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Friday, 13 July 2012

Thiruvananthapuram District

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Kowdiar Palace
Kowdiar Palace

Thiruvananthapuram district  is considered as the most salubrious  segment of Kerala, the  ‘Gods Own Country.  Proximity of the high mountains on the east and the ocean and lakes on the west has  blessed the district with a temperate climate. This gift from nature is augmented   by illustrious human activity in history, culture and social reformation. Historically, the ‘Aye’ kingdom flourished  here and it lost prominence after its defeat in a naval battle with the navy of Rja Raja Chola, near vizhinjam, its capital, in the early centuries of the Christian era.  Later the powerful venad  Kingdom arose here with the decline of the Chera dynasty at Kondungalloor.  Venad left great imprints like the Padamanabhapuram Palace, Padmanabhaswami Temple, Kuthiramalika etc.

Thiruvananthapuram was the cradle of the great ideas of social revival and renaissance  heralded by great stalwarts like Sree Narayana Guru, Ayyankali, Dr. Palpu et al.  In recent times Thiruvananthapuram has become the springboard of India’s leap in the field of Space Science and   Technology with the headquarters of ISRO here.  Thiruvananthapuram is also a centre of higher learning and scientific research with the establishment IIST, ISER, etc.  Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Biotechnology, Tropical Botanical Garden, Institute of Dravidian Linquistics etc are some of the institutions engaged in important rerearch work.  Thiruvananthapuram city has the first international airport of Kerala, hardly six kilometers from the city  centre  with the state secretariat - a facility few cities within the  country or abroad can boast of.

Thiruvananthapuram is the first tourism  hotspot of Kerala with the opening of the internationally famous Kovalam beach resort, followed up later  by the equally fascinating beaches like Varkala – Papanasam, Poovar and Chowara.  Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, conjectured as the richest temple in the world with enormous  repositories of gold, precious gems and rare artifacts is at the centre of the city like the acropolis in Athens.  The city flaunts  some of the richest monuments the world over, such as the ‘Kuthira Malika ‘   built by the camposer - King, Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and kindred palaces built in the premises of the  Padmanabha Swamy temple as well as the Padmanabhapuram palace in  Kanyakumari district from where the capital of Venad was shifted  to Thiruvananthapuram in 1745 These are built in Kerala’s own ‘Vasthu style’ of architecture.

Thiruvananthapuram is located in the South of the state, bordered by Tirunelveli in the East, Kanyakumari in the South and Kollam district located in the North. The Sri PadmanabhaswamyTemple, one of the famous temples of India is in the heart of the city.  The city is a must on the itinerary of any visitor to the South India.
The district has an area of 2,192 square kilometres (846 sq mi) and a population of 3,307,284 (as per the 2011 census). It is divided into four taluks, Thiruvananthapuram, Chirayinkeezhu, Neyyattinkara and Nedumangadu. The urban bodies in the district are the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, Varkala, Neyyattinkara, Attingal and Nedumangad municipalities.

Thiruvananthapuram district is situated between north latitudes 8°17' and 8°54' and east longitudes 76°41' and 77°17'. The southern-most extremity, Kaliyikkavila, is 56 kilometres away from Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of the mainland. The district is 33.75% urbanised.

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