THIRUVANATHAPURAM – The Home of Kerala University

The Semester India Program, (SIP) is allied to the University of Kerala, and the University is situated in the capital city of Thiruvanathapuram (earlier known as Trivandrum) facing the beautiful Arabian Sea on the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. This greenest city of Kerala has culturally rich museums, art galleries, zoological parks, historical, ancient and colonial buildings, palaces, theaters, concert halls, parks and houses of worship like churches, temples and mosques.

Thiruvananthapuram is well connected by roads, rails and air. The international and domestic airports, interstate, inter-district and local bus terminals as well as interstate train stations are all within 20 minutes of driving distance from the university campus. This well known South Indian City, in addition to its’- natural beauty, is also known for its’- rich culture, traditions, festivals and diversity. Crowned by the Western Ghats on the eastern side of the district and the internationally renowned beaches on the western side such as Kovalam, Shanghumugham, Veli and Varkala, Thiruvanathapuram gives the opportunity for the students for mountain hiking and beach experience, a real outdoor bonanza.

Thiruvananthapuram city has many multinational companies, world famous research and medical centers, space station, science and technology museum and planetarium. This shows the modernity and advancement of the city.

Being an exciting and accessible city, semester India students will find the city as their hideout for chilling and relaxation. Thiruvananthapuram is also famous for the authentic cuisine unique to India. The variety of foods of Kerala, South India and North India are readily available in the city for a food tasting exploration. Students will always like the Kerala foods like thali meals, Biryani, Masala Dosa, Idly, Appam, Puri and various fish and meat dishes. Those who are interested in releasing their tension can learn the techniques of Yoga, meditation and martial arts through the various centers that provide physical, mental, and spiritual exercises.

" My favourit meal is.... well it is difficult for one to take crown.It could be channa batoora,parota,poori,dosai.There are seriously too many to narrow in on one and I often find myself travellingfurther than is logical just eat to a certain meal from a certain shop.The greatest part about the food here may be the effort placed into it.While a lot of foot in the western world is processed , frozen and reheated,I know that my food here is locally grown and fresh.You can taste this freshness on your tounge,and feel it in your belly."-

David Kersey

Thiruvananthapuram is also the cultural capital of South India. Regular performances of South Indian classical dance forms like Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathakali, Thiruvathirakali and south Indian classical concerts like Carnatic gana mela, percussion and musical instruments will take the students to heavenly heights through visual and auditory delights.

Quick Facts on Thiruvanathapuram


2192 sq. km




Tropical Humid Climate

Rainy season

June – October


Thiruvananthapuram International and Domestic Airports

Bus terminal

Thampanoor interstate and inter-district bus terminals East fort city terminal for local buses

Railway station

Thampanoor interstate train station

Tourist offices

Various locations

Fairs and festivals

Onam, Nishagandhi dance festival,Soorya festival, Attukal pongala, Temple Arattu, music festival,food festival, village fair, International film festival and a host of others.

Museums and monuments

Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple,Kuthira Malika Palace Museum, The Napier Museum, Sri Chithra Art Gallery, Kawdiar Palace, Kanakakunnu Palace, Government Observatory, Zoological Park, The Natural History Museum, The Science and Technology Museum, Government Secretariate, Kerala Legislature Complex, Padmanabhapuram palace

Beaches andbackwaters

Kovalam, Vizhinjam, Neyyar, Akkulam, Varkala, Shangumugham,Veli,

Mountains, wildlife and rainforest

Ponmudi, Agasthyakoodam

I am not a city person.My favourit places are nature and the outdoors.Usually I find cities stifling and confining.But the Trivandrum,there are bits and pieces of greenery and nature everywhere. You can literally see places where roads,houses, and sidewalks have been built arount trees and pieces of nature so that they can continue to grow and thrive.Often when walking through the streets ,a tree will be growing right out of a hole in the concrete .Noermally all cities look the same to me ,but this atribute of Trivandrum made the experience easier to take in and appreciate.

Kim Snyder