GATEWAY KERALA HOLIDAYS

Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala. The wooded highlands on the Western Ghats in the eastern and northeastern borders give Thiruvananthapuram some of the most enchanting picnic spots. A long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage make it a much sought after tourist destination.

Padmanabha Swamy Temple
he temple is located inside the East Fort. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. It is known for its mural paintings and stone carvings. One among the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India, the presiding deity in here is Lord Vishnu reclining on Anantha the Serpent.

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 royal family and is located near the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.


The Napier Museum & Sree Chithra Art Gallery

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. The use of plastic is banned in the museum premises.

Sree Chithra Art Gallery Located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays 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
Just 8 km from the city, this is a favourite haunt of sunset watchers. The beach is adjacent to the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and Veli Tourist Village. An indoor recreation club, the matsya kanyaka (a gigantic, 35 m long sculpture of a mermaid) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are some of the attractions here. Chacha Nehru Traffic Training Park here provides opportunity for children to learn the traffic rules.

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



TRIVANDRUM ZOO
The Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is one of the oldest zoo in country and well designed. It is home of many varieties of animals, birds and reptiles from around the world. Indigenous species at the zoo include lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur,Indian rhinoceros, Asiatic lion, Royal Bengal Tiger and leopard, as well as Asian elephants Animals from Africa include giraffes, hippos, zebras, and Cape buffalos. The zoo also includes a snake farm which exhibits both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. Thiruvananathapuram zoo designed as a natural habitat of the inmates by creating lakes, woodlands, marshal lands and forest.

Ponmudi
An idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding pathways and cool, green, wooded environs, Ponmudi is located 915 metres 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 trails