Referred to by Mahathma Gandhi, as the 'Evergreen City of India' Thiruvananthapuram, also known as Trivandrum is the capital of State of Kerala, the 'Gods Own country'. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of main land spreading over a total of 2192 Sq.km. It is the largest and most populated city in Kerala. The District Judiciary of the district consist of one Principal District and Sessions Court, eight Addl. District and Sessions Courts, six Subordinate Judges/Asst. Sessions Courts, three Motor Accident Claims Tribunals and four Addl. MACTs, three Family Courts, a Co-Operative Tribunal, a Tribunal for Local Self Government Institutions, an Enquiry Commission and a Special Judge under the Prevention of Corruption Act, one special court (CBI), one Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, one Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, fifteen Judicial Fist Class Magistrate Courts, nine Munsiff's Courts, one Rent Control Court and one Gram Nyayalaya. These courts are spread over at Thiruvananthapuram, Neyyattinkara, Nedumangadu, Attingal, Varkala, Kattakkada and Parassala. The District Courts and other Subordinate Courts of Thiruvananthapuram City are housed in the Court complex at Vanchiyoor which is an impressive and English-Gothic designed building constructed by His Highness Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma. A Bench of the Travancore Kochin High Court was earlier housed in this picturesque building after independence, till it was abolished and shifted to Kochin where the High Court of Kerala is located consequent to reorganization of States. Thereafter, the District Court and Subordinate Courts at Thiruvananthapuram are being functioning in this magnificent complex. To improve the working atmosphere provided to the Judicial Officers, litigant public, staff and advocates recently a new Court complex was constructed in the Vanchiyoor Court premises and the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal Thiruvananthapuram, the Family court, Thiruvananthapuram, University Appellate Tribunal, Enquiry Commission and Spl. Judge under the Prevention of Corruption Act, CBI Court and seven Magistrate Courts in Thiruvananthapuram were shifted to the said building. There are also other Court complexes at Neyyattinkara, Nedumangadu, Attingal, Varkala and Kattakada where respective Subordinate Courts in the District are functioning. The District Judiciary is headed by the District and Sessions Judge.
Maharaja Marthanda Varma who reigned from 1729 to 1758, and who is regarded as the father of modern Travancore, modernised Thiruvananthapuram. The locals of Thiruvananthapuram supported him against the Ettuveetil Pillamar and Ettara Yogam when he was the heir-apparent, and when he was attacked by the agents of the trustees, he fled to the safety of Trivandrum, from where he counterattacked. During his reign, he renovated the Padmanabhaswamy Temple and the walls of the fortress. He also shifted the capital legally from Padmanabhapuram to Thiruvananthapuram, which he made a great centre of intellectual and artistic activity. In 1791, the English East India Company signed a treaty to protect Travancore from the Kingdom of Mysore and under its terms was allowed to install a Resident and troops in Thiruvananthapuram. In 1799, Velu Thampi, then a Karyakar of Talakkulam, led a march of the local people to Thiruvananthapuram to protest against the corruption of the Kings's ministers. The accession of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal who reigned from 1829 to 1847, ushered in an epoch of cultural progress and economic prosperity. The beginning of English education was marked in 1834 by the opening of an English school at Thiruvananthapuram. An observatory and a charity hospital were also established in 1836. During the reign of Maharaja Uthram Thirunal, Rev. Mead, an Anglican priest of the London Missionary Society (L.M.S.), was employed by the Maharajah to improve the quality of education. Schools, including one for girls, were started in Thiruvananthapuram.
During the reign of Maharaja Moolam Thirunal (1885–1924), a College of Fine Arts was opened here besides the several English, Malayalam and Tamil schools, all over the State. A large hospital with lying-in-facility and a lunatic asylum were also established in Thiruvananthapuram. The Trivandrum University College was started in 1873, with Dr. Read as its principal. A Law class was opened in Thiruvananthapuram in 1874, and the main building of the old Kerala Government Secretariat was designed and constructed by the Maharajah's chief engineer, Mr. Barton. Mr. Barton also improved the sanitation of the city. It was during the reign of Sri Moolam Thirunal (1885–1924), that the Sanskrit College, Ayurveda College, Law College and a second grade College for Women were started here. A department for the preservation and publication of oriental manuscripts was also established.
One of the significant aspects associated with Maharaja Sree Moolam Thirunal’s reign was the inauguration of the Legislative Council in 1888. This was the first legislative chamber, instituted in an Indian State. The Sri Moolam Assembly came into being in 1904. The activities of the Indian National Congress echoed in Thiruvananthapuram and other parts of Kerala during the reign of Maharaja Sree Moolam Thirunal.
During the regency of Maharani Setu Lakshmi Bai, the college for Women at Trivandrum was raised to the first grade.
A political conference of the Congress was held in the city under the presidency of Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramaiah, in 1938. The period of Maharaja Sri Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma who took the reins of administration in 1931, witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of the Temple Entry Proclamation (1936) was an act that underlined social emanicipation. In 1937, a separate University for Travancore was started. This was later re-designated as the University of Kerala, following the formation of the State of Kerala in 1956.