Veli Tourist VillageThiruvananthapuram offers the visitor many interesting spots in and around the city. One such attraction is Veli Tourist Village. Located between the Veli Lagoon and the sea, it is a popular getaway and picnic spot for visitors as well as locals from the city. They can spend a few hours here at leisure, soaking in the serenity of the place while relaxing on the shores of the tranquil palm fringed lagoon. They can also walk across a floating bridge to view the splendid sunsets at the adjoining Shanghumugham Beach. There are also facilities for boating and swimming here for more active visitors.
A narrow sand bar separates the Veli lagoon from the sea, giving it a unique ambience. Veli Lagoon is part of the larger Aakkulam Lagoon just outside Thiruvananthapuram. Giant sculptures of sea shells, mermaids, sphinxes and animals set in lush landscaped gardens, filled with palms and other tropical trees, make for an interesting topic of conversation. The most famous is the jalakanya or mermaid sculpture. It is 35-metre-long and shows the mermaid lying on her side in a giant oyster shell. Fish ponds with colourful fish and wading pools are added attractions. Visitors can also enjoy themselves in a large waterfront park and children’s park. Boating is by far the most popular activity here. Visitors can hire pedal boats or speed boats and go around the lagoon enjoying the scenery. Horse rides are also available. The floating bridge adds a surreal touch to the beautiful scene. Don’t miss the variety of birds who are residents here.
A Youth Hostel accommodates young visitors for an overnight stay. A starfish-shaped restaurant serves a variety of dishes. Most visitors come in the evening to spend some time away from the city. A traffic signs park could also be of interest to children.
Shanghumugham Beach is away from the hustle and bustle of the other beaches of Thiruvanathapuram. Splendid sunsets add a magical touch to the landscape. Every year during the festival of Aarat of Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the temple’s deities, escorted by the current head of the House of Travancore, are brought in procession from the temple to Shanghumugham Beach for immersion in the sea and taken back. The beach is also the location for immersion during Ganesh Chaturthi. A sports complex close by offers facilities for skating, badminton and table tennis. Visitors may see aircraft landing and taking off at Shanghumugham Beach as the military airport of the Southern Air Command of the Indian Air Force is close by.
Aakkulam Tourist Village is another attraction close by. Developed on the lines of the Veli Tourist Village, it lies on the shores of the Aakkulam Lagoon and has landscaped gardens and offers facilities for swimming and boating too. Visitors can take in both attractions for a fun filled day out of Thiruvananthapuram.
Location: On Veli- Shanghumugham Road.
How to get there: Easily accessible from NH 47 Bypass Road. It is 8 km from the city centre and accessible by auto or bus.
Timings: 7 am – 6 pm.
Entry Fee: Rs 5.