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Although medical tourism in Thiruvananthapuram, which includes ayurvedic healing, attracts visitors from all across the world, the opulence of natural splendor in and around the city appeals to visitors from all over the nation as well as from overseas countries. The exotic variety of flora and fauna, landscaped hill stations, gleaming beaches, scenic backwaters and natural lagoons that dot the areas within the city limits, its fringes and at short driving distances from it make Thiruvananthapuram. All this makes the city of Thiruvananthapuram, or Trivandrum as it was known earlier, and its adjoining areas the perfect destination for enjoying amusing and engaging activities like weekend outings, one day tours and picnicking. In fact, the city and its fringes thrive with various interesting spots ideal for single-day excursions and sightseeing.
The city of Thiruvananthapuram, abounding a wide array of unique scenic attractions and marvellous man-made destinations, has innumerable options for the visitors, right within its boundaries, to explore it and to get acquainted with it. The finest of these locations, which are just perfect as picnicking destinations, comprise the beaches of Azhimala, Shankumugham and Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, Napier Museum, Thiruvallam and the Veli Tourist Village.
On the waterfront of the picturesque Akkulam Lake, the stunning backwaters of Akkulam truly mesmerize all. The special attractions at this tourist spot near the Veli Tourist Village, which is sited within 10 kilometres away from Thiruvananthapuram, comprise the Kettuvallam – a traditional houseboat, a boat club, a swimming pool, a children’s park and a musical fountain.
The mythical association of Agasthyakoodam in the Western Ghats, apart from its striking pictorial setting, makes it one of the finest destinations for family picnics and adventurous trekking within only 70 kilometres of the city of Thiruvananthapuram. It is a unique experience to trek up to the peak and to explore the exclusive variety of flora and fauna abundant in the region, Neelakurinji being one of the most interesting specimens of flora here.
Aruvippuram and Aruvikkara
Within 7 kilometres of Neyyattinkara, lies the religious site of Aruvippuram, which is home to a temple dedicated to Shiva. The place is worth visiting for the tourists in Thiruvananthapuram especially during cheerful celebrations of the local festivals in the region. The Aruvikkara reservoir and the ancient riverside temple make Aruvikkara a striking destination for group outings nearby Thiruvananthapuram, this picturesque site being sited within 16 kilometres of the town.
Anchuthengu and Balaramapuram
Stretched along the splashing waters of the beautiful shoreline, the historic site of Anchuthengu with its various ancient structures and monuments, which include the old fortification built by the British East India Company, is a superb venue for sightseeing and picnicking near the city. An historic church and a boat club situated on site are other major attractions positioned at this location. Sightseers interested in exploring the hand-weavers engrossed in manufacturing their wide variety of hand-woven clothes should opt for visiting the town of Balaramapuram, positioned within 13 kilometres of the city of Thiruvananthapuram to its south along National Highway 47.
Meenmutty Falls and Kombaikani Falls
The Meenmutty Falls and the Kombaikani Falls located near the Neyyar Lake are great as trekking sites and picnic spots in close proximity to Thiruvananthapuram.
Neyyar Dam and Neyyattinkara
The Neyyar Dam, found in the south of the city of Thiruvananthapuram on the Neyyar River features exciting options of trekking and boating for the picnickers here. Nearby attractions at this location include the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, the Crocodile Rearing Centre, the Lion Safari Park apart from the Kombaikani Falls and Meenmutty Falls. The historic town of Neyyattinkara, situated within 20 kilometres of the city, is home to the ancient Sree Krishna Swami Temple located at the riverfront of Neyyar. The town and its surroundings are worth exploring on a one-day tour to Neyyattinkara.
Ponmudi Hills, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Dam
Ponmudi Hills, home to tea plantations and rubber estates is a fascinating destination to explore with its rich variety of flora and fauna. Located within 61 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram, Ponmudi is a place ideal for adventurous activities like trekking. The route, which links Ponmudi to Thiruvananthapuram, lies the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, which embraces the Peppara Dam across the river called Karamana. Peypara or Peppara includes an extensive variety of flora and fauna and happens to be an enchanting destination for wildlife exploration, the perfect time to visit this region being the months of January, February and March. Trekking along the forest trails up to beautiful waterfalls are other attractions present here.
Poovar, Sarkara, Varkala and Vizhinjam
An ancient seaside village, yet a very charming location for enjoying excursions to the beaches, islets and backwaters, is the stunning site of Poovar, situated 29 kilometres away from the town of Thiruvananthapuram. Sarkara, which is known widely for being the home to the Sarkaradevi Temple, is another popular spot for one-day outing within only 35 kilometres of the city of Thiruvananthapuram. Within just 41 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram, the pilgrim centre of Varkala along with its scenic Papanasam Beach appeals to all the sightseers in the region. The historic port of Vizhinjam, which is now a fishing zone for the local fishermen, is one of the best places in Kerala to experience the magic touch of ayurvedic healing at any of the onsite luxury resorts and also to explore the ancient sculptural remains at the old cave temples.