Referred to by the British as Cape Commorin, Kanyakumari is located at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent and is the meeting point of three oceans - the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name.
Kanyakumari represents the site where the spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda spent days in meditation upon a rock. The list of attractions in Kanyakumari is endless. Besides its significance as a major Hindu pilgrimage center, it is famous for its beautiful views of sunrise and sunset over the waters. The tourist destination itself is a beautiful place to move around.
The markets have several small shops where one can purchase local items or some handicraft items too. Souvenirs and handicraft articles made from sea shells and palm leaf are the main things to buy at Kanniyakumari. Decorative items made of wood and bamboo are also good purchase here. The Tamil Nadu Co-optex sales emporium, Indco products, Tamil Nadu crafts and Pumphuar are some of the places where you can get you choice of handicraft items, textiles and other materials.
Due to its proximity to the sea, Kanyakumari enjoys a pleasant climate and can be visited throughout the year. However, the best season to visit this place would be between October and March. During summers, the temperature can rise to a high of 34.8°C while it can dip to a low of 20.4°C during winters. Cottons are ideal while planning a travel trip to Kanyakumari.
Olakkay Aruvi Water Falls
Olakkay Aruvi Water in the Western Ghats is about 8 kms., North of Azhgiapandiapuram, 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.
Kumarakovil (34 Kms.)
Kumarakovil is at the foot of the Velimalai hills in Kalkulam Taluk, about 15 kms., North - West of Nagercoil and 3 kms., east of Thuckalay, and 34 kms., from Kanniyakumari.
The Lord Muruga Temple is built on the 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 Subramaniya, the Presiding deity, is also enshrined in the temple by the side of Lord Subramaniya. The right side of the temple there is one big lake, suitable for boating.
Mondaikadu Bagavathy Amman Temple (41 Kms.)
Mondaikadu is situated in the sea coast, north - east of Colachel Port. It is connected with Nagercoil and Trivandrum by a motorable road. It is 22 kms., from Nagercoil and 41 kms., form Kanniyakumari. This place is famous for its temple dedicated to Bagavathy Amman, dates back to the 7 th century B.C. The Amman is in the form of anthill which is about 12 feet in height and with five heads and believed to be growing gradually. The annual festival called Mondaikadu Kodai is celebrated in March for 10 days and is the main attraction at this place. Department of Tourism, Government of Tamilnadu, organises Photographic Exhibition during the festival.
The temple, though small attracts a large number of people from all over the district, besides a regular flow of pilgrim from Kollam in Kerala State, about 160 kms., from Mondaikadu during the annual festival celebrated for 10 days.
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 back water facilities.
Vvivekanand Temple Kanyakumari
Thiruvalluvar Statue at Kanyakumari
Attractions and Places to Visit in Kanyakumari
Close to the sea shore of Kanyakumari, the Kanyakumari Temple is one of the major tourist attractions in south India. The temple is dedicated to Parvati as Devi Kanya, the Virgin Goddess who did penance to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva. The deity, Devi Kanyakumari is' the protector of India's shores' has an exceptionally brilliant diamond on her nose ring which is supposed to shine out to sea. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple premise.
The Gandhi Mandapam is located very close to the Kumari Amman Temple. This is the place where the urn containing the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi was kept for public view before a portion of its contents was immersed in the three seas. It resembles an Oriyan temple and was designed so that on Gandhiji's birthday (2nd October), the sun's rays fall on the place where his ashes were kept.
Built in the memory of Swami Vivekananda in 1970, the Vivekananda Memorial is about 500 m away from mainland. This memorial stands on one of two rocks separated by about 70 m. The greatest social reformer and saint, Swamy Vivekananda spent some time meditating on the rock where the memorial stands today. A meditation hall is also attached with the memorial. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda. The divine foot print 'Pada Parai' of Devi is also seen here. Ferry service is available to reach the memorial.
About 13 kms. from Kanniyakumari, Suchindram has a temple dedicated to a deity who is the representation of the combined forces of Siva, Vishnu and Brahma. It is one of the few temples in the country where the Trinities are worshipped. The temple has a beautiful gopuram, musical pillars and an excellent statue of the Hanuman, apart from a valuable collection of art from different periods.
How to Reach Kanyakumari
Air : The nearest airport is at Trivandrum (80 km). It is directly connected with Bangalore, Mumbai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, and Chennai by regular flights.
Rail : Kanyakumari is connected to Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, and Mumbai by broad-gauge railway network. Tirunelvelli (80 km) is the other nearest railway junction and can be reached by road via Nagarkoil (19 km).
Road : Kanyakumari is connected by road to all the major cities and towns of the neighbouring states.