Travel Techies presents to you some of the best hidden spots in Trivandrum city or the lesser known best places to visit in Thiruvananthapuram.
There are several waterfalls in Trivandrum. All of them are located along the hills of the north east.
Nature can be a very unforgiving place, and you need some specialized equipment and clothing to help you cope with most of the things Nature can throw at you.
- Always carry leech repellents as you may encounter them out in the wilderness.
- Day hiking shoes/boots
The key feature of these shoes (and not just any ordinary sneakers or sandals) are that their bottoms have grip. This will allow you to more confidently tackle slippery or steep terrain.
These are good to store essentials for short term day hiking. Some are equipped with bladders for hands-free hydration while others have side pockets to hold water bottles easily within reach. The ones I like tend to have a few more pockets to store things like maps, guidebooks, flashlights, tick removers, journal, and even trail food. Some also have hip belts for a little transfer of weight to the hips though they’re not as effective as those with frames.
- Handheld GPS
These are good for trip logging but they can also be valuable when combined with a Topo map for any cross-country hiking or confirmation that you’re on the right path or you’re lost.
This may be stating the obvious, but sunburn and the hidden risk of skin cancer from overexposure to the sun can’t be underestimated. Generally the broader the brim, the greater the coverage which might include the neck.
- Light wool socks
Not only are they good cold weather insulation, but even when your feet sweat, their moisture wicking properties reduce the likelihood that you’ll have blisters.
- Compact flashlight
You can never underestimate situations where your excursion lasted longer than you thought, even when the day turns to night and you can’t see a thing. That’s where these can come in handy to at least give you some sense of where you’re going. If you want to go hands-free then a headlamp may be the way to go.
- Water bottle
This is obvious, but if you really want to be eco-conscious than having your own reusable water bottle is the way to go.
- Medical Kit
You never know when you suffer a cut, a twisted ankle, a really annoying insect bite, a tick bite, or even things like a gash or bloody nose to name a few things.
If you can’t cover yourself up with clothing and protect yourself from the sun the old fashioned way, you could also apply SPF 30+ to ensure protection from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Just be warned however that there are side effects from some of the more popular brands while the more organic ones tend to not lost as long. It’s a tradeoff you’ll have to weigh in the name of UV protection.
Cataracts (an eye ailment) is something that creeps up on you when you get older. You can decrease your chances of this with a decent pair of sunglasses. Some even feature polarization to cut some of the glare and make your vision even more contrasted than with just your own bare eyes.
- Hand Sanitizer
These can come in handy when you have no clean water to wash your hands with (you especially have to watch out for bacteria in rivers and streams). They can help you clean off dirt, residue from Nature calls, residual insect repellant or sunscreen, or other things you probably wouldn’t want to put in your mouth, nose, or eyes.
- Meenmutty Waterfalls
Trivandrum has its own Meenmutty waterfalls (not to be confused with its namesake in Wayanad). The fall is located around 50 km from Trivandrum city, near the Neyyar reservoir area.
If you are ready to trek a few kms through the forest, Meenumutty (also Meenmutti) is the first in line to enjoy.
Strewn with large boulders, Kallar river bed adds to the wild beauty of the forest. Meenmutty is a multi tiered cascade, spectacular and serene.
Distances: Trivandrum – 46 kms Vithura – 9 kms
It is on the trek path to Agastyakoodam and the waterfall offers a unique experience.
- Approach the Ecotourism office at Kallar(between Vithura and Ponmudi) to get the pass issued.
- You may need a guide because the waterfall is a part of the forest.
- Though beautiful,during rains, the waterfall pools are too dangerous to access.
- The much anticipated water pool experience is not missed out as there is a bathing spot(bathing Ghat) at the start of the trek trail.
- Arriving at the medium sized fall requires a good amount of trekking for around 3-4 kms from the main road, as no transportation is available that would take you to the foot of the falls.
2. Vazhuvanthol waterfalls
Vazhvanthol waterfall is a great location for a treknic (trek + picnic). The waterfall trail is only about 2.2 kms, nevertheless expect to reach the cascade in an hour. You will be amazed how little this awesome place is known. Other than keen nature enthusiasts, not a lot of people venture to here.
Vazhvanthol waterfall is past Vithura in the north eastern part of Thiruvananthapuram district. Soon after Vithura is Theviyode junction. Take the deviation towards Bonacaud. Travel about 12 kms and you will reach the check post, where you have to take the entry pass. Vehicles travel a couple of kms from the check post.
Distances: Trivandrum – 53 kms Vithura – 16 kms
- There are rocks to tackle and undulating terrains to get through.
- Expect to be tired. The waterfall is such a refreshing presence that in a wink you will feel good again.
- No need to put yourself at risk at the slippery areas because there are several other equally good pools where you can enjoy the freshness of the mountain stream.
- Make sure to take food with you. No surprise if you feel very hungry after a treacherous trek. Again no surprise, if you feel to spend several hours here.
3. Bona falls
This is one of the least visited waterfalls in Trivandrum. Located deep within Agasthyarkoodam Biosphere Reserve, it is a treat to your eyes.
Distances: Trivandrum – 59 kms Vithura – 24 kms
- You need permission from the Forest Department to travel to this waterfall. The Forest Department will arrange a guide for your waterfall trek.
- The contact is -The wild life Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. Tel: +91 471 2360762
- Forest Department operates an information centre and a check post at Bonacaud. The guide will join you from there for a further 4 km hard core trek through the forest.
4. Kalakkayam waterfall
Kalakkayam waterfall, also known as Idinjar falls, is near Palode and has a couple of waterfalls. Since the waterfall is on Mankayam River, it has one more name – Mankayam waterfall.
Distances: Trivandrum – 44 kms Palode – 9 kms
- The waterfall is easy to access and hence a popular picnic spot. Expect crowds during weekends and public holidays.
- You may want to step on the rocks to reach the small pools at the bottom of the waterfall. These rocks are slippery and can take you down in an instant, especially during monsoons.
- Rains in remote areas of the forest can cause flash floods. For these reasons, restrictions to pool entry are in place during monsoons.
5. Kurisadi waterfalls
Kurisadi falls is the other cascade created by the same river – Mankayam. Similar to Kalakayam, Kurisadi waterfall is also a designated eco-tourism destination run by the Tourism Department. Kurisadi is a smaller fall.
Distances: Trivandrum – 45 kms Palode – 10 kms
- The pool here is easy to access and not as risky as Kalakkayam.
- The charm of the surroundings may entice you to explore further. In that case, the best thing to do is to join one of the treks organised by the eco tourism office at Kalakkayam waterfall.
- You will need to keep aside sufficient time since these treks are either half a day or full day.
With the lakes and rivers just at the outskirts of the city, Trivandrum backwater tours can be easily combined with city travel as well as beach visits.
- Veli Lake and Tourist Village
A fun place for a bit of a time out, Veli has an 18 acre waterfront park and boat riding facilities. The sandy strip that separates Veli Lake from Arabian Sea is developed into a Tourist Village.
Veli Tourist Village is one of the major attractions around Trivandrum. It is great for family holidays, picnics, backwater rides and adventure water sports.
- Boating in Veli lagoon is the main thing to do here.
- There are some amusement activities, a children’s park and horse riding.
- There are also sculptures, a floating restaurant and a floating bridge. The floating bridge takes you to a beach.
Veli is about 8 kms from Trivandrum city and just at the vicinity of Shanghumugham beach. Veli Tourist Village is open from 8 AM till 6 PM every day.
2. Kappil backwaters
One of the best backwater places is Kappil, about 57 kms south of Trivandrum. Kappil is the meeting place of Ocean and lake. Scenery is stunning. There is a small beach as well.
- If you think that is too far, there is good news. Kappil is just 7 kms from Varkala beach, which you may have plan to visit.
3. Poovar Backwaters
Poovar Backwaters is one of the best backwaters in Trivandrum. A one day trip to Poovar can be a refreshing one on a weekend. The boating also includes travel to Poovar Golden beach, which is a good beach to spend evenings or early mornings.
- If you are looking for boating services within Trivandrum city, Poovar is one of the best options. Boating cost ranges from Rs.1000 to Rs.2000 based on the duration of the service offered.
- Padmanabha Swamy temple
You know why Padmanabha Swamy temple is in the top 10 of every list. So, I don’t wanna brag about it. This information may be helpful.
03.30 am to 04.45 am (Nirmalya Darshanam)
06.30 am to 07.00 am
08.30 am to 10.00 am
10.30 am to 11.10 am
11.45 am to 12.00 Noon
05.00 pm to 06.15 pm
06.45 pm to 07.20 pm
The above-indicated time schedule is subject to changes during festivals and other special occasions. During the festival occasions the darshan time is reduced in order to performing the special poojas.
2. Napier museum and zoo
Napier Museum built in the 19th century, this Indo-Saracenic structure boasts a natural air-conditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The Japanese shadow play leather figures, used to depict the epics of Mahabharata and the Ramayana, are very interesting.
Open 10.00 am – 04.45 pm.
Closed on Mondays, Wednesday forenoons, Jaunary 26th, August 15th, Thiruvonam and Mahanavami.
Natural history museum Timings:
Open 1000 – 1700 hrs, Wednesday 1300 – 1645 hrs.
Closed on Mondays.
Open 10.00 am -05.00 pm. Closed on Mondays
The Trivandrum Zoo is one of the first zoos in India. It is located in a well-planned botanical garden with an area of 55 acres at the centre of the city. The Zoo was established in 1857 by the Maharaja of Travancore.
3. Veli Tourist Village
Timings to visit Veli Tourist village:
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Boat Rentals: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Entrance Fee and other Fees
2 Seater boat: Rs 40 for half an hour
4 Seater boat: Rs 50 for half an hour
Safari Boat: Rs 15 per person
Speed Boat: Rs 150 per boat
Hope this helps. Happy exploring! 🙂