Geography of ThiruvananthapuramThiruvananthapuram is located at 8.5° N and 76.9° E on the western coast of India near its southern tip. The city lies along the shores of the Arabian Sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other. The backwaters of the rivers Karamanna and Killi circumscribe the city. The city’s topography consists of several low lying hills. It has been identified as being in a moderately earthquake prone zone by the Geological Survey of India. The city’s elevation is at 10 m (30 ft). Given its tropical location, it abounds in lush vegetation.
Climate of Thiruvananthapuram
The city’s climate ranges from warm to hot round the year with temperatures ranging from 15° C to 39° C. The city experiences three seasons of summer (March-May) the monsoons (June-September) and winter (October-February). Thiruvananthapuram is the first city in India in which the monsoons set and the city experiences torrential rains during the south-west monsoons from June to August. It also gets the north-east monsoons during October-November. The annual average rainfall here is 1,500 mm per annum. Winter is experienced in the hills close to the city. The city’s climate can be termed as being between tropical savannah and tropical monsoon. In the summer temperatures range between 17° C to 34° C and in winters temperatures range between 15° C and 31° C.
Soil Types in Thiruvananthapuram
The soil type in Thiruvananthapuram is dark brown loamy laterite soil high in phosphates and with low water retension capacity. Laterisation is a result of the heavy rainfall and humid conditions. The soil can also be gravelly in some areas. Towards the seashore the soil can be alluvial and usually acidic and low in fertility. In the foothills the soil can red and loamy.
Flora and Fauna of Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram is surrounded by tropical wet evergreen forests with the city itself having good tree cover. The area is fertile breeding ground for a variety of trees, orchids, medicinal plants and spices. Timber producing trees of teak wood and rose wood are also cultivated here. The coconut palm is to be found everywhere and so are banana trees and rubber trees. The forests close to the city abound in a variety of wildlife too including bisons, elephants, leopards, jungle cats, Nilgiri langur, crocodiles and snakes. The city’s backwaters support a variety of birds including kingfishers, herons, cormorants and darters.
Rivers of Thiruvananthapuram
The Karamanna River flows through Thiruvananthapuram after originating near the Agastyakoodam Peak in the Western Ghats. It enters the city at Nedumangad and after flowing through it meets the Arabian Sea at Panathura near Kovalam. The river’s main tributary is the Killi. Water from this river feeds the pond at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple and the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is on its banks. The catchment area of these rivers is forested along with plantations of banana and coconut.
Backwaters of Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram is blessed with backwaters at Aakulam Lake, Veli Lake, Vellayani Lake. These are formed by tributaries of the Karamanna and Killi rivers and are oases of calm away from the city. The two rivers meet at Thiruvallam, south of the city creating another backwater stretch.