10 Historic Buildings In Trivandrum That Gives An ‘Old World Charm’ To Capital!

These historic buildings gives an old world charm to our beautiful Trivandrum.

Trivandrum is a city which has a rich history and blessed is with rich colonial heritage. City’s old buildings exudes a splendour that arises from its regal history. These historic buildings gives an old world charm to our beautiful Trivandrum.

Here are 10 Historic Building that makes Trivandrum a unique city!

 

1. Central railway station

Trivandrum Central station

Trivandrum Central station

Thampanoor Railway station is considered as the one of the most beautiful railway station in India. It the pride, beauty and a landmark of Trivandrum. The station building was built during the reign of Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the Maharani of Travancore, and inaugurated on 4 November 1931.It had only one platform in the beginning. No bricks were used for the construction of this station building; it was built completely with rock masonry. Thiruvananthapuram station was a branch line station but the Maharani built it at par with the counterparts in the major cities of India.

2. Powerhouse Building

Power House

Power House

The Powerhouse building situated near Parthas at Pazhavangadi has a huge history that many of us drive by it on a regular basis have no clue about. On the evening of the 25th February 1929, the Silver Jubilee of the Sri Mulam Popular Assembly, the then Dewan, Mr. M.E. Watts, in the presence of a distinguished gathering, switched on the supply and informally opened the Power House. On the 8th March 1929 the electricity supply to Trivandrum commenced with 541 street lights and two consumers for the very first time in the history. The satisfactory working of the Trivandrum Electric Supply Scheme paved way to provide electricity to other towns in Kerala. You can still see the Shanku – emblem of Royal Travancore in front of the building.

3. VJT Hall

VJT Hall, Photo Credit: Anuj Nair

VJT Hall, Photo Credit: Anuj Nair

Victoria Jubilee Town Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Trivandrum. Built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria, the VJT hall was inaugurated by Sree Mulam Tirunal Rama Varma on January 25, 1896. The tiled roof, ornate ceiling, wooden flooring and the carved doors and windows of the building reflect the colonial style of architecture. The place witnessed many historical events. Several national leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, have all addressed public meetings here. Perhaps the most preferred venue for public functions in the city, this monument stands tall as a proud remnant of the colonial era.

4. Wellington Water Works

75-year-old engineering marvel - a Travancore-era tunnel running beneath the city

75-year-old engineering marvel – a Travancore-era tunnel running beneath the city

The Wellington Water Works currently known as the Kerala water Authority at Vellayambalam is a fine example of British Colonial architecture. It was made by King Sri Chithira in 1928 and commissioned in 1933 by Welllington (Viceroy). The building currently serves as the headquarters of Kerala Water authority. The scheme provided for the water supply from the Karamana river at Aruvikkara to a prospective population of 1,75,000 at the end of 1946, occupying an area of 18 square miles. You can also see the British-era underground tunnel which carries water to different parts of the city. The tunnel continues to remain a technological marvel even 83 years after they were commissioned.

5. University College Palayam

University College

University College

University College, is the oldest alma mater in Kerala, established in 1866 to impart English education to the common folk of the erstwhile Travancore by Sri Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma Maharaja. Its architecture and history have made University College a spot not to be missed in the city, if not in Kerala. In 1870, a spacious two-storeyed structure was built which has lasted to this day, forming the central block of the main building of the University College. Today, after more than a century of dedicated service to the state, the College stands tall for having produced thousands of luminaries that includes former President of India late Sri. K.R Narayan, IT doyens, Writers, Artists and Politicians.

6. Poojappura Central jail

Central Jail

Central Jail

Central Prison in Poojappura was established in September 1886. The jail has a special type of architecture called Pan Optical type which is so beautiful and symmetric. Many freedom fighters and political leaders were detained here during the freedom struggle and after.

The Prison was located in Poojappura because of a special reason. After execution the Jail officers used to conduct their pooja for expiation of their sin in the Poojappura Pooja house. People who were executed used to have their Annual Shradham by the relatives in the Pooja house. During the Vavu Bali special poojas were done by the Poojappura Jail at Sanghumughom for all the dead people.

7. District Court Vanchiyoor

Vanchiyoor Court, Photo: S.Gopakumar

Vanchiyoor Court, Photo: S.Gopakumar

District Court complex at Vanchiyoor is an amazing English-Gothic designed building constructed by His Highness Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma. Before it became the Court complex, it was functioning as our old S.M.V (Sree Moola Vilasom) school building. The School was shifted to the new campus on M.G. Road in 1943. Now District Court and Subordinate Courts at Trivandrum are functioning in this magnificent complex.

8. Public Library

Public Library

Public Library

Public Library was established in the year A.D. 1829 during the reign of King Swathi Thirunal of Travancore.  At that time, only a privileged class who were called to attend the Durbar of His Highness the Maharaja was allowed admission to the Library. In 1900 AD, Sree Moolam Thirunal constructed the present building for housing the library, which is an architectural beauty in the Gothic style, in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. And in 1948, state government took over the building and is now called ‘State Central Library’ of Kerala. Trivandrum Public Library is also the first public library in India. At present, the library has a collection of about 4, 00,000 books, which gets updated every year by around 12, 000 books.

9. Model School

Model School

Model School

The magnificent main building of the school, an example of European architecture, was built in 1910 during the reign of Maharaja Sree Moolam Thirunal Ramavarma. Model School started out as a normal school on 1885 for training male teachers. It was situated in the compound where St.Joseph’s Higher Secondary school is at present. In 1903 it was shifted to its current location Thycaud. When opened, it was the first school in city to offer English, Malayalam and Tamil medium. The iconic main building of Model school has been featured in many Malayalam films as Court building or as collectorate office.  Technocrat Kris Gopalakrishnan, actor Mohanlal, singer M G Sreekumar, film director Priyadarshan and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi chairman Soorya Krishnamoorthy were some of the famous celebrities who studied at this school.

 10. Secretariat Building

Secretariat

Secretariat

Our Secretariat is over 140 years old and was constructed in the year 1869 by Sri Ayilyam Thirunal. The original purpose was to run Travancore Royal Durbar Hall where the King meet his council of ministers on monthly basis.  It was designed and built under Barton, the then chief engineer of Travancore and incorporates elements of Roman and Dutch architecture. The construction was supervised by the then Dewan, T. Madhava Rao, whose statue now stands across the road opposite the building. It also housed the Legislative Assembly from 1939 before it moved to the new building.

The list does not end there. There are many heritage buildings in Trivandrum with architectural and historical significance constructed during various periods of the city’s history. It would take very long list if we include every one of them. This is what makes Trivandrum unique from other cities in Kerala.

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