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Kerala Tourist Centers


A must on every tourist itinerary, is the Padmanabhaswami temple with its gopuram (tower) soaring majestically upwards, which is believed to be one of the 108 shrines sacred to the Vaishnavites in India.

Within its sacred grounds, the main pavilion is impressive with its 400 beautifully carved pillars of granite. The 100-feet-high gopuram comprises of seven stories with each center. The stone basement of the tower is covered with elaborate sculptures and the masonry above is complete with ornamental works of figures from the Puranas and other ancient scriptures.

Tapering towards the top, it bears the statue of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Inside the temple, the main shrine is well guarded with a number of massive doors, and darshan (an audience) can enter through the three-door openings into the sanctum sanctorum.

Besides this magnificent temple, Thiruvananthapuram offers a great deal more. There is the Observatory to start with, established over a hundred years ago. Several kings have also built their palaces in and around the city, each more impressive than the other. Despite a few attempts at modernity, the city retains its discreet, old-world charm.

One can visit the Museum with its plethora of gables and towers. A warehouse of fine works of art, the chief attraction here is the 250-year-old temple car made for Lord Vishnu, artistically designed and ornamented. Besides this, objects carved out of wood, models of the temple, antique jewelry, etc., make the museum worth a visit.

Lying within the museum compound, Sri Chitra Art Gallery proves to be an ideal place for art lovers. The piece de resistance is the large section devoted to the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, an Indian painter of distinction in the history of the country’s modern art.

Besides him, the Indian section also contains works of Rabindranath Tagore, Jamimi Roy, K. K. Hebar, miniatures from the Rajput and Mughal schools of painting and the famous Tanjore paintings crusted with semi-precious stones. The gallery’s collection also includes paintings from Indonesia, China, and Japan.

A trip to Thiruvananthapuram is incomplete without a boat-ride on its enchanting backwaters. These waterways are full of life. It is not surprising there are more miles of waterways in the state compared to rail - approximately 1,900 km to the 1,000 km of rail.

The landscape is dotted with picturesque palms and thatched huts. One can be seduced by the panorama of beautiful landscapes, beaches and waterways, coconut palms and, of course, friendly people.

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