Thiruvananthapuram is fortunate enough to inherit a rich historical and cultural heritage. Travancore kings were pursuers of art and aesthetics. They used to encourage artists and thus contributed to building up a vivid and exuberant cultural legacy. The most notable artisans from Thiruvananthapuram include Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, Raja Ravi Varma and Irayimman Thampi. Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Irayimman Thampi, the great composers, contributed to the development of Carnatic music. Raja Ravi Varma – the renowned painter needs no introduction.
Swathi Thirunal College of Music, The Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the Napier Museum and Zoo, Palayam Mosque, the VJT hall, etc are some of the important heritage buildings of the city. The works of the well known sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman are housed in the city at The Shankumugham beach and the Veli Lake.
Onam is the season of festivity. Tourism week celebrations which include cultural events are organized by State Government during Onam period. The annual flower show, the Aaraat of Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the Attukal Pongala, Vettucaud Perunaal, the Beemapally Uroos, etc are other major events of the city. Kerala’s traditional ‘Kathakali dance’ and ‘Kalaripayattu’ the indigenous marshal art are taught at different centers.
Special cuisines of Thiruvananthapuram include all south Indian food like Appam, Rasam, Idlis, Idiappams, Meen Curry, Meen Pollichathu, Karikku, Avial, Kottucurry, Olan, Puttu, Dosas, Kappa, etc.
Thiruvananthapuram is also famous for its Ayurvedic Body Massage. More than hundred massage parlors offer rejuvenating and gratifying Ayurvedic Massage.