Surrounded by Majestic Hills and the plains bordered by colourful sea-shores, coconut trees and paddy fields, Kanyakumari is a beautiful town in Kanyakumari District in the state of Tamil Nadu. It lies at the southernmost tip of the Indian sub-continent. This place was formerly known as Cape Comorin, is the southern tip of the Cardamom Hills, an extension of the Western Ghats range along the west coast of India. Here you will find a beautiful blend of few elevated patches of red cliffs with valleys and plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea – coast. Closely interwoven with Temples and Churches and other constructions, it is a heritage site with the magnificent Kanya Kumari temple dedicated to Devi Kanya Kumari, considered to be a sister of Kṛiṣhṇa. The place takes its name from this virgin goddess. Kanya Kumari is notable for pilgrimage, from the goddess. Women pray to her for marriage.
Places to see in Kanyakumari: The pristine site Kanyakumari is admired with diverse spots of tourist interest which include:
Kanya Kumari Amman Temple
Kanyakumari derives its name from from Goddess Kanyakumari Amman, the presiding deity of the area. The most prominent temple, the Kumari Amman, is dedicated to the goddess Parvathi as a virgin. The temple situated at the edge of the ocean. Goddess Kanyakumari has the legendary account that once Banusura, the demon king got supremacy over Devas and meted out cruel punishment to them. The Devas performed a Yagna pleading to annihilate the evils. Goddess Parasakthi came to Kumari in the form of a virgin girl and began her penance. Meanwhile Lord Shiva fell in love with her and arrangements for the marriage were made in the midnight a particular day. Now the Devine sage Narada realised that their marriage would destroy the chances of annihilating Banusura because he could be killed only by a virgin. When Lord Shiva was on his way to Kanyakumari from Suchindrum at Valukkamparai 5 kms south of Suchindram, Sage Narada assumed the form of a cock and crowed falsely heralding the break of dawn. Thinking that the auspicious time for the marriage was past, Lord Shiva returned disappointed. The Goddess too decided to remain virgin after that. Then, when Banusura attempted to win the Goddess by force, she killed him with her Chakragudha, and relieved the suffering s of Devas. Then she resumed her penance and remained virgin.
The beaches in Kanyakumari attract a large number of tourists to this coastal town every year. This picturesque town is located in Tamil Nadu, in South India. Tourists love to savor the beauty of sunrises and sunsets from Kanyakumari beach. Away from the city life, Kanyakumari beach can be a suitable spot to spend a holiday. Sea in this part is not very calm. The rocky seashore does not allow the visitors to get too close to the water. Tourists are restrained from going near the seashore and a continuing wall has been erected along the Kanyakumari beach for the security of the people.
Gandhi Memorial Kanyakumari
The Gandhi Memorial, Kanyakumari is temple built in 1956, in the honour of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Gandhi. The Gandhi Memorial, Kanyakumari is built in the semblance of typical temples pf Orissa, yet it has a hint of modernism in its design. It has been built in such a way that the rays of sun at 12 noon lights up the place where the ashes of the Gandhi were kept before disposing off. An urn has been placed in for the general public to pay homage to the sole of Gandhi. The serene setting intertwined with the memories of Gandhi counts for the peaceful and inspiring ambiance of the temple premises. The temple also houses the last belongings of Gandhi, the accessories that were with him in his last hours.
Kuttralam has become pretty famous over the years and increasing number of tourists take the way from Kanyakumari toKuttralam. The chief reason for the popularity of Kuttralam is the presence of the numerous natural waterfalls, which are known o have medicinal value and hence healing properties. Ayurveda and natural way of healing has become very popular the world over. To encash on this excellent opportunity and return something more to the tourists to Kuttralam, the Kuttralam resorts have been built. The Kuttralam Resort is especially built with the objective of providing the goodness of natural healing to the visitors to the place in a more synchronized style. There are also spas that make the experience even better with ayurvedic massage facilities. The resorts have made the place itself so special, that Kuttralam is now called the ‘Spa of the South’.
Excursion from Kanyakumari to Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is indeed an exciting expedition. The Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is a famous tiger reserve park, which is located in the Western Ghats of India. Being watered by the rains in two-thirds part of the year, the Mundathurai forest is an evergreen forest the only one of its kind in south India. Apart from Tigers, which are the specialty of the region, the Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is also home to a variety of animals. The Mundathurai fauna include leopards, elephants, jungle Cat, common, langur, gaur, sambar, chital, wild dogs, crocodile, mouse deer, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, sloth bear, nilgiri langur wild boar, giant squirrel and slender loris. Besides there are a large variety of avi fauna in the forest, which makes it an ideal destination for bird viewing.
Famous for Nagaraja Temple, dedicated to the Serpent God, Nagaraja Nagercoil is a place worth a visit. The images of Anathakrishna and Lord Shiva are also enshrined in the temple. The figures of Jain Thirthankaras and Mahavira have been beautifully carved on the pillars of the temple. The entrance has been constructed similar to that the Buddhist monastery. The sanctum inside the temple is an interesting feature of this temple. It has a roof made out of bamboo sticks and coconut leaves and the surrounding walls are made of mud. The place surrounding the enshrined images are quite muddy. The prasadam distributed to the devotees comprise of sand scoops of this place. The temple is the symbol of the four religions – Jainism, Buddhism, Saivism and Vaishnavism. Inside the temple cobras are found in plenty. However, no fatal incident of snakebite has ever taken place in the surroundings of the temple. The trip from Kanyakumari to NagarajaTemple, Nagercoil is altogether an unusual experience to cherish for a life time.
Vivekananda Memorial or the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is the temple compound on one of the huge rock islands, lying some 500 meters off the tip of the Indian peninsula. On these rocks, which were considered sacred since ancient times, Swami Vivekananda had attained enlightenment after a prolonged meditation in the year 1892. He had reached the place by swimming through the harsh waters of the adjoining sea. His had stayed for three days from 24th of December to 26th of December. This is the best place to watch the confluence of the three major water bodies that surround India: the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The Vivekananda Memorial comprises the temple premise and the mediation hall. The Shripada Parai or the Shripada Mandapam is located nearby. It is believed that the brown pigmented area, somewhat resembling a human feet, is the footprint of Devi Parai, who attained austerity in this very place. Besides that there is a statue of Swami Vivekananda. The Vivekananda Memorial was built in 1970. The mediation hall is very famous and tourists are allowed to approach the same for meditation. Reaching the island is easy. There are regular boat services, which ferry passengers from the coast to the Vivekananda Memorial. There are of course specific timings.
The SuchindramTemple lies some 11 kilometers from Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu . This is a temple dedicated to the three chief Hindu Gods, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. While Brahma stands for creation, Shiva stands for destruction and Vishnu stands for balance in nature. This temple has two interesting legends associated with it. This 134 feettemple of Suchindram is architecture of amazing dexterity and endeavor. The whole of the front face of the temple covered with sculpting from the Hindu mythology. Inside the temple is the Lingam, representing the three Gods. The Suchindram temple is very famous for the musical pillars. The pillars are constructed in such a way that when they are tapped, they give off various musical notes. Besides, there are also sculptures of Hanumana, the devotee of God Rama and several other Hindu deities.
Nearby attractions of Kanya Kumari: Some of the most popular tourist attractions around Kanyakumari are:
Excursions to Tirunelveliare often undertaken by tourists, who wish to visit the city for the many historical places and temples, which are found here. Not all temples are located in the city proper but in the outskirts of the city, within the Tirunelveli district. The most important temples and religious destinations of the Hindus include the Muruga temple, Tenkasi, the Sankarankovil. Besides this, there is the famous Courtallam waterfall. The Courtallam pulls the maximum crowd during the summer season. The water here has healing properties and the scenic beauty is a balm for eyes, tired with the drab sight of city life.
The Udaygiri fort situated in the Kanyakumari district lies at a distance of 14 km from the town of Nagercoil. It covers an area of 90 acres enclosed by isolated hills that are almost 260 feet in height. The 400 years old Udayagiri Fort was constructed in 1600 AD. After being destroyed by Raja Raja Chola, it was re-built during the year 1729-1758 AD by King Marthana Varma. Inside the fort is a tomb of a European prisoner named Eustachius De Lannoy who was defeated and imprisoned by King Varma. Later on, a Flemish captain was captured by the king who remained loyal to him for 37 long years. As De Lannoy spent the rest of his years at this fort, the fort is also named as Dillannai Kottai.
This place is worth a visit for the Vattakottai fort. The Vattakottai fort was built in the 18th century by Marthanda Varma in his attempt to fortify the Nanjil Nadu region. The place was famous for its pearl trade and seriously needed a strong military base to protect the wealth of the state from plunderers. The defense lines of the Vattakottai fort were ravaged when British commander Leger entered Nanjil nadu region using the Ambroly pass. The wall of the Vattakottai fort is guarded by a wall, which is 25 to 26 feet high wall. The front portion, which includes the parapet, is about 29 feet in thickness. The corners and the rear areas are 18 feet and 6 feet respectively. The fort is enclosed by walls 25 to 26 feet high, including the parapet, 29 feet thick at the front, 18 feet at the corners and 6 feet at the rear in thickness. The Vattakottai occupies an area of about three and a half acres of land. There was previously a tunnel, four feet in width, which connected the Circular fort with the Padmanabhapuram but later this path was sealed due o various reasons.
Things to do in Kanyakumari: Visit the famous Kanya Kumari Amman Temple, where pilgrims give her thanks in an intimately spaced, beautifully decorated temple, where the crash of waves from three seas can be heard behind the twilight glow of oil fires clutched in vulva-shaped votive candles. Visiting the Swami Vivekananda Memorial in the midst of the violent sea is a thrilling experience. Don’t miss the spectacular sunset in the Kanyakumari beach.
Best time to visit Kanyakumari: The ideal time to visit Kanyakumari is between the months of October to March.
How to go ?
The nearest airport is Thiruvanathapuram which is 80 km away. It has both the domestic and international terminals. From Thiruvanathapuram, you can take a taxi or a bus to Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumari is well connected by rail services with all the major cities in India. Superfast trains connect Kanyakumari with the northern rail junctions and Intercity trains are running from almost all the southern cities.
Kanyakumari has a good road network which connects it to the major cities and towns in South India like Chennai, Bangalore, Madurai, Pondicherry, Thiruvanathapuram and and so on. Tourist taxis and auto-rickshaws are available for travel in Kanyakumari.
Where to stay ?
You will find an array of accommodation options in KanyaKumari suitable to budget. Some options are:
Hotel Tamilnadu- Kanniyakumari: +91–04652-246257, 58 Website: www.ttdconline.com
Gopi Nivas Grand: +91-04652 -24 61 61, 24 62 62 Website: www.sangamgrouphotels.com
Hotel Srimaniya: +91-04652 -246202, 9994121088 Website: www.hotelsrimaniya.com
Hotel Sivamurugan: +91-04652-246862 , 246872, 246892, 98421 50255, 9698888888 Website: www.hotelsivamurugan.com
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.