In ‘God’s Own Country’ each part is endowed with its own natural beauty. Beaches, backwaters, mountains, and forests, each place has something to offer and provides an ample amount of opportunities to make beautiful memories. People from all around the world wish to explore the various beautiful places in Kerala and so does the residents of the state.
Here is a list of places near Trivandrum that must be visited
Kovalam– Located about 18km south of Thiruvananthapuram, is one of the most famous destinations for beaches and one of the most popular destinations in Kerala Tour Packages. The beautiful Kovalam beach resort on the shores of the Arabian Sea is called ‘Paradise of South’. Among the three beaches in Kovalam, Lighthouse beach is the most popular one which offers an amazing view of the Vizhinjam Mosque. The other two beaches Samudra beach and Eve’s beach are ideal for relaxing and spending a quiet evening. One can enjoy sunbathing, catamaran cruising, herbal body massage, Kayaking, among many other things.
How to reach– One can hire a car or travel in a shared taxi to reach Kovalam from Trivandrum. In budget constraints, one can also hire auto-rickshaw which is the cheapest local transportation used to reach Kovalam from Thiruvananthapuram. There are also bus services between the two places with pretty low fares but the journey can be a bit time consuming and tiring.
Kollam– About 69km from Trivandrum this old seaport is one of the famous backwater destinations in Kerala. The eight hours boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the best way of exploring Kerala’s backwater trails. Kollam attracts tourists all year round owing to the wide variety of sightseeing options and its beautiful lakes. Kollam beaches like the Thirumullavaram Beach and Thangassery beach, Munroe Island, Ashtamudi lake, Neendakara Port are all famous tourist locations. The region has many cultural centers, churches, and mosques including Rameshwara temple, Amritapuri Ashram, Pullichira Church, among others. The famous Kallada Boat Race takes place on the 28th day of Onam on the Kallada river.
How to reach– A number of trains run between Thiruvananthapuram Central and Kollam Junction, the fastest being Kochuveli-Hubbali Weekly SF Express(12778) with travel time being 45m. You can also take a bus which also takes approximately 1h to reach the destination and is often preferred over trains. A road trip from Trivandrum to Kollam is also a good way of traveling. One can hire a cab or take his or her own vehicle. The best route is Trivandrum-Attingal-Kollam via NH66 which takes about 2h.
Varkala– About 41km from Trivandrum is the coastal town of Varkala. Papanasam beach in Varkala has the second best beach resort in Kerala. It is a belief that a dip in its water washes away sins. The beach is less crowded and it is safe to swim at the beach. Occasionally dolphins are spotted here.
How to reach– One can plan a road trip to Varkala as a weekend getaway from Trivandrum City. It takes about 1h 25m to reach the destination via Chilakkoor-Vallakkadavu road. One can travel the distance on a bus. A number of buses run between the two destinations and approximately take 1h for the journey.
Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary– Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located about 31km from the Trivandrum City. The wildlife sanctuary, spread over 128sq km on the Western Ghats, is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna from wild boars and elephants to a range of medicinal herbs. The sanctuary is reported to have 39 species of mammals, 176 species of birds, 30 species of reptiles, 17 species of amphibians, and 40 species of fishes. The Neyyar Dam is built over the Neyyar River inside the Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary remains closed on Mondays and is open from 9 am to 4 pm the rest of the week.
How to reach– One can either take a road trip from Trivandrum City to Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary or can take a bus. The road trip will take 1h-1h30m.
Ponmudi– Ponmudi, or the Golden Peak, situated 55.2km north-east of Trivandrum City is a picturesque hill station and is a popular destination for trekking. Ponmudi happens one of the best weekend getaways from the city. Ponmudi is endowed with scenic hills, natural springs, and beautiful streams. Ponmudi has spice plantations, tea estates, Ponmudi waterfalls, Deer Park, River Kallar, Meenmutty Falls, and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary.
How to reach– You can reach Ponmudi from Trivandrum by road. You can plan a road trip in your own vehicle or hire a taxi. There are also buses available for Ponmudi. The journey takes approximately 2h.
Anchuthengu Fort– Established by the East India Company in 1696 after the Queen of Attingal gave permission. The fort had played an important role in the Anglo-Mysore War. The fort is located near the town of Anchuthengu.
How to reach– You can reach Anchuthengu on either a bus or hire a taxi or travel in your own vehicle. The route via Chilakkoor-Vallakkadavu road will take approximately 1h-1h 30m.
Agasthyakoodam– The second highest peak in Kerala, after Anamudi near Munnar, is 62km from Trivandrum. Both Hindus and Buddhists live here and it is believed to have been the abode of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and of Sage Agastya, a disciple of Lord Shiva. It has two trek routes Kottoor near Neyyar Dam and Bonacaud. Guided treks are arranged with overnight stays and camps.
How to reach– Both Kottoor and Bonacaud have bus connectivity from Trivandrum.
Aruvi Waterfalls– About 59km from Trivandrum and about 7km from Bonacaud estate is the beautiful Aruvi Waterfalls. It is located in the deep jungle of Peppara Forest Range. Locals are available as guides.
How to reach– A few buses are available from Trivandrum for Bonacaud. The best way of traveling by your own vehicle or by hiring a taxi.