Book / An artist’s impression of Thiruvananthapuram

Lekshmi Rajeev and Raghu Rai (2020). “Thiruvananthapuram : an artist’s
Westland Books / ISBN: 978-9389648508 / 192 pages / Rs 2999

Excerpt : This capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram has welcomed and housed people from various lands, countries and continents. The relics of the rich past are scattered all over the city and its surroundings; Thiruvananthapuram district is a mine of wonders that extend far beyond the treasures of Śree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

In the area are many other sites of significance—the Agasthyarkoodam peak, which houses the rare Ārogyapacha plant, and the 1000-year-old cave temple of Lord Śiva on the rock-face of Madavoorpara, which is believed to have been a Jain cave temple earlier, to name a few. But the place seems to shy away from showing off its ancient glories.

In places celebrated as sites where the heroes of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana had often visited or lost themselves to tapas, history remains frozen and inert, waiting for a fleeting touch to spring it back to life.

The five-star hotels and shopping malls that rise over the ancient palaces and forts, transferring them into shadowy by-lanes, remind us that it was not long ago that things were different.

Thiruvananthapuram is unlike typical Indian cities, with their dust, hectic pace and bustling crowds: it is clean, green and quiet. Some of it belongs to the twenty-first century, but much of it remains in the unhurried twentieth.’

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