Major Landmarks in Thiruvananthapuram:
Each landmark has its own historical importance
This is a case study on the important buildings in the Trivandrum city along with its historical background. This will help to know more about the city.
(Statue Jn, MG Road)
» The Kerala Government Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram is the seat of
administration of the Government of Kerala, housing important ministries
and bureaucratic offices.
» The Secretariat complex was originally constructed as Durbar Hall for
» Over 140 years old, the building's foundation stone was laid by His Highness
Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore in 1865 and was
completed in 1869. The original structure was planned to accommodate
Travancore Royal Durbar Hall where the King meet his council of officials on
» It was designed and built under Barton, the then chief engineer of Travancore
and incorporates elements of Roman and Dutch architecture.
» The construction was supervised by the then Dewan, T. Madhava Rao, whose
statue now stands across the road opposite the building.
» His Highness Chithira Tirunal Bala Rama Varma, the last king of Travancore,
was crowned king in a ceremony held at the Secretariat.
» The Secretariat also housed the Legislative Assembly from 1939 before it
moved to the new building.
(Palayam PMG Road)
» Just like Kerala Legislature, the Legislative Assembly building also has a great
» The working of Travancore Legislative Assembly began on August 23, 1888
with its inaugural meeting at Diwan's office at Bhakthivilasam Palace which is
the present All India Radio.
» The construction of Legislative Assembly complex began on June 4, 1979
when the President of India Dr. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy laid the foundation
» The first stage was the inauguration of Administrative block by Balram Thakar,
Loksabha Speaker of the time.
» Legislative Assembly building, the construction of which started on 11 August
1986, was inaugurated on 22 May 1998 by K.R. Narayanan, Former President
» Raj Bhavan is the official residence of the Governor of Kerala. It is located In
» Built in 1829 as Palace Guest house of Travancore Government Guest, this
heritage structure hosts the present governor of Kerala, Nikhil Kumar.
» The Kerala Raj Bhavan was originally constructed by Royal Government of
Travancore as a guest palace to accommodate state guests and heads of states
while on their official visits to Thiruvananthapuram.
» For a brief period from 1914 to 1918, the palace was used as War Office of
Travancore Army and state armed forces during World War I. During this period,
the palace was also the official residence of General Chief of Staff of Travancore
» When Kerala was formed in 1957, there were three Raj Bhavan, the Bolgatty
Palace of Ernakulam, Devikulam Palace of Munnar (Summer Palace of Travancore
Maharajas) and Thiruvananthapuram Raj Bhavan. However the Government of
Kerala later decided to do away with former two Raj Bhavans, by converting
Bolgatty Palace into a heritage hotel and Devikulam Palace as Government Guest
» Built in the Kerala traditional style, the Raj Bhavan has are 3 major structures,
with the main building being the oldest and heritage complex. The East
Wing houses Governor's private residence. The West Wing houses residences of
chief officers, guest rooms and a mini-museum. The Chitra Thirunal Hall, located
in West wing, is used for all state ceremonies.
» Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu
located in Thiruvananthapuram, India.
» The shrine is run by a trust headed by the royal family of Travancore.
» Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple gave its name to Kerala’s state capital
Thiruvananthapuram. ‘Thiru’ ‘Anantha’ ‘Puram’ means Sacred Abode of Lord
» The type of architecture used is Dravidian Architecture.
» Padmanabhaswamy temple has been declared as one of the wealthiest
temples in India and with the final estimate of the wealth, it might overtake
the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple—hitherto thought to be the wealthiest
temple—having some 32,000 crore or 320 billion (US$5.9 billion) in gold,
coins and other assets. It is estimated that the value of the monumental
items is close to 1.2 lakh crore or 1.2 trillion (US$22 billion), making it the
richest temple in the world.
(In front of the
» A silent spectator to history, Padmatheertham, the sacred pond in front of
Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, has many tales to tell.
» It is one of the oldest water bodies in the city and is located on the north
western part of the temple.
» This sacred tank was constructed during the Travancore era, with the
incoming water from the Kochar, a tributary of river Killi.
» There was a flushing mechanism as well, with the excess water diverted to
nearby Pathrakkulam and then to Thekkanamkara canal.
» There are many a legend revolving around this temple pond.
» East Fort or Kizhakke Kotta, as it is known in Malayalam, is today the heart of
Thiruvananthapuram city. The fort is built around Sree Padmanabhaswamy
» Its construction works started in the year 1747, during the reign of King
Marthanda Varma and was completed in 1787 when King Kartika Thirunal Dharma
Raja was ruling over the erstwhile kingdom of Travancore.
» The height of the fort is approximately 15 feet and is built in on the plan of Mr.
Thaikkad Vishnunathan Namboothiri, a renowned architect of those days. There
are four main gateways and three sub gateways for the fort.
» The fort is now a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.
» It is the central bus depot for the city bus services run by the state-run KSRTC.
» It is linked by MG Road to rest of downtown Thiruvananthapuram, and is the
point of diversion to other parts of the city, as well as the famed Kovalam beach.
» The city's Central railway station, as well as the Central Bus Stand (for long
distance buses) are both a few minute walk from East Fort, so are most of
Thiruvananthapuram's cinemas, as well as top cultural venues and shopping
» East Fort, during the past few decades has transformed itself into one of the
biggest commercial hubs of Trivandrum.
» The 450 meters long street facing East Fort and Padmanabha Swamy temple is the
most expensive stretch of land in Trivandrum.
» During the reign of His Highness Chithira Tirunal, the last ruling king of
Travancore, Thiruvananthapuram Municipality which came into existence in
1920 was converted into Corporation on 30th October 1940.
» During that time its headquarters was situated in the MG road, against the
SMV High School.
» With the formation of the Corporation several multipurpose developmental
projects were launched under the leadership of Sir C P Ramaswami Aiyar, who
was the contemporary Dewan.
» The contemporary Chief Minister, Sri Pattom Thanu Pillai laid the foundation
stone of the new Corporation building on 19th March 1962. The
constructional activities were completed in 1966.
» The Ex-Prime minister late Smt. Indira Gandhi inaugurated the building on 3rd
» The Napier Museum, one of the prime attractions of Thiruvananthapuram city
had started in 1857 under the initiative of Mr. Allen Brown, the director of
» In 1860, during the reign of Sri Uthram Thirunal, the then monarch of the
erstwhile Travancore dynasty, the new building was inaugurated by Mr. John
Napier, the Governor General of Madras(1866-1872) and the museum was
named after him.
» The architectural masterpiece was designed by Robert Chisholm, the
consulting Architect of the Madras Government and the construction was
completed in 1880. Napier Museum is a landmark in the city with its unique
ornamentation and architectural style with gothic roof and minarets. The Indo-
Saracenic structure also boasts a natural air conditioning system.
» The museum contains the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, which contains works from
Raja Ravi Varma and Nicholas Roerich, as well as examples of Mughal and
» The Museum grounds also hold a Zoological garden, which is one of the oldest
in India. This Zoo was established in 1857 and is spread over 55 acres (220,000
square metres) of land.
(North East of
» Located about 800 meters north east of the Napier Museum in the heart of
Trivandrum city, Kanakakunnu Palace is one of the last architectural vestiges
of the colonial era.
» Built during the reign of Travancore king Sree Moolam Thirunal (1885-1924),
the palace served as the main venue for royal banquets.
» Now under the Kerala government’s wing, the palace complex walls-in the
Nishagandhi open-air auditorium and Sooryakanthi auditorium.
» A popular haunt of culture vultures in the city, the auditoriums are the venues
for various cultural meets and programs.
» University College, which is a pioneering institution in the higher education
sector of the district, has a history dating back to 1834.
» It was founded during the reign of King Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma to
facilitate educational system in the western model. In 1866, the institution
was upgraded to the status of a college.
» Since then, the college has played a great role in moulding the intellectual
life of many generations and now has grown into one of the biggest in the
state with as many as eighteen departments and research facilities.
» Victoria Jubilee Town Hall, popularly known as VJT Hall, is a town hall in
» Built to commemorate the golden jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria
in 1896, the VJT Hall was inaugurated by Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma
on January 25, 1896.
» The hall has witnessed many historical events.
» Perhaps the most preferred venue for public functions in the city like
exhibitions and cultural get-togethers, this monument stands tall as a proud
remnant of the colonial era.
STATE CENTRAL LIBRARY
(Museum Bakery Junction Road)
» State Central Library of Kerala is also known as Trivandrum Public
Library. It is situated at the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city.
» It is the first public library in India.
» The Library was established in the year A.D. 1829 during the reign of
His Highness Sree Swathi Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore.
» The work of starting and organising the Library was entrusted to Col.
Edward Cadogan, then the British Resident who was the grand son of
Sir Hans Sloane, the founder of the British Museum.
» Col. Cadogan was the first president of the Trivandrum Public Library
» This statue of Maha Kavi Ulloor S Parameswara Aiyer (1877-1949) is
located inside the State Central library Compound
» Juma Masjid, commonly known as the Palayam Pally of Trivandrum, is the
principal mosque of Trivandrum.
» It is nearly 200 years old.
» Moulavi Jamaludheen Mankada is its Imam.
» The history of the Palayam Mosque at Trivandrum dates back to 1813 AD,
when the British Indian Second Regiment was stationed here.
» It was then constructed as a small mosque. Later, in the 1960s, many
philanthropic businessmen and government officials of Trivandrum took up its
renovation and constructed the present-day Palayam Juma Masjid under the
leadership of the Qazi and Imam Moulavi Sheikh Abul Hassan Ali Noori.
» The Juma Masjid was inaugurated by the president of India Dr. Zakir Hussain in
» Sheikh Abul Hassan Ali Noori (1921–2011), a freedom fighter, multilingual
scholar was the first Imam of Palayam Juma Masjid.
» St.Joseph’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Palayam, Trivandrum, is the Cathedral
Church of the Latin Archdiocese of Trivandrum.
» This 137-year old grand monumental Goethic structure has a moderate
» The initial Church was constructed in 1873 as a Parish Church to look after
the spiritual needs of a few Catholic military men and a few Catholic families.
» The very name Palayam has its ethymological meaning a ‘Contonment’ ie,
the Military’s residence.
» On May 4th, 1873 the first Church was blessed by the then Bishop of Quilon
Most Rev.Eldaphonese OCD and Rev.Fr.Emygdius OCD, the Parish Priest.
» The Second phase of extention work in the manner of the Cross was done in
1912 during the tenure of Rev,Fr.Pamcratius OCD. And the final stage of
extention, including the Goethic style imposing front and the bell-tower was
completed in1927 during the time of Rev.Fr.Ildaphonse OCD.
» Established in 1857, Connemara market in Palayam is one of the major
shopping hubs of the city.
» It was built during the reign of King Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma of
erstwhile Travancore dynasty to supply day-to-day commodities to the army
» The arched gate which leads to the market was inaugurated by Sir
Connemara, Governor of Madras Presidency on his visit to
Thiruvananthapuram in 1888 and the market was named ‘Connemara
market’ in honour of him.
H H THE MAHARAJA’S
GOVT. COLLEGE FOR
» The Govt. College for Women is the sixth oldest college in Kerala and one
of the oldest women’s colleges in the country.
» It was started as the Sircar Girl’s School, in 1864 by the Royal family of
» In 1897 the Sircar Girl’s School was upgraded as a Second grade college
and re-designated as The Maharaja’s College for Girls and affiliated to the
» In 1920, it was elevated to the status of a First grade college and was
renamed as H.H. The Maharaja’s College for Women.
» Today the College has 22 teaching departments that conduct 16 U.G.
courses and 17 P.G. courses.
» Nine of the departments are identified as research centres by the
University of Kerala.
» Miss Sarah Blunt was the first principal.
» Gandhi Park is situated in front of the East Fort, which is famous for
hosting socio-politico gatherings.
» Gandhi Park has been completely remodelled with modern urban
landscaping, and is a popular spot for a relaxing stroll or time-out.
» The Gandhi Park provides a magnificent view of the entrance to the East
Fort which is lit up.
» The Vetti Muricha Kotta is a part of the heritage East Fort located to the
south of the iconic gate.
» According to popular belief this fort was named 'Vetti Muricha Kotta',
meaning 'to cut open fort', as a section of the East Fort wall was demolished
to build a new gate.
» . This was done in order to facilitate an alternate entrance for King Vishakam
Thirunal of the Travancore dynasty, who was advised against using the main
gate by an astrologer.
» As of now, this gate is well preserved by the State's Archaeological
Department and provides room for guards on either side.
(General Hospital Road)
Started in the 1800’s
» AKG Centre is the Headquarters of communist party of India
(Marxist) CPI (M).
» AKG stands for A K Gopalan, who was one of the leaders who
founded the communist party.
» He was the opposition party leader of the Parliament and was
known as the people’s leader.
» State Secretary: Mr Pinaray Vijayan
» Leaders: Sri V S Achudanandan (Ex-Chief minister of Kerala), Sri
Accountant General (AG)
Office, MG Road,