|District of Kerala|
Location of Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala
|Administrative division||Southern Travancore|
|Tehsils||1. Thiruvananthapuram, 2. Chirayinkeezhu, 3. Neyyattinkara, 4. Nedumangadu|
|• Lok Sabha constituencies||1. Attingal, 2. Thiruvananthapuram|
|• Assembly seats||14|
|• Total||2,192 km2 (846 sq mi)|
|• Total||3,307,284 (male: 1,584,200; female: 1,723,084)|
|Vehicle registration||KL-01, KL-15, KL-16, KL-19, KL-20, KL-21, KL-22|
|Average annual precipitation||1,700 mm|
Thiruvananthapuram District is the southernmost district of the coastal state of Kerala, in south India. It came into existence in the year 1957. The headquarters is the city of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) which is also the capital city of Kerala.
The district has an area of 2,192 square kilometres (846 sq mi) and a population of 3,307,284 (as per the 2011 census), the second-most populous district in Kerala after Malappuram district. It is the densest district in Kerala with 1,509 people per square kilometre. It is divided into six taluks, Thiruvananthapuram, Chirayinkeezhu, Neyyattinkara, Nedumangadu, Varkala and Kattakada. The urban bodies in the district are the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, Varkala, Neyyattinkara, Attingal and Nedumangad municipalities.
Thiruvananthapuram district is situated between north latitudes 8°17' and 8°54' and east longitudes 76°41' and 77°17'. The southern-most extremity, Kaliyikkavila, is 56 kilometres (35 mi) away from Kanyakumari, the "Land's End of Main land-India". The district is 33.75% urbanised.
The district has three major rivers, several freshwater lakes and more than 300 ponds. The eastern region is forested, northern regions are mostly under rubber cultivation and the remaining areas have mixed dry land crops of coconut, plantain, tapioca, etc. Built up areas and rice fields complete the land use.
- 1 Origin of name
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Economy
- 5 Divisions and Administration
- 6 Transport
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Culture
- 9 Flora and fauna
- 10 Tourism
- 11 Education
- 12 Media
- 13 Sports
- 14 Rural development
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
Origin of name
The district has the same name as its headquarters city, Thiruvananthapuram. The city gets its name from the word "Thiru-anantha-puram", meaning the "Abode of Lord Anantha". The name derives from the deity of the Hindu temple at the center of the Thiruvananthapuram city. Anantha is the serpent Shesha on whom Padmanabhan or Vishnu reclines. The district was officially referred to as Trivandrum in English until 1991, when the government decided to reinstate the city's original name, "Thiruvananthapuram" in all languages.
Thiruvananthapuram city and several other places in the district loom large in ancient tradition, folklore and literature.
In 1684, during the regency of Umayamma Rani, the English East India Company obtained a sandy spit of land at Anchuthengu near Varkala on the sea coast about 32 kilometres (20 mi) north of Thiruvananthapuram city, with a view to erecting a factory and fortifying it. The place had earlier been frequented by the Portuguese and later by the Dutch. It was from here that the English gradually extended their domain to other parts of Travancore.
Modern history begins with Marthanda Varma, 1729 CE – 1758 CE, who is generally regarded as the Father of modern Travancore. Thiruvananthapuram was known as a great center of intellectual and artistic activities in those days.
"Thiruvananthapuram" literally means "City of Lord Anantha". The name derives from the deity of the Hindu temple at the center of the Thiruvananthapuram city. Anantha is the mythical thousand hooded serpent- Shesha on whom Padmanabhan or Vishnu reclines. The temple of Vishnu reclining on Anantha, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, which dates back to the 16th century, is the most-recognizable iconic landmark of the city as well as the district. Along with the presiding deity of Padmanabha, this temple also has temples inside it, dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Narasimha, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Ayyappa. The temple was built by King Marthanda Varma of the Travancore Royal family when, in 1745, he shifted the Travancore capital from Padmanabhapuram, which is now in Tamil Nadu. King Marthanda Varma started reigning as 'Sree Padmanabhadasa', the Slave of Sree Padmanabha. The vast temple complex, with its tall Gopuram decorated with detailed carvings reflected in the huge temple tank, is today a center of attraction for the pious, the tourist, and the merely curious.
The city was the capital of the Travancore state before India's independence. Consequent to the recommendations of the state Reorganization Commission, the Vilavancode taluk from Thiruvananthapuram was merged with Tamil Nadu, along with three other southern taluks of Thovala, Agastheewaram and Kalkulam from Travancore which eventually formed the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The state of Kerala came into being on 1 November 1956.
The district is situated between North latitudes at 8.17°– 8.54° and East longitudes 76.41°– 77.17°. The southern-most extremity, Parassala is just 54 kilometres (34 mi) away from the southern peninsular tip of India, Cape Comorin (Kanya Kumari). The district stretches 78 kilometres (48 mi) along the shores of the Arabian Sea on the West, Kollam district lies on the North with Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu on the East and South respectively.
Unlike the flat portion of the Kerala coast, at the northern coastal region of the district, cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea at Varkala. It is the only part in southern Kerala where cliffs were found. These tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs are considered as a unique geological feature. It is known among geologists as the "Varkala Formation" and a geological monument as declared by the Geological Survey of India.
The district can be divided into three geographical regions: Highlands, Midlands, and Lowlands. The Chirayinkeezhu and Thiruvananthapuram Taluks are located in the midland and lowland regions, while the Nedumangad Taluk lies in the midland and highland regions, and the Neyyattinkara Taluk stretches over all the three regions.
The highland regions on the east and the north-east comprises the Western Ghats, and this area is ideal for major cash crops like rubber, tea, cardamom and other spices. Timber trees like teak and rosewood are grown in this region. The Ghats maintain an average elevation of 814 metres (2,671 ft). The part Agasthyarkoodam, which is the second-highest peak in the Western Ghats (1,869 m or 6,132 ft above sea level), lies in the district. The forests in the tail end of Western Ghats form the most diverse and unknown ecosystem in Peninsular India.
The midland region lying between the Western Ghats and lowlands is made up of small and tiny hills and valleys. This is an area of intense agricultural activities. This region is rich in produce such as paddy, tapioca, rubber, eucalyptus, spices and cashews. The lowlands are comparatively narrow, consisting of rivers, deltas and seashore. This area is densely covered with coconut trees. Water bodies cover about 55.25 km2 (21.3 sq mi), while forest area is estimated to be 498.61 km2 (193 sq mi).
Thiruvananthapuram district has a reserve forest area of 495.1 km2 (191 sq mi) and vested forest area of 3.534 km2 (1.4 sq mi). The forests are spread over three ranges: the Kulathupuzha range in the north, Palode range in the middle, and the Paruthipalli range in the south. These forests may be broadly classified into three categories, namely, Southern tropical wet evergreen forests, Southern tropical and semi-evergreen forests, and Southern tropical moist deciduous forests. Social forestry programmes are being implemented under the World Bank-aided Kerala Social Forestry Project, National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) and Rural Fuel Wood Schemes to assist small and marginal farmers.
Among the three rivers in the district, the Neyyar (56 km or 35 mi), the southernmost river of the Kerala state, has its origin in the Agasthyamala, the second-highest peak in the Western Ghats. The Karamana river (67 km or 42 mi) originates from Vayuvanthol (Vazhuvanthol), another mountain in Western Ghats, and the Vamanapuram River has its origin from Chemunji Mottai of the Western Ghats. There are 10 major back waters in the district. The major lakes are Veli, Kadinamkulam, Anchuthengu (Anjengo), Kaappil, Akathumuri and the Edava-Nadayara lakes. Besides these, there is a fresh-water lake at Vellayani in Thiruvananthapuram taluk, which has the potential to become the major water source of Thiruvanthapuram city in future.
The climate of Thiruvananthapuram district is generally hot tropical. The large forest reserves favourably affect the climate and induce rains. Cold weather is experienced in the mountain ranges, whereas lower down, the weather is bracing and is generally hot in the coastal regions. The mean maximum temperature is 95 °F (35 °C) and the mean minimum temperature is 69 °F (20 °C). As the district stretches from north to south with the Arabian Sea in the west side, the relative humidity is generally high. It rises up to about 95% during the South-West monsoon.
The total annual average rainfall in the district is about 1,500 mm (59 in) per annum. The southwest monsoon, from June to September is the principal rainy season. The district receives most of its annual rainfall in this season. The second rainy season is the Northeast monsoon. It is from October to November. The district also gets thunderstorm rains in the pre-monsoon months of April and May.
December to February are the coolest months. The average temperature goes down to 69 °F (20 °C) in these months. It is generally considered as the winter season. The summer season starts in February and continues until May. The average temperature goes up to 95 °F (35 °C) in these months.
|Climate data for Thiruvananthapuram|
|Record high °C (°F)||37
|Average high °C (°F)||31.5
|Average low °C (°F)||22.2
|Record low °C (°F)||15
|Precipitation mm (inches)||22.7
|Source #1: |
|Source #2: |
The economy of Thiruvananthapuram district mostly consists of tourism and leisure, information technology, agriculture and education.
The modern economy of Thiruvananthapuram is dependent on the media and IT sector. India's first animation park, The Kinfra Animation Park, is situated in the district.
At present, the economy is growing with the contributions from more professionals in the fields of information technology and medical/biotechnology. Technopark was established for the development of electronics and information technology in the state. It is India's first industrial park dedicated to electronics, software, and IT ventures. Started 1990, the campus at Thiruvananthapuram city covers an area of 300 acres (120 ha)}, with 4.5 million sq ft (420,000 m2) of built-up space available currently and another 600,000 sq ft (60,000 m2) more of built-up space coming up. It is now home to over 200 companies from numerous countries. Around 40,000 IT professionals are working here. With Technopark Phase 3 and Technocity, it is expected to be more than 100,000 IT professionals working here.
IT companies with global fame have a campus in Thiruvananthapuram Technopark, including Oracle, capgemini, Accenture,ITC Infotech, HCL, NeST Software, Infosys, TCS, McKinsey & Company, Ernst & Young Shared Services, Allianz Cornhill, Tata Elxsi, UST Global.
Thiruvananthapuram was rated as the best 2nd tier metro with IT/ITES infrastructure, and second in terms of availability of human talent. The district contributes 80% of software exports from the state of Kerala.
In Thiruvananthapuram district there are 2 central-sector, 14 state-sector, 1 co-operative-sector, 4 joint-sector and 60 private-sector medium and large-scale industries. The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) units employ 9262 people, with an investment of Rs. 3439.4 million (as of 31 March 2003). In 2002 there were 901 registered working factories. They include oil mills, cashew factories, cotton textiles, saw mills, printing units, rubber industrial units, chemical units, match factories, general engineering units and automobile workshops. The S.M.S.M. Institute in Thiruvananthapuram is a major institution through which the products of the handicraft industries are marketed. As of 31 March 2003, there were 28,918 small-scale industrial units, employing 115,597 people in the district. In agro-based industries, 4544 people work, 3080 work in forest based, 980 in animal husbandry based, 5057 in pesticide based, 1282 in chemicals based, 4708 in engineering based, 3075 in manufacturing and building-materials section and 6192 in other industries. Of these SSI units, 1323 are Scheduled castes and scheduled tribe units and 6065 are women units. There is an industrial estate at Pappanamcode and an industrial development centre at Kochuveli.
Traditional industries such as coir and handloom weaving are now faced with several problems. The main varieties of coir produced are Anchuthengu and Muppiri. Handloom weaving is prevalent at Balaramapuram, Amaravila, Kulathur and Chirayinkeezhu. It is estimated that clothes worth Rs. 95,000,000 are annually produced in the handloom sector. There are 20 Hantex (Handloom Weavers' Co-operative Society) depots and five showrooms in the district.
Keltron Kerala state Electronics Development Corporation has made inroads into electronic markets throughout the country. The opening of many private television channels, in the state, have made Thiruvananthapuram District the home of several studios and related industries.
Agriculture has been the primary occupation of the people of the district. Cultivable land may be classified as wet, dry, garden and plantations. Rice is the most important crop cultivated in the wet lands. Tapioca and pulses are the important dry-land crops. The district is second highest producer of Tapioca in the state after Kollam. The district also has the second position in the cultivation of Plantain. Papaya is the other commonly cultivated fruit in the district. Coconut, one of the most important crops of the district, is cultivated in an area of 843.08 km2 (325.5 sq mi). The annual production is about 516 million coconuts. Rubber cultivation is mainly confined to Nedumangad taluk. At present, there are about 269.99 km2 (104.2 sq mi) of rubber plantations and the annual production is estimated at 30,717 tonnes. Newly introduced agricultural development schemes have opened new vistas in this field. Fresh schemes are introduced in every panchayat with a view to maximise yield per unit area by exploiting the production potential of paddy and vegetables. Cashew is grown in 21.84 km2 (8.4 sq mi) of land and the production is about 1,745 tonnes. Pepper cultivation covers an area of 50.9 km2 (19.7 sq mi), and the yield is about 1824 tonnes. Soil conservation projects are being implemented with subsidy and loans.
|Major Agricultural Products|
|Products||Area under cultivation (km²)||Production (tonne)|
|Coconut||843.08||516 million nuts|
|Arecanut||7.17||456 million nuts|
|Source : Farm Guide 2000|
The Neyyar Irrigation Project, commissioned in 1959, irrigates an area of 116.65 km2 (45.0 sq mi) in Thiruvananthapuram. Neyyar is the source of water for the reservoir. The length of the dam is 294.13 metres (965.0 ft) and the height is 50.6 m (166.0 ft). The catchment draining into the reservoir, covering an area of 140 km2 (54 sq mi) of forest land, receives an annual average rainfall of about 2,260 mm (90 in) 2260 mm from two monsoons. The total length of the main canal and its branches is 266 km (165 mi).
Animal husbandry and dairy
The Regional Poultry Farm and the District Livestock Farm at Kudappanakunnu, the Dry Stock Farm at Palode, the Intensive Poultry Block at Pettah, Clinical lab, Broiler farm, piggery, veterinary sub centres, Veterinary Biological Institute, Disease Investigation Office, Livestock Disease Control unit and the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) are the major animal husbandry institutions in the district.
At present there are 23 veterinary hospitals, 76 veterinary dispensaries, and 144 such centres in the district. In Thiruvananthapuram, milk is being distributed to consumers from the dairy at Ambalathara. There are 376 dairy co-operatives besides, 294 Anand model co-operatives. Kerala Livestock Development and Milk Marketing Board (K.L.D. & M.M.B.) and the Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing federation (MILMA) strive to improve production. Nearly 147,000 litres (39,000 US gal) of milk is being collected and distributed daily through the co-operative societies.
Thiruvananthapuram district stretches along the shores of the Arabian Sea for a distance of 78 km (48 mi), offering immense scope for the development of fisheries as an important source of earning foreign exchange. Varkala, Anchuthengu, Marianad, Poonthura, Vizhinjam and Poovar are some of the major fishing centres. The fishermen population is about 200,000, and the catch is around 32,000 tonnes. Anchovies, sardine, catfish, perches, mackerel, tuna and carangidae are the important species caught in this area. Introduction of mechanised fishing crafts and modern fishing gear has augmented the fish catch. There are 42 fishermen villages and the total number of households engaged in fishing is about 40,000.
Development activities and welfare programmes are implemented by the Department of Fisheries, Matsyafed, Fish Farmers Development Agency (FFDA), and Brackish Water Fish Farmers Development Agency (BWFFDA). The inland catch is significant in the district. The newly launched people oriented fish farming scheme aims at fish cultivation in 2.05 km2 (0.8 sq mi) of public ponds. All the 78 panchayats in the district are readied to adopt the scheme under the guidance of local bodies. The coastal fisheries belt is divided into 42 fisheries villages, and most of such villages have fishermen welfare societies formed under the Kerala Fisheries Welfare Society Act of 1980.
Divisions and Administration
The headquarters of the district administration is at Vanchiyoor, Thiruvananthapuram. The district administration is headed by the District collector. He is assisted by 5 deputy collectors holding charges of general matters, land acquisition, revenue recovery, land reforms and election.
The District Collector also holds the charge of the District Magistrate and is assisted by the Additional District Magistrate (Deputy Collector, General) and the Revenue Divisional Officer. The district has only one revenue division, which is headed by the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO). He is also the Sub-Divisional Magistrate.
There are Six taluks, namely, Neyyattinkara,Thiruvananthapuram, Nedumangad, Chirayinkeezhu, Varkala and Kattakkada, each headed by a Tahsildar. There are 120 villages under the 6 taluks of the district. The names of the taluks, their headquarters & the Villages under them are given in the box above.
|No||Name of Taluks||Headquarters||No. of Villages|
Consequent to the 73rd amendment of the Constitution and the new Panchayat Raj-Nagarapalika Act, the Kerala Panchayat raj Act came into being on 23 April 1994.Thiruvananthapuram district has one district panchayat, 12 block panchayats and 78 grama panchayats.
The Thiruvananthapuram District Panchayat has already worked out some notable developmental schemes in the agricultural, water supply and educational sectors. The District Panchayat president is also the chairman of the District Planning Committee and the District Rural Development Agency.
The National Highway 66 (earlier known as National Highway 47) stretches from Kaliyikkavila at the southern extremity to Navaikulam near Parippally in the north, covering a distance of 80 km (50 mi) within the district. The MC Road covers a distance of 55 km (34 mi) and passes through Kesavadaspuram, Vembayam, Venjaramoodu, Kilimanoor and Nilamel in the north. PWD maintains about 1,552 km (964 mi) of road in the district. Local bodies maintain 9,500 km (5,900 mi) of road. There are 116 bridges in Thiruvananthapuram District.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation operates 20 units: nine depots, seven sub depots, and four operating centres in Thiruvananthapuram district. The corporation has used 1,308 buses in 1171 schedules, transporting 1.1 million commuters daily.
The rail transport in the district is operated by Southern Railway zone of Indian Railways. Thiruvananthapuram is connected to the rest of the country by broad gauge railway line. eighty-two km (51 mi) of railway line passes through the district. There are currently 20 railway stations are in the district, including the Trivandrum Central station.
The district's eastern coastline, and its rivers and lakes, provide ample scope for water transport. The waterway from Thiruvananthapuram to Kottapuram in Kozhikode district, which was made possible by the two tunnels of 282 and 721 metres (925 and 2,365 ft), constructed in 1877 and 1880 respectively at Varkala, is now defunct. Projects and schemes are underway for reviving these waterways.
Services are being operated by domestic and international airlines from the Trivandrum International Airport.
Trivandrum International Airport has direct flights to many international cities like Kuwait, Dubai, Dammam, Singapore, Malé, Colombo, Sharjah, Muscat, Bahrain, Doha, Jeddah and Abu Dhabi. It is linked with Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkatta by domestic flights.
According to the 2011 census Thiruvananthapuram district has a population of 3,307,284, roughly equal to the nation of Uruguay or the US state of Connecticut. This gives it a ranking of 103rd in India (out of a total of 640 districts). The district has a population density of 1,509 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,910 /sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 2.25%. Thiruvananthapuram has a sex ratio of 1088 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 92.66%.
Language: Malayalam is the mother tongue. Thiruvananthapuram city is more cosmopolitan, with people speaking various languages like Malayalam, English, Tamil, Hindi, Tulu, and a minor percentage speak Gujarati.
Religion and Caste: Hindus (68.09%) constitute the majority of the population, followed by Christians (18.41%) and Muslims (12.52%). The Hindu community lies grouped on the basis of castes and sub castes as elsewhere in the state. The Brahmins, Nadars, Ezhavas, Nairs scheduled castes and 11 tribes form the majority of the Hindu community. Christians belong mainly to the Latin Catholic Church, the Church of South India and the Syriac Orthodox Church. The Muslim community also forms a major division of the total population. Economic, social and other ties bind the members of different religious groups at the local level. People live in peace and amity, influencing and being influenced by the culture of one another.
Socio-Economic Conditions: More than 50% of the total population depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Agricultural labourers constitute 42% of the total labour class. Most of the people are engaged in low-remunerative pursuits which require very little capital. Political and social consciousness, coupled with the efforts of the social, religious and cultural leaders, have helped to pull down the age-old feudal order. Economic changes have also affected the social life and attitude of the people.
Thiruvananthapuram witnessed a cultural renaissance in the twentieth century. Kerala Varma Valiakoi Thampuran (1845–1914), who spent a major part of his life in Thiruvananthapuram, translated Kalidasa's Abhijñānaśākuntalam into Malayalam which won him the title of Kerala Kalidasa. He is also regarded as the father of modern Malayalam prose.
The contributions of A. R. Raja Raja Varma (1863–1918), known as "Kerala Panini", marked an important stage in the development of Malayalam literature. Another notable writer is C. V. Raman Pillai (1858–1922), who was a novelist par excellence Mahakavi Kumaran Asan (1873–1924) and Mahakavi Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer (1877–1949) were the two outstanding poets from Thiruvananthapuram. Kumaran Asan was the true representative of the cultural renaissance. Ulloor was not only a poet, but also a scholar, researcher and historian.
Shabdatharavali, the comprehensive dictionary in Malayalam, was written by Sreekanteswaram Padmanabha Pillai who hailed from the district. The two all-time great social reformers in Kerala, Narayana Guru and Chattampi Swamikal, also were born here. They contributed much to the Malayalam literature through their books.
A strong film culture prevails in the district. The city is home to animation companies, including: Toonz India Ltd and Tata Elxsi Ltd. The Kinfra Film and Video Park is located near Technopark and is an advanced film and animation production facilities in India. The Malayalam film industry was earlier based in Chennai (Madras). It slowly started moving to get rooted in Thiruvananthapuram towards the end of the 1970s. The Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC), which was established in 1975 by the Government of Kerala, accelerated this re-planting. As a result, many studios and related industries started popping up in and around Thiruvananthapuram. The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) is held in November/December every year and is acknowledged as one of the leading such events in India.
The district gains a festive mood during the festival season of Onam in August/September, and during the tourist season later in the year. The state government conducts the tourism week celebrations every year during Onam, with cultural events taking place at various centres in the city. The other major events include the annual flower show in the Thiruvananthapuram City, the Attukal Pongala, Varkala Sivagiri pilgrimage in December, the Kaalioottu in Sarkara Devi Temple, near Chirayinkeezh, the Navarathri festival at the Poojamandapam near Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the Aaraat of Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the Beemapally Uroos, Vettucaud Perunaal etc.
The below are the prominent personalities from the district:
- Raja Ravi Varma (Painter)
- Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer (Poet and Historian)
- Thilakan (Actor)
- Venu Nagavally (Screenwriter)
- Jagathy Sreekumar (Actor)
- Padmini (actress)
- Shobana (actress)
- K. S. Chitra (Playback Singer)
- Laurie Baker (British-born Indian architect)
- G. Madhavan Nair (Ex-chairman ISRO)
- Mohanlal (Actor)
- Santhosh Sivan (Cinematographer)
- Prithviraj Sukumaran (Actor)
- Priyadarshan (Director)
- Kumaran Asan (Poet)
- Kris Gopalakrishnan (CEO of Infosys)
Flora and fauna
The district has a rich variety of plants ranging from rare orchids, medicinal plants and spices to hedge plants, tuber crops, plants yielding edible fruits and fibre. Aromatic plants and spices such as pepper and ginger are cultivated on a large scale on the hilly tracts. Nedumangad taluka is one of the biggest centres of cultivation and trade of pepper and other hill produce. A major portion of the district comes under the middle plain and the region is under the cultivation of coconut, rice, tapioca, tuber crops, plantains and vegetabless.
The forests of the district abound in a variety of animals and birds and are excellent wildlife habitats. Elephants, bisons, monkeys and rare species of reptiles have the place of prominence in them. The Neyyar reservoir and nearby areas abound in wild life. Nestled in the lap of the Western Ghats, a wildlife sanctuary is quickly growing over an area of nearly 777 square kilometres (300 sq mi) around this reservoir. The forest under the Kulathupuzha range is the habitat of rare species of snakes and lizards. Mammals are well represented in the district. Nilgiri Langur (Kasi Fohnii), the Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca Silenus), the Nilgiri brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) and the Malabar civet (Moschothere Civettina) are characteristic to this region. Carnivores include: tiger, wild cat, jackal, leopard and wild dog. Sloth bear, gaur, a few species of deer and elephants are also seen. Reptiles include snakes, lizards, crocodiles and tortoises. There are about 75–80 species of snakes in this area, and some of them are very poisonous.
Tourism has also contributed heavily to the economy of Thiruvananthapuram. The entire tourism package of the state such as hill stations, back waters, beaches, lagoons, and wildlife sanctuaries are present in the district. Foreign tourists are flocking to Thiruvananthapuram, a major destination for chartered flights to India for Medical tourism, as there are more than fifty recognised Ayurveda centres in and around the city. This is primarily due to Ayurveda's immense popularity in the West. Medical tourism is further promoted by world class modern medicine hospitals in the city. Recuperation facilities are available at five-star beach resorts and hill stations nearby.
Thiruvananthapuram district is a major academic hub. The University of Kerala is located in Thiruvananthapuram City, in the district. The number of arts and sciences colleges in the district is 20, and the strength of students is estimated to be 15,926. The University of Kerala has its research and higher-education centres at Kariavattom. Trivandrum Medical College, the premier health institute of the state is also one of the finest in the country. It is being upgraded to the status of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The College of Engineering, Trivandrum and Government Engineering College, Bartonhill are the two main engineering colleges in Thiruvananthapuram.
The schools in the district are classified as Government, Aided, or Unaided schools. There are currently 1,129 schools in the district. The government schools are run directly by the state government and follow the syllabus prescribed by the state government. The aided schools also follow the state syllabus. In addition to this, there are four Kendriya Vidyalayas run directly by the Central government, which follow the CBSE syllabus, and private schools run by educational trusts or boards which follow CBSE and/or ICSE syllabus and/or NIOS syllabus and/or state syllabus. The first International school in Kerala, the Trivandrum International School, was started in August 2003.
Thiruvananthapuram has long been a center of media in India. Kerala Chandrika, the first newspaper of the State, was published from Thiruvananthapuram in the year 1789. Now, more than 30 newspapers have been published from the district, including: The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhoomi, Kerala Kaumudi, Desabhimani, Deepika, Madhyamam, Janmabhoomi and Metro Vaartha. Several weeklies, fortnightlies, monthlies, bi-monthlies and quarterlies are published from various parts of the district. The Kerala Information and Public Relations Department is the main agency of the government to disseminate information to the public and to provide feedback.
Most Malayalam TV channels are based in Thiruvananthapuram. The government-owned Doordarshan began broadcasting from here in 1981. Asianet, the first private Malayalam channel, began its telecasts in 1991 from Thiruvananthapuram.
There are many radio stations in the district. Most of them broadcast from Thiruvananthapuram City. All India Radio has an AM (1161 MHz) and an FM (Ananthapuri FM; 101.9 MHz) station in the city. FM radio channels broadcast from Thiruvananthapuram are [[All India Radio#South regional service|Gyanvani 105.6 MHz,IGNOUAnanthapuri FM]] (AIR) 101.9 MHz, Big FM 92.7 MHz, Club FM 94.3 MHz, Radio Mirchi 98.3 MHz, Red FM 93.5 MHz and Radio DC 90.4 MHz. The Radio DC broadcasts at low-power CRS. So the channel is only available at a 15-kilometre (9 mi) radius around the broadcasting station.
The wireline telephone services are provided by BSNL, Reliance and Tata Indicom. The main GSM networks operating in the district are BSNL CellOne, Airtel, Aircel, Tata Docomo, Uninor, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Reliance, Videocon and Virgin Mobile. The main CDMA providers are Reliance, MTS and Tata Indicom. Major broadband internet services are provided by BSNL DataOne, Asianet Dataline and Siti Cable.
The most popular games in the district are football and cricket. Basketball, badminton and volleyball are also popular, mostly in schools. The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) is headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram City. The Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium, in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, is a prominent football stadium and has hosted both national and international-level matches. The University Stadium has hosted two international cricket matches. This stadium is under the University of Kerala and is equipped with synthetic tracks for athletics games. The Central Stadium has facilities for athletics, football, basketball, volleyball and cricket practice nets. The Jimmy George Sports Complex, is another major sports establishment in the district.The Kariavattom Outdoor Stadium, is an upcoming cricket/football stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.
There are 12 development blocks in the district, and they are: Parassala, Perumkadavila, Athiyanoor, Nemom, Thiruvananthapuram Rural, Kazhakuttom, Vellanad, Nedumangad, Vamanapuram, Kilimanoor, Chirayinkeezhu and Varkala. The District Rural Development Agency co-ordinates the work in these blocks. Several welfare schemes are carried out in the blocks, such as: Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), Total Sanitation Scheme (TSS), Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), Prime Minister's Grama Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Indira Awaaz Yojana (IAY), etc.
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