Kanyakumari

By its very location Kanyakumari occupies a unique place among the tourist centres of India. It is the lands end of India, where water of the Arabian Sea, the Indian Oceans and the Bay of Bengal meet. It is one of the important pilgrim centres of India.

A fine beach landscape with sands of different colours is another’s interesting aspects of Kanyakumari. Palm leaf utility articles of Kanyakumari are very famous. Spots in the state. Part of the fascination is of course due to the fact that it is the very tip of the Indian peninsula and the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Nature is so spectacular at Kanniyakumari that several other Indian beaches pale by comparison. Cape Comorin is at its best during Chitra Pournami (the full moon day in April) when the sun and moon are face to face on the same horizon but other full moon days are also special and you can see the sun set and the moon rise almost simultaneously. It seems as if it is by prior arrangement. Kanniyakumari is 705 kms from Chennai.

Kanyakumari General Information

  • Area: 25, 89 sq. kms
  • Population: 17,206
  • Altitude: sea level
  • Rainfall-102 cms average

Climate

Kanyakumari is a place which is set at the southernmost tip of India. It is a big center for art, culture and pilgrimage. The place experiences a moderate climate all throughout the year. The best time to visit the place is from October to March when the weather remains cool and pleasant. It is an ideal time for sightseeing, outing and beach activities.

Season Months Temperature
Summers March to May 20°c - 35°c
Monsoon June to September 24°c - 31°c
Winter December to February 17°c - 32°c

How to Get There

By Air

The nearest airport is at Trivandrum (80 km). It is directly connected with Bangalore, Mumbai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, and Chennai by regular flights.

By Rail

Kanyakumari is connected to Trivandrum, 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).

By Road

Kanyakumari is connected by road to following places

  • Trivandrum 86 km
  • Nagarkoil 19 km
  • Tirunelvelli 91 km
  • Tiruchendur 89 km
  • Tuticorin 129 km
  • Rameshwaram 300 km
  • Courtallam 130 km
  • Madurai 242 km
  • Thekkady 358 km
  • Kodaikanal 362 km
  • Palani 370 km
  • Ootacamund 576 km
  • Cochin 309 km
  • Coimbatore 478 km

Places to visit

The Kumari Amman Temple

Dedicated to the origin Goddess Kanniyakumari, who eternally protects the country? Legends has it that the Goddess Parvathy in one of her incarnation, as Devi kanya did penance to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva. The temple is a symbol of unity and sanctity.

Gandhi Memorial

In memory of the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, a Mandapam has been erected near the temple the memorial has been built on the spot where the urn containing his ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Architecture of the building allows the ray of the sun to fall on the spot where the urn was kept, on 2nd October, his birthday. The beautiful Gandhi Memorial completed in 1956, is situated as a memorial to the Father of the Nation. An urn of Mahatma Gandhi was kept here for public to pay homage before immersion. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari twice in 1925 and 1937. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari in January 1937. In 1948 his ashes were immersed in the sea waters in Kanyakumari. In commemoration of this event a beautiful monument has been constructed here. Its central shape is 79 feet high representing the age of the Mahatma at the time of the sun at mid day on 2nd October would fall on the peedam through a hole in the roof. The memorial was transferred to the administrative control of the Public (Information and Public Relations) Department from Public Works Department of Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 1978.

Vivekananda Memorial

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is another place in Kanyakumari which attracts large number of tourists. As its name implies, it is essentially a sacred monument, built by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee to commemorate the visit of Swamy Vivekananda to “Shripada Parai” during 24th, 25th and 26th December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment.

From very ancient times, the rock has been regarded as sacred place. In Puranic tradition, it has been known as “Sripada Parai: meaning the rock, that has been blessed by the touch of Shripada feet of the Goddess.On the rock, is a projection similar in form to a human fort and a little brownish in complexion, which has traditionally, been revered as a symbol of Shripadam.

According to legend, it was on this rock that Goddess Kanyakumari did Tapas. The memorial consists of two main structures, viz (i) Vivekananda Mandapam and (ii) Shripada Mandapam.

Vivekananda Mandapam: - This 180’-11 ½ ‘X 56’ Mandapam consists of (1) Dhyana Mandapam, i.e., Meditation Hall with six adjacent rooms (2) Sabha Mandapam or the Assembly Hall including Pralima Mandapam (statue section) two rooms, a corridor and an open Prakaram round the Sabha Mandapam (30 Mukha Mandapam (Portion) and (4) the Front Entrance steps with two rooms and a corridor below the steps.

Shripada Mandapam: - This square hall consists of (1) Garbha Graham i.e., (Sanctum Sanctorum) (2) the Inner Prakaram (3) the Outer Prakaram and (4) the Outer Platform all around. Both the Mandapams are so designed that the vision of Swamiji in the statue would be seen direct towards the Shripadam.

Thiruvalluvar Statue

Thiruvalluvar is the immortal poet of Tamil Nadu and has given to the world Thirukkural. The memorial statue of Thiruvalluvar is in Kanyakumari. The pedestal of the statue is of 38 feet height and the statue over it is 95 feet tall with a grand total of 133 feet for the entire sculpture. The 3 tier pedestal known as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapa stand 10 elephant statues signifying 8 directions with earth and space down. The father of Sri. Rama, the hero of Ramayana was called Dasaratha as he was able to charioteer in ten directions. To help the tourists to worship the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar 140 steps are constructed inside the Mandapa. The pedestal with a height of 38 feet represents the 38 chapters in the Book of Aram in Thirukural and the statue of 95 feet on the pedestal represents the total chapters in Porul (70 chapters) and Inbam (25 Chapters). Thus the statue symbolically and artistically signifies that the theme of Porul and Inbam are based on Aram.

Thirparappu Falls

Roughly 58km away from Kanyakumari, Thirparappu Fall is one of the most popular and picturesque tourist spot in South India. It is a perfect place to enjoy some serene moments with your loved ones.

Fountain at Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari district, which lies in the southern most tip of Peninsular India, is famous for its majestic hills, virgin beaches, pristine rivers and meandering rivulets. The district has a fragrance of architecture culture and customs of neighbouring Kerala mixed with the rich deep traditions, culture and architecture of Tamil Nadu. However, for want of promotional campaign and lack of basic amenities most of the tourists coming to this district return back after seeing just Kanyakumari and Padmanabhapuram Palace. It was at this juncture that the district administration decided to take up tourism promotion initiatives in a major way. Attempt has been made to put up basic amenities at the virgin beautiful spots so as to facilitate the inflow of the tourists.

Kamarajar Manimandapam

Another monument Kamarajar Manimandapam was raised and dedicated to Late. Sri. Kamarajar, The freedom fighter, Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, President of Indian National Congress. He was popularly known as Black Gandhi among the masses and king maker during congress regime. This monument was constructed where his ashes were kept here for public to pay homage before immersion into the sea.

Sunset

Every day people gather here to watch the Sunset. But to watch the Sunset and the moon rise on Full Moon day is an experience that lives in one’s memory for life.

Excursions

Government Museum The museum is situated near the Tourist Office, Beach Road, Kanniyakumari. The Museum contains bronzes, coins, tribal objects, woodcarvings and zoological and botanical specimens. The Museum’s collection also contains the Temple Car made from Samythoppu and whale-bones from Manavalakurichi in Kanniyakumari District.

Baywatch It is a water theme amusement park, and it is located 2 kms along the on Kanniyakumari-Kovalam Road. It is very near to Sunset Point.

Vattakottai or the Circular Fort (6 kms) A granite fort, 6 kms north-east of Kanniyakumari lies on National Highway 7, forms the terminal of the ramparts known as the South Travancore lines built by king Marthanda Varma to serve as protection. It is a fine picnic spot.

Suchindram (13 kms) The Sthanumalayan temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. This is a repository of art treasures. Musical pillars and a huge 18-ft high Hanuman statue are proof of the artistic skill of the 9th Century A.D. artisans. It has a unique bas-relief carving of Vinayaki or the Female Vinayaka.

Male tourists should remove their upper garments before they enter the temple.

Nagaraja Temple Though Nagaraja or the Serpent God is the presiding deity of this temple, the images of Lord Shiva and Ananthakrishna are also enshrined here. The images of the Jain Thirthankaras, Mahavira and Parsvanathar are found etched on the pillars of temple.

St. Xavier’s Church, Kottar (Nagercoil) (16 kms) this church dates back to the 15th century A.D. and it is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, a Catholic priest who came to India. A 10-day festival from November 24th to December 3rd is held every year.

Udayagiri Fort (34 kms) King Marthanda Varma built this fort in the 18th century. The grave of the Dutch General De Lennoy, one of the most trusted generals of the king, lies within the fort.

Padamanabhapuram Palace Padmanapuram or the City of Lord Vishnu is an ancient historical town is situated 45 kms from Kanyakumari. It was an ancient Capital of the Travancore rulers until 1798 A.D. There is a palace inside the fort that spreads over an area of 6 acres. The palace is known for it antiques, including the armoury of the royal family. The Ramaswamy temple adjoining the palace has scenes from the Ramayana carved in 45 panels. It provides a visual extravanganza to the visitors. The woodwork in this palace is intricate.

Peer Mohamed Dargah, Thuckalay (35 kms) this dargah is named after Peer Mohamed Oliyullah, the great philosopher Mohamed Appa, who wrote many books on philosophy.

Thiruvattar (60 kms) The temple is dedicated to Adi Kesava Perumal in the Ananthasayanam posture and is considered one of the 13 sacred places for the Vaishnavites. The inscriptions found in this temple fixes its age to the 12th century. Remains of old mural paintings belonging to a period not later than the 17th century can be seen on the walls of the inner shrine. Woodcarvings show exquisite workmanship and they adorn some of the structures in the temple. It is about 11kms north of Thuckalay on the Nagercoil-Kulasekaram road and 46 kms from Kanniyakumari.

Chidaral (55 kms) Chitharal is a small village situated at a distance of 7 kms from Marthandam and 55 kms from Kanniyakumari. It is famous for the hillock at Chitharal has a cave containing rock-cut sculptures of Thirthankaras and attendant deities carved inside and outside dating back to the 9th century A.D.

Thirparappu Waterfalls Thirparappu literally means a pavilion of beauty and sanctity. The panoramic view of the Lord Mahadevar temple or (Lord Shiva) atop green hills and the perennial River Kodayar running in front of the shrine is really fascinating and attractive. The Kodayar makes its descent at Thirparappu and the sparkling waterfall is a rich feast for the eyes.

FESTIVALS

  • Chitra Pournami in month of April/May
  • Navarathi in month of September/October
  • Annual Holiday of R.C Church in second week of December.
  • Skanda Shasti Tiruchendur, Cape Festival – Kanniyakumari
  • Katta Bomman Festival Panchalamkurichi, Saral Festival - Courtallam

Shopping in Kanyakumari

A religious destination of immense importance, Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu is also frequented by hordes of tourists for the scenic beach and numerous tourist attractions that the land flaunts. The southernmost tip of peninsular India, Kanyakumari must be visited on any tour to Tamil Nadu. Though not exactly known to be a shopper's paradise, Kanyakumari offers quite a few enchanting options to tourists for shopping in Kanyakumari.