The south Indian city of Trivandrum, otherwise known as Thiruvananthapuram (but let’s just stick with the former), was our first taste of this chaotic country back in 2009/2010.
There isn’t a huge number of tourist sites in Trivandrum but here is a quick round-up of what we enjoyed that may be of interest…
Methan Mani and Old Fort Palace
This is a rather beautiful clock tower which crowns the Old Fort Palace. It was constructed in the 1840s.
The palace is a fine building with a beautifully carved wood exterior.
Sree Padmanabhaswarmy Temple
This is the astonishing Hindu temple in the heart of Trivandrum. It was busy and bus-loads of pilgrims were arriving and departing all the time.
Watching from across the lake just before dusk set in, it was a tranquil experience.
This is a restaurant near to the train and bus stations which we went back to several times. It is by no means a secret as it is mentioned in various travel guides. Western tourists and locals mix in the ground floor section whereas local families seem to dominate the smarter (and air-conditioned) first floor. It offers some of the best cooked food that we’ve had in all the places that we’ve visited so far in India. We haven’t found Dosas anywhere else that can match up to the quality and taste of this establishment!
This place is said to be part of the inspiration behind Yann Martel’s incredible novel, Life of Pi. The author spent a considerable amount of time there researching for the book. All of the animals featured in the fictional story can be found in Trivandrum’s large zoo and botanical gardens.
Unfortunately, this place was closed for refurbishment at the time that we were in Trivandrum but the building itself is worth going to look at for it’s remarkable architectural style.
There was no time or space to take photos here! This is a fantastically jumbled, 2km long shopping street selling pretty much everything you could possibly ever need or want. It is choked with bodies, spluttering vehicles, animals, incense and food vendor’s cooking fumes. The sounds of people shouting and bargaining, the nearby mosque and sizzling street food filled the air. Chalai bazaar was definitely a sensory overload (in a good way) and undoubtedly the most exciting part of Trivandrum that we came across in our short time there.