The Thiruvananthapuram Astronomical Observatory, which is perched on a hill that’s 300 feet above sea level, affords some fabulous views of the surrounding landscape. The Thiruvananthapuram Observatory stands on a hill, about 60 feet high is fast developing as one of India's most important astronomical centres with modern facilities like an 11-inch telescope, CCD camera, sun workstations, image processing facility and partnership with national programs. The geographical situation of the Observatory is 8 degrees 30 min northern latitude and 76 degrees 59 min eastern longitude. This historic observatory was the brainchild of Sri Swati Tirunal in 1837, the resourceful Maharaja of Travancore who was himself an enthusiastic student of Astronomy.
There is a well laid out garden in front of the hill with a beautiful rose collection. It is where the Travancore royal family once entertained their guests on top of a hill. From here, one can have a bird's eye view of the city.
Today, computational facilities, a library and audio-video facilities are available for students of the University. Sky-watching programs for students, teachers and the general public are organised in the evenings. An all India Dance Festival (October to March) is organised by the Department of Tourism every year.