May be the coconut trees lining the coastal line abundantly and the rhythmic beats of the famous drums resonating in the air…. And maybe the SUVs & MUVs that underwent the brutal checkup by me during my so called ‘Business trip’….. All these surely made my visit to this little silent capital city an AWESOME one.. A city of Trees & Vans & Drums put together…… Trivandrum it was..!!
A morning flight from Bangalore landed us at the Trivandrum airport by 09.30 a.m. The car was waiting for us outside, which drove us past a fishing hamlet enroute to our workplace.. Fishing dories anchored, fishermen carrying their day’s catch, the blue sea water reaching to the horizon and a lovely lady’s figurine sculptured by the Shangamughan beach side… Further, as we crossed the toll road and drove across a bridge through the by-pass road, we were greeted by the backwaters dotted by the houseboats.. It was indeed a warm welcome to the city.. 🙂
And ofcourse, we began working without wasting much time… And definitely did not miss a chance to drive around the city as a part of the check-up routine 😉 In the evening, was the much anticipated part of the trip- A visit to what is called the richest temple in the country: Sri Padmanabhaswamy. For all the hype and media space grabbed by this temple, I had expected a BIG crowd of tourists(Not Pilgrims), fussy Godmen, lot of petty shops dotting the walkway selling pooja items etc.- A common sight at any of the famous temples in India.. But, totally contrary to what I had imagined, this has been one of the BEST temples I have visited till date. According to me- ‘A temple is a place where one has to feel GOD with PEACE’. And this place stands out for just that..!! A strict dress code and prohibited entry for non-hindus, a stringent adherence to the temple rules, limited crowd, silent ambience, an eyeful of the darshan of the massive idol lit by mere oil fed lamps- The place has not given up its sanctity to all the attention grabbed by it’s hidden chambers of gold.. I’m not a pious or a temple person- But this place has truly stood apart 🙂
Later, we visited the old wooden museum inside the Puthenmalika / Kuthiramalika Palace just outside the temple premises.. This was built by the erstwhile Travancore kings.. A damn nice place for the art lovers 🙂
Day 2 : We started work early, hoping to finish it early so that we could do a little bit of city trotting before boarding our return flight.. And as per schedule, we were done with work by afternoon.. We shopped for some local crafts at SMSM institute crafts emporium.. We walked through the narrow lanes to one of the biggest shops that is all for ‘CHIPS’ – ‘The Mahachips store’.. Chips of different varieties made to order and packed just then.. I picked up about 10kgs of banana chips & jackfruit chips- something that will be much awaited for back home in Bangalore, even more than my safe return 😉
Just before sunset, we reached Covalam beach.. We walked upto the Vizhinjam lighthouse for a good view of the beach- it turned out to be a treat to the senses 🙂
A stroll along the crowded beach, beautiful view of the sunset, some yummy local chaats to munch on.. Indeed an awesome end to an eventful business trip 🙂Don’t miss to try 3 things while you are in Trivandrum: 1. Fresh banana & jackfruit chips and halwa 2. Hot palam puri with a cup of burning hot Kerala tea 3. Frog thigh fry (available only in select places). If not a business trip, one could cover all these places in a day and combine it with a day trip to Kanyakumari- the southern-most tip of mainland India.