The city of Thiruvanthapuram (Trivandrum) has a well-developed transport infrastructure. It is easy to get around Trivandrum and its suburbs because all modes of transportation are available-private cars, state and private buses, autorickshaws, scooters, motorbikes and fleet of tourist taxis on call. Scooters, motorcycles and regular bicycles, cars are the favoured means of personal transportation on the roads mainly owing to the narrow nature of some roads. The autirickshaws can access by lanes and alleys. So if you get stuck in the traffic in the main street you can always get to your destination by auto. Convenient road , rail and air routes make the city easily accessible to the international and domestic community. According to India Today survey report- Thiruvananthapuram emerged as the Best City to live in terms of quality of public transportation and housing. The report says, only “2% of Thiruvananthapuram’s total population lives in slums, the lowest among the 50 cities in India; 44% of the city’s residents use public transport and 49% residents take less than five minutes to cover 5 km in their neighbourhood, only 13% can do the same in Mumbai.”
The Trivandrum International Airport
If you are traveling from overseas you will b e arriving at the swanky Thiruvantathpuram International Airport(Trivandrum ) . It is the first Airport in India to be upgraded as international airport. Over the past three decades, Trivandrum has been well-developed and figures prominently on the world tourism map. It has 60th place in Global Ranking and 3rd in the country. The International airport which is situated on the National Highway is well-connected through intermediate/ring roads and NH bypass to Technopark, commercial centers, hospitals, research institutions,tourism destinations and other urban centers. Being strategically located at the southern tip of Indian subcontinent, the airport serves as the shortest hopping point from India to Sri Lanka and Maldives. Thus it is a preferred airport for international tourists. Besides direct flights from Trivandrum to Singapore with connections to Europe and USA via the Gulf region are available. The Visa on Arrival facility (VOA) is available for citizens of 44 countries and more countries are expected to be added.
The Trivandrum airport was established under his initiative of Colonel Goda Varma Raja(Royal family) in 1932 as part of the Royal Flying Club. He was a trained pilot who understood the needs of flights in the area for importing and exporting goods. Thiruvananthapuram international airport joined four other airports to become a gateway for passengers during the British reign. After Indian independence, it became a domestic airport of the city. In 1991, it was transformed to an international airport to run flights from here to Dubai.
In 2011, a new terminal was inaugurated which was equipped with all major services of that time and was upgraded to international airport. I f you live in Trivandrum city center getting to the airport and getting out of the airport is a breeze. It is located approximately 3.7 km (2.3 mi) due west from the city center. The airport is so close to everything that getting to the airport and getting out is like hopping from you home and back. There is no traffic snarl.
Modern facilities are available at the airport. The baggage services at the airport are world-class which includes baggage carousels, x-ray scanners and trolley services. For older people and physically challenged persons wheel chair facility and escorts to carry their luggage in trolleys are additional services.
There are several shops in the airport where you can purchase gift items including clothes, magazines, jewellery and perfumes. Besides some eateries provide all kind of food items . At the duty-free shops you can buy items at retail prices and free of duty.
Taxis(Pre-paid) Services: When you arrive at the airport terminal, you will need a taxi to take you to your destination. The pre-paid taxis can be booked at a counter in the arrivals hall. You can choose if you want an AC taxi or without AC. The pre-paid service a much easier and cheaper alternative than trying to find a taxi outside the airport.
Kerala Tax.com provides safe and reliable 24 hour taxi hiring services for short distance and long distance journeys. Other taxi services like Celcab, Texas taxi service can be contacted if required.
Majority of the international flights arrive in the wee hours of morning. Early morning drive from the airport along the sea shore is indeed a pleasant experience- the balmy air and smell of the Arabian sea is refreshing . You see the sunrise, fishermen hauling their catch and other activities on the shoreline. If you arrive in Trivandrum by a domestic flight during the day you get a difference kind of experience . As your flight descend to land, you catch your first glimpse of the coconut groves surrounding the coastline and blue waves- for a moment you think you are about to touch down in the sea.
The Railway station of Trivandrum is located at a distance of 5.5 km from the international airport which can be reached in 17 minutes via NH47 by pass road. The Trivandrum central railway is located in Thampanoor in the heart of the city. It is the largest, busiest and cleanest railway station in Kerala. Being a very important terminus the station handles over 50 trains daily and connects to all the important destinations in India. It is one of the most technology advanced stations in India equipped with computerized train control charting system, interactive touch screen kiosk, LED display ,automated announcement and more.
Trivandrum is the first major city along the second longest train route in the world- Kanyakumari to Jammu-Kashmir. There are fully air-conditioned long distance trains as well as trains with air-conditioned coaches. Apart from the central terminus, a second satellite station was opened in 2005 at Kochuveli for the convenience of passengers. The architecture of the Trivandrum Central station is unique. No bricks were used for the construction of this station building-it was built completely with rock masonry. The Central station was built during the reign of the Maharajah of Travancore and inaugurated on November 1931.
Central Bus Station (CBS), Trivandrum
The Central Bus Station also called Thampanoor Bus Station, is located opposite the Trivandrum Central Railway. It is also the headquarters of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation(KSRTC). The station has an area of 7.41 acres serving the buses traveling on all routes in Kerala and other inter-state destinations.
The State Motor Service was inaugurated by His Highness Sree Chithirathirunal in 1938. His Highness and his kin were the first passengers of the inaugural trip. This bus along with the 33 other buses were brought on road driving through the Kaudiar Square was seen to be a beautiful attraction. Since August 2015, the bus corporation has 5988 schedules and 6114 buses. Low floor air-condtioned buses are also available in the city plying from the airport to the main points in the city.
Auto Rickshaws are the backbone of the transportation network. Auto-rickshaws are a popular, easy and inexpensive way of getting around. These autos normally run by the meter, but you would still find some of them refusing to take you in the night. Most of the drivers are friendly and love chatting and many of them can manage speak Hindi or English apart from the local language Malayalam. They can be a good guide to the city and provide you with a lot of information.
Private vehicles in Trivandrum
If you plan to stay with your family permanently in Trivandrum, it is a good idea to purchase a car. There are Indian brand cars as well as foreign cars- affordable brands such as Tata Nano to the expensive Audi, Volkswagen etc. There are many dealers and showrooms selling used cars and new cars in the city.