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TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) : It is a city built over 7 forested hills. Museum, Gallery and Zoo :These are all in the same area, in the park at the north end of the city. The zoo is open daily except Monday from 9am to 5pm. Housed in an attractive building, the Napier Museum has a good collection of bronzes, historical ornaments, temple carts, ivory carvings and life-size figures of Kathakali dances in full regalia. On display at the Sri Chitra Art Gallery are paintings of the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools, together with works from China, Tibet, Japan and Bali. There are also many modern Indian paintings, especially those of Ravi Varma. The Zoological Gardens are among the best laid-out zoos in Asia. They are set amongst woodland, lakes and very well-maintained lawns. The zoo's botanical gardens includes examples of every tropical tree. Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple : This is a temple dedicated to Vishnu. It was constructed in the Dravidian style by a maharaja of Travancore.


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

AS YOU STROLL AROUND THIS FRIENDLY,RELAXED CITY BUILT OVER SEVEN FORESTED HILLS,IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT IT IS A STATE CAPITAL.THE CITY OF THE SCARED SNAKE IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER INDIAN STATE CAPITAL AND HAS MANAGED TO RETAIN THE MAGIC AMBIENCE SO CHARATERISTIC OF KERALA IN GENERAL - RED-TILED ROOFS,NARROW WINDING LANES,INTIMATE CORNER CAFES,DILAPIDATED MUNICIPAL BUSE AND NECESSARY BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHED IN A FRIENDLY MANNER WITH A RELATIVELY HIGH DEGREE OF EFFICIENCY.THE ONLY REAL BUSTLE YOU'LL ENCOUNTER HERE IS DURING RUSH HOURS. AT LEAST,THIS IS HOW IT IS WHEN POLITICAL TENSIONS BETWEEN THE VARIOUS FACTIONS HAVEN'T REACHED THE STAGE WHERE THEY ERUPT INTO VIOLENCE ON THE STREETS.POLITICAL SLOGANS,EMBLEMS AND FLAGS,ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THE COMMUNIST AND MUSLIM PARTIES,ARE A NOTABLE FEATURE OF THE URBAN LANDSCAPE OF KERALA.LUCKILY,EVEN WHEN THERE IS VIOLENCE,IT RARELY EFFECTS THE VISITOR ON THE OTHER HAND,THERE ISN'T A GREAT DEAL TO SEE IN THRIUVANANTHAPURAM ITSELF,AND NON-HINDUS AREN'T ALLOWED INTO THE FAMOUS SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE.THE MAIN REASON PEOPLE COME HERE TO STAY AT MAGNIFICENT KOVALAM BEACH,16 KM SOUTH.YOU MIGHT ALSO FIND YOURSELF HERE FOR A DAY OR SO IF YOU PLAN TO FLY TO SRI LANKA,THE MALDIVE ISLANDS OR THE PERSAIN GULF. **ORENTATION => THRIVANANTHAPURAM COVER A LARGE AREA,BUT MOST OF THE SERVICES AND PLACES OF INTEREST ARE ON OR VERY CLOSE TO MAHATAM GANDHI RD- THE MAIN ROAD RUNNING THROUGH THE CENTRE OF THE CITY FROM THE MUSEUM AND ZOO TO SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE. THE LONG-DISTANCE BUS STATION,RAILWAY STATION AND TOURIST RECEPTION CENTRE ARE ALL CLOSE TO EACH OTHER,AS ARE MANY OF THE BUDGET HOTELS.


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

THE MUNICIPAL BUS STAND IS 10 MINUTES WALK FROM THE RAILWAY STATION, OPPOSITE SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE. THE MUSEUM,ZOO AND AIRLINE OFFICES ARE ALL IN THE NORTH OF THE CITY AND YOU'LL NEED AN AUTO-RICKSHAW TO REACH THEM. **INFORMATION**TOURIST OFFICES =>THE TOURIST RECEPTION CENTRE IN FRONT OF THE CHAITHRAM HOTEL,NEAR THE RAILWAY STATION AND CENTRAL BUS STATION,HAS BASIC INFORMATION BUT IS ESSENTIALLY THERE TO PROMOTE THIER GUIDED TOURS TO THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,KANYA-KUMARI,PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTURY AND KODAIKANAL. IF YOU WANT MORE DETAILED INFORMATION OR ANY OF THE BOOKLETS THAT THE KTDC PRODUCE YOU'LL HAVE TO MAKE A TRIP TO THE MAIN OFFICE,THE TOURIST INFORMAT- ION CENTRE,MUSEUM Rd,OPPOSITE THE MUSEUM/ZOO AT THE NORTH END OF M G Rd.THE PEOPLE WHO STAFF THIS OFFICE ARE VERY ENTHUSIASTIC INDEED AND THEY HAVE A RANGE OF WELL RESEARCHED AND INFORMATIVE BOOKLETS WHICH INCLUDE,KERALA - TRAVEL FACTS(FREE),FAIRS & FESTIVALS OF KERALA(FREE),TRAVEL INFORMATION - KERALA,TAMIL NADU,KARNATAKA,GOA,AND HOTELS OF KERALA PLUS MANY OTHER FREE LEAFLETS. **POST & TELECOMMUNICATIONS =>THE GPO IS TUCKED AWAY DOWN A SMALL SIDE STREET OFF M G Rd,ABOUT 10 MINUTES WALK FROM THE STATION Rd AREA.MOST OF THE COUNTERS,INCLUDING POSTE RESTANTE,ARE OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY FROM 8am TO 8pm. THERE'S NO PACKING SERVICE AVAILABLE HERE BUT THERE'S A SMALL TAILOR'SSHOP OPPOSITE WHICH WELL STITCH UP AND SEAL PARCELS AT A VERY REASONABLE RATE. THE CENTRAL TELEGRAPH OFFICE IS ON M G Rd,MIDWAY BETWEEN STATION Rd AND THE MUSEUM AND 20 MINUTES WALK FROM EITHER.IT IS OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY.


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

**VISA EXTENSIONS =>APPLY FOR VISA EXTENSIONS AT THE OFFICE OF THE COMMMISSIONER OF POLICE ON RESIDENCY Rd.EXTENSIONS TAKE BETWEEN FOUR DAYS AND A WEEK TO ISSUE BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE YOUR PASSPORT THERE.IT SPEED THINGHS UP IF YOU GIVE THE NAME OF A THIRUVANANTHAPURAM HOTEL AS YOUR ADDRESS RATHER THAN SOME WHERE IN KOVALAM.SURPRISINGLY.THIS OFFICE IS OPEN ON SATURDAY AS WELL AS WEEKDAYS,FROM 10am TO 5pm. **BOOKSHOPS & LIBRARIES =>THE BRITISH LIBRARY,IN THE YMCA GROUNDS NEAR THE SECRETARIAT BUILDING,IS SUPPOSEDLY ONLY OPEN TO MEMBERS,BUT THEY SEEM TO WELCOME THE VISITORS.IT HAS THREE-DAY-OLD BRITISH NEWSPAPERS AND A VARIETY OF MAGAZINES. THERE'S A BRANCH OF HIGGINBOTHAMS BOOKSHOP ON M G Rd,JUST UP FROM THE STATION ROAD. **MUSEUM,GALLERY & ZOO =>THESE ARE ALL IN THE SAME AREA,IN THE PARK OF THE NORHT END OF THE CITY.THE ZOO IS OPEN DAILY EXCEPT MONDAY FROM 9am TO 5pm AND THE OTHER TWO DAILY EXCEPT MONDAY BETWEEN 10am TO 5pm.THERE IS ENTRYFEE HOUSED IN AN ATTRACTIVE BUILGING,THE NAPIER MUSEUM HAS A GOOD COLLECTION OF BRONZES,HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY ORNAMENTS,TEMPLE CARTS,IVORY CARVING AND LIFE SIZE FIGURES OF KATHAKALI DANCERS IN FULL REGALIA.THE SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY MUSEUM IS NOT THAT INTERESTING UNLESS YOU ARE A HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE STUDENT. ON DISPLAY AT THE SRI CHITRA ART GALLERY ARE PAINTINGS OF THE RAJPUTS, MUGHAL AND TANJOR SCHOOLS TOGETHER WITH WORKS FROM CHINA, TIBET, JAPAN AND BALI.THERE ALSO MANY MODERN INDIAN PAINTINGS,ESPECIALLY THOSE OF RAVI VARMA


TRIVANDRUM SIGHTSEEING

 

ALTHOUGH THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS ARE AMONG THE BEST LAID-OUT ZOOS IN ASIA SET AMONG THE BEST LAID-OUT ZOOS IN ASIA,SET AMONGST WOODLAND,LAKES AND VERY WELL MAINTAINED LAWNS,SOME OF THE ANIMAL ENCLOSURES ARE STILL MISER- ABLE. THE ZOO'S BOTANICAL GARDEN INCLUDES EXAMPLES OF ALMOST EVERY TROPICAL TREES. ** SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE THIS TEMPLE,ALTHOUGH TO BE TO THE 'PRESIDINGDEITY' OF THIRUVANANTHAPURAM IS DEDICATED TO VISHNU.IT WAS CONSTRUCTED IN THE DRAVIDIAN STYLE BY A MAHARAJA OF TRAVANCORE IN 1773.ONLY HINDUS ARE ALLOWED INSIDE,ANDEVEN THEY HAVE TO WEAR ASPECIAL DHOTI WHICH CAN BE RENTED FOR RS 1.THE TEMPLE IN- CORPORATES A TANK IN WHICH THE FAITHFUL BATHE. ** ORGANSED TOURS CITY TOUR THE THIRUVANANTHAPURAM CITY TOUR LEAVES DAILY AT 8AM,RETURNING AT 7 PM,AND COST RS 60 PER PERSONS.IT INCLUDES VISITS TO SHRI PADMANABHAS- WAMY TEMPLE (FOR HINDUS ONLY), THE MUSEUM,ART GALLERY,ZOO,VELILAGOON AND KOVALAM BEACH.THIS TOUR IS OF LITTLE INTREST TO TRAVELLERS SINCE THE TEMPLE IS OFF LIMITS TO NON-HINDUS AND WHO WANTS TOGAWP AT FELLOW TRAVELLERS SUNBATHING ON THE BEACH AT KOVALAM IN ANY CASE? **KANYAKUMARI THE DAILY KANYAKUMARI (CAPE COMORIN) TOUR DEPARTS AT 7:30 AM,RETURNS AT 9 PM AND COST RS 100.IT INCLUDES VISITS TO PADMANABHAPURAM PALACE (EXCEPT ON MONDAY)AND KANYAKUMARI.THIS ISNT BAD VALUE IF YOU WANT TO AVOID THE TYPICAL PUBLIC BUS SYSTEMRUBY SCRUMS AND ARENT PARTICULAR INTRESTED IN STAYING OVER NIGHT IN KANYAKUMARI.


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