Top 5 Places to Visit in Thiruvananthapuram

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Kottayam, India: Arjun Nrittam is a ritual folk dance based on stories from the Mahabharata epic. Arjuna (at centre) is the principal character from which this dance takes its name (Image by: Lindsay Hebberd/Corbis)

by ATHIRA KRISHNA

The rich tapestry woven by its heritage and glorious cultural past renders Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital of Kerala, elegant and often times stunning. Kerala boasts of a rich aesthetic acumen and sense of appreciation when it comes to art, irrespective of form, be it music, poetry, dance or sculpture. Here are the top 5 places to visit in Thiruvananthapuram.

1. AGASTHYAKOODAM BIOSPHERE RESERVE

On Kerala’s second-highest peak, Agasthyakoodam, thrives a biosphere reserve of immense importance for its rich biodiversity and rare medicinal plants. Thiruvananthapuram serves as the gateway to this reserve, which isalsohome to the Kanikkaran ntribe. Advance booking is required to trek to the summit.

2. PONMUDI HILL STATION

An enchanting hill resort at an altitude of 1,100 metres, Ponmudi, with its spice and tea estates and mist-covered valleys, is a sight to behold. Among its many other attractions are a deer park, captivating mountain flowers and the Ponmudi Waterfalls.

3. VIZHINJAM ROCK CUT CAVE

The rock-cut sculptures in this granite cave temple in Vizhinjam date back to the 18th century. The outer wall of the cave depicts relics of the Hindu god Shiva with Goddess Parvathi, while the one-celled shrine encloses a sculpture of a deity as well.

4. MAGIC PLANET

Located within the KINFRA Film and Video Park, Magic Planet, the world’s first entirely magic-themed park, is an infotainment centre designed for children to explore science, technology, art and literature. Enchantment abounds with stellar performances and spellbinding acts, including an area exclusively dedicated to In dian street magicians.

5. KOVALAM BEACH

A favourite destination for water sports, Kovalam Beach attracts parasailing enthusiasts in particular. Best experienced between October and March, parasailing at Kovalam offers a spectacular aerial view of the region.

Check out the rest of this article in Asian Geographic No.111 Issue 3/2015 here or download a digital copy here

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