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Some Days in Thiruvananthapuram

Written on: Sunday August 26th, 2007

A journal entry from: My trip to Thiruvananthapuram

Last winter, during my X-mas vacation, I planned to have a trip to Thiruvananthapuram. I heard a lot about this south-western capital city of Kerala. Bounded by the Arabian sea and the wooded highlands of the Western Ghats, Thiruvananthapuram is famous for its long shorelines, internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwaters and rich ethnic cultural heritage. Therefore, I was very much interested to enjoy these charming places. As it is well connected to the whole world through air, rail and road ways, therefore, it isn?t troublesome for anyone to reach there. I was also not an exception. After reaching there, I lodged into a good budget hotel. As I covered a long train journey, I took a little rest. In the afternoon, I went out to visit the famous places of Thiruvananthapuram. On my way to this place, I bought a travel guide book related to Thiruvananthapuram and went through the whole book profoundly. Therefore, I first went to visit the Kovalam Beach, the most sought after destination in the whole world. I availed by an auto rickshaw as it is only 16 kms.away from my hotel. When I reached there, the Sun was about to set. The blue waves of the ocean enchanted my bedouin mind. I wandered upon the soft bed of sands for a long time. The view of sunset was just marvellous. It seemed to me that the Sun was gradually drowning into the ?blues?. I found that the Kovalam Beach is consisted of three adjacent crescent beaches. Amidst of them, the Lighthouse Beach, situated at the southernmost part, amazed me by its picturesque view. After elapsing here almost two hours, I returned back to hotel and took famous South-Indian dishes. A new taste for a north Indian person .... oh! I became a fan of Dhosa, Idli and Sambar Vada. After that, I underwent a slumber sleep in the soft divan.

In the next morning, after having refreshment, I went to visit the Padmanabha Swamy Temple. This temple is consecrated to Lord Vishnu. After reaching there, I found that this temple bears an excellent blending of Kerala and Dravidian architecture. The exquisite mural paintings and stone carvings just enthralled me. As I?m a pious Hindu, I offered here my puja to the presiding deity, Lord Vishnu reclining on Anantha (a serpent).

After that, I started for Kuthiramalika Palace Museum. I learned from the guide book that it was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. The exquisite wood carvings in traditional travancore style of architecture of the palace just made me speechless. In the palace museum, I found rare collections of paintings and other ethnic elements of the royal family. While I was wandering through the corridors, balconies and the apartments of this palace, I felt a royal mood.

Then I came to visit the Napier museum. Built in the 19th century, this Indo - saracenic structure boasts a natural airconditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. I was just spellbound after visiting this place. It was almost noon and my tongue was very much interested to taste that delicious spicy Southern dishes again. Therefore, I went into a nearby standard restaurant, "Govinda Prasadam" to pacify my stomach. After having a good lunch, I went to visit the Sree Chitbra Art Gallery, close to the Napier Museum. Here, I found a rare collection of ancient and ethnic paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore Art schools. The rich southern culture impressed me a lot. Apart from these places, I also visited other places of interest e.g the Zoological park, Priyadarshini Planetarium , Observatory, Shankhumugham beach & Connemera market. You know, I bought several antique things from the Connemera market that are never found in the North-Indian markets. As I had limited time in my hands, I couldn?t pass more days in Thiruvananthapuram. But believe me, I was not a little bit interested to leave this place as soon. But destiny moves above of all. So, I had to board the Rajdhani Express and started for my hometown, New Delhi. Still now, my mind recollects those memories and really I find them lively in my mindframe.