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.