Localities and Areas in ThiruvananthapuramThe gracious capital of Kerala is spread over seven hills with many historic as well as modern localities vying for attention in a fast developing city. The visitor can move from East Fort, the bustling heart of Thiruvananthapuram to its outer edge of Kazhakkoottam where the Technopark holds sway or Thumba, home to India’s rocket launching station.
The visitor can take in all the many traditional elements of Keralan culture as well as all the modern developments such as flyovers and malls as he or she discovers the city. Thiruvananthapuram’s arterial M.G. Road begins near East Fort and runs along till the Municipal Corporation office, passing through the localities of Thampanoor and Palayam. M G Road joins LMS Vellayambalam Road which connects to Vellayambalam Junction at one end and PMG Junction at the other.
Attakulangara is located in the heart of the city. Historic East Fort is a stone’s throw away. The Thiruvananthapuram-Vizhinjam Road runs through this neighbourhood. Attukal Road begins here and runs into Manacaud. On the other side of Attakulangara lies the busy neighbourhood of Chalai. Landmarks here include Attakulangara Madan Temple, Attakulangara Mosque and the Women’s Prison.
Chalai is the location of Thiruvananthapuram’s most popular bazaar where everything from a pin to a refrigerator can be purchased. The bazaar is located along a 2 km stretch that runs from East Fort to Killippalam. People throng the place throughout the day, especially in the evenings to buy vegetables and fruits, household articles, clothes, hardware, stationery and jewellery. The Central Railway Station is a stone’s throw away.
East Fort is in the very heart of the city and, as is evident, refers to the historic fort which once enclosed the city within its walls. It today incorporates such attractions in and around it including the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kuthira Malika Palace, Pazhavangadi Ganesha Temple, Rangavilasom, Gandhi Park and Chalai Bazaar. Fort has its own police station and post office.
On the edge of Thiruvananthapuram, 16 km from the heart of the city, it is a magnet for most visitors because of its beaches it is a favourite weekend destination among tourists.
One of Thiruvananthapuram’s upmarket localities, Kowdiar is home to the palace of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore. It is connected to East Fort by the Rajapatha. Among the spacious properties in this area are the Golf Club and Tennis Club.
In the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, a short diatnce form East Fort this is where the famous Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is situated. This is where millions of women devotees of Goddess Bahgavathy gather for the annual Attukal Pongala festival held every February-March. They prepare an offering made out of rice, jaggery, ghee, coconut and banana for the goddess. Attukal Road runs through Manacaud to Chiramukku.
Almost 20 km away from the city, Neyyattinkara has developed into a satellite town of Thiruvananthapuram and part of the greater metropolitan region. It is home to many industries, service sector establishments, hospitals and an upwardly mobile population. The Sree Krishna Temple here attracts many visitors. Attractions such as Neyyar Dam and Poovar are close by. NH 47 runs through Neyyattinkara which also has its own railway station.
On the way to Kowdiar from East Fort on the city’s arterial M.G Road, Palayam used to be the Cantonment area and housed the troops of the maharajas of Travancore. Statue Junction is where the state government’s Secretariat is located. At the other end of the locality is PMG Junction. The Napier Museum and Zoo is a prominent landmark. Palayam is also home to the St. Joseph’s Metropolitan cathedral, Chandrasekaran Nair Stadium, Juma Masjid and the University of Kerala. This is also one of the major business districts of Thiruvananthapuram with Connemara Market attracting people throughout the day.
Along the busy M G Road, Pattom is where many administrative and business establishments are located including the Kerala Public Service Commission, State Planning Board, LIC, Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation and the Kerala State Electricity Board. The area is named after the second chief minister of Kerala, Pattom A. Thanu Pillai. Landmarks here include the Pattom Palace, St. Mary’s Church, Subramanya Swamy Temple and Vaidyuthi Bhavan.
Located beyond Kowdiar towards the north east of the city, Peroorkada is a residential suburb which has developed rapidly with shopping complexes and apartments. It is on the way to Nedumangad and Ponmudi. Landmarks here include the Sree Krishna Temple, Oolampara Mental Hospital and Peerorkada Market. The Doordarshan Kendra is next door in Kudappanakunnu.
Located 14 km away from the city centre in Kazhakkoottam, is the new face of Thiruvananthapuram as represented by Technopark, home to the city burgeoning software industry. It is home to more than 290 companies employing more than 90,000 people and is India’s largest such park, spread over 300 acres and with a built up area of 7.1 million sq ft. Companies based here include Infosys, TCS, Oracle, Accenture, Suntec Ernst & Young and Allianz.
Located in between Chalai and Pulimoodu in the heart of the city, Thanpanoor is the location of Central Railway Station and the Central Bus Station. All around is the city’s busy commercial district with many hotels and shops.
Located 12 km from the city centre, Thumba was once a fishing village with the waters of the Arabian Sea washing its shores. It was chosen as the site for India’s first Rocket Launching Station and continues to be the focus of much scientific activity. St. Mary Magadalene’s Church which was used by the scientists as their main office initially now houses a space museum.
In the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, Vellayambalam is on the way to Kowdiar. It takes its name after a whitewashed inn which once stood here, before the development of the neighbourhood. A statue of Ayyankali stands in the roundabout at the junction. Vellayambalam is home to the Raj Bhavan and Kanakakunnu Palace. Other landmarks here include Vellayambalam Palace, Yakshi Amma Althara Temple, Latin Bishop’s House, Police Headquarters, Kerala Water Authority and Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority.
Close to East Fort, Vanchiyoor is a bustling district filled with government offices and commercial establishments. It is home to the Principal District and Sessions Court, General Post Office, Accountant General’s Office, Passport Office, Employment Exchange, YMCA, Govt. Ayurveda College, Chettikulangara Devi Temple and Rishimangalam Temple. Central Railway Station and Central Bus Station are a stone’s throw away.