God’s own country- that’s what Kerala has always been. Naturally, a land so pretty that it beckons even the heavens into its premises deserves a capital city that is no less charming and exquisite. And Trivandrum is the place that remains steeped in pride in being the capital of this really magnificent of all states in India. Thiruvanthapuram or Trivandrum is as exotic a tourist destination as Kerala itself, earning it the epithet of the Evergreen City of India.
Indeed, residing in the plethora of natural wonders as it does, Trivandrum is no lesser a haven than the state it ‘capitalises on’. But even as a prime tourist destination, Trivandrum still harbours places that remain rare, in that they are less known names and lesser explored destinations. Here’s a list of rare places to visit in Trivandrum so that you dare to venture on the road less taken on your next Kerala travel sojourn-
While the entire expanse of Kerala abounds in beaches that make for really famous tourist destinations, it’s indeed a surprise that a sandy expanse as definitive as the Shanghumukham beach in Trivandrum remains only a rare phenomenon when it comes to being one of the must visit places with the typical touristry appeal. In its white sands and exclusivity, the beach really is a splendid place to be in- one where you can remain unfazed by the bustle of life as well as the clamour of existence.
An exquisite shoreline, vistas of serenity, beholding sunrise views and impeccable sunset experiences, there is no wonder of nature that Shanghumukhan beach does not delight its visitors with. A very striking presence in this picturesque, isolated beach is an exemplary mermaid- the Sagarakanya- sculpted by renowned Indian sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman. Also an exclusive location of the Arattu festival, the spectacular beach is undoubtedly a prime presence in the capital region of Kerala.
Poovar might be a tourist town in Trivandrum but it still remains among the rare places to visit given that it sits at a very southernmost point of the district. The magnificent beach that Poovar houses however is relatively well known. With its stunning natural beauty complemented perfectly by the pleasant weather, Poovar should make for a really ideal holiday detour. A pretty coastal village, more accurately an island, the view from Poovar encompasses the mighty Neyyar river confluencing into the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea. Naturally with the sea at sway, Poovar also sports a luxurious beach along the trails of its coconut palms lined glorious sands.
The rustic charm of Poovar complements perfectly the growing luxury appeal of its many star rated establishments, thereby presenting tourists with a delightful mix of the pristine and the pure, the elegant and the mesmerising. There’s diverse flora and fauna at play, while even the seemingly ordinary sights are no less spectacular; coconut groves, fishermen going about their chores, floating cottages- all present a picture of a heaven hitherto undiscovered. There’s even an alluring estuary nearby Poovar that remains resplendent also in the same relaxing vibe and natural abundance. In its yet unspoilt confines, Poovar harbours an aura that caters to every touristry desire- of the quaint and the peaceful as also of the picturesque and the magical.
An idyllic spot for a relaxing day out in the open, the Neyyar dam is a man-made wonder that makes for among the rare places to visit in Trivandrum. In fact, Neyyar is a lake cum dam that is built over the Neyyar river and makes for a really enthralling spot encompassed by the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. With the breathtaking Western Ghats as the backdrop, the Neyyar Dam makes for a really amazing picnic place.
The panoramic presence of the lake amidst the majestic standing of the dam makes this place a marvel in many wonders. Undisturbed by the chaos of the world and deep seated in its offering of splendid serenity and unbounded natural bounty, the region makes for a really enchanting place to while away your Trivandrum sojourn. There’s obviously rich flora and diverse fauna inhabiting this ecologically vibrant place. But the Neyyar dam and the surrounding locality also houses many rare medicinal herbs within its offbeat ambit. For visitors to the capital of God’s very own country, this is one rare discovery that will leave you deeply satiated and immensely rejuvenated.
Veli Lake and Tourist Village
Among the most charming lakes in Kerala yet only a rare tourist attraction, the Veli Lake should certainly be among the list of places you would visit on a trip to Trivandrum. Located some 12 kilometers away from the city, the tourist village is a really pretty destination with its locational nestling at the confluence of the Veli Lake and the Arabian Sea. In fact the village sits pretty exotically on the sand bar that separates the two water bodies and oversees therefore the crystal waters of the underlying lagoon.
There’s ample activities that you can indulge in the many waters that define the allure of Veli. In its splendid stretch of backwaters and the lush expanse of its many paddy fields, the scene is one of a breathtaking contrast on canvas. Shades of green as vivid as the strokes of blue define this quaint place that is a visual treat to savor in all its glory. A floating bridge and some amazing stone and grass sculptures further up the exotic quotient of this charming place that definitely is a worthy tourist attraction in all its exquisite offerings.
The Kappil backwaters aren’t exactly among the rare tourist places in Trivandrum but compared to how abundantly explored backwaters in Kerala tend to be, it does not exactly feature as one of the must visit attractions. Situated a mere 7 kilometers away from the very popular beach destination of Varkala, the sheen of the Kappil backwaters seem to remain mired in relative obscurity. In fact the majestic beauty of the backwaters together with the astounding expanse of the sea makes also the Kappil beach a tourist destination of unparalleled magnificence altogether. Amazing sunset and sunrise views further compound the beauty of this place that remains resplendent even in its largely relaxing vibe.
The Kappil Pozhi estuary that separates the sea from the backwaters makes for an amazing walkway, one where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll even as panoramic views and the gentle sea breeze soothes your body and soul. The coconut lined sandy strip makes for such a stunning view that the place remains one of the most photographed across Kerala! Reclusive in its touristry presence yet not in any way lacking in the appeal, hardly would you discover a beauty like Kappil even in your sojourn across the world.
That Kerala is mainly celebrated as a land of verdant greenery and swaying waters, of beachy allure and coastal glory perhaps explains why an architectural specimen as striking as the Kowdiar Palace in Trivandrum makes for among the rare places that tourists tend to visit. In its structure, the palace is a simple manifestation of architecture, yet it is by no means any less exemplary a specimen than other flamboyant illustrations. Even historically the Kowdiar Palace holds significance as Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal built it for the wedding of his only sister, Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi.
A really unique wooden structure, one that even boasts an elevator made of wood, the Kowdiar Palace makes for a grand sight even in its ‘rooted’ existence. A three storeyed building that rears its majestic bearings from among the verdant expanse of Trivandrum, the palace is a lofty sight with its six steeples and an equally breathtaking wonder in the picturesque garden of greenery that nestles it. The Kowdiar Palace indeed is an encompassment of the simplicity that describes Kerala, flamboyant in its natural endowment and alluring even in its minimalism. There truly is no ode to beauty that does Trivandrum better humanly than the Kowdiar Palace.
Azhimala might be another of the many beaches that dot Kerala but in its quiet splendor it remains one of those rare places that needs to be a feature of the itinerary of every visit to Trivandrum. Just some few kilometers away from the world class appeal of Kovalam, the allure of Azhimala resides in its quaint, calm existence that renders it nothing short of a paradise. The setting is one that is undoubtedly idyllic, the vibe permeating through its serene prettiness speaks of solace and contentment, and in the expanse of almost nothingness would you encounter a peace so alluring that you would want to stay there forever. Of course there are coconut fringed shores that sit pretty daintily with the majestic Azhimala hill as the backdrop. There also is the Azhamala Shiva Temple nearby for you to seek spirituality in, intermingled with solace and tranquility.
A small village hamlet in Trivandrum, Bonacaud is also a really pretty picnic spot. A sprawling encompassment of natural beauty in its array of valleys, waterfalls and hills, Bonacaud also is the lesser known base station of the famous peak, Agasthyarkoodam in the Agasthya hills of the Western Ghats. What however strikes a different tone amidst the abundant beauty and verdance tract that defines every aspect of Kerala and also Bonacaus is the presence of supposedly among the most haunted places in the state. That’s a chill that the Bonacaud Bungalow encompasses, that in its misty presence and obscure existence stands very much as a ghostly ground. There also however exists an abandoned tea factory that also adds its own dose of horror to Bonacaud.
Naturally in its abundant peaks and trails, Bonacaud is also a trekker’s paradise. Flora and fauna dot the region as does gurgling streams and crystal waters making it the true encompassment of nature in all its vibrancy. Bonacaud perhaps is no different than any other touristry attractions in Kerala, yet it remains one of the rare places to visit in Trivandrum if you are a soul forever in awe of as much of natural exuberance as the world can grant.
A seaside village that rests just 29 kilometers away from the city of Trivandrum, Mutalapozhi might not strike exactly as a tourist wonder with its seemingly ordinary stature which is why it finds expression as one of the rare places to visit in Trivandrum. But as the place that defines the confluence of the Vamanapuram River and the Arabian Sea, the sleepy hamlet sure is no walkover either. Like all other places that emerge to be prettier with the merge of the backwaters and the sea, Muthalapozhi also is steeped in all of that exquisite beauty. An unending seascape, really stunning sunset views, an array of beach activities and unending allure of serenity- Trivandrum sure couldn’t have got any more ordinarily exotic than this!
Ponmudi might be exactly the rarest of places to visit for a tourist, but as a hill station with all the charms it still dwells somewhere in obscurity. A mist covered valley that harbours the robust allure of the teas and also the prettiness of its ample floral diversity, Ponmudi is a really captivating vista of all encompassing beauty. Sitting conveniently at some 60 kilometers from Trivandrum, Ponmudi definitely is worthy of your visit as among the rare places that has all the elements of making you feel like you are in the midst of true blue paradise.