Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) is the captial of Kerala and also the headquaters of the trivandrum District.It is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland spreading over a total of 2,192sq.km.
Mahatma Gandhi has referred trivandrum as “Evergreen city of India“.
The city is the state capital and houses many central and state government offices, organizations and companies. Apart from being the political nerve centre of Kerala, it is also a major academic hub and is home to several educational institutions including the University of Kerala, and too many science and technology institutions, namely Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre , Technopark and IIST.
The city gets its name from the word, Thiru-anantha-puram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of the sacred Serpent Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines.
From around 1000 BC Thiruvananthapuram has been an ancient city with trading traditions. The rise of modern Thiruvananthapuram began with accession of Marthanda Varma in 1729 as the founding ruler of the princely state of Travancore. Thiruvananthapuram was made the capital of Travancore in 1745. The city developed into a major intellectual and artistic centre during this period. The golden age in the city’s history was during the mid 19th century under the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal. This era witnessed the establishment of the first English school, the Oriental Research Institute , the General Hospital , the Observatory & Manuscripts Library and the University College . The first Lunatic Asylum in the state was also started during the same period. Sanskrit College, Ayurveda College, Law College and a second grade college for women were started by Moolam Thirunal during this era.
The begining of the 19th century was an age of tremendous political and social changes in the city. The Sree Moolam Assembly, established in 1904 was the first democratically elected legislative council in any Indian state. It was not under the direct control of the British Empire at any time, the city however featured prominently in India’s freedom struggle. The Indian National Congress made a very active presence in the city. In 1938 a meeting of the Indian National Congress was held which was presided by Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramaiah
In 1931 Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma took over and witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of “Temple Entry Proclamation” (1936) was an act that underlined social emancipation. This era also saw the establishment of the Kerala University which was formerly known as University of Travancore in 1937.
With the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1962, Thiruvananthapuram became the cradle of India’s ambitious space programme. The first Indian space rocket was developed and launched from the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) located in the outskirts of the city in 1963. Several establishments of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) were later established in Thiruvananthapuram.
A major milestone in the city’s recent history was the establishment of Technopark,India’s first IT park in 1995. Technopark has developed into the largest IT Park in India and third largest in Asia and is home to MNC giants like Infosys, TCS, Ernst & Young, UST Global etc; This placed Thiruvananthapuram on the IT map of India and it is today one of the most promising in the country in terms of competitiveness and capability.
City buses, taxis and autorickshaws provide means of transportation within the city. Scooters, motorcycles and regular bicycles are the favored means of personal transportation.
The intra-city public transport is dominated by the state-owned KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation). There are also private bus services. The central city bus terminal is located at East Fort(Kizhakkekotta), near the Padmanabha Swamy temple. The Central and Inter State bus station is located 1 km away at Thampanoor. Buses from it covers all major towns and villages in the State as well as big cities in India such as Bangalore and Chennai.
The Central railway station is also located at Thampanoor in the heart of the city, 8 km from the airport. It is a very important terminus which handles over 50 trains daily. The city is well connected by rail to almost all major cities in India. Thiruvananthapuram is the first major city from south along the second longest train route in the world, Kanyakumari to Jammu. A second satellite station was opened in 2005 at Kochuveli, near the International Airport.
Thiruvananthapuram’s International Airport, with direct flights from the Middle East, Singapore, Maldives and Sri Lanka is the gateway to the tourism-rich state of Kerala. There are also two military airports one near the civilian airport and the other at the Southern Air Command of the Indian Air Force at Akkulam. Thiruvanthapuram airport’s importance is also due to the fact that it is the southernmost airport in India and also the closest (and thus cheapest option) for neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Double Decker Buses, which were a major attraction of the city