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Home :: South India Travel Destinations :: Kanyakumari India


» Location: IIn Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu
» Also Known As: Kuttalur
» Hosts: An Ancient Seaport
» Main Attractions: Cuddalore Port, Kattu Mannargudi, Tiruppapuliyur

Described as the southernmost end of Tamil Nadu, the land end of India or the point where the land's three seas meet, enchanting Kanniyakumari or Cape Comorin is one of the most popular tourist spots in the state and indeed, in the country. Here the waters of the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal mingle with the Indian Ocean. An important pilgrimage centre dedicated to the Virgin Goddess Kanyakumari, it has evidences of references made to it by Ptolemy and marcopolo who probably had visited the Cape. Here both sunrise and sunset are spectacular and particularly on full moon days, thousand's of people crowd here to observe the unique spectacle of the sunset and moonrise simultaneously at the dusk of the day. A dip in the congregation of the 3 oceans is considered to be very holy.

Kanyakumari Temple
The legend of this temple is as romantic as the place itself. Goddess Parvati in one of her incarnations as Devi kanya performed penance to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva, but her dream could not become reality and hence she remained a virgin. At one time the shifting sands at the shores of Kanniyakumari were believed to be multi-hued as a result of the coloured rice that was sprinkled by approving gods over the couple at their wedding. Equally fascinating is the story about the diamond nose stud worn by the goddess believed to have (mis)guided many a ship to a sorry end at the treacherous rocks near the shore. So great was the threat of the reflected light from the nose-stud to the unsuspecting ships that the door on the side facing the sea had to be closed for ensuring the safety of the ships. Only Hindus are allowed in this temple.

Prime Attractions of Kanyakumari
Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial: This memorial is on two rocky islands projecting from the sea about 400 m offshore. The Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda came here in 1892 and sat on the rock, meditating, before setting out as one of India's most important religious crusaders. The mandapam which stands here in his memory was built in 1970 and reflects architectural styles from all over India

Kumari Amman Temple: Picturesquely situated overlooking the shore, this temple and the nearby ghat attract pilgrims from all over India to worship and to bathe. according to legend, Devi did penance here to secure siva's hand in marriage. when she was unsuccessful, she vowed to remain a virgin (kanya). The temple is open daily from 4.30 to 11.45 am and from 5.30 to 8.30 pm, but non-Hindus are not allowed into the inner sanctrum. Men must remove their shirts, and everyone their shoes on entering the temple.

The Temple At Suchindram: Just 13 kms. from Kanniyakumari, Suchindram has the Thanu-malayan temple dedicated to a deity who is the representation of the combined forces of Siva, Vishnu and Brahma. The temple has a beautiful gopuram, musical pillars and an excellent statue of the monkey god Hanuman, apart from a valuable collection of art from different periods.inscriptions said to be of the 9th century are found in this temple.

Gandhi Mandapam: The Gandhi Mandapam has been constructed at the spot where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept for public view in an urn before a portion was immersed into the three seas. Every year on Gandhiji's birthday 2nd October, the sun's rays fall at the exact spot where the urn was displayed before immersion

Other Attractions of Kanyakumari

Thengapattinam Beach (54 Kms): Thengapattinam situated on the west coast is a place of historical importance. It is 35 kms, from Nagercoil and 54 kms., from Kanniyakumari. As coconut trees are abundant in this place, this might have derived this name. This village had, in ancient times, trade relations with foreign countries like Arabia. There was direct Cargo boat service between Thengapattinam and other foreign maritime towns. Some Arab Merchants who came here found suitable for their trade. The Mosque at Thengapattinam is said to be is built about 1200 years ago. This place is well connected with Nagercoil and Thiruvananthapuram by regular bus service. Thengapattinam Beach is an excellent picnic spot with backwater facilities.

Pechipparai Dam: These dam sites are excellent picnic spots. Boating facilities and dormitory-type accommodation are available.

Chidaral: The Jain sculptures are worth seeing.

Vattakottai: The 18th century fort overlooking the sea is fine picnic spot . The sea nearhere is calm and suiltanle for bathing.

Muttam: A fine beach and lighthouse, Excellent picnic spot..

Padamanabhapuram: Captial of Travancore until 1798 AD. There ils a palace inside the fort which covers an area of 6 acres. On display in the palace are mlany antiquities, including the armoury of the roal family. In the Ramaswamy temple adjoining the palace, scenes from the Ramayana have been carved in 45 panels.The pallace ils open to the publilc from l9 a.m. to 5p.m. Monday is a holilday

Thiruvattar: The temlple lhere is one of the finest specimens of temple architectuire.The paintings on the walls of the temple are worth seeing

Thirparappu Water Falls: Picturesque spot with an ancient Mahadevar (Siva) Temlple.

Mathoor Thottippalam: It is one of the largest and the highest bnridge located near Thilruvattar abnout 70 km from Kannilyakumari. The Bridge and the lush green surroundings are noted for scenic beauty. Padmanabhapuram (45 kms) Captial of Travancore until 1798 AD. There ils a palace inside the fort which covers an area of 6 acres. On display in the palace are mlany antiquities, including the armoury of the roal family. In the Ramaswamy temple adjoining the palace, scenes from the Ramayana have been carved in 45 panels.The pallace ils open to the publilc from l9 a.m. to 5p.m. Monday is a holilday.

Olakkay Aruvi Water falls: Olakkay Aruvi Water in the Western Ghats is 14 kms, from Nagercoil and 33 kms, from Kanniyakumari. The beautiful water falls and the natural scenery all around the place attract many holiday seekers and this place has become an important picnic center. A small temple connected with the sage Agasthiar near the falls attracts a large number of religious people on full moon day of the month of Chithirai (April - May) and they worship the altar, after a bath in the falls. It is one of the places for trekking also.

Kalakkadu and Mundanthurai: Both these two Wild life Sanctuaries are situated in an extensive preserve later declared as a "Project Tiger Reserfe" Kalakkadu situated in an area of 223 in Tirunelveli Distict including the foot hills of western ghats and adjoining area. The flora ranges from tropical wet evergreen to tropical dry deciduous and torn forest at down hills. Lion tailed lmacaque, Nkilgiril langur, Bonnet macaque and common langur, Nilgiri Thar, Sambar, Sloth bear, gour, elephant, tilger, flyilnkg squirrel, panthen wild dog are some of the wildlife seen on this sancturay. There ils nothilng to differenciate Mundanthurai sanctuary from that of Kalakkadu except the presence of the elephant and gaur. Authority

Excursions of Kanyakumari
Tirunelveli: The temple of Swami Nelliappar and Sri Kanthimathi Ambal in Tirunelveli (83-km from Kanyakumari) dates back at least to the seventh century. Sambandar has sung it, and Ninrasir Neumaran, the Pandya, is said to have commissioned the making of musical pillars in a Mandapa in this temple. Originally, there were two temples side by side, dedicated to Lord Nelliappar and Goddess Kanthimathi. They were linked by a Mandapa, the "chain" Mandapa, built in 1647. The oldest inscription belongs to the middle of the tenth century.

Sankaranainarkoil: Sankaranainarkoil has three shrines dedicated to Lord Sankaralinga, to Goddess Gomathi Amman and, between these two, to Lord Sankaranarayana, a combination of Shiva and Vishnu. The temple was built in the eleventh century and was expanded later. The Gopura is of nine storeys and is 38m high. The temple is famous for the miracles the Goddess performs in curing illness.

Nagaraja Temple at Nagercoil: 19 km away from Kanyakumari has the famous Nagaraja temple. Nagaraja is the presiding deity and the images of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are also enshrined here. The entrance to the temple resembles Chinese architecture of Budha Viharas and the temple contains images of Mahavir and Paraswanatha, the Jain Tirthankaras

Alvar Tirunagari: One of the celebrated Vaishnavaite temples in the district of Kannyakumari is in Alvar Tirunagari, one of the nine sung of by Namalvar. The saint attained enlightenment under a tree, which still stands in the temple. The Lord is Adinatha. The temple has a Nadaswaram musical instrument made of stone. It is played during the temple festival.

Kumarakovil: Kumarakovil is at the foot of the Velimalai hills in Kalkulam Taluk (also spelt as Taluka), about 34-km from Kannyakumari. The Lord Muruga Temple is built on the hillock about 200 feet height in a lush green field of Paddy, Plantain and Coconut trees. The temple is noted for architectural beauty. Goddess Valli, the spouse of Lord Subramanya is also enshrined in the temple by the side of the Lord. In the right side of the temple there is one big lake, suitable for boating.

Subramanya Temple in Tiruchendur: The temple of Lord Subramanya in Tiruchendur, also in the same district, is one of the "Arupadai Veedus", or specially sanctified residences, of the Lord. It is situated by the sea. Traditionally, it commemorates the Lord's victory over Surapadma, a demon. The Gopura, of nine storeys, is 42m high and was constructed in the 17th century. It was renovated in 1983.

Fairs and Festivals of Kanyakumari
Cape Festival : Kanyakumari, also known as Cape Comorin is located at the southern most tip of India, where the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. A dip in the ocean here is considered holy, but the sea is rough here and not fit for bathing. This is the only place in India, where the sunset and moonrise can be viewed simultaneously on a full moon day.

The Vivekananda memorial set amidst the sea is a place known to give mental emancipation. The Cape festival is celebrated on a large scale for three days at Kanyakumari. The festival is marked by a series of cultural programs.

Shopping in Kanyakumari
Souvenirs and handicraft articles made from seashells, and palm leaf articles are the main items to buy at Kanniyakumari. Trinklets and packets of coloured sea sand for children can also be bought here. There are several shops selling these articles. Prices vary depending upon your bargaining power.

How to Get There
By Air: The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram (80-km), which is well connected with national and International flights. From Thiruvananthapuram one can take a taxi or bus to Kanyakumari.

By Rail: Kanyakumari is well connected by train services with all the places in India. Superfast trains connect the southern most railhead of India with northern cities like Jammu and Delhi. Intercity trains are running from almost all the southern cities.

By Road: Kanyakumari is connected by regular bus services with Chennai, Pondicherry, Bangalore, Trichy, Madurai, Mandapam (Rameshwaram), Nagercoil, Tuticorin, Tiruchendur, Tiruvelveli, Trivandrum, etc. Town bus service, tourist taxis and auto rickshaws are available.

Tourist Information Centre about Kanyakumari
» Government of Tamil Nadu Tourist Office, Beach Road, Kanyakumari.
» Information Centre, Vivekanand Rock Memorial, Beach Road, Kanyakumari.

General Information about Kanyakumari
» Area: 25.89-sq-km
» Population: 18,900 (1991 Census)
» Latitude: N 8o 3' to 8o 35'
» Longitude: E 77o 05' to 77o 36'
» Clothing: Light Cottons
» Languages Spoken: Tamil, Malayalam, English
» STD Code: 04652
» Climate - Tropical
» Temperature Range (deg C)
- Summer- Max 34.8ºC, Min 22.4ºC
- Winter- Max 33.8ºC, Min
» Rainfall: (Average) 102 cms

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