» Location : In Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu
» Also Known As : Kuttalur
» Hosts : An Ancient Seaport
» Main Attractions : Cuddalore Port, Kattu Mannargudi, Tiruppapuliyur
Kanyakumari – The Southern most Land tip of India
Kanyakumari (also spelt as Kanniyakumari) district is bounded by Tirunelveli district in the north and northeast, by Kerala state in the northwest and confluence of Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean in the west and south. The coastline is almost regular except for some points of land projecting into the sea at Cape Comorin. Kanyakumari is the district headquarters of the district of the same name.
Kannyakumari has been named after the Goddess Kannyakumari Amman who is the popular deity of the area. Legend has it that the Goddess Parvati in one of her incarnations as Devi Kanniya did penance on one of the rocks of this land’s end to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva.
Pilgrim Rites Performed
Pilgrimage rites include bathing at Pitru and Matru Tirtha, two rocks over which a monument honouring Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu religious leader, was built in 1970.
The History Of Kanyakumari
Kanniyakumari district, once known as “The Granary of Travancore” lies at the southwestern part of Indian peninsula. It was in Travancore for a long time and then merged with Tamil Nadu in 1956 under the State Linguistic Reorganisation Act.
Prime Attractions of Kanyakumari
§ Temple Of Goddess Bhagavathi : Few temples in India are more picturesquely located than that of Goddess Bhagavathi in Kannyakumari. It stands near where three oceans meet: the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
In its early form the temple seems to have been built by the first Pandyas. The Nayaks expanded it later. There are three Prakaras. The image of the Goddess in the sanctum is marvellous in its serenity and beneficence. She carries a necklace in Her right hand. The eastern gate, facing the Bay of Bengal is opened only five times a year.
§ Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial : On the evening of December 25, 1892, Swami Vivekananda who had come to Kannyakumari on pilgrimage swam to the rock and spent the whole night there in deep meditation. He then resolved to decide himself to the service of the Motherland and to spread the message of Vedanta. Next year he attended the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, an event of seminal importance in the modern history of Hinduism. To commemorate his visit to the rock a superb memorial has been erected. It attracts thousands of visitors.
§ Kumari Amman Temple : Kumari Amman Temple is dedicated to Parvati as Devi Kanya, the Virgin Goddess who did penance to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva.
§ The Temple At Suchindram : Tradition connects the Kannyakumari temple with that in Suchindram (13-km from Kanyakumari). This is a fine, large fane, with a beautiful tank. It is one of the few temples in the country where the Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Isvara, are worshipped. The Linga, named “Sthanumalaya”, is in three parts; the top represents Lord Shiva, the middle Lord Vishnu, and the base Lord Brahma. “Sthanu” is a name of Shiva, “Mal” of Vishnu, and “Ayan” of Brahma.
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.
Places to stay in Kanyakumari
Varied accommodation options varying from luxurious to economic hotels, lodges, Devasthanam cottages are available for tourists in Kanyakumari.
How to Get There
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.
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.
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