Trivandrum / Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram formerly known as Trivandrum, is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Kerala. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland. Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as the “Evergreen city of India”, it is classified as a Tier-II city by the Government of India.
Thiruvananthapuram was a trading post for spices, sandalwood and ivory. The city was ruled by the Ays and was captured by the rulers of Venad in tenth century A.D. In 1729, Marthanda Varma founded the princely state of Thiruvithamkoor and made Thiruvananthapuram the capital in 1745. It remained as a princely state ruled by Travancore under the loose governance of the British before joining the Indian Union in 1948.
The NH 66 and NH 544 (old NH 47) connects the city with Salem and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. The Main Central Road is an arterial road in the city and is designated as State Highway 1.
There are five railway stations in the city namely, the Thiruvananthapuram Central , Thiruvananthapuram Pettah, Kochuveli, Veli and Nemom. Thiruvananthapuram Central is the major railway station serving the city. It falls under the Southern Railway zone of the Indian Railways and is the headquarter of the Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division.
Thiruvananthapuram is served by the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. Being one of the gateways to the state, it has direct connectivity to all the major cities in India as well as Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The airport is just 6.7 kilometres (4.2 mi) from the city centre. It also has the headquarters of the Southern Air Command (SAC) of the Indian Air Force.
Thiruvananthapuram is a major tourist hub in South India. Kovalam and Varkala are popular beach towns located near the city. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple circled by the East Fort is believed to be among the richest and grandest temples in India. Other places of interest include Shanghumukham, Azhimala Beach, Agasthyamala rain forests, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary,Kallar, Braemore, Ponmudi hills, Poovar and Anchuthengu backwaters, Varkala Cliffs and Kappil, Edava lakes. The city is also known for its unique style of architecture involving Kerala Architecture with British and Dravidian influences in Napier museum, Zoo buildings, Kuthiramalika and Kilimanoor Palaces.