These are some of the main attraction in and around Thiruvananthapuram.
Three crescent shaped beaches form the Kovalam Beach. Its shallow water is best suited for swimming. The Light House Beach, which is the most popular of the three beaches, got its name owing to the 35m high lighthouse on a hillock here. From this hillock one could have a great view of the surrounding area.
Veli Tourist Village
Veli Tourist village is located at about 12 km from Thiruvananthapuram city. The Veli Lagoon meets the Arabian Sea here with a narrow stretch of beach separating them. In the tourist village there is a garden with a number of sculptures by Kanai Kunhiraman. It is a great picnic spot with boating as the other major attraction.
Aakulam Tourist Village
Located at about 10 km from Thiruvananthapuram city, Aakulam tourist village attracts tourists from far and wide. The main activity involved is picnicking in the children’s park and boating. There is a swimming pool too for adults and children.
Spread over an amazing 7 acres, Padmanabhapuram palace is a marvel of Kerala architecture. There are 14 palaces in all which were completed by the 18th century. They are built in traditional style with a lot of wood work, sculptures, carvings etc. It is one of the best preserved palaces in Kerala. Some of the rare items that can be seen in the palace are mural paintings, Belgian mirrors, antique vessels and utensils, furniture, a four poster medicinal bed etc.
It is a beautiful beach located at about 45km from Thiruvananthapuram. It is a belief that a dip in its waters has the power to wash off all sins and consequently several believers come here for the same. On either side of the beach there are two cliffs which give a great view of the sea. The 2000 year old Janardhana Temple is also situated here which draws several devotees.
Shankhumugham beach is situated quite near the Thiruvananthapuram Airport. The evenings are usually very crowded, with people coming to relax in the beach and see the glorious sunset. There is a huge statue of Matsyakanyaka (Mermaid) on this beach which has attained much praise and appreciation. An indoor sports centre which is among the oldest in the State, is situated just opposite the beach.
Ponmudi is a very beautiful hill station located at about 65 km from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. Tea plantations, profusion of wild flowers and foliage make this place a must visit for nature lovers. Trekking is a much loved activity in Ponmudi.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
It is a well-known temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu. The idol here is about 18 feet long with Lord Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananda. This temple forms one of the landmarks of Thiruvananthapuram with its elaborate decorations, numerous statues and architectural splendor.