(updates in progress)
“Trivandrum”, or more properly, Thiruvananthapuram, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. Spending time here was amazing. The rich history, proud people, incredible food and spirit. The Malayalam language (yes, a palindrome!) is one of the oldest languages on our planet (derived out of Sanskrit), also one of the most difficult to learn / speak. I expected most locals to speak Hindi (given that it is the national language), but many in this region do not speak Hindi, only Malayalam or English.
Many highlights, but Padmanabhapuram Palace – a wooden palace – built in the 16th century was amazing. Built on the magical 3, 6, 9 ratio, this palace is an architectural masterpiece showcasing intricate rose-wood carvings (none the same), dozens of therapeutic woods, egg-shell flooring in certain rooms to keep feet cool in the midst of the extreme heat.
Traveling to the southernmost tip of India you will find Kanyakumari in the state of Tamil Nadu. The southernmost town in mainland India, it is sometimes referred to as India’s “Land’s End”. This is where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. The confluence of these three places is also referred as ‘Thriveni Sangamam’. A popular spiritual destination where you can watch the sun rise and set. Also built on the rocks is Vivekananda Rock Memorial; dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, which surrounds a relief footprint left in the rock by the Goddess Devi Kanya Kumari.