Agasthyakoodam is a prominent peak in the Sahyadri ranges of the western Ghat next to Anamudi.It is about 1869 metres above sea level. It can be approached on foot from Bonacaud which is 61 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram. The forest Department issues special pass for the entry with some conditions. Tradition says that the great sage Agasthya had his ‘Tapas’ there. In the period of British rule, there was a friction between the rulers of Travancore and tamil Nadu over the right of ownership of the place. The case was later trailed in a court in England and the Court orders infavour of Travancore. Allen Brown, an English Scientist had built an observatory there. Later it was ruined for lack of proper guard. The remains of it can be seen there now. Beautiful orchids and variety of plants are also found here in largenumbers. It being a home to certain birds and a seasonal dwelling to a huge set of certain migratory ones, this mountain attracts professional as well as occasional bird watchers. This legendary mountain can also be accessed on foot from Kotoor, Neyardam, and also from Bonacud. The ideal season for trucking is from December to April. This place is also noted for its abundant Ayurvedic herbs. The Government of Kerala has declared this area as biological park for the protection of bio-diversity.
Ponmudi, an idle hill station is popular for its green meadows, flowering trees, countless varieties of butterflies, slowly meandering streams and wet deciduous forest. A pleasant resort with an elevation of 3002 feet above sea level, is situated at the sour of western ghat. The pathways to this place are narrow. The atmosphere is cool, the ground is lush green and the place is woody. The air is filled with the fragrance of mountain flowers. Exotic butterflies can be spotted. Springs and small rivulets are enchanting and enlivening. There is a deer park close by. There are several tea and rubber estates around the hills, A hill tribe called kani live in the surrounding areas. Being fascinated by its enchanting charm, the Travancore rulers built two sanitorium here. Ponmudi, a famous place for trekking, is now developing as a hill resort with rooms and dormitory accommodation facilities. There is also K.T.D.C. restaurant and a Government guest house. It is 54 kms from Thiruvananthapuram and is easily reached by road.
Mankayam is 45 kms from Thiruananthapuram. It is situated near Palode in Nedumangad taluk and is 500 mts above sea level. A beautiful hill area surrounded with varieties of ever green trees and beautiful waterfalls. Lot of learning and entertaining materials related to nature has been arranged there for visitors. Convenient place for observation of nature, tracking arrangement have been constituted for interested visitors.
VELI LAKE :
Veli is an ideal picnic spot, which has been developed as a tourist village. The placid Water of back water lake merges here with boundless blue of sea water A water front park with a wadding pool ,a floating restaurant ,aqua sports facilities, and beautiful gardens thrill children along with grown up people .Children can watch different varieties of back water fishes in the wadding pool Beautiful statue on the meadows and sculpture by renowned sculpture Kanayi Kunjuraman are the distinct features of veli. There are facilities for pedal boating, row boating. It gives an opportunity to enter the fantastic world of backwaters A visitor who sits by the side of lake will have the incredible experience. He enjoys the rhythm of lake when the small wave hits on its bank on boat racing .Floating Bridge is a new experience to those who visit there. Floating restaurant gives them an excellent opportunity to dine on the surface of water. Then they can pass through the floating bridge to the shore of Arabian Sea .The stretch of white sand and blue water give them the ingredients for relaxation. The youth hostel at veli provides in expensive dormitory type accommodation.
KAPPIL LAKE :
A lake, 53 kms from the city and 8 km north of Varkala, is a natural lake by the side of Arabian Sea. The white and blue sands on the beach are washed by surf, which roars and hisses at the feet of coconut palm.The view of the blue water playing in the chimes of bells of the wind on one side and the never ending spread of the green palm groves and the green veiled hill top on the other side, thrill the visitors most. A confluence of the sea, river and the backwater make the beach secluded, picturesque and worth visiting. The Priyadarshini boat club provides facilities of boating to the visitor
Trivandrum is a place for all. There are beaches, pilgrimage centres, beautiful mansions, green nature and also museums which will teach you some history. Napier museum is one such place, which you will never neglect while making a trip to the capital city. The museum is situated around 2 km away from the Trivandrum central railway station. The Indo-Saracenic structure was built back in the 19th century. You can find here rare collections of historical artefacts, bronze idols, ornaments, temple chariot and ivory carvings. Glimpses of the rich cultural heritage of Kerala can be seen here. The museum got its name from the former Madras Governor, John Napier. Known as the Government Art Museum, the Napier Museum depicts Kerala, Mughal, Chinese and Italian architecture. The museum is opened on all days except Mondays and Wednesday forenoons. There will be a nominal entry fee and you can also visit the nearby zoo too.
If you want to enjoy the real beauty of Travancore style of architecture, come to Kuthiramalika, the beautiful mansion in the heart of Trivandrum city. Kuthiramalika Palace Museum is also known as Puthenmalika Palace Museum. The museum lies very close to the Padmanabha Swamy Temple and is around one kilometre away from Trivandrum Central. The palace was built by the renowned ruler of Travancore, Swathy Thirunal Rama Varma. There is an interesting fact behind the name of the palace 'Kuthiramalika' which means 'Mansion of Horses'. The name came from the 122 horses, carved into the wooden wall brackets, supporting the southern roof. The enclosed verandahs, the architectural extravagance, sloping roofs etc makes the palace a wonderful structure which will take you back to time. The palace was converted into a museum by the Travancore royal family. Out of the 80 rooms here, 20 has been opened for the public. You can find here kathakali mannequins, Belgian and Italian mirrors, crystal chandeliers, armaments, musical instruments etc. Get excited with the site of two royal thrones ? one of which is made from 12 elephant tusks and the other with Bohemian crystal. Every year on the month of January, a music festival is organised at Kuthiramalika commemorating the legendary singer and ruler Swathi Thirunal. Musicians from various corners of India performs here. Except Monday all other days you can make a visit to Kuthiramalika. You will have to pay a nominal fee, which you will definitely feel worth.
PADMANABHA SWAMY TEMPLE
Just one km away from the Thiruvananthapuram town, the Padmanabha Swamy Temple is one of the famous pilgrimage destination at the capital city. The city itself got its name from the deity 'Sree Padmanabha' of Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The deity Lord Vishnu here is in the form of 'Ananthashayanam' that means having yogic sleep over the serpent Anantha. The temple is well known for its architectural beauty, which attracts lots of devotees to its vicinity. To know more about the temple we must travel back to the 8th century. The temple is one among the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India and as per latest report it is one of the world's richest temple. It was the Travancore ruler, Marthanda Varma, who dedicated the Travancore kingdom to Lord Padmanabha. He declared that the rulers should rule on behalf of Padmanabha and they called themselves 'Padmanabhadasa'. The main idol of Padmanabha is 18 ft long making it a huge structure. One have to view the whole deity through three different doors. From the first door, you can see the head and the chest, the hands are seen through the second door and the third door will show you the feet. The architecture of the temple stands worth with stone and bronze. You can see paintings and murals in the temple interiors. You can see the pictures of Narasimha Swamy, Lord Ganapathy and Gaja Lakshmi. The Bali Peeda Mandapam and Mukha Mandapam are some of the unique features of Padmanabha Swamy temple. Strict dress codes are followed here and the temple will be open from morning 3:30 to 12 noon and from evening 5 to 7:20 pm.
Beaches are always loved by tourists ? both domestic and international. In Gods Own Country, Kerala also one can find beautiful beaches, which resembles the freshness and cleanliness of that of Goan beaches. Come to Trivandrum to experience the tranquility of Kovalam Beach. Kovalam Beach is one of the prominent destinations where everyone will make a visit while their trip to Thiruvananthapuram. The three adjacent crescent beaches here always lures the tourists towards Kovalam. The beautiful beach getaway is ideally placed around 16 km away from the capital city and very easily accessible. You can find here three adjacent crescent beaches. They are Lighthouse beach, Hawah beach and Samudra beach. Lighthouse beach is the southernmost beach and the tourists mostly like to visit this beach. You can spot here a 35 m lighthouse. The 142 steps will lead you to the top of the lighthouse. Hawah beach is also known as Eve's beach. The crystal clear water, lush coconut groves etc makes this beach popular. This beach is a perfect place for those who want to avoid crowded beaches like Lighthouse beaches. The northernmost beach of Kovalam is Samudra beach. Compared to other beaches, Samudra beach is not crowded so with tourists you can still spot here fishermen fighting with the sea to earn their daily bread. Samudra beach has always tried to retain its old charm.