Thiruvananthapuram ( Kerala , South India)
Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala, is a beautiful sea-side city built on 7 hills, which had past trade links with many countries outside India. The name is derived from Tiru Anantha Puram, meaning the city of Anantha, referring to Vishnu as Padmanabhswamy. It is also known as the Holy City of Anantha. Marthand Varma, the most famous king of Travancore, dedicated the entire state to the deity and became the Padmanabha Das or the Servant of Lord Padmanabha. The city once formed a part of the erstwhile Travancore state which had its capital at Padmanabhapuram. The present capital city is well located with spacious avenues with several parks. The city forms the entry into the state from the southern side and serves as a base for the tourists who want to visit Kerala and its interesting places.
SRI PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE: Situated in the heart of the city, it is the most magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Anantha Padmanabha, Vishnu reclining on Adishesha. This is held as a very sacred shrine from antiquity. The main tower at the entrance rises in seven tiers and is a fine specimen of Dravidian architecture. The corridor surrounding the shrine is supported by 386 beautifully sculptured granite stone pillars. The ten day festival held twice a year is very colourful. The "Murajapam" is another festival which takes place once in 6 years. The festival concludes with the temple and the tower illuminated with one lakh oil lamps (Laksha Deepa) during the night. It is the practice at this temple to allow only Hindus to enter inside the temple.
KAVADIAR PALACE: This is an instructive institution of superb architecture showing glimpses of life in the ancient princely Kerala times. As this is a private property of the ruling family, it can be visited only with permission.