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Thiruvananthapuram (IPA: [t̪iruʋənən̪t̪əpurəm] ( listen)), also known as Trivandrum, is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Kerala. The city has a population of 957,730 inhabitants and a metropolitan population of 1.68 million, making it the most populous city and the fifth most populous urban agglomeration in Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram is a major Information Technology hub in India, and contributes 55% of Kerala's software exports as of 2015. Thiruvananthapuram is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland. Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as the Evergreen city of India, the city is characterised by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills.[note 1] It is classified as a Tier-II city by the government of India.
|Nickname(s): The Evergreen City of India|
|Founded by||Marthanda Varma|
|• Type||Municipal Corporation|
|• Body||Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||V K Prasanth|
|• Deputy Mayor||Rakhi Ravikumar|
|• Police chief Commissioner||Lokhnath behra IPS|
|• Member of Parliament||Shashi Tharoor|
|• Metropolis||214 km2 (83 sq mi)|
|Elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|• Density||4,500/km2 (12,000/sq mi)|
|• Official Language||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Postal Index Number||695 XXX|
|Vehicle registration||KL-01, KL-16, KL-19, KL-20, KL-21, KL- 22|
Thiruvananthapuram is a major academic hub, and is home to the University of Kerala, the regional headquarters of Indira Gandhi National Open University, and many other schools and colleges. Thiruvananthapuram is also home to research centers such as the Indian Space Research Organisation's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, and a campus of the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research. The city is home to media institutions like Toonz India Ltd and Tata Elxsi Ltd, and is also home to Chitranjali Film Studio, one of the first film studios in Malayalam Cinema, and Kinfra Film and Video Park at Kazhakoottom, which is India's first Infotainment Industrial park.
Being India's largest city in the deep south, it is strategically prominent and hosts the Southern Air Command headquarters of the Indian Air Force, the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station and the upcoming Vizhinjam International Deepwater Motherport. Thiruvananthapuram is a major tourist centre, known for the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, the backwaters of Poovar and Anchuthengu and its Western Ghats tracts of Ponmudi and the Agastyamala.
The city gets its name from the Malayalam/Tamil word thiru-anantha-puram IPA: [t̪iruʋənən̪t̪əpurəm] ( listen), meaning "The City of Lord Ananta", referring to the deity of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple located in the city. Thiruvananthapuram is also known in literature and popular reference as Ananthapuri derived from the Sanskrit word Syanandurapuram, meaning "The City of Bliss" in Carnatic kirtanas composed by Swathi Thirunal, erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore. The city was officially referred to as Trivandrum until 1991, (Trivandrum bieng the anglicised name of the town) when the government decided to reinstate the city's original name Thiruvananthapuram.
Thiruvananthapuram is an ancient region with trading traditions dating back to 1000 BCE. It is believed that the ships of King Solomon landed in a port called Ophir (now Poovar) in Thiruvananthapuram in 1036 BCE. The city was the trading post of spices, sandalwood and ivory. However, the ancient political and cultural history of the city was almost entirely independent from that of the rest of Kerala. The early rulers of the city were the Ays. With their fall in the 10th century, the city was taken over by the rulers of Venad.
In the late 17th century, Marthanda Varma who inherited the Kingdom of Venad expanded the kingdom by conquering kingdoms of Attingal, Kollam, Kayamkulam, Kottarakara, Kottayam, Changanassery, Meenachil, Poonjar and Ambalapuzha. In 1729, Marthanda Varma founded the princely state of Thiruvithamkoor and Thiruvananthapuram was made the capital in 1745 after shifting the capital from Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari district. The kingdom of Travancore was dedicated by Marthanda Varma to the deity Sri. Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu). The rulers of Travancore ruled the kingdom as the servants of Sri. Padmanabha.
The city developed into a major intellectual and artistic centre during this period. The golden age in the city's history was during the mid 19th century under the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal. This era saw the establishment of the first English school (1834), the Observatory (1837), the General Hospital (1839), the Oriental Research Institute & Manuscripts Library and the University College (1873). The first mental hospital in the state was started during the same period. Sanskrit College, Ayurveda College, Law College and a second grade college for women were started by Moolam Thirunal (1885–1924).
The early 20th century was an age of tremendous political and social changes in the city. The Sree Moolam Assembly, established in 1904, was the first democratically elected legislative council in any Indian state. Despite not being under direct control of the British Empire at any time, the city featured prominently in India's freedom struggle. The Indian National Congress had a very active presence in Thiruvananthapuram. A meeting of the Indian National Congress presided by Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramaiah was held here in 1938.
The Thiruvananthapuram Municipality came into existence in 1920. The municipality was converted into a Corporation on 30 October 1940, during the period of Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma, who took over in 1931. The city witnessed many-sided progress during his period. The promulgation of "Temple Entry Proclamation" (1936) was an act that underlined social emancipation. This era also saw the establishment of the University of Travancore in 1937, which later became Kerala University.
With the end of the British rule in 1947, Travancore chose to join the Indian union. The first popular ministry headed by Pattom Thanu Pillai was installed in office on 24 March 1948. In 1949, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Thiru-Kochi, the state formed by the integration of Travancore with its northern neighbour Kochi. The king of Travancore, Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma, became the Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from 1 July 1949 until 31 October 1956. When the state of Kerala was formed on 1 November 1956, Thiruvananthapuram became its capital.
With the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1962, Thiruvananthapuram became the cradle of India's ambitious space programme. The first Indian space rocket was developed and launched from the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in the outskirts of the city in 1963. Several establishments of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) were later established in Thiruvananthapuram.
A major milestone in the city's recent history was the establishment of Technopark—India's first IT park—in 1995. Technopark has developed into the largest IT park in India in geographical area, employing around 40,000 people in 300 companies.
Geography and climateEdit
Thiruvananthapuram is built on seven hills by the sea shore and is located at on the west coast, near the southern tip of mainland India. The city situated on the west coast of India, and is bounded by Laccadive Sea to its west and the Western Ghats to its east. The average elevation of the city is 16 ft (4.9 m) above sea level. The Geological Survey of India has identified Thiruvananthapuram as a moderately earthquake-prone urban centre and categorised the city in the Seismic III Zone. Thiruvananthapuram lies on the shores of Karamana and Killi rivers. Vellayani, Thiruvallam and Aakulam backwaters lies in the city. The Soil type in the middle part of the city is dark brown loamy laterite soil high in phosphates. Laterisation is a result of the heavy rainfall and humid conditions. On western coastal regions of the city, sandy loam soil is found and on eastern hilly parts of the district, rich dark brown loam of granite origin is found.
The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is spread over 214.86 km2 (82.96 sq mi). The wider Thiruvananthapuram metropolitan area comprises Thiruvananthapuram corporation, 3 municipalities and 27 panchayats, as of 2011. Being the largest city in India's southern tip region, it is important for both military logistics and civil aviation in the southern part of the country. Thiruvananthapuram is the headquarters of the Southern Air Command (SAC) of the Indian Air Force.
The city has a climate that borders between a tropical savanna climate and a tropical monsoon climate. As a result, it does not experience distinct seasons. The mean maximum temperature 34 °C and the mean minimum temperature is 21 °C. The humidity is high and rises to about 90% during the monsoon season. Thiruvananthapuram is the first city along the path of the south-west monsoons and gets its first showers in early June. The city gets heavy rainfall of around 1700 mm per year. The city also gets rain from the receding north-east monsoons which hit the city by October. The dry season sets in by December. December, January and February are the coolest months while March, April and May are the hottest. The lowest temperature in the city core recorded during winter was 16.4 °C on, and the highest temperature recorded in summer is 38.0 °C.
|Climate data for Thiruvananthapuram City (1971–2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||35.5
|Average high °C (°F)||32.0
|Average low °C (°F)||22.1
|Record low °C (°F)||16.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||15.9
|Average precipitation days||1.0||1.7||2.3||6.5||9.7||16.6||13.4||10.3||8.7||11.7||9.2||4.2||95.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||69||70||72||77||79||85||84||83||82||83||82||74||78|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||262.8||242.3||250.7||214.0||197.3||133.5||149.7||166.6||173.4||170.8||166.3||216.6||2,344|
|Source #1: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)|
|Source #2: NOAA (sun and humidity, 1971–1990)|
According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, Corporation of Thiruananthapuram, which occupies an area of 214 km2 (83 sq mi), had a population of 957,730; its population density was 4,454/km2 (11,540/sq mi). The Urban Agglomeration had a population of 1,687,406 in 2011. The sex ratio is 1,040 females for every 1,000 males, which is higher than the national average. Thiruvananthapuram's literacy rate of 93.72% exceeds the all-India average of 74%.
Malayalees form the majority of Thiruvananthapuram's population. Among Thiruvananthapuram's smaller communities are Tamils, Punjabis and Russians. According to the 2011 census, 68.5% of the population of the population is Hindu, 16.7% Christian and 13.7% Muslims. The remainder of the population includes Jains, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists and other religions which accounts for 0.06% of the population; 0.85% did not state a religion in the census.
Malayalam, the official state language, is the dominant language in Thiruvananthapuram. English is also used, particularly by the white-collar workforce. Tamil and Hindi are spoken by a sizeable minority. The city also has a few Tulu, Kannada, Konkani, Dhivehi, Telugu, and Urdu speakers. As per 2001 census, the population below the poverty line in the city was 11,667.
Thiruvananthapuram has witnessed massive migrations of workers from the North of India, mainly West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, etc. and from the neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The Corporation of Thiruvananthapuram or TMC oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city's 100 wards. Each ward elects a councillor to the Corporation of Thiruvananthapuram. TMC has the power to act as the local government of the city. TMC is headed by the Mayor, who is elected from among the councilors. The Mayor is responsible for the overall, supervision and control of the administrative functions of the TMC. The corporation discharges its functions through the standing committees. The corporation secretary is an officer appointed by the government, who serve as the administrative head administrative head of the TMC and implements the Council decisions based on the resolutions adopted by the council. The functions of the Municipal Corporation are managed by seven departments—engineering, health, general administration, council, accounts and revenue. For decentralized function of TMC, eleven Zonal Offices are created. The zonal offices are in Fort, Kadakampally, Nemom, Ulloor, Attipra, Thiruvallom, Kazhakkuttom, Sreekaryam, Kudappanakunnu, Vattiyoorkavu and Vizhinjam. The functions of the TMC include water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, and building regulation.The Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority, is responsible for the statutory planning and development of greater Thiruvananthapuram region.
As the seat of the Government of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram is home to not only the offices of the local governing agencies, but also the Kerala Legislative Assembly; and the state secretariat, which is housed in the Kerala Government Secretariat complex. Thiruvananthapuram has two parliamentary constituencies—Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram—and elects 5 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to the state legislature.
Law and orderEdit
The Thiruvananthapuram City Police is the main law enforcement agency in the city. It is headed by a commissioner of police. The Thiruvananthapuram city police is a division of the Kerala Police, and the administrative control lies with the Kerala Home Ministry. Thiruvananthapuram city police is the largest police division in Kerala and it consists of 10 Circle Offices and 21 Police Stations and a sanctioned strength of 3500 police personnel. The Central Prison is the oldest prison in Kerala and the headquarters of Kerala prisons and correctional services.
Military and diplomatic establishmentsEdit
Southern Air Command of the Indian Air Force is headquartered in the city. There are two state armed police battalions and a unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) based in Thiruvananthapuram. The CRPF has a Group Head Quarters (GHQ) located at Pallipuram. There is also a large army cantonment in Pangode which houses some regiments of the Indian Army. Consulate of United Arab Emirates, Consulate of Maldives and Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka, Russia and Germany function in the city.
The Kerala Water Authority supplies the city with water that is sourced from the Karamana River; most of it drawn from Aruvikkara and Peppara reservoirs and is treated and purified at the Aruvikkara pumping stations. The Wellington Water Works, commissioned in 1933 is one of the oldest city water supply scheme in India. The sewage water is treated at Muttathara sewage treatment plant, which handles 32 million liters per day. The city area is divided into seven blocks for the execution of the sewage system. Electricity is supplied by the Kerala State Electricity Board. Fire services are handled by the Kerala Fire And Rescue Services.
Thiruvananthapuram is known as the "Evergreen City of India" because of its green landscapes and the presence of many public parks. Thiruvananthapuram has historically been a cultural hub in South India due to the active interest of the rulers of erstwhile Travancore in the development of arts, architecture and liberal customs. As a testimony to this, renowned artists like Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Raja Ravi Varma hail from the city. Prominent social reformers such as Sri Narayana Guru, Chattampi Swamikal, Ayyankali, Vakkom Moulavi and C. V. Raman Pillai also are from Thiruvananthapuram.
Two of the three Malayalam triumvirate poets, Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer and Kumaran Asan are from Thiruvananthapuram. Annual literature festivals like the Kovalam Literary Festival, are held in the city. Literary development is further aided by state institutions such as the State Central Library, one of the oldest public library in India, which was established in 1829, and other major libraries including the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Central library, and the Kerala University Library. Thiruvananthapuram has been a hub of classical music, since the days of Maharaja of Travancore, Swathi Thirunal. Thiruvananthapuram is known for many music festivals like the Navarathri Music Festival, one of the oldest festival of its kind in South India,  Swathi Sangeethotsavam, Soorya Music fest, Neelakanta Sivan Music Fest and many other music festivals are organised by various cultural groups. The 111 day long Soorya Festival is the biggest art and cultural event in Kerala. The Soorya Festival features various art forms and events, including film festivals, theater festivals, dance, music, painting and photography exhibitions.
The Malayalam film Industry was started in Thiruvananthapuram. The first Malayalam feature film, Vigathakumaran directed by J. C. Daniel was released in Thiruvananthapuram. J. C. Daniel is considered as the father of Malayalam film industry. He also established the first film studio of Kerala, the Travancore National Pictures at Thiruvananthapuram in 1926. The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which is held every year on December is one of Asia’s largest film festival in terms of viewer participation. In addition to various film festivals, the presence of film certification body like the Central Board of Film Certification's regional office, many movie studios and production facilities like the Uma Studio, Chitranjali Studio, Merryland Studio, Kinfra Film and Video Park and Vismayas Max contributed to the growth of Thiruvananthapuram as a centre of cinema.
Apart from the famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the city's architecture is championed by the Napier Museum and Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, one of the oldest zoo's in India. Other architecture landmarks include Kuthira Malika Palace, Kowdiar Palace, Attukal temple, Beemapally Mosque, Connemara Market, and the Mateer Memorial Church. Thiruvananthapuram was the main centre of Laurie Baker's architecture.
Along with the major festivals of Onam, Vishu, Navarathri, Christian and Islamic festivals like Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr and Milad-e-sherif, the diverse ethnic populace of the city celebrates several local festivals like Attukal Pongala, Beemapally Uroos, Vettukaad Church Festival, Padmanabhaswamy Temple Aaraattu and Lakshadeepam festival. During Onam festival, the state government conducts several cultural events for a week in the city. The Attukal Pongala festival attracts millions women devotees across India and abroad. It is the largest gathering of women in the world. International multicultural festivals are organised in the city by Germany's Goethe Zentrum, France's Alliance Francaise and Russia's Gorky Bhavan centres by hosting a wide range of events and programmes throughout the year.
The general cuisine of the people is Keralite cuisine, which is generally characterised by an abundance of coconut and spices. Other South Indian cuisines, as well as Chinese and North Indian cuisines are popular. Being an important tourist destination, Thiruvananthapuram have a number of restaurants that offer international cuisine, like Arabic, Thai, Mexican etc.
Thiruvananthapuram is a major educational hub. There are about 15 engineering colleges, three medical colleges, three Ayurveda colleges, two homoeopathy colleges, six other medicine related colleges, an agricultural college, two management institutions, and two law colleges in the city and its suburbs. Major institutions include the University of Kerala, Trivandrum Medical College, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, A P J Abdul Kalam Technological University, Indira Gandhi National Open University, College of Engineering, Government Engineering College, Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering, National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Centre for Development Studies and Centre for Development of Imaging Technology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, and the National Centre for Earth Science Studies.
The economy of the city is mainly based on the tertiary sector. Thiruvananthapuram was listed as one of the top 10 cities in India on Vibrancy and Consumption Index by a study conducted by global financial services firm Morgan Stanley. The city is a major exporter of software with over 250 companies employing more than 40,000 professionals.
As of 2015, it contributes around 55% of the state's software exports. Tourism also contributes to the economy of Thiruvananthapuram. There are around 20 government owned and 60 privately owned medium and large-scale industrial units such as Infosys, UST Global, TCS, Oracle, SunTec in Thiruvananthapuram. There are also about 30,000 small scale industrial units employing around 115,000 people. Traditional industries include handloom and coir. The Technopark is the largest Information Technology park in Asia in terms of area. Technopark is also the largest employment base campus in Kerala.
Malayalam newspapers available are Mathrubhumi, Malayala Manorama, Kerala Kaumudi, Deshabhimani, Madhyamam, Janmabhumi, Chandrika, Thejas, Siraj, Deepika and Rashtra Deepika. The English newspapers with editions from Thiruvananthapuram are The New Indian Express, The Hindu, The Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India
Most of the media houses in Kerala are based out of Thiruvananthapuram. The government-owned Doordarshan began broadcasting in 1981. Asianet, the first private channel in Malayalam, began its telecasts in 1993. The other channels based in the city include News18 Kerala, Amrita TV, Kairali TV, Kairali We, Mathrubhumi News, Kaumudy TV, JaiHind TV, Asianet News, Asianet Movies and People TV
Thiruvananthapuram was the main venue of the National Games 2015. Thiruvananthapuram also hosted the 2015 SAFF Cup Championship and in the final match the stadium recorded an all-time highest number of attendance in SAFF Cup Championship history. The city caters to a variety of sports with facilities as listed below:
|The Sports Hub, Trivandrum International Stadium||Sports Hub|
|Jimmy George Sports Hub||Sports Hub|
|LNCPE Karyavattom||Sports Hub|
|Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium||Athletics, Association football|
|University Stadium||Athletics, Association football|
|Central Stadium||Athletics, Association football Multi-purpose stadium|
|Kerala Police Academy||Shooting|
|Vattiyoorkavu Shooting Range||Shooting|
|Thiruvananthapuram Tennis Club||Tennis|
|Ramanathan Krishnan Tennis Complex||Tennis|
|Pirappancode Aquatics Complex||Aquatics|
|Shankumugham Beach||Beach Handball|
|Thiruvananthapuram Golf Club||Golf|
|CSN Squash Court||Squash|
|Sreepadam Stadium||Kho Kho, Kabadi|
|Thankamma Stadium||Association football|
|LNCPE Velodrome and Indoor Stadium||Cycling, Wushu|
|St.Xaviers Cricket Ground, Thumba||Cricket|
|Agricultural College Indoor Stadium||Sports Hub, Taekwondo, Netball|
|Toss Academy||Shuttle Badminton|
For Adventure sports,
- Varkala is known for paragliding and surfing.
- Kovalam hosts one of India's oldest surfing enclaves and also one of the first exclusive surf shops in India. It also has a scuba diving enclave.
Several companies offer hiking, trekking, and camping in the Western Ghats region of the city. Jimmy George Sports hub includes Astra, the first altitude-simulated training facility in South India, which enables high altitude acclimatisation.
There are two major railway stations in the city namely, the Thiruvananthapuram Central at the city center and Kochuveli at near to sea cost. Other smaller railway stations in the city are Pettah, Nemom, veli & Kazhakuttom railway stations.
Thiruvananthapuram Central is the major railway station serving the city. It falls under the Southern Railway zone of the Indian Railways and is the headquarter of the Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division.
Thiruvananthapuram is served by the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The airport is just 6.7 kilometres (4.2 mi) from the city centre. Being one of the gateways to the state, it has direct connectivity to all the major cities in India as well as Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Maldives and Sri Lanka. It also has the headquarters of the Southern Air Command (SAC) of the Indian Air Force.
Thiruvananthapuram is a major tourist hub in South India. Kovalam and Varkala are popular beach towns located near the city. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple circled by the East Fort is believed to be among the richest and grandest temples in the world. Other places of interest include Shanghumukham, Azhimala Beach, Agasthyamala rain forests, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kallar, Braemore, Ponmudi hills, Poovar and Anchuthengu backwaters, Varkala Cliffs and Kappil, Edava lakes. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is enlisted by UNESCO to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The city is also known for its unique style of architecture involving Kerala Architecture with British and Dravidian influences in Napier museum, Zoo which is one of the oldest in Asia, Kuthiramalika and Kilimanoor Palaces. Although there are a number of museums, Kerala Science and Technology Museum includes the Priyadarsini Planetarium with the biggest projection screen in south India.
Thiruvananthapuram has been associated with luminaries from the annals of art, culture, entrepreneurship, education, reform, and sports:
- Marthanda Varma
- Narayana Guru
- Sri Madhukarnath
- Vakkom Moulavi
- Annie Mascarene
- Suresh Gopi
- Prithviraj Sukumaran
- Gokul Suresh
- Adoor Bhasi
- C. V. Raman Pillai
- G. Madhavan Nair
- Jagathy Sreekumar
- Santosh Sivan
- Raja Ravi Varma
- K. S. Chithra
- M. G. Sreekumar
- Laurie Baker
- Kumaran Asan
- Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer
- Adoor Bhasi
- Kris Gopalakrishnan
- Prem Nazir
- O. N. V. Kurup
- Prof. S. Guptan Nair
- Thanu Padmanabhan
- Shaji N. Karun
- Sanju Samson
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