Thiruvananthapuram, formerly known as
Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala and the
headquarters of Thiruvananthapuram District. It is located on the west coast
of India near the extreme south of the mainland. It is characterized by its
undulating terrain of low coastal hills with wide, clean roads and busy
commercial alleys. India's Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi had referred and
designated this lovely beach side city built on hills as the "Ever Green
City of India"
Thiruvananthapuram is the first city along the path of the south-west
monsoons and gets its first showers in early June. The city gets heavy
rainfall of around 1700 mm per year. The city also gets rain from the
receding north-east monsoons which hit the city by October. The dry season
sets in by December. December, January and February are the coldest months
while March, April and May are the hottest. The winter temperature comes
down to about 15 °C and summer temperatures can sometimes go as high as 37
Thiruvananthapuram has a rich cultural background, with the rulers of
erstwhile Travancore taking an active interest in development of arts and
culture. Thiruvananthapuram has produced several great artists, the most
famous ones being Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Raja Ravi Verma.
Maharaja Swathi Thirunal was a great composer and played a vital role in the
development of Carnatic music. He is widely credited with introducing the
violin in to the world of classical Carnatic music. A music college in his
name exists today in the city. Raja Ravi Verma was an illustrious painter
with global recognition. His contributions to Indian art are substantial.
Most of his famous paintings are preserved at the Sree Chithra Art Gallery
in the city.
The Padmanabha Swamy Temple and the fort surrounding it, the Napier Museum
and Zoo, the VJT hall, Palayam Mosque and Church are among the prominent
heritage buildings in the city. The Veli Lake and Shangumukham beach are
home to various sculptures of noted sculptor Kanhai Kunjiraman.
Thiruvananthapuram easily disguises itself as a laid back quiet city to the
casual observer. However beneath it, there is a humdrum of cultural
activity. The city comes to life during the festival season of Onam in
August\September and during the tourist season later in the year. The state
government conducts the tourism week celebrations every year during Onam
with cultural events taking place at various centers in the city. The other
major events include the annual flower show, the Attukal Pongala, the Aaraat
at Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the Beemapally Uroos, Vettucaud Perunaal etc.
The CVN Kalari at East Fort, is world renowned center for training in
Kerala's own martial art the Kalaripayattu. The Margi center offers training
in many of Kerala's traditional arts including Kathakali.