Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, Kanyakumari is a coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu. Earlier known as Cape Comorin, Kanyakumari is surrounded by mountains and bordered by vibrant sea shores, lined with paddy fields and coconut trees, and also boasts of aesthetic elevated patches of hills with undulating valleys and plains in between the sea and the mountainous terrain. Ever since ancient times, Kanyakumari has been one of the major centres of religion, art and culture. Famous for being the only place in India where you can observe the sunrise and sunset at the same beach, Kanyakumari is a very popular tourist destination, not just because of this unique geographical phenomenon, but also because of its pristine beaches as well as its temples and churches which attract a huge number of tourists to this city all year round.
The Kanyakumari temple, also known as the Bhagvaty Amman Temple or the Kumari Amman temple is one of the major Hindu temples all across India. Built in dedication to Goddess Kumari Amman, the temple finds mention in almost all ancient Hindu scriptures and is frequented by pilgrims looking to pay their respects to the virgin goddess Kanya Devi.
One of the most iconic monuments in the city, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a gigantic structure surrounded on all sides by the Laccadive Sea, so the only way you can reach the monument is by taking a boat/ferry ride. Built by the Ramakrishna Mission, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is dedicated to the great philosopher Swami Vivekananda who used to meditate here. The memorial comprises of two main structures – the Shripada Mandapam and the Vivekananda Mandapam, with an attached meditation hall for visitors to sit and meditate in.
Kanyakumari is also home to the Statue of the Saint Poet Thiruvalluvar, one of the greatest Tamil poets in India. Standing at a massive height of 133 feet, the statue is one of the biggest in the entire Asian subcontinent and is the result of the hard work of over 500 sculptors. Other historic sights that you can visit in Kanyakumari include the Padmanabhapuram Palace, the Vattakottai Fort, and the Gandhi Memorial.
Apart from historic monuments and buildings, Kanmjyamurai is also famed for its beaches and waterfalls. The Kanyakumari beach is the perfect place where you can spend a lazy afternoon sitting on the white sand and sipping a cool drink. Unlike the beaches in Goa which tend to be a little overpopulated, the Kanyakumari beach is a lot less crowded and is the best place to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. Waterfalls in Kanyakumari that you should not miss out on include the Thirparappu falls, the Courtallam Falls, and the Olakaruvi falls.
Kanyakumari has an authentic South Indian cuisine, with seafood and coconuts being an integral part of almost all dishes. Starting from light snacks to full course gourmet menus, Kanyakumari delights tourists with the numerous options it offers for eating out. While Kanyakumari is not a traditional shopping destination, you can buy plenty of souvenirs and curios from the numerous stalls and boutiques dotting the beachfront, with decorative seashell trinkets being a must-buy.
Located at a distance of about 55 kilometres from Kanyakumari, the cascading waters of the Thirparappu Falls make up for an enchanting sight. This waterfall is a manmade one and falls from a height of 50 feet. The water collects in a quaint pool below which is an ideal place to frolick around, especially for children. The falls are surrounded by thick green foliage and indigenous fauna, which make it a nature lover’s paradise.
These falls are a unique combination of streams that flow together to form a magnificent waterfall. The containment below is no less than a top-tier waterpark and is perfectly safe too. The entrance of this destination has a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is highly revered by the locals.
Enjoy a boat ride in the tranquil waters of Thirparappu and let the surrounding natural beauty consume you. This destination is the perfect spot to enjoy a fun-filled day with family, and children will have a gala time here, guaranteed!
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
The magnificent Vivekananda Rock Memorial is located on a small island off Kanyakumari. It has the picturesque Indian Ocean in its backdrop and hence serves as a peaceful and serene destination for visitors from all across the globe. It is situated on one of the two adjacent rocks projecting out of the Lakshadweep Sea and comprises of the ‘Shripada Mandapam’ and the ‘Vivekananda Mandapam’. The ferry ride up to these rock islands is a thrilling journey and hence attracts a lot of nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
This statue depicts spectacular architecture and was built in the year 1970 and has been a major tourist attraction ever since. The island on which the statue is located is said to have been the site where Vivekananda attained enlightenment. The Shripada Mandapam has a study hall and a museum, where you can explore Vivekananda’s life and work in depth. This Mandapam adds to the spiritual significance and of the memorial along with emphasising on its purity. It is the perfect spot to meditate and introspect. With its serene surroundings and majestic construction, the Vivekananda Memorial is an unforgettable experience. The popular rock memorial is situated in Vavathurai and was built in honour of Swami Vivekananda.
According to historical tales and legends, it is believed that Goddess Kumari performed austerity on this rock. There is a ‘Dhyana Mandapam’ located beside to memorial which serves as the meditation hall for the visitors to meditate. The style of architecture followed here is distinctive and incorporates various temple styles from all over India. These rocks are surrounded by the Laccadive Sea.
Thanumalayan Temple – Sthanumalayan Kovil
Situated in Suchindram, Thanumalay temple is also known as Sthanumalayan Kovil is the sacred shrine dedicated to Trimuthis (Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva). The beautiful temple was renovated in the 17th century, and its inscriptions date back to the 9th century. This beautiful temple represents great architectural magnificence. One of the major highlights of this temple is the four musical pillars carved out of a single stone placed in the alankara mandapam area. These musical pillars emit a variety of musical notes when struck with a thumb. Another striking aspect of the Sthanumalayan Perumal Temple is that it depicts both Shaivite and Vaishnavite sections of Hinduism. The temple also houses massive statues of Anjaneya and Nandi which are one of its kind. Every year rathotsava and teppam festival celebrated in this temple attracts thousands of people.
Dedicated to the accomplished philosopher and poet Thiruvalluvar, this beautiful statue finds itself on a small island near Kanyakumari. Thiruvalluvar was the author of a legendary work in the world of Literature, Tirukkural, the classic Tamil text. In his devotion, the work for the statue started in 1990 and continued till 1999, during the year in which the figure finally got completed. This monument stands tall at a mighty height of 133 feet and is perched upon a 38-foot pedestal. The pedestal’s height represents the 38 chapters of virtue in Thirukkural. Full of symbolism and cultural significance, this destination is awe-inspiring, and a must visit. V. Ganapati Sthapati sculpted the statue, and it was unveiled on January 1, 2000.
Surrounded by the waters, the statue is settled at an ideal location, and a short ferry ride can quickly help you reach the masterpiece. With the hazel blue sky in the background and the crystal clear sea waters below, the picture painted by this destination is humbling. The premises of the statue also has a temple which a quaint spot for meditation. The resounding silence of this temple will lull your thoughts to an introspective calmness. Furthermore, it is a perfect option to go for if you wish to spend a few hours away from the humdrum of daily life. The statue, dedicated to the Saint-poet which was inaugurated at the beginning of the new millennium, stands high as the flare of light which even today continues to guide the human life.
Kumari Amman Temple
If you are going to visit India and especially the city of Kanyakumari then one place that you should definitely go and see is Kumari Amman Temple. You can find the many cultural heritages of the Indian people in Kumari Amman Temple.
Many India people come to pilgrimage and to bathe in the Kumari Amman Temple.This magnificent temple is situated in the coast surmounting the beach and thousands of vacationers comes here creating very big queues. A word of caution: unless you are a Hindu you will not be permitted to enter Kumari Amman Temple even for sight seeing.