Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, is characterized by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills with wide, clean roads and busy commercial alleys. The city houses several Central and State Government offices, organizations and companies. it is also a major academic centre and is home to several famous and distinguished educational institutions including the Kerala University, and to many science and technology institutions, the most prominent being the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). The city also boasts of the first Information Technology Park of its kind and the first Biotechnology Center, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) of its kind in India. Situated near Kazhakoottam, Technopark is home to many of the world's leading technology companies.
History of Trivandrum
The city of Trivandrum literally split into "Tiru", "Anantha", "puram" means "The town of Lord Anantha". The statement is quite appropriate since the temple is at the heart of the town. The city and its several other districts emerged in ancient tradition, folklore and literature. The Ays were the leading political power till the beginning of the 10th century A.D. The disappearance of the Ays as a major political power synchronized with the emergence of the rulers of Venad.
In 1684, during the regency of Umayamma Rani, the English East India Company tried to have control at Anchuthengu on the sea coast about 32 km's north of Thiruvananthapuram city, with a view to erecting a factory and fortifying it.
Modern history begins with Marthanda Varma, who is generally regarded as the Father of modern Travancore (1729-1758 AD). Thiruvananthapuram was known as a great center of intellectual and artistic activities in those days. The accession of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal (1829-1847 AD) ushered in an epoch of cultural progress and economic prosperity.
In the year 1834, started the beginning of English education by opening an English school at Thiruvananthapuram. In 1836, an observatory and a charity hospital were established at Thiruvananthapuram. During the reign of Ayilyam Thirunal (1860-1880), a fully equipped Arts College was started besides several English, Malayalam and Tamil schools. In 1904, the Shri Moolam Assembly came into being. The activities of the Indian National Congress echoed in Thiruvananthapuram and other parts of Kerala during the reign of Shri Moolam Thirunal. In 1938, a political conference of the Congress was held in the city under the presidency of Dr. Pattabi Sitaramaiah.
Geography of Trivandrum
The district can be divided in to three geographical regions: Highlands, Midlands, and the lowlands. Chirayankeezhu, and Thiruvananthapuram Taluks lies on the midland and lowland regions, while the Nedumangad Taluk lies in the Midland and Highland regions, and the Neyyattinkara Taluk stretches over all the three regions.
The Highland regions on the east and the north-east comprise the Western Ghats and this area is ideal for major cash crops like rubber, tea, cardamom and other spices. Timber trees like Teak and Rosewood are grown in this region. The Ghats maintain an average elevation of 814 meters, and Agasthyarkoodam, the second highest peak in the Ghats, is 1869 meters above sea level. The midland region lying between the Western Ghats and lowlands is made up of small and tiny hills and valleys. This is an area of intense agricultural activities. This region is rich in produces like paddy, tapioca, rubber, eucalyptus, spices and cashew. The lowlands are comparatively narrow, comprising of river, deltas and seashore. This area is densely covered with coconut trees.
Tourist attractions of Trivandrum
There are a number of tourist attractions in Thiruvananthapuram. A must on every tourist itinerary for Thiruvananthapuram, the Padmanabhaswami temple with its gopuram (tower) soaring majestically upwards, is believed to be one of the 108 shrines sacred to the Vaishnavites in India.
Besides this magnificent temple, Thiruvananthapuram offers a great deal more. There is the Observatory to start with, established over a hundred years ago in Thiruvananthapuram in India. Several kings have also built their palaces in and around the Thiruvananthapuram, India, each more impressive than the other. Despite a few attempts at modernity, Thiruvananthapuram retains its discreet, old-world charm.
In Thiruvananthapuram one can visit the Museum with its profusion of gables and turrets. A repository of fine works of art, the chief attraction here is the 250-year-old temple car made for Lord Vishnu, artistically designed and ornamented. Besides this, objects carved out of wood, models of temple, antique jewelry, etc., make the museum worth a visit.
Lying within the museum compound of Thiruvananthapuram, Sri Chitra Art Gallery proves to be an ideal place for art lovers. The centerpiece is the large section devoted to the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, an Indian painter of distinction in the history of the country's modern art. Besides him, the Indian section also contains works of Rabindranath Tagore, Jamimi Roy, K. K. Hebar, miniatures from the Rajput and Mughal schools of painting and the famous Tanjore paintings encrusted with semi-precious stones. The gallery's collection also includes paintings from Indonesia, China, and Japan.
A trip to Thiruvananthapuram in India is incomplete without a boat-ride on its enchanting backwaters. These waterways of Thiruvananthapuram teem with vibrant life.
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