Kanyakumari is one of the most important tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its moonrise and sunset. Best time to visit Kanyakumari is in the month of Chitthirai (April – May). We can see the moonrise and sunset in the same hour of full moon days during these months. This sunset and moonrise takes place when the sun and moon are face to face in a straight line along the horizon.
Kanyakumari City is located at the tip of the Indian peninsula and its shows our antiquity of pre Himalayan days. Actually, kanyakumari is the residual part of the lost Lemuria, which extends up to the continents of Africa and Australia.
Amidst the sea there are two rocks known as ‘twin rocks’ both contributing to the rich Indian heritage with the monuments of swamy Vivekananda and Saint Thiruvalluvar.
Kanyakumari and its surroundings are believed to be part of the land which was created by Parasurama, incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Folktales and mythological stories speak volumes about Kanyamymari.
Kanya kumari was ruled by the Pandyas and later it parts were in Kerala. After the reorganisation of the states, Tamil speaking areas were seceded and the districts formed in 1956. Kanyakumari has rich sandy seashore with atomic minerals. The length of seashore is about 68km. Sands of beach are of different hues due to the mineral content. This is the meeting place of Tamil and Malayalam. Three sides of seas surround Kanyakumari. It enjoys a temperate climate. It is a major pilgrim centre.
The Land’s end of India or the confluence of three great seas, the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, leaves an indelible impression. The place gets its name from the Virgin Deity. The Sun rises over the Bay of Bengal and sets on the Arabian Sea. On full moon evenings, Sunset and Moonrise can be seen simultaneously. Thousands of visitors assemble on the tip of the seashore to see this splendor view of nature.
Kanyakumari is famous for the temple of Parashakti popularly called Kanya Kumari. The location of the place is lovely and charming. Since time immemorial, the place has been considered as a sacred spot. A bath in the congregation of the three seas is considered very holy. The sands on the beach appear multicolored with rare shades of shining sand particles. Roman Catholics are in majority here and their church is one of the oldest and biggest churches in India.
Kanyakumari is located at 8.08° North and 77.57° east. It has the meeting point of three bodies of water the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Kanyakumari is the terminating point of the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. It is bounded by the Tirunelveli district on the north and the east.
The name of this place has been christened after the virgin goddess – Kanyakumari Amman. Mythological stories depict that Goddess parvati under the disguise of Devi Kanniya did a penance in one of the rocks in this area to reach the hand of Lord Shiva. This place is also a popular pilgrimage. The tourists who visit this southern most tip of India would certainly enjoy the exuberant scenes of the sunsets, the sunrises especially on full moon days. The nature of the sand in the beaches of Kanyakumari is unique as it is multicolored.
Kanyakumari Sunrise and Sunset
Lakhs of tourist, round the year are lured by the serene beauty of this place and the spectacles of sunrise and sunset. Though sunrise can be viewed throughout the year, sunset is visible only from October 15 to March 15 from this southernmost tip. But one can view both sunrise and sunset throughout the year from atop a hill called Murugan Kundram which offers a panoramic view of Kanyakumari. The sunset and moonrise can be seen almost simultaneously on full moon days from the same spot. It is a unique spectacle.
Kanyakumari Tamil Nadu
The total area of the land is 1,685 square kilometers. The population was 16,76,034 during the census taken in the year 2001. Every year the land receives 1,188.6 meters of rainfall. The maximum temperature goes to 35ºC and falls to a minimum of 21ºC. There are air, road and rail facilities for travelers and tourists to come and travel back. The nearest airport is about 87 kilometers away from Kanyakumari, located in Trivandrum (Kerala State). There are two railway junctions, one is the Kanyakumari Junction and the other is the Nagarcoil Junction. There are three bus terminus namely, (i) Central and Express Bus Stand (ii) Anna Bus Stand and (iii) Christopher Bus Stand.
Kanyakumari is the land of tourist attraction with lot of historical and religious sites. This city is endowed with natural beauty and centuries old. Coastal region of Kanyakumari has rich varieties of flora and fauna. It is a home of ancient India’s health tradition, which includes siddha, ayurvedha and varma kalai.
Kanyakumari has famous temples such as Kanyakumari Amman Temple, Suchindram Temple, Murugan Kundram, Chidaraal Temple, Guganathaswamy Temple, Keralapuram Temple, Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple, Thiruvattar Temple, Vallimalai Temple, Erayoor Irul Neekeeswarar Temple, Konerishwarar Temple, Raghaveshwara Temple and Thippathiswaram etc.
Kanyakumari Amman Temple
Sri Kumari Amman temple is an ancient temple. It has been mention in the Ramayana and Mahabharata and the sangam works of Manimekalai and Puranaanooru. The image of Devi Kanyakumair was installed and worshiped by Parasurama. The Pandyas built the early form of the temple. Later the Nayaks expanded it. This temple has three prakaras.
Dedicated to Devi Parashakti, otherwise known as Kumari Bhagavati or Kanya Kumari, she is actually Parvati, the virgin goddess who did penance at this place to marry Lord Shiva. But due to some strange circumstances, the marriage could not take place; the Devi remained a virgin Kanya Kumari. Kanyakumari Amman temple is about at the end of Beach Road on the ocean front; entry to the temple is through the northern gate. Located at the tip of the Indian peninsula, the small temple of Kumari Amman in Kanyakumari has been a spiritual magnet for centuries. It is believed that as the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, the theerthams and bathing ghats of Kanyakumari are among the most sacred in the country. The passageway along the outer wall is unexceptional but the rolling sea, Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar statue command attention. Astrologers, shopkeepers and hawkers peddle their wares on the way to the northern entrance. Standing in the sanctum sanctorum is the black idol of Kanyakumari, bedecked in bridal finery and a beautiful garland, her nose-ring glinting in the lamplight. She holds a double row of prayer beads in her hand. According to folklore, the brilliance of her diamond nose-ring acted like beacon for passing ships. Drawn by it, some vessels unwittingly crashed against the rocky shoreline, prompting the closure of the sea-facing eastern door! The main festivals are held in Vaikasi (May-June) and Navaratri (Sept-Oct).
According to mythology, the goddess destroyed the demon named Banasura, who was troubling the residents of this place. The deity in the shrine is divinely charming. The diamond nose ring she wears is visible even from the sea. (Temple Timing: Opening time 4.00am to 12.00 noon and 5.00 pm to 8.30pm)
This is actually a Shiva temple but in fact, the only temple in the country dedicated to the Hindu Trinity, popularly known as the Thamulayan. It symbolizes Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, traditionally called as Dattatreya. The temple is a fine example of Dravidian art and architecture, several dynasties contributing to its construction and expansion. The main tower is 45m high with seven tiers beautifully sculptured. The Alankara Mandapam is an exquisite monolithic tower supported by massive pillars. This is the place where Indra was purified, thus giving the name Suchi Indra. The halls inside have fine figures of sculpture and a group of musical pillars, each giving a different tune. Ther is a huge standing statue of Hanuman tm high, which is said to be the tallest in India.
Suchindram is a pilgrim town in the Kanyakumari district. There is a Thanumalayan temple in the place. This temple is a treasure of arts. The artistic skills of the architects, sculptors and craftsmen are found through their creation of the musical pillars and also the gorgeous 18 feet statue of Hanuman, The deputy of King Rama. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu Trinity Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. The Hanuman Statue and Vinayaki (The female carving of Vinaya) are found exuberantly. The Thanumalayan Temple is the repository of art treasures. Inscriptions of 9th century AD are found in this temple. Suchindram is about 13km from Kanyakumari.
Maruthuva Malai is about 10km from the Nagercoil Bus stand. Maruthuva malai is also known as the Marunthu Vazhum Malai. It means the abode is full of medicinal herbs. It forms the main park of the Western Ghats. The Maruthuva malai is a fragment of the Sanjeevi Mountain. Mythology says that Hanuman was carrying the Sanjeevi mountain from Mahendragiri to Srilanka to heal the fatal wounds fo Lakshmana, the brother of the epic hero Rama. On the way, a piece of rock feels here and named as Maruthuva Malai. It stretches for a kilometer and the altitude is 800 feet. It is in the highest point of the hill.
Murugan Kundram is about 3 km from Kanniyakumari and 15km from Nagercoil. This place is very calm and it is under the Auguest aegis of Sun and the moon. The five day to visit this place is on ‘Chithra pournami’ a full moon day in the month of April.
Chidaraal is a place in Kanyakumari district, which is 45 kms away from the capital city. There is a Jain Temple in this place which is exactly on the hill rock. The temple has the sculptures in it that are of the Jain Thirtankaras. The temple in chidaraal and the sculptures found in the temple are preserved by the Archaeological survey of India. They have maintained this in good condition. Chitaral cave converted in to Bagavathi temple in the 13th century AD. The Jain images have been preserved here without any modification.
Very near the railway station is the ancient Shiva temple said to be a thousand years old. As history speaks of the temple, it is said to have been constructed by the Great Chola King Raja Raja cholan. The architectures and inscriptions purely resemble the Chola Style architecture. This temple is located near the railway station. In this temple tourists and visitors can find 16 inscriptions that are said to have been inscribed during the 11th century A.D. Tourists are allowed for visit from 6.00 A.M. to 11.15 AM. and from 5.00 pm to 8.45 p.m.
There is a temple of Lord Vinayaka in this place called Keralapuram. This place is located near Thukalay. The idol of the Lord Vinayaka confuses the pilgrims. The uniqueness about it is that it changes its colour. It is found to be black for the first six months and then changes its colour to white for the next six months.
NAGERCOIL NAGARAJA TEMPLE
Nagarcoil is the capital city of the Kanyakumari district. There is a Nagaraja temple, located here, which is very famous. The pillars in this temple are inscribed with the figures of the Jain Theerthangaras, Mahavira and Parsavanathar. The entrance to this temple is exactly the replica of the Chinese architecture of a Buddhist Vihar.
Thiruvattar a town of the Kanyakumari district is 70 km away from the city headquarters. The finest specimens of temple art, architecture and crafts are found here. The temple here is one of the finest specimens in temple architecture. The walls of the shrine have many ancient paintings which are worth seeing. Mathoor Thottipalam is one of the largest and highest bridges near this place. The lush grass surroundings and scenic beauty attract many visitors to this place for picnic.
This temple in Vallimalai is constructed on a rock cut hill which is 300 steps atop from the plains. The temple as a whole is located inside a cave. The cave temple is found to be built in 3 successive levels. The elevation increases level after level. The shrines of Vinayakar and Kasi Viswanathar are found in this temple. The construction in this temple is attributed to the Pallava and Nayak rulers.
ERAYOOR IRUL NEEKEESWARAR TEMPLE
Erayoor is a place located at Sriperumputhur. There is a Siva temple in this place. The idol in this temple is named as Irul Neekeeswarar which denotes that, God who removes the darkness of life. The temple consists of five holy tanks. The five tanks are namely Siva Theertham (Mahadev Tank), Bramma Theertham (Pookulam), Vishnu Theertham (Neerkulam), Rudra Theertham (Theeradikulam) and Maheeswara Theertham (Allikulam). The holy tree of this temple is Kadamela. According to legends Virutham, moon god, Sun god and Agarthiya worshipped the supreme God – Lord Shiva, in this temple.
This shrine is situated on the west of the main road. It is about a thousand years old. The architecture and sculpture of the temple is very grand. The principal deity is Shiva in the linga form installed on a raised platform which can be reached by a flight of steps. on either side are the shrines for Narasimha and Vinayaka. The architecture appears to be in Chola style. The inscriptions mention that the construction of the temple was by Rajendra Chola.
Raghaveshwara Temple is about 6km from Nagercoil. Situated on the banks of river Palayar, a small village called Driasanamcope near Bhutapandi, is famous for the temple dedicated to Shiva as Raghaveshwara and his consort Ulaganayaki. The name of the village is derived from the words Thiru, Saram and Corpu, denoting the place where the arrow of Sri Rama pierced the body of Tataka. The red-stained rock known as Tatakamelai resembles the body of a gigantic woman with matted locks. The central shrine of the Shiva temple is built over a platform and the exterior portion contains a beautiful idol of Dakshinamurthy. This temple is said to have been built by Raja Raja Chola.
Thippathiswaram is about 5km from Nagercoil. A famous Vaishnavite temple situated at this village, considered as one of the Divyasthans. As this deity has been glorified by the saint Nammalwar, it is considered as the second Tirupati in South India. Tradition says that Vishnu blessed young Nammalwar, as a result of which he was able to compose the famous Nalayara Prabandhan, containing 4000 verses. The presding deity in the shrine is called Thiruvalamba, which means the Lord holding Lakshmi in his chest. As such, there is no separate shrine for Lakshmi in this temple.
Sri Bhagavathi Amman Temple, Mandaikadu
Mandaikadu is about 95km from Tirunelveli. The temple is built in the simple style of Kerala tradition. The root of the temple has orange color tiles. An anthill touching the roof is also here. We can see the face of Goddess Bhagavathi at the upper end. People cook a pudding here with rice flour, sugar, and jiggery. The name of this pudding is Mandaiappam. It is offered to the Goddess for a relief from headache. None is disappointed here. it is widely said by the people. Devotees aspiring for marriage alliance to be concluded and children visit this temple for their fulfillment of expectations. Festivals: 10 days in Masi (during the months of March and April). Phone: 04651-246223.
Places in Kanyakumari
Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Cape Comorin
Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built in the year of 1970. This memorial is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, the greatest social reformer and saint that India has ever produced. The Swami Vivekananda had meditated on this rock where the memorial stands today at the end of 1892 before his departure to Chicago to participate in the World Religious conference in 1893. A Meditation hall is also attached with this memorial.
The twin rocks lying about 200 m east of the Cape in the bay of Bengal present an impressive sight. Swamy Vivekananda is said to have meditated on this rock before he decided to proceed bo America to attend the Parliament of Religions at Chicago. Thereafter, the rocks came to be called as Vivekananda Rocks. On these rocks stand the Vivekananda Memorial Monument built in 1970 with a blend of the architectural style of the country. A beautiful statue of the Swamiji is enshrined in the main hall. One can see the Sri Pada Parai, the foot prints of Kanyakumari Devi, who did penance on this rock. Ferry services are available to visit the memorial monuments during the day.
Swami Vivekananda Mandapam
Swami Vivekananda mandapam has Dhyana mandapam that is mediation hall with six adjacent rooms. Saba Mandapam includes Pralima Mandapam, which has two rooms a corridor, and an open Prakaram. Mukha Mandapam and the front entrance steps into two rooms and a corridor is below the steps.
Sripada Mandapam consist of Sanctum, sanctorum, the inner prakaram, the outer prakaram and out platform all around. Both the mandapms are well designed so the vision of Swamiji in the statue would be seen direct towards the sripadam.
Tiruvalluvar Statue in Cape Comorin
A huge statue of the Tamil Savant Poet, Tiruvalluvar has been installed on the minor rock adjacent to the Vivekananda Memorial Rock. This statue is 95 feet in height placed on a 38 feet high pedestal. This pedestal is surrounded by an artistic mandapam known as Alangara mandapam. 140 steps are constructed inside the madapam to help the visitors to worship the holy feet of saint Thiruvalluvar. Adhara Petham. Signifying the 133 chapters of the Thirukkural. The right hand of Thiruvalluvar with three fingers pointing skywards signifies the three cantos of Thirukkural, Aram, Porul and Inbam. The monument is a cultural fusion and has been built conforming to traditional Indian architecture. Provision has been made to provide a hollow portion inside the statue from toe to scalp. Visitors will not allowed to scale. They will be permitted to climb up to the foot of the statue.
The statue of Thiruvalluvar is fully made of granite stones weighing 7000tones and comprises 3681 pieces of granite boulders each weighing 3 – 8 tones.
At the land’s end lies a small memorial monument for Mahatma Gandhi on the spot where the urn containing his ashes were kept for public view before being immersed at the confluence of the three seas. The architecture of this monument is so designed to allow the rays of the Sun fall on the spot where the urn was originally kept, on the 2nd October, his birth day.
The memorial on the seashore commemorates Thiru.K. Kamarajar, the former Chief Minister and freedom fighter of Tamil Nadu.
It has a rich collection of bronzes, coins, tribal objects, wood carvings and zoological and botanical specimens. It also exhibits a “Temple Car” from Samythoppu and Wales Bones from Manavalakurichy.
Kumari Hall of History.
Kanniyakumari is the wonderful treasure of manuscript and photo art galleries. Kumari hall of history is located near the KanniyaKumair Railway station. It is about 1 km from the bus stand. We can see the photo art galleries of our leading personalities and freedom fighters. Visiting time: 9.30 am to 9.00pm. Phone: 04652-248448.
Nagercoil is about 19km from Kanyakumari. The Nagaraja temple is located here. Nagaraja (the Serpent God) is the presiding deity; the images of Lord Siva and Anantha Krishna are also enshrined here. The Images of the Jain Teerthankaras and Mahavira or found on the pillars of this temple. The Nagaraja is installed on the ground where it was originally found and the sand scooped out is given us prasadam to the devotees. The entrance of this temple has the Chinese architecture of Buddhist vihara. Named after the temple, the deity is dedicated to Nagaraja, the king of serpents, this temple is unique in many respects. In fact, the presiding deities are Shiva and Vishnu enshrined in the same complex. The original temple appears to have been a Jain shrine as evidenced by the prominent figures of Jaina Tirthankaras on the pillars and the idols of Mahavira and Parshwanatha on the ground. The idol of Nagaraja is enshrined in the place where it was found. The sand around the deity is scooped out and given to the devotees. It is also noteworthy that the entrance to the temple ahs a peculiar architecture resembling a Chinese Buddhist Vihara.
Kalakkadu and Mndanthurai
These wild life sanctuaries are situated in an extensive preserve: later declared as project Tiger reserve. Kalakkadu is situated in an area of 223 sq.km in Thirunelveli district. The flora ranges from tropical wet evergreen to tropical dry deciduous and thorn forest at down hills. Lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri Langur, bonnet macaque and common langur etc.
St. Mary’s Church
In the township almost near the shore is a beautiful Roman Catholic Church dedicated to St. Mary. It is a huge monument with a central tall tower and two others at the sides. It is one of the biggest churches in South India.
Vetta Kottai Forts
Vetta Kottai Forts is about 6km from Nagercoil. A little away from the town on the main road is the 18th century historical fort overlooking the sea. As the beach is clean and with the sea calm, it is ideal for bathing and serves also as a fine picnic spot.
Muttam is about 18km from Nagercoil. A fine beach is located here. It is about 40km from Kanayakumari. A lighthouse is also here. It is in the view of picturesque setting. This place is a perfect spot for relaxation.
Pechiparai and Peruchni Dams
Pechiparai Dam is about 56km from Nagercoil. The site of this dam is a very good picnic spot. It is situated at a distance. Boating facilities are also available in this dam.
Thirucharanthumalai 65km is about 65 km from Kanyakumari. This is an ancient Jain pilgrim centre, very near Chittaral, having fine sculpture of Jain Tirthankaras. The name of the village means The holy hills to Charanars, which means the abode of Jain monks. There are cave temples divided into several chambers, each having an idol of a Jain Tirthankara. There is also a shrine for goddess Padmavati. This is also a fine picnic spot and ideal locality for trekking.
Udayagiri Forts is about 34km from Kanyakumari. This fort is situated near the main road leading to Padmanabhapuram. Built during the regime of king Marhanda Varma (1729 -1758), it had an ancient foundry for casting guns. It is said that a Dutch General by name De Lennoy became the prisoner of the king when the Dutch army was defeated at Colachel in 1741. Later, the General became a trusted friend of Marthanda Varma and helped him in training the state army in modern methods of fighting. The tomb of the General is situated within this fort.
Tirupparappu Water Falls
Tirupparappu Water Falls is about 15km from Nagercoil. The temple of Mahadeva at this place is a popular Shiva temple. The very word of the village denotes a pavilion of beauty and sacredness. The panoramic view of the shrine with green hills and perennial river Kodayar running in front of the shrine is really fascinating and attractive. The sparkling water falls on the southwestern side of the temple is a rich feast for the eyes. Thus, the pavilion presents a peerless treasure of scenic beauty and enchantment. It is said that a shrine of Bhadrakali is situated within a cave by the side of the waterfalls. As such, the local people call the waterfalls as Bhadrakali falls.
Padmanabhapuram Palace is about 25km from Nagercoil. This one time capital of Travancore until 1798AD., is known for its fort which encloses among other buildings, a palace and a temple. The two exquisite monuments are the contribution of Kerala to Tamil Nadu. The Maharaja of Travancore for retreat frequented the splendid fort and the Pagoda style palace. The palace has now been converted as a museum containing a fine collection of stone sculptures, wooden carvings, ancient furniture and epigraphical records. This palace is worth visiting for its fine and Neerapure(bathing place) are worth seeing for their functional design. Adjoining the palace is the Ramaswamy temple where the Ramayana story scenes have been carved in 45 panels.
Government Fruit Farm
Government fruit farm is about 2km from the Nagercoil road, Kanyakumari. Varieties of fruits, hundreds of planets, different species of trees etc are seen here. Visiting time: 9.00 am to 11.am and 1.00pm to 3.00pm. Saturdays and Sundays and all government holidays are holidays to this park.
Bay watch, the Sun city
Bay watch is the beautiful amusement park in Kanyakumari. It is a water theme park. This park is about 2km from the Kovalam road. This park has playful activities such as Crazy chairs, Flying Elephant, Hotel teacups, Wave pool, Sky train, cape train, multiple spalsh, Milky Wayetc. Timings: 10am to 7.30pm. Phone: 04652-246563,246565.
Mathur Hanging Bridge
Mathur hanging bridge is about 26km from Nagercoil and 3km from Thiruvattar town and 60km from kanyakumari. The bridge was constructed at Mathur. It is across the river parazhiyar. The bridge water is used for irrigation from onside of a hill to the other side of a hill. The height of this trough was seven feet and the width is seven feet six inches. This bridge has 28 huge pillars are shouldering the canal. There is a staircase from the top to the bottom of the bridge. Children’s park and bathing platforms are also available here.
Peer Mohammed Dargha
Peer Mohammed Dargha is about 1km from Thuckalay bus stand. This Dargha had its name from the great philosopher Mohamed Appa, Who was born in Tenkasi of Thirunelveli district. After spending times in spiritual pursuits in Peermedu of Kerala state, he came and stayed at Thukala. He was a great Tamil poet and wrote many books for Philosophy.
Where is Kanyakumari?
How to reach Kanyakumari by Flight?
The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, only 87km from Kanniyakumari. Thiruvananthapuram is well connected by both rail and bus route to Kanyakumari.
How to reach Kanyakumari by Train?
The train station is about one km north of the main temple. It is connected to Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Bengaluru and many important cities in Tamil Nadu..
Railway Station Enquiry: 04652-246247
How to reach Kanyakumari by Bus?
The bus station is about 500m west of main temple. SETC buses connect it Madurai (Tamil Nadu) 245km and Chennai 689km, Thiruvananthapuram 87km and Rameswaram 295km. Regular bus services from several tourist centres and cities in Tamil Nadu.
Bus terminal enquiry : 04652-246019.
Local town buses, autorickshaws, and tourist taxis are available for tourist places within the town and around.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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What is famous in Kanyakumari?
Kanyakumari is famous for its sunrise and sunsets, Vivekananda Rock, Thiruvalluvar statue, Kumari Amman Temple, Thanumalayan Temple, Government Museum, Udayagiri Fort, Vattakottai Fort, padmanabhapuram palace etc.
Which state of Kanyakumari?
Kanyakumari is one of the important Distict in Tamil Nadu, India .
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