The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!

Nestled at the southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari is a mesmerizing destination that beckons travelers with its unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and spiritual significance. From pristine beaches to majestic temples, this coastal town offers a plethora of attractions that captivate visitors from across the globe. Let’s embark on a virtual journey to uncover the enchanting tourist places that make Kanyakumari Tourist Places.

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
Dawn in kanyakumari

 

Kanyakumari: India’s Southern Geographical Marvel

Politically, the southernmost tip of India is a place called Indira Point in the Andaman-Nicobar archipelago. But geographically, the point where the tip of the mainland of the Indian subcontinent comes from is Kanyakumari in the state of Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari is the confluence of three seas touching the land of India, namely the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. Spread over about 26 square kilometers, the town of Kanyakumari has been inhabited since ancient times.

The Legend of Banasura: A Tale of Cleverness and Oversigh

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!

According to the legend, when Lord Shiva, who was pleased with the devotion of the demon called Banasura, asked him to seek a boon, Banasura cleverly recited a number of names, such as I shall not die from this, I shall not die from that, and achieved immortality. One mistake he made: He had forgotten to take a virgin girl’s name.

After receiving the boon of immortality from Lord Shiva, when Banasura started oppressing the people, Goddess Parvati herself took the form of a virgin girl and killed that demon. Goddess Parvati, in the form of Goddess Kumari (virgin), then sat on the beach waiting to get married to Lord Shiva. The moment of marriage came, but Lord Shiva did not come. As the muhurt (the auspicious time) passed, Kumari became furious. He threw the wedding cakes and rice into the sea and spent his entire life as a virgin. Thus, the town of Kanyakumari was built in his name.

Marutumalai: The Mythical Origin of a Healing Mountain

Another legend says that when Lord Hanuman was carrying Mount Sanjivani towards Lanka, a piece of the mountain fell near Kanyakumari. Today, that piece is a mountain known as Marutumalai, on which many medicinal plants and vines grow.

A Glimpse into Kanyakumari’s Rich Historical Tapestry

From the sixth century BC to the second century BC, Kanyakumari witnessed the civilization of the Pandya, Chera, and Chola kingdoms of South India. During the British rule in India, Kanyakumari was known as Cap Comorin and over time the town has ‘seen’ the rule of three empires namely Portuguese, Dutch (Netherlands) and British.

Kanyakumari: A Trifecta of Geographic, Religious, and Historical Significance

Thus, Kanyakumari is an important place in three ways: geographically, religiously and historically. There are many places to see and explore, some of which are worth introducing in detail here.

1. Vivekananda Rock and Memorial

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
Kanyakumari_(Vivekananda_Rock_Memorial_&_Valluvar_Statue))

 

Swami Vivekananda, who traveled all over India from 1888 to 1893, came to Kanyakumari on December 24, 1892. They reached a rock in the sea, about 500 meters from the main land, and, meditated for three days continuously. As a result of the enlightenment gained during the long meditation, he resolved to enrich the Indian youth culturally and to do something for the poor of the country. Over time, this rock came to be known as Vivekananda Rock and in 1970, a memorial was erected there by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee. The monument, a blend of Tamil and Bengali architecture, is mainly divided into two sections, namely Sri Paad Mandapam and Vivekananda Mandapam.The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!

This place can be reached by ferry from Kanyakumari. (Ferry Timings: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Descending the cliff, one first sees the Sri Paad Mandapam on a square platform, which is primarily a temple of Goddess Kumari (Goddess Parvati). Footprints of Goddess Kumari can also be seen here. Next to Sri Paad Mandapam comes Vivekananda Mandapam, which has a large assembly hall. At the back is the main meditation (Dhyana) mandapam, located at the bottom. In the construction of Dhyana Mandapam, divided into 6 continents, various architectural styles of all over India have been combined. Hence, Vivekananda Mandapam has become a center of attraction in terms of art.

As soon as one sets foot on Swami Vivekananda Rock, one feels the divine power—and adding to the ethereal divinity is the breathtaking ocean view from here! Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean meet at this place. The pale brown waters of the Bay of Bengal, the blue of the Arabian Sea and the brownish waters of the Indian Ocean are awe-inspiring. It feels like sitting here for hours and enjoying the sea.

Thiruvalluvar: A colossal statue of a Tamil poet

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
Thiruvalluvar Statue at Kanyakumari

A colossal statue of Sri Thiruvalluvar, a Tamil poet and philosopher of ancient India (4th century BC), can be seen on another rock a little further from Vivekananda Rock. The height of the statue, including the platform, is 40.5 meters (133 feet). That number matches with poet Thiruvalluvar’s 133-stanza didactic work Thirukural.

Some statistics-

Total weight of idol: 7,000 tons; Total number of stones: 3,681; Period of idol construction: 1997 to January, 2001; Construction cost: ₹6.2 crore; Total number of workers and sculptors: 150; Face Height: 19 feet; Materials used in the construction of the scaffolding: 18,000 metal pipes and two truckloads of ropes.

The Architectural Marvel of the Thiruvalluvar Statue

The giant idol of Thiruvalluvar is an engineering marvel, usually, in any statue, a face is carved from a single stone. But the 19-foot-tall face of Thiruvalluvar statue is not a one-piece. Ears, noses, lips, claws, eyes, etc., have been carved on different stones and then fitted into the right place—and that too so skillfully that they cannot be seen joined anywhere. When the statue was unveiled on January 1, 2001, the team of engineers and sculptors said in an interview, ‘During the construction, we worked 16 hours a day and yet we did not feel tired. An unknown force must be channeling energy into all of us. It must be the gift of this rock and the sea.’

One last thing about the giant statue of Thiruvalluvar: If an earthquake of magnitude 6 occurs within 100 km of the rock on which the idol is standing in the middle of the sea, but it is tightly tied so that nothing harms the idol,. The ferry boat to Vivekananda Rock makes a brief stop here on its return journey, during which tourists can have a close-up view of the statue and go toe-to-toe.

View Tower: Address for Sunrise-Sunset Viewing

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
View Tower in Kanyakumari

The beauty of Kanyakumari beach is that one can enjoy two views of sunrise and sunset from here only. A special view tower has been prepared for this. The crimson colored sun slowly rising from the horizon of the infinite ocean gives the impression of coming out of the sea and the colors of the sky and the sea changing every few moments with rays of light mesmerize the viewer.

For photographers who want to take pictures of Vivekananda Rock and Thiruvalluvar statue, the golden hours of the morning and evening (Golden Hour in photography terms) are ideal.

Sunset Spectacle: A Majestic View from the Tower

A beautiful view of the setting sun is also seen from the same view tower. The saffron sun, reddish sky, and the sea waves constantly colliding with the rocks on the beach present a ‘Light Show’. At this place, if it is a full moon day, the sight of the rising moon at east, and the setting sun on the other side will be unforgettable. As there is a good rush of tourists at the View Tower to enjoy the sunrise and sunset, it is advisable to go half an hour early to secure a spot. The view tower is open from 5:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m.

Temple of Kanyakumari Devi

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
Kanyakumari Temple

According to popular belief, this religious place is mentioned in texts like Ramayana-Mahabharata, which are more than 3,000 years old. Kanyakumari Devi Temple is one of the most sacred faith symbols of South India. It is said that the temple was first constructed by Lord Parashurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. However, not much information is available about the construction of the present temple.

The temple has a very attractive idol of Goddess Kumari. Of particular interest is the emerald-encrusted nose-ring of the goddess, about which folklore has it that years ago a seafarer mistook the nose-ring’s flickering light for a beacon and got his boat collided with the rocky shores of Kanyakumari.

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
Sun rise in kanyakumari

After this incident, the eastern gate of the temple is kept closed and is opened only on five occasions in a year. This may be a myth, but the decoration of Goddess Kumari’s idol is truly mind-blowing.

The four pillars in the premises of this temple are not only worth seeing but also worth ‘hearing’, as when you tap them, you can hear the sound of four instruments, like Veena, flute, Mridangam and Jaltaranga. In the temples of Hampi in Karnataka, one can also hear chanting from stones.

According to the South Indian system, men should remove their clothes above the waist before entering the temple. Darshan timings in the temple: 4.30 AM to 12:00 PM and 4:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m.

The largest Wooden Palace in Asia

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
kanyakumari padmnabh puram palace

Padmanabhapuram Mahal (palace), about 40 kilometers from Kanyakumari, is a simple palace type structure, but it boasts of being the largest wooden palace in Asia. The historical importance of the palace is also good considering that once the state administration of Travancore State (Principality) was run from Padmanabhapuram Palace. The first construction of this palace was in the 17th century. The Venad king Ravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal constructed the very first palace in 17th century. Then King Martand Varma in 1750, rebuilt, expanded and dedicated to his clan deity, Padmanabha Swami.

Before Trivandrum became the capital of Travancore State in the 18th century, this palace remained the center of power in Travancore. Every structure here bears the impression of Kerala’s architecture and culture of the time.

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
Vivekanand Rock Memorial -Kanyakumari -TamilNadu

Spread over six and a half acres, Padmanabhapuram Palace is divided into 18 buildings. The woodwork in every building is eye-catching. The doors, windows, ceiling, pillars, etc. are all made of wood and have very beautiful carvings on them. The Durbar Hall-like hall of the palace is large enough to accommodate 1,000 people at once. Weapons, sculptures, paintings, artistic mirrors, etc. displayed in various rooms are also worth seeing. The clock in the clock tower of Padmanabhapuram Palace is 300 years old and still shows accurate time.

Many tourists coming to Kanyakumari miss out on visiting this historical heritage. Padmanabhapuram Palace is open for tourists only from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Beaches

The beach near Kanyakumari Temple is very rocky, so bathing there is not advisable. But the nearby beaches, like Sangturai and Sotavilai, are beautiful and safe. Also worth seeing near Sangturai Beach is a giant conch sculpture made during the Chola Empire. Sotavilai Beach is also nearby and is a beautiful beach about 4 kilometers long. Coconut and palm trees, greenery, and white sand adornments are the hallmarks of these beaches. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the hotels, Sangturai and Sotavilai beaches offer a moment of peace and tranquility.

Vettakotty Fort: Landmark of Travancore State

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!
Vattakottai Fort kanyakumari

Built during the Travancore rule in the 18th century, the Vettakotty fort is particularly noteworthy for its scenic beauty rather than its architecture. A wonderful view of the Bay of Bengal on one side, the mountains of the Western Ghats on the other, a sparkling sandy beach, a cool breeze blowing, and a gray sky with clouds like cotton balls make this place a must-see.

Vettakotty means round fort in Tamil, but this fort has a rectangular structure. A striking aspect of the construction is its 8.8 m (29 ft) wide front wall and 5.4 m (18 ft) wide side wall. Another feature of the fort is its quarter meter (4-foot)-wide tunnel, which leads to the Padmanabhapuram Palace. The tunnel is now sealed.

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!

Apart from the seven super spots described here, Kanyakumari has many places to visit. For example, Gandhi Mandapam, where Gandhiji’s ashes was kept, Tsunami Memorial, 18th-century Christian Church of Our Lady of Ransom, etc.

Apart from this, the Tanumalian Trimurti Temple at Suchindram, Jain Cave Temples of Chitral, Asia’s longest aqueduct, Matur Bridge, Agatsyamalai mountain at the southernmost tip of the Western Ghats for nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts, Kalikesham Ecopark and the scenic Tiruparappu Falls, etc. are particularly noteworthy. Although there are so many places to see in and around this southernmost town in India, many tourists consider only visiting the Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial as part of their tour of Kanyakumari. 

Conclusion

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Enchanting Kanyakumari Tourist Places!

In conclusion, Kanyakumari is a treasure trove of tourist places that promise an enriching and unforgettable experience for travelers. Whether you’re drawn to its spiritual aura, cultural heritage, or natural beauty, this coastal town has something to offer everyone. From the iconic landmarks like Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue to the serene beaches and majestic temples, Kanyakumari beckons you to embark on a journey of discovery and exploration. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the charm of Kanyakumari, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Good to Know

* Kanyakumari can be visited at any time of the year. In the monsoons, it becomes an awesome palace to visit.

Kanyakumari is connected to almost every major city by rail and highway. The nearest airport to reach here is Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). Buses and taxis are easily available from the airport to Kanyakumari.

* Tamil Nadu Tourism Department for package tours and hotel booking www.ttdconline.com can be visited.


 

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