1. Sri Chitra Art Gallery
Established in 1935, Sree Chitra Art Gallery showcases a unique collection of traditional and contemporary paintings by eminent artists. About 1100 paintings of artists from around the globe are on display, also includes Indian mural paintings. The paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Mughal paintings, Rajasthani paintings and Tibetan art work are some of them. Paintings from the Royal House of Travancore and Kilimanoor Royal Family also will be a delight to your eyes.
2. Napier Museum
Napier Museum is located in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city, in the Museum compound, close to the zoological park. If you want to see the rich cultural display of Kerala then don’t miss to visit this place. This museum exhibits bronze idols, temple chariots, and various types of ornaments that are of historical and cultural value. The metal sculptures from Chola, Chera, and Vijayanagara dynasties are yet another attraction of this museum. Various types of wood carvings and a rich collection of coins with inscription are also on display here. Yet another reason to visit this museum is its natural air conditioning system, which keeps the building cool during summer months.
3. Kuthiramalika Palace Museum
This heritage site is a two-storeyed building located just beside the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. In 19th Century, this palace was constructed in the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma. The Travancore style architecture with 112 horses carved on wooden walls catch the attention of travelers. Marble sculptures, Belgian mirrors, Kathakali idols, weapons and armors, and many antiques kept by the Travancore Royal Family are on display here. This museum is also famous for its barefoot trips, so go and experience the splendor on your next Kerala trip.
4. Padmanabhapuram Palace
Located on the foothills of Veli hills, Western Ghats, this palace is spread around an area of 6.5 acres. It is an irresistibly beautiful palace constructed of wood and clay tile roofs. The Padmanabhapuram Palace complex consists of several structures: Mantrasala- the king’s council chamber, Nataksala-the performance hall, Thai Kottaram-the queen mother’s palace, a four-storied mansion at the centre of the complex and Thekee Kottaram- the southern palace. This palace also holds its name in the list of heritage sites in India.
5. The Kanakakunnu Palace
Located close to the Napier Museum, this palace catches the attention of travelers because of its red façade and a traditional Kerala Style roof. The well maintained grounds and huge open air auditoriums, Nishagandhi and Sooryakanthi are other highlights of this royal palace. These auditoriums are also the venues of cultural events like All India Dance Festival organized in Thiruvananthapuram by State Tourism Department on yearly basis. Another festival that catches the eyes of travelers from around the world is the Food Festival. The preferable time to visit here is from October to March as most of the festivals are organized in these months.
6. Kowdiar Palace
This palace was constructed in 1934 by Maharaja Sree Chithira Thirunal who later presented this palace to his Junior, Rani Sethu Parvati Bayi. This palace is constructed in three stories and has a wooden elevator and six beautiful steeples, which make it one of the finest palaces in Kerala. It has more than 150 rooms, which depict the magnificent fusion of Keralian and Dravidian style architecture that has enabled it to be included in the list of heritage sites in India. The majestic architecture of this palace is worth seeing on your trip to Kerala. For now, this palace is closed for visitors; still many tourists come here to get a view of its grand façade.
7. Museum of History and Heritage
This museum presents Keralean history in a graceful manner and is located in the building of the Kerala Tourism complex. Items from the Iron Age to the Bronze Age, Terracotta Age and the Modern Age and many more from history are put on display here. Openness and catholicity of the Keralean communities can also be viewed in this museum. Some great designs of murals and dhulichitra (floor paintings) along with Roman Denarius and Brahma Sculpture from 14th Century, Nataraja Sculpture from 16th Century and the murals from Pundareekapuram Temple from 17th Century are some of the main attractions of this museum.
8. Koyikkal Palace Museum
This museum is situated in Nedumangad in the district of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This palace was the residence of Umayamma Rani who ruled the kingdom from 1677 to 1684. Later, this palace was converted into a museum and various items of historical importance are kept here for display. Many tourists come to this place to explore the Keralean architecture and history. Various types of household utensils, instruments, occupational tools and models of folk arts are exhibited in this museum. Tourists can also have a glimpse of rare coins from history at this museum. It is open for tourists on all the weekdays except for Monday.
9. Anjengo/Anchuthengu Fort
Built by British East India Company in 1696, this fort is located about 12 kilometers from Varkala town. The main purpose of construction of this fort was to signal the ships that come from England. The fort is constructed in round shape and there are four bastions, which are mounted on eight guns. Initially, this fort was an important source of trade, but later this fort played an important role in Anglo Mysore war. To visit this Fort, cab and bus services are available from the main city of Thiruvananthapuram.
10. Niyamasabha Mandiram
It is the seat of Kerala Legislative Assembly and was constructed under the strong influence of Dravidian and Keralean architecture style. It is known for its large halls, grand staircases and garden. This building has 5 stories with ground floor and basement, which are elegantly constructed with appealing architecture and the basement is designed for parking cars. The main attraction of this building is its square shaped structure and 4 frontages. Each of the frontages is supported by 40 pillars. This structure is west facing, so it is worthy to view Sunset from the corridors of this palace. The central hall of this building is designed in the form of an amphitheatre.
11. Kilimanoor Palace
This palace is known as the birthplace of renowned painter, Raja Ravi Varma. Constructed on over 15 acres, this palace showcases a residential style building with ponds, wells and sacred groves. This palace is known to be more than 300 years old and is constructed in typical Kerala architectural style. Kilimanoor Palace looks much like a Nalukettu and is only 42 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. There are about 40 royal suites in this palace and a great dining hall, which adds to its elegance.