Onam Special Trains to/from Thiruvananthapuram/Kochuveli

To clear the extra rush of passengers during the Onam festival season, railways will operate special trains from various parts of the country to  Thiruvananthapuram/Kochuveli.


  1. Train No. 82607 Chennai Egmore – Kochuveli Suvidha special train via Nagercoil will leave Chennai Egmore at 08:20pm o­n August 24 and 31 and reach Kochuveli at 12.25pm the next day.
  2. Train No. 06068 Kochuveli – Chennai Egmore special fare special train via Nagercoil will leave Kochuveli at 03:30pm o­n August 23 and 30 and reach Chennai Egmore at 05.45am the next day.
  3. Train No. 04426 Hazrat Nizamuddin – Kochuveli special fare special train via Palakkad will leave Hazrat Nizamuddin at 05:55 am on September 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 and on October 7, 14, 21 and 28. The train will reach Kochuveli Terminal in Thiruvananthapuram at 11:00 am on Mondays.
  4. Train No. 04425 Kochuveli – Hazrat Nizamuddin special fare special train via Palakkad will leave Kochuveli at 11:00pm on September 4, 11, 18, and 25 and on October 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. The train will reach Hazrat Nizamuddin at 03:00 am on Thursdays.
  5. Train No. 06014 Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai Central special fare special train via Palakkad will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 07:00pm on Wednesdays and will reach Chennai central at 11:30am the next day.
  6. Train No. 06013 Chennai Central – Thiruvananthapuram via Palakkad will leave Chennai Central at 03:15pm on Thursday and will reach Thiruvananthapuram Central at 07:45am the next day.
  7. Train No. 06011 Thirunelveli –  Mangalore Jn special fare special train will leave Thirunelveli at 05:55pm on Thursday and reach Mangalore Jn at 01:00pm the next day.
  8. Train No. 06012 Mangalore Jn – Thirunelveli will leave Mangalore Jn at 03:40pm on Friday and reach Thirunelveli at 08:35am the next day.
  9. Train No.07120 Kochuveli – Secunderabad special fare special train via Palakkad will leave Kochuveli at 08:30pm o­n September 6 and reach Secunderabad at 03.00am September 8.


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Cabinet Approves Construction of Doubling of Railway Line with Electrification Between Thiruvananthapuram & Kanyakumari


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, has approved the construction of double line with electrification between Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday.

The total length of the line will be 86.56 kilometers. The estimated cost of the Project will be ₹.1431.90 crore and completion cost of ₹.1552.94 crore with 5% escalation per annum.

The project is estimated to be by 2020-21. The project will generate direct employment during construction for 20.77 lakh man days.

The project would not only speed up the operation of goods and coaching trains, but also provide additional capacity for meeting the increase in traffic in future.

The section is heavily passenger oriented which also serve the goods traffic from nearby ports. Operations from Vizhinjam port is likely to start by 2019 and 30% of its gateway traffic, is likely to be handled by the Railways.

Present line capacity of Thiruvananthapuram-Nagarcoil section of this route has already saturated which is causing heavy detention to trains moving towards Kanyakumari and Chennai.

Line capacity of this route needs to be enhanced to meet the demands for additional trains and smooth movement of trains through the route.

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Attingal Bypass: NHAI is Planning to Construct !

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to construct a 13 kilometre stretch to bypass the congested Attingal town in Thiruvananthapuram district in its revised alignment to develop Cherthala – Kazhakoottam corridor of NH 66. “It will start from Kaduva Palli, near Kallambalam and rejoin the existing stretch at Mamom just after Attingal. This way we will be able to avoid the congested Attingal town altogether,” said R Venkata Krishnan, project director, NHAI-PIU Thiruvananthapuram.


The stretch though Attingal is one of the most hazardous on NH 66 and a major bottleneck in the yet to be widened Cherthala-Kazhakootam corridor. Steps are underway for issuing the 3A notification for the stretch and it is expected to be complete by September. There is yet no decision on the placing of a toll booth in the stretch as it depends on the completion of the Alappuzha and Kollam bypasses, both being carried out by the Public Works Department (PWD).

“Once the bypasses are complete, the PWD will erect toll booths. Only then will we able to come to a decision on our toll booths. It is not feasible to go for separate toll booths exclusively for NHAI in the stretch as it will put a double burden on commuters,” Mr Venkata Krishnan said. As per NHAI norms, toll booths are to be placed 60 km apart. The 173 km Chertala-Kazhakootam stretch is expected to have two toll booths, one each in Alappuzha and in Kollam.

Source: “Deccan Chronicle”

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Architect Jayakrishnan: All in the Line of Work

A.R. Jayakrishnan’s lines bring alive cityscapes from around the world

Architect A.R. Jayakrishnan draws inspiration from cityscapes. So much so that his wife, architect Chitra Nair, cribs that her husband never clicks a snap of hers. “He is an extremely good photographer but he focusses on buildings and landscapes, it is never people. In fact, if there is a person somewhere in the snap, it has probably been added to give a sense of dimension or proportion to the snap,” says Chitra, all smiles while her husband sheepishly pleads guilty. But over the last few years, JK, as he is known as, exchanged his camera for a pen and paper. And the lines are evident on the walls of their office space in Belhaven in Thiruvananthapuram.


Sketches of many landmarks in the city have been framed and put up on the walls alongside several awards for architecture won by the couple. “I always had a good hand and enjoyed sketching but as it happens with many people, once I left college, sketching took a backseat and I became a passionate photographer. I used to sketch but sporadically,” recalls JK.

JK2A chance meeting with South African architect Peter Rich changed his perspective and before he knew it, he was accompanying Rich on his sketching expeditions in different parts of India.

“I consider him as my guru. He had come to Thiruvananthapuram to see Laurie Baker’s buildings and we hit it off. Peter insists that sketching is the best way to understand a building and he is the reason why I took up my pen again to begin sketching seriously,” says JK. Chitra adds: “Photography, Peter feels, does not demand that kind of observation. Many a time, we click a photo and then forget about it. But he says when one draws the lines with your hand, there is a brain-hand connection that imprints the images in the brain. and now, JK disappears with Peter to different parts of India to sketch. Last month they went to Badami and Hampi and in August they are off to Mandu in Madhya Pradesh,” says Chitra.

Peter also encouraged JK to begin sketching walks in the city and on many Saturdays JK would set off with a group of students to sketch and walk. In the meantime, JK happened to meet US-based architect DK Ching, who was visiting Chennai and he introduced JK to Urban Sketcher, a world-wide community of sketchers.

“It is a community of sketchers trying to see the world through sketches. An annual conference is held on July 23 in different parts of the world. This year, we will be meeting in Chicago. Prior to that we met in Singapore and that is when we drew up the blueprint for a sketchers’ group for Asia. Till then, it was Western in spirit but the meet showed clearly the distinctive features of Asian sketches and that is how Asianlink Sketchers came into being,” says JK.

Participants of the first Asianlink Sketchwalk in Singapore had to present a 10-minute presentation on their region and it turned out to be a moment of epiphany for JK. While reminding the participants that since India was too vast and diverse to be covered in a 10-minute presentation, he would draw their attention to the art of Kerala.

“I discovered that Kerala has always had a long and strong tradition of line drawings. Kalamezhuthu, Theyyam, murals… all involve lines and colours are inlaid in between the lines. Even the make-up of Kathakali and Theyyam artistes is about filling in colour in between demarcated areas. Look at the works of Artist Namboothiri, Devan, C.N. Karunakaran and so on… All of them have a strong affinity with lines. I feel it is in our blood,” says JK.

This year, the meet will be in Kuching in Malayasia and JK’s excitement is obvious as he gears up for the trip in October.

A compulsive traveller, JK travels for work and, most importantly, to sketch. He also arranges tours with an accent on architecture. The first such tour was to Sri Lanka and the focus of interest was Geoffrey Bawa. “So we stayed in hotels that were built by Bawa, we visited houses that were built by him, his gardens…. it was a memorable trip,” recalls Chitra.

A few years ago, he set up a company, World Architecture Travels, to arrange trips that were focussed on architecture. Since then, JK has arranged such tours for those interested in architectural marvels and landmarks around the world. Later, this year, they plan to travel to Mexico and also present a paper in the University of Mexico on curating modern architecture in Kerala.

And, of course, JK would be busy capturing Mexico on paper.

“Sketching is meditative. Anyone can sketch. It is only a question of how you observe. Once that is learnt, then it is all about transferring that on paper,” observes JK.

JK’s favourite places

So is there a favourite place in Thiruvananthapuram that he enjoys sketching the most? He admits that if there is one place that keeps drawing him back again and again, it is the Fort area and agraharams. The globetrotter adds that Paris is another place that inspires the sketcher in him, especially the Notre Dame du Haut, a chapel built by Le Corbusier in Ronchamp.

Inputs from “The Hindu”

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Kundamankadavu Bridge: Another Cultural Hub in Making in Thiruvananthapuram

kmn_bridgeImage Courtesy: The New Indian Express

The century-old Kundamankadavu bridge in Thiruvananthapuram is set to become a cultural hub. Efforts are on to declare the 119-year-old steel suspension bridge a heritage monument as well. The ancient bridge is still used by motorists though a new concrete bridge was constructed adjacent to it in 2015. At present traffic is allowed only in one direction on the old bridge. But the thin traffic on the bridge has led to another evil – waste dumping under the bridge and on the approach road.

People of Vilappil and Vilavoorkkal panchayats have now started a movement to protect the bridge from waste dumping. Recently, a public meeting convened by Kattakkada MLA I B Satheesh took some bold decisions to conserve the structure. They include regular night beats by residents’ association members under the leadership of local body leaders.

The meeting was attended by elected members of Vilappil and Vilavoorkkal panchayats, local police and various residents’ associations. A hi-mast lamp will be installed to make the bridge more attractive in nights. The lamp and a round-the-clock CCTV surveillance to identify waste dumpers will be set up using the local area development fund of Satheesh.

The MLA said he has approached the Archaeology Minister to declare the bridge a heritage monument. “There isn’t a similar structure in the state. The suspension bridge was built by the British and maintained by the military. It deserves to be conserved as a heritage structure,” he said.Archaeology Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran will lead a team of experts from his department who will visit the bridge this week to prepare a conservation master plan.

Efforts have also been started to establish a biodiversity park under the bridge. “The park will come up on the riverbank. The State Biodiversity Board has been asked to submit a plan for this,” Satheesh said.

“We also plan to make the bridge a cultural corridor modelled on the Manaveeyam Veedhi. On one evening every week the bridge will host a cultural programme,” he said.

News Source: “The New Indian Express”

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From Sana’a to Thiruvananthapuram, a Scholar’s Journey !

EassaImage Courtesy: Times of India

Yemeni student, determined to escape the fratricidal violence of his homeland, emerged topper in the MA linguistics examination conducted by the University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram.

Thirty one-year-old Eassa Ali Mohammed Ali, who won a scholarship programme offered by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in 2015, got 83% marks, mustering good grades in 72 credits spanning four semesters.

For Ali, a professor of translation at Sana’a University in Yemen, it wasn’t easy making it to Thiruvananthapuram. He had to take a boat, packed with livestock and other animals, for a stormy 17-hour journey to Ethiopia and then three hours by road infested with rebels to reach the airport in Addis Ababa, from where he could take a flight to Thiruvananthapuram. “It was only six days before the deadline for joining Kerala University that I could check my email. But I was determined to reach Thiruvananthapuram on the said date and so I took the risks I had to,” Ali said.

A rank holder in his graduation course in translation at Sana’a University, Ali imbibed his love for language from his father who was a school teacher.

“For me, translation is all about propagating cultural awareness. The essence of a book has to be captured fully in translation and as a translator I believe my job is to help societies understand each other,” said Ali, who lives at Kariavattom in Thiruvananthapuram city with his wife and two daughters.

Coming from a strife-torn land, he has found Thiruvananthapuram very welcoming. “I was apprehensive, when I reached here. But, “kayicho (കഴിച്ചോ?)” (did you have food?) was mostly the first question people asked me. The question itself speaks about the kindness of people when they meet a stranger,” he said.  Ali also found the Kerala University faculty and ICCR officials very helpful. He goes gaga over the greenery here but says he’s a little wary of the spicy food.

His teachers are all praise for Ali. “Usually it is local students who are toppers in this course. But his knowledge of the subject and teaching experience in Yemen helped him beat them all,” said Dr S Kunjamma, Head of Department of Linguistics at the university.

Ali has clear plans for the future – he wants to do a PhD in translation, a bridge between his native culture and the one he has discovered Thiruvananthapuram.

Inputs from “Times of India”

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K.S Sabarinathan MLA Marries Dr.Divya S Iyer IAS


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Congress MLA representing Aruvikkara constituency in Thiruvananthapuram, KS Sabarinathan, and Thiruvananthapuram Sub Collector Divya S Iyer got married at a simple ceremony held at Kumarakovil near Thuckalay in Kanyakumari district.

The function was attended by close relatives and senior Congress leaders such as Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala, V D Satheeshan, K C Joseph and Anto Anthony.


We wish them a “Happy Married Life” !

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