The capital of Kerala, Trivandrum is built on seven hills making it a deliciously green city ideal for a retreat. The main city of God’s own country has a modern side as well, but interestingly, it does not get in the way of it’s old world charm. Trivandrum is home to a lot of temples like the Padmanabhaswamy Temple and Karikkakom Chamundi Devi Temple as well as museums such as The Natural History Museum and Napier Museum, that’ll satiate your lust for architecture and history.

But if what you’re seeking is peace and tranquility, you must visit its nature parks, ports and Ayurvedic centres. Start your day here with a cup of coffee at the historic Indian Coffee House. Waiters dressed in ethnic uniforms, smooth hospitality and fairly priced menu – it’s a place that instantly calms the mind. Remember to try the filter coffee and Kesari halwa.

To explore nature, visit Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, home to various endangered species, 35km north of Trivandrum. The sanctuary organises Lion Safaris, which ought not to be missed. Or you could head to Neyyar Dam, where boating is a star attraction and fishing an engaging activity. The food and facilities provided by warm and welcoming local villagers here will make you want to visit again.

For some touristy fun, explore Chalai Market – a busy and bustling street in Trivandrum. It’s known for its unlimited range of products being sold in an organised way. As a way to pamper yourself, pay a visit to Ayushmanbhava Ayurvedic Centre where they promote various teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda to maintain a healthy life. With modern amenities and world class hospitality, this place is great for a rejuvenating stay.

Perhaps Trivandrum’s most important attraction – Vizhinjam Lighthouse is a must visit if you want to enjoy the cityscape. Located on Kovalam beach, this 45 year old working lighthouse allows you to climb the stairs and reach the top. The aerial view of the beach and water will make it well worth the effort. If you want to end your vacation on a peaceful note, remember to catch the sunset at Valiyathura Pier – a secluded and blissful place to spend a lazy evening.