Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) • Kerala, India

Embark on a timeless journey into the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, a city that hums with three millennia of rich tales. Wander through the wooden royal palace, a testament to the architectural prowess of South India. Be awestruck by the 8th century Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, standing tall against the winds of time, whispering legends of old. All in just over 13 magical minutes, be transported across epochs, cultures, and revelations. It's an invitation to travel, a gateway to the profound treasures of Kerala. No gem can rival the wealth of knowledge you are about to uncover. Brace yourself for an extraordinary exploration.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip India • South India 2018 • Tamil Nadu and Kerala (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Kerala • state in southwest India in India. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

00:43 • Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple 

03:41 • Maharaja Swathi Thirunal palace

05:05 • veenas in the street

06:39 • Attukal Bhagavathy temple

09:10 • the market


Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum

The British have always had difficulty pronouncing the names of certain localities in southern India and have made simplified versions of them. This is how Thiruvananthapuram became Trivandrum ... But that does not change the history of this city of Kerala in southwest India.

The name of the city comes from that of the god Ananta, one of the names of Vishnu. In the local dialect, "sri" which means "lord" has become tiru and "puram" simply means "city". So Thiruvananthapuram means "city of the god Ananta". Trivandrum on the other hand ... doesn't mean anything at all.

Thiruvananthapuram is a very ancient city and its foundation dates back to an era prior to the 10th century BC, making the city at least 3 millennia old. The city was already trading in spices, sandalwood and ivory in the time of King Solomon.

arrival of the first Europeans

The first Europeans to land in the city were the Portuguese followed by the Dutch. The English arrived a little later (but stayed longer ...) and Thiruvananthapuram served as their rear base in their attempts to subdue the kingdom of Travancore, of which it was the capital in 1745 after the decline of Padmanabhpuram, today a district of Thuckalay.

1745 marked the beginning of a period of prosperity for the city which reached its peak under the Maharajahs Swathi and Ayilyam Thirunal.

Maharajah Swathi Thirunal Palace

Just like the royal palace of Padmanabhapuram (former capital of the kingdom of Travancore, now a district of Thuckalay), the palace of the Maharajah in Thiruvananthapuram was made of wood. This palace is also called Kuthiramalika Palace, which means "horse manor", referring to the many statues of horses carved into the wooden pillars supporting the roof to the south of the Palace. But its official name is Puthenmalika Palace, meaning "new mansion", referring to the move of the court from Padmanabhapuram to Thiruvananthapuram.

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple

A few steps from the palace of Maharajah Thirunal is the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple. Magnificent temple, the history of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple dates back to the 8th century, but its fame does not come from its respectable age.

Since the middle of the 20th century, historians suspected the presence of a treasure inside the temple, a treasure resulting from the many donations of the faithful over the centuries. In 2010, a lawyer, a former temple employee, filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of India for mismanagement of the temple. A commission of inquiry undertakes to explore the temple and its caves and discovers an immense treasure made of precious stones, gold and diamonds for an amount estimated between 14 and 15 billion euros. Which makes it the most important treasure ever discovered in the world. A legal battle is engaged to determine who, the king of Tranvancore or the central state actually owns this treasure. And the supreme court ruled in favor of the state, the latter not recognizing any political prerogative to the local kings.

The Sree Padmanabahswamy temple is the richest temple in the world.

Attukal Bhagavathy temple

A few hundred meters from the Sree Padmanabahswamy temple is the Attukal Bhagavathy temple, also very famous. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Bhadrakali, supreme mother, goddess of power and courage. Another name of this goddess is Kannaki.

What characterizes the Sree Padmanabahswamy is the annual Attukal Pongal festival, known to be the largest gathering of women for a religious event. This festival welcomes more than 3 million women each year.


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Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of indian traditional music in "Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) • Kerala, India", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

vina player in the street, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) , Kerala • India

What's the weather like in Trivandrum?

about the place, Trivandrum:

Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the state of Kerala in South India. With its population of nearly one million, the city is the most populous in Kerala. is also the one whose name is the most difficult to remember ...

The city's economy is based in part on the computer industry. It is one of the major software development centers in India.


Spoken comments in the film: 

We were in Trivandrum (decidedly, Thiruvananthapuram is very difficult to remember for a Westerner) the day when young girls had to appear for an artistic examination at the palace.

On the program, dance and vina.

Unfortunately we could not attend the show which must have been magnificent if we are to believe the sounds that escaped into the street.


Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)  • India • Kerala

Attukal Bhagavathy temple, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)  • India • Kerala

Maharaja Swathi Thirunal palace, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)  • India • Kerala

Veena, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)  • India • Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India

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