Thiruvananthapuram, also known as Trivandrum, is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Kerala. The city has a population of 957,730 inhabitants and a metropolitan population of 1.68 million making it the most populous city and the fifth most populous urban agglomeration in Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram is a major IT hub in India and contributes 80% of Kerala's software exports. The Technopark, Trivandrum is the largest Information Technology park in Asia in terms of area. Thiruvananthapuram is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland. Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as the Evergreen city of India, the city is characterised by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills. It is classified as a tier-2 city by the government of India. The world's richest temple Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located here. It was ruled by the Ays and was captured by the rulers of Venad in the 10th century. In the late 17th century, Marthanda Varma who inherited the Kingdom of Venad expanded the kingdom by conquering kingdoms of Attingal, Kollam, Kayamkulam, Kottarakara, Kottayam, Changanassery, Meenachil, Poonjar and Ambalapuzha. In 1741 Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch in the Battle of Colachel. In 1745, he shifted the capital of Travancore from Padmanabhapuram to Thiruvananthapuram. The kingdom of Travancore was dedicated by Marthanda Varma to the deity Sri. Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu). The rulers of Travancore ruled the kingdom as the servants of Sri. Padmanabha.
Thiruvananthapuram holds most number of schools and colleges in the state often called as the educational hub of Kerala. It is an academic and research focal point in the country with an array of premier institutions such as Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, National Institute For Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Centre for Development Studies, Kerala Technical University, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Regional Cancer Centre, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, and the National Centre for Earth Science Studies. The city is home to venerable media institutions like Toonz India Ltd and Tata Elxsi Ltd. Thiruvananthapuram is also home to Chitranjali Film Studio, one of the first film studios in Malayalam Cinema and Kinfra Film and Video Park, which is one of the most advanced film and animation production facilities in India.
Being India's largest city in the deep south, it is strategically prominent and hosts the Southern Air Command headquarters of the Indian Air Force, the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station and the upcoming Vizhinjam International Deepwater Motherport. Thiruvananthapuram is a major tourist centre, known for the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, the backwaters of Poovar and Anchuthengu and its Western Ghats tracts of Ponmudi and the Agastyamala. The city is ranked among the best cities to live in India. The City is also ranked as the best governed city in India.