Set among the woodlands and beautiful lakes, this is one of Asia’s best laid-out zoos.
Government Art Museum:
Also known as the Napier Museum, this picturesque 19th century architectural wonder is a unique fusion of Kerala, Mughal, Chinese and Italian architectural styles and has a unique natural air-conditioning system. It has splendid bronzes, ancient ornaments and costumes, ivory carvings and musical instruments, and a whole temple chariot on its display.
Sree Chitra Art Gallery:
This art gallery features some of the best works of Roerich and Raja Ravi Verma along Mughal, Rajput, Bengal and Tanjore schools of paintings and a fabulous collection of oriental art from the Far East and Bali.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple:
Open only to Hindus, this 260-yr-old temple is marked by a huge 100-ft gopuram stands inside the East Fort of the city and is an amalgamation of Kerala and Dravidian architecture. The presiding deity of the temple is Sri Padmanabhaswamy, an incarnation of Vishnu reclining on the serpent Anantha.
Puttan Malika Palace Museum:
Built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balrama Verma of Travancore who was an accomplished poet and musician, this museum is a rare example of the traditional Travancore style of archiotecture. Exquisite woodcarvings, priceless art collection and articles related to formerly thriving spice trade of the princely state with China and Europe are the highlights of the palace-turned-museum.
The institutions preserving and imparting training of the 5,000-year-old martial art of Kerala, Kalarippayattu, abound in the region. This martial art form is said to be the origin of all martial art forms and includes the traditional kalarichikitsa, an exclusive branch of medicine, has been practised for years. One can see the performances or opt for treatments in the special healing centres of these indigenous sciences.
One of the best beaches anywhere in the world, Kovalam is naturally shelteres with swaying coconut groves and safe and pleasant for swimming. There are a number of seafood special restaurants, Ayurvedic spas and food stalls lining the sea front.
Nishagandhi Dance Festival:
The weeklong festival from Feb 21 to 27 is a showcase of Indian classical dance performances at the Nishagandhi Open Air Theatre in the Kanakakunnu Palace grounds. It features the best dancers of Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam and Odissi.
Flavor Food Festival:
Organized from 5th to 11th April annually, the venue for the festival is at the Kanakakunnu Palace grounds where famous hotels from all across Kerala take part in the weeklong international festival showcasing delicious and varied cuisines from all over the world.