Trivandrum, once known as Thiruvananthapuram, stands as the thriving and bustling capital of Kerala, a land blessed by the gods. This magnificent city, also referred to as the “Dwelling of Lord Anantha,” proudly boasts a plethora of captivating attractions for a delightful day trip. From sacred sites steeped in religious significance to historical landmarks that tell tales of the past, from scenic vistas that take your breath away to pristine beaches with shimmering white sands, Trivandrum leaves no traveler disappointed.
Renowned as one of the cleanest cities in India, Trivandrum finds itself embraced by the mystical charm of Tamil Nadu in the East while being caressed by the serene waters of the Arabian Sea in the West. Like its fellow cities in Kerala, Trivandrum has carved out a unique niche for its splendid array of tourist attractions. So why wait any longer? It’s time to plan your journey, pack your bags, and embark on an unforgettable adventure to Trivandrum.
Here is a thoughtfully curated selection of the seven finest tourist destinations in Trivandrum that are ideal for a satisfying one-day escapade:
1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Source of Inspiration
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple, a fusion of Dravidian and Kerala-style architectural marvels, is a sanctuary devoted to Lord Anantha, a celestial incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Within its sacred premises lies the magnificent 18-foot-long deity of Sri Padmanabha, elegantly reclining upon the majestic serpent Adi Shesha, whose expanded hoods gracefully form a protective canopy over the deity’s head. The inner sanctum encompasses three meticulously adorned doors: the first grants a mesmerizing glimpse of the divine countenance and upper torso of the deity, the second door unveils the emergence of Lord Brahma from the deity’s navel, gracefully seated upon a blossoming lotus, while the third offers a tantalizing peep at Lord Padmanabha’s resplendent feet.
A visit to this celestial abode requires adherence to a dress code. Men and boys may choose to leave their upper bodies uncovered or wrap themselves in a traditional shawl, while their lower halves must be draped in an elegant dhoti. Women and girls may opt for a graceful saree or dhoti paired with a blouse, or even a t-shirt harmoniously combined with a flowing long skirt or a resplendent lehenga. To add a touch of contemporary flair, a dhoti artfully wrapped over jeans or a salwar suit might be the perfect choice.
Location: W Nada, East Fort, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 695023, India
Timings: 3:15 am to 12 noon and 5 pm to 7:20 pm
Ticket Price: INR 150 per person for a special darshan, INR 180 per person for a special darshan with prasad
Distance from Trivandrum: 6.8 km
A must-read article: 5 Temples In Trivandrum That Should Be the Highlight of Your Next Kerala Trip
2. Neyyar Dam
Source of Inspiration
Situated at the base of the majestic Western Ghats, Neyyar Dam was ingeniously constructed in 1958 to fulfill the noble purposes of irrigation and the provision of drinking water to the neighboring regions. Adorned with a picturesque lake, this ethereal dam attracts those in pursuit of serenity amidst the lap of nature, as well as avid photographers who seek to immortalize its captivating vistas through their lenses.
The dam is home to a Research Centre, a Crocodile Rehabilitation Center, a tower for observation, a park for deer, a garden, an aquarium, and the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwanthari Ashram. Visitors can partake in elephant rides and boating, either by safari or on high-speed boats. Currently, it is widely regarded as one of the most excellent places for picnics in Trivandrum, where individuals come with their beloved ones to pass the time, capture photographs, and relish the awe-inspiring vistas.
Where to find it: Thiruvananthapuram Neyyar Dam Road, Trivandrum, Kerala 695572Operating Hours: 9 am to 6 pmAdmission Price: INR 10 per personDistance from Trivandrum: 37.7 km
3. Napier Museum
The Napier Museum is a prominent attraction that presents the history of Kerala in relation to various rulers during different historical periods. Established in 1857, the museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts such as armor, sculptures, handicrafts, ornaments, idols, carvings, musical instruments, coins, and chariots. It also features a Japanese shadow-play leather that vividly depicts the epics of Mahabharatha and Ramayana. This museum serves as an informative hub for history enthusiasts, researchers, and students.
The museum is named after the former Governor General of Madras and boasts Indo-Saracenic architecture, which draws inspiration from Indian, Chinese, Mughal, and Kerala schools of architecture, incorporating Gothic roofs and minarets. The premises include a captivating garden with a wide assortment of flowers and the oldest living rubber tree in Kerala.
Where to find it: LMS Vellayambalam Road, Opposite PWD Building, Palayam, Trivandrum, Kerala 695033Operating Hours: 10 am to 4:45 pm, closed on Mondays & Wednesdays forenoonsAdmission Price: INR 20 per personDistance from Trivandrum: 4.6 km
4. Shanghumukham Beach
Situated on the western side of Trivandrum, Shanghumukham Beach is a pristine white sandy beach, offering respite from the city’s clamor and bustle. The beach is renowned for its impressive 35-meter structure resembling a mermaid, also known as Sagarakanyaka (Jalakanyaka), sculpted by the acclaimed artist Sri Kanai Kunjuraman. Aaratu Mandapam and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are among the other attractions found on the beach.
The beach stands as an ideal spot to witness breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Local residents often choose this beach for picnics and to cherish moments with their families and friends. The premises also feature an Indoor Recreation Center and a Children’s Park to keep visitors entertained. With its unspoiled waters, tranquil surroundings, and enchanting vistas, Shanghumukham Beach easily finds its place on the list of top destinations for day trips in Trivandrum.
Where to find it: Beach Road, Trivandrum, Kerala 695008Operating Hours: 24/7Admission Price: N.A.Distance from Trivandrum: 10.3 km
5. Kanakakunnu Palace: A Marvel on a Small Hillock
Perched delicately on a small hillock, the mesmerizing Kanakakunnu Palace came into being in the 19th century, during the era of Travancore Sri Moolam Thirunal. Located in proximity to the Napier Museum, this architectural gem was initially created to host intimate ceremonies for the royal family and grand celebrations for momentous occasions. Enthralling in its red-bricked majesty, the palace now serves as a venue for a multitude of cultural events, informative seminars, and a plethora of other engaging programs.
Annually, from the months of October to March, the Department of Tourism showcases an extraordinary all-India dance festival, attracting enthusiasts from every corner of the nation who converge here, eager to be captivated by awe-inspiring performances. Furthermore, there are ambitious plans underway to establish a comprehensive museum on the palace grounds, which will not only chronicle the region’s rich history, but also shed light on its diverse culture, dynamic politics, and captivating art forms. Designated as a heritage monument by The Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Kanakakunnu Palace stands as a testament to its glorious past and promising future.
Location: Kanaka Kunnu Palace Rd, Nanthancodu, Trivandrum, Kerala 695033Working Hours: Open from 10 am to 5 pm; closed on MondaysEntry Fee: Free of chargeDistance from Trivandrum: Approximately 2.5 km
6. Chalai Bazaar: A Vibrant Hub of Commerce
Nestled in the very heart of Trivandrum, the illustrious Chalai Bazaar stands proud as the city’s oldest market, stretching across a sweeping 2-kilometer expanse from East Gate to Killipalam. This bustling marketplace tantalizes its visitors with a wide array of offerings, ranging from trendy footwear, essential groceries, modern home appliances, exquisite jewelry, magnificent furnishings, to an assortment of venerated vessels, and so much more. In essence, Chalai Bazaar is your one-stop destination for a myriad of treasures, encompassing luscious fruits, fragrant flowers, beautiful handlooms, and fashionable garments that cater to every taste.
At every turn of this bustling bazaar, one can witness the presence of remarkable Tamil-style temples, alongside one of the city’s oldest mosques, the revered Karuppattikada Juma Masjid. Additionally, gastronomic enthusiasts will find themselves spoiled for choice, as there is an abundant selection of delectable treats available, with an array of culinary options that will surely appease any palate. The streets of Chalai Bazaar are perpetually alive with an undeniable energy, perpetuated by the constant hustle and bustle of shoppers and merchants alike.
Location: TC 38/1781, Chalai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695036Working Hours: Open from 9 am to 8 pm; closed on SundaysEntry Fee: Not ApplicableDistance from Trivandrum: Approximately 7.2 km
7. Sri Chitra Art Gallery: A Revered Haven of Artistic Splendor
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking world of artistic brilliance as you step into the prestigious Sri Chitra Art Gallery. Blessing the beholder with an extensive collection of captivating artworks, this divine space showcases the awe-inspiring talent of gifted artists. Embark on a journey through the gallery, marveled by the masterpieces that adorn its walls and embrace art forms from various eras, offering a glimpse into the fascinating narratives of our shared history.
Located in a realm of tranquility, the gallery promises not only a visual feast but also an exploration of the imagination and a celebration of the human spirit. Unleash your artistic sensibilities and revel in the enchantment that awaits within the illustrious halls of Sri Chitra Art Gallery.
Location: Museum Road, Near Govt. Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695033Working Hours: Open from 10 am to 5 pm; closed on MondaysEntry Fee: Subject to varying charges based on exhibitionsDistance from Trivandrum: Close proximity to the city center
Sri Chitra Art Gallery, also referred to as Sri Chitralayam, underwent a complete reconstruction utilizing two pre-existing bungalows within the museum gardens. It was officially made accessible to the public in September of 1935. The gallery showcases a rare and exquisite assortment of paintings from various renowned schools of art, such as the Rajputs, Mughals, Rajasthan, Bengal, and Tanjore. Additionally, it houses Tibetan Thangka art and features esteemed artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Rabindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Svetoslav Roerich, Nicholas Roerich, and numerous other gifted individuals.
Within the gallery, visitors will discover unique collections of miniature paintings, manuscripts, and awe-inspiring murals. Many of these magnificent pieces of art have been generously gifted by the Kilimanoor Royal family and the Royal House of Travancore. For art enthusiasts and history aficionados seeking an exceptional one-day excursion in Trivandrum, a visit to Sri Chitra Art Gallery is an absolute must.
Location: Sooryakanthi Road, Trivandrum, Kerala 695033
Operating Hours: 10 am to 4:45 pm; closed on Mondays & Wednesdays before noon
Admission Price: INR 4 per person for ages 5-12, INR 10 per person for ages 12 and above
Distance from Trivandrum: 0.8 km
For more information, read: 15 Astonishing Activities to Experience in Trivandrum for an Exhilarating Vacation
Now that you have explored our list of Trivandrum’s top tourist destinations for a one-day trip, it’s time to plan your day accordingly. Reserve one of our customizable Trivandrum Tour Packages from Fred and Fuzzys for your next visit. Our packages can be tailored to suit your preferences. Be sure to communicate your requirements to our booking executive when making arrangements.
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FAQs About Trivandrum’s One-Day Trip Tourist Attractions
What are some suggestions for spending a day in Trivandrum?
If you have a day to explore Trivandrum, we recommend visiting the following places:
1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple
2. Neyyar Dam
3. Napier Museum
4. Chalai Bazaar
5. Sri Chitra Art Gallery
6. Kanakakunnu Palace
7. Shanghumukham Beach