best trekking destination in
the state. The peak is popular among the native people because of the abundance of rare herbs for
medicinal use. The peak is covered with thick forests, which makes trekking ideal. However, a
forest pass has to be acquired from the state forest department beforehand. It is an enchanting
experience as the only sounds you hear while trekking are the swish of gigantic trees, gurgling
water rivulets, and warbling of aero-fauna.
Akkulam Lake is situated 3 km away from Ulloor junction, in Trivandrum city. Children's park,
situated here, is one of the biggest parks in Kerala. The calm atmosphere clubbed with serene
natural beauty attracts a number of tourists to this place every year. The boat club, located beside
the lake, offering joy riders with small peddle boats adds more excitement to the enjoyable trip.
Aruvippuram is a pilgrim center located in a picturesque location, 24 km from Trivandrum. A
beautiful and lovely picnic spot, the place derives its name from a stream flowing nearby
Neyyar. The major festival celebrated here is Sivrathri, which is marked with great pomp and
show as worshippers gather in the temple and sing chants and hymns in praise of Lord Siva. In
the morning, prasadam is distributed among worshippers and a great feast is organized thereafter.
Beema Palli Mahotsavam
Beema Palli is a mosque situated on the coast, nearly 5 km south of Trivandrum city. The shrine
is dedicated to Beema Beevi, a pious Muslim lady believed to have divine powers. The mosque,
apart from being a great architectural marvel, is a pilgrimage for Muslims, although it is visited
by people of all religions. The mosque registers maximum visitors during the ten-day festival of
Chandanakundam. During this festival, devotees bring earthen pots which are filled with coins as
offerings. The pots are then covered with sandalwood paste; hence, the name of the festival is
The ancient palace of Koyikkal is sited 18 km from Trivandrum on the way to Ponmudi hill
station and the Kuttalam waterfalls. Trailing back to the 15th century, the palace has now been
converted into a museum maintained by the Department of Archaeology. The museum displays
an array of rare scriptures, utensils, weapons, and a number of other artifacts. It is also a treasure
of a collection of rare coins from across the world which is a proof of Kerala's trade relations
with rest of the world.
Famous for the Sastha Temple, Kulathupuzha is situated in a forest range on the
Thiruvananthapuram-Shenkottai Road. Shrouded with dense forests and a river flowing nearby,
is the proposition which makes this a popular pilgrimage, apart from being a hub for nature
lovers. The temple witnesses hordes of visitors during the annual Vishnu Mahotsavam celebrated
during summertime. The surroundings are appealing and inviting to those with a craving for
trekking and safaris.
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, a classic specimen of Kerala architecture is situated in
'Kuthiramalika'. This palace was built by warrior-poet Swathi Thirunal Balrama Varma. The
palace displays a rare specimen of Travancore style architecture, although it attracts people even
with its exquisite wood carvings. The palace museum displays an invaluable collection of
paintings of the royal family.
The museum is a landmark of the city and displays beautiful artifacts related to art and natural
history. The architecture of the museum is unparalleled, built in Indo-Saracen style architecture
with its gothic style roofs and minarets, boasting of a natural air conditioning system. The
museum houses various archaeological and historic artifacts. The museum shares its compound
with a zoological garden.
Neyyar Dam, lying against the southern low hills of the Western Ghats, 32 km away from
Trivandrum city, is a popular picnic spot with a pleasing lake and picturesque dam site. The
surroundings of the dam are covered with dense jungles, rich in various species of flora and
fauna. Plus, a crocodile farm is located nearby that is maintained by the state wildlife
A place of elaborate woodwork, the Padmanabhapuram was the ancient seat of the Travancore
rulers. Famous for the relics of historical and artistic value, the palace is renowned for its artistic
murals, a bed with medicinal qualities, Belgian mirrors, and stone carved figures on the columns
holding lamps. The architecture of this place is divinely beautiful.
Paripally, 48 km north of Trivandrum, is noted for its Gajamela or elephant pageant. Over 50
elephants are taken out on a ritual procession on the tenth day of the festival in the month of
February-March. Elephants hold a sacred place in the hearts of people of Kerala and hence, are
included in all religious festivities and fairs. The elephants are maintained and trained by
different temples in Kerala.