Trip Start Jan 24, 2012
11Trip End Feb 03, 2012
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Where I stayed
SP Grand Days Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)
Read my review - 3/5 stars
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
The temple is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu and is one of the 108 Divya Deshams (holy abodes of Vishnu). The main temple houses a reclining full length idol of Vishnu made in black shilagram. The idol currently in displayed is around 1000 years old and is placed in front of the original smaller idol which dates almost 2500 years old
When we entered the temple after passing through metal detectors, there was a huge queue along the corridors as the darshan was yet to start. The temple is still owned by the royal family of the Travancore and every morning the king performs the puja in the morning after which the temple is opened for general devotees. Initially the queue was well managed and well behaved, but as we started approaching the Narashimha temple, many local devotees unabashedly started breaking the line and jostled their way ahead.We were quite taken aback at the recklessness but soon started protesting to the devotees who were barging ahead. The way to the main temple is very narrow and there is a lot of jostling and pushing around. To get the darshan itself there is a small wooden podium to get on which itself was a Herculean task and had to literally squeeze in to get on to the board
Next we were supposed to visit the Napier Museum and Chitra Art Gallery which houses some of the originals of the famed painter Raja Ravi Verma. With eager minds to enjoy a feast of the beautiful paintings, we headed to the museum, however were thoroughly disappointed to find it closed as it was 26th Jan - Republic day and a public holiday across India..Was very very disappointed and planned to visit the next day morning although it was gonna delay us by 3 hrs on our onward journey to the back waters.
Back to hotel and then we set out for some local shopping experience at noon
After lunch and some siesta, went to the much famed Kovalam beach, however was quite disappointed by the narrow strip of beach that is open to the tourist. The Kovalam beach has three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings - Lighthouse Beach (this is where we visited and is the most frequented by tourists), Hawah Beach and Samudra Beach. It would seem that much of the 17 km coastline of the beach has been bought by private resorts, leaving very small area for the general tourist. Sat by the beach watching one more glorious sunset and had a delicious "dal wada" and tender coconut water -- some relief to the disappointments of the day!!