Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's capital – still usually referred to by its colonial name, Trivandrum – is a relatively compact but energetic city and an easygoing introduction to urban life down south. Most travellers merely springboard from here to the nearby beach resorts of Kovalam and Varkala, but Trivandrum has enough sights – including a zoo and cluster of Victorian museums in glorious neo-Keralan buildings – to justify a stay.



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