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By Deepa Thomas
Jan 09, 2020
Best things to do in Trivandrum – Heritage Walk in Trivandrum
Trivandrum Heritage Walk

Heritage Walk in Trivandrum is one of the most experiential things to do in Trivandrum. Trivandrum is a place with various layers of heritage and history. In spite of the extensive growth in Thiruvanthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital city of Kerala still retains her past glory and charm.

The old quarter of the city clusters in and around the East Fort, a protected landmark and seat of the rulers of Travancore State, built-in AD 1747 by King Marthanda Varma.  Experience Heritage walk in Trivandrum by Tyndis. This Trivandrum Tour will take you on a royal walk to introduce all the Travancore palaces around, see a museum there, give you a tuk-tuk ride experience, join you to shop at Chala Street and visit an Agraharam.

Trivandrum Heritage Walk

Shopping, especially in a traditional market is a great way to understand and interact with the local people. Located in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city, in the East Fort area is Chala market. Think of anything and you get it here at unbeatable prices. Chala market experience is among the top things to do in Trivandrum include in Tyndis Trivandrum Tour.

As you explore the rows of shops beside each other in narrow lanes and soak in the stimulating aroma of this market, a nostalgic snapshot of what life would have been in this city 100 years ago is created in your minds.  If you can brave the heat and humidity, take a walk in this market to shop for spices, handloom clothes, curios, flowers, fruits, shoes, bags, clay pots, gold jewellery, incense sticks, imitation wear and much more at wholesale prices. Heritage walk in Trivandrum ensures a wholesome experience of Chala market.

Trivandrum Heritage Walk

Just 100 meters away from this market is the illustrious Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The main entrance of this temple faces the East Fort gate. The architecture is a fusion of Dravidian and Chera dynasty. Though the gold-plated gopuram (façade) was built in the 16th century by Travancore King Marthanda Varma, this temple has been referred to in the Sangam Tamil literature long before around 400 BC. 

In 2011, it is from the hidden chambers of this temple nearly one trillion dollar worth of gold and precious stones were discovered.  The hundred thousand gold coins held in the vault might have been contributed to the temple by its Royal visitors in erstwhile days or gathered by the Maharajas of Travancore through trade relations spanning centuries with the Romans, Napoleonics, Mughals and the Dutch. These interesting stories about the the temple and its significance in the history Trivandrum make it one of the key points in the Heritage walk in Trivandrum.

Very close to the Padmanabhaswamy temple, there are several palace units that belonged to the Maharaja of Travancore. Kuthiramalika, on the left side of the road leading to the temple, is a palace that is turned to a museum today, housing rare artefacts belonging to the Travancore Maharajas. Visit to these heritage points is one of the top things to do in Trivandrum.

Sree Padam Kottaram situated towards the North of the temple is one the oldest palaces inside the Old Fort area. This palace has played host to numerous royal families who came to participate in temple rituals since ages. Ananthavilasam Palace located to the south of the temple having Baroque and Rococo style of architecture, built in 1880 is considered the most beautiful among all. Explore the beauty of such architectural marvels in this Trivandrum Tour.

Trivandrum Heritage Walk

Sundaravilasam palace is the venue for the royal hunt, a ritual observed at the Padmanabhaswamy temple every year. Krishnavilasam Palace, built in 1885 has an architecture that’s a blend of traditional and western style. Saraswathivilasam Palace was built in the 19th century and noted for its high ceiling and walls, long verandahs, arched gate and cylindrical pillars.  These palaces housed the princes and princesses and some were used to accommodate the royal family’s guests.

Built in the 19th Century, Ranga Vilasam Palace is just five minutes away from the temple. Today it has a museum and houses a premium hotel within the same compound. So if you wish for a royal stay, this is it! The only palace that is not open to the public is the Kowdiar Palace, which is the private residence of the royal family of Travancore. Stories about the Kowdiar Palace will be discussed in Tyndis Heritage Walk in Trivandrum.

On the eastern side of the temple is the Padmatheertham pond, the temple tank which is one of the oldest water bodies in this city. Very close to this is a 100-year old clock tower that gets into action, every hour when the clock strikes. Children will love to see this attraction but one has to wait for the hour to strike.

To explore the royal history of Travancore in this Trivandrum Heritage Walk, one will have to spend at least 3-4 hours. To save some energy, Tyndis includes a tuk-tuk ride connected with this Heritage Walk in Trivandrum. Tuk Tuk Tour in Kerala is the best mode of transport to explore congested Indian cities.

Trivandrum Heritage Walk

Attracted by the popularity of Padmanabhaswamy temple, in the 18th Century, a group of Brahmins migrated from Kaveri basin and settled down on the banks of Karamana River (was earlier known as Makarakra River).

Here they built their Brahmin quarters known as Agraharams on either side of the street, and a temple at the end of the street. They were a closely-knit community who lived together sharing a wall with the other. Their lives revolved around the temple and its functions. These quarters added a quaint charm to the city with the early morning mantras and rice powder Kolams. Experiencing Kolam designing is included as one of the exciting things to do in Trivandrum. Tyndis Heritage Walk in Trivandrum includes stories about Agraharams in Trivandrum.

Trivandrum Heritage Walk

Kolams are intricate designs drawn at dawn by the women of Tamil houses, on the threshold of their homes. Each design has a meaning attached to it and a fresh pattern is made every day. Watching the women make this complex design with such dexterity is an interesting experience. Kolam is drawn to welcome prosperity, banish evil and to express gratitude to mother Earth. Besides the ritual significance, kolam has other layered meanings ascribed to it.  Today, most of the younger Brahmin families have moved out mingling and living amongst others in the community. Thus Agraharams have reduced to SS Street and Eratta Street. We end the trip with a tea or coffee from a traditional eatery near the Agraharam.

To explore Trivandrum or Thiruvanthapuram (as it is officially known today), its rich culture, and other heritage tours in Kerala, Plan Your Trip with Tyndis today! Our storyteller guides, serving you in this Trivandrum Heritage Walk, will bring the yesteryears to life, and you are going to love it!

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