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Introducing Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

Kerala's capital – for obvious reasons still often referred to by its colonial name, Trivandrum – is an energetic place and an easygoing introduction to city life down south. Most travellers merely springboard from here to the nearby beachside resorts of Kovalam and Varkala, but Trivandrum has enough sights – including its zoo and cluster of Victorian museums in glorious neo-Keralan buildings – to justify a stay. You don't have to go far from Trivandrum's busy centre to find yourself immersed in pagoda-shaped buildings, red-tiled roofs and narrow, winding lanes.