Kanyakumari, also known as Cape Corim is the southernmost point of peninsular India
and the meeting point of three oceans-the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the
Indian Ocean. Besides its importance as a Hindu pilgrim center, it is famous for
its beautiful views of sunrise and sunset over the waters. The multicolored sand
is a unique feature of the beach here. The rich history and the cultural heritage
of Kanyakumari is one of mixed culture and profound heritage. The city of Kanyakumari
have been around for thousands of years as it has been the city of culture, history,
arts, economy and the hub of civilization for centuries.
There are no words that can completely describe the beauty of Kanyakumari and it
remains one of the most popular tourist destinations of south India. Located in
the southernmost point of the Indian mainland, it is a magnificent place of natural
beauty where you can see the deep blue waters of the ocean meeting the horizon.
This southernmost town of Tamil Nadu is an important attraction for the tourists.
Before you set out on a tour, you should have enough information about Kanyakumari
that would help you explore the town conveniently.
Kanyakumari, the smallest district in Tamil nadu is having places of legendary,
historical and artistic importance. The Western Ghats ending into green hills perennial
rivers, lotus filled tanks, dense forests with wild elephants, extensive paddy fields,
rich palm grooves, wavy coconuts gardens and a carved coastal line of nearly 70
km length are the unique natural features of the Land's End-promontory of India
Traveling in such a small, old and beautiful district is not only a feast to the
eyes but to the mind also.
There are several special features of Kanyakumari. The first and the foremost one
is that is in the name of Devi Parashakthi who is doing eternal penance as a Virgin
Goddess named Kanyakumari at the confluence of the three oceans and radiating sanctity
all around. The sand of the coastal area is rich in minerals Ilmenite, Monosite
and even Thorium.
In Tamil nadu rubber and clove are cultivated only in Kanya kumari district. The
quality of rubber produced in Kanyakumari is one of the best in the world and the
yield per acre is also very high compared to other parts. A large variety of medical
plants like Rauwolfia, Serpentina are also found here. Even one of the hills on
the highway between Nagercoil and Kanyakumari is known as Marunthuvaal malai(medicinal
Kanyakumari was once referred to as the Alexandria of the east. This place has been
a great center for art, culture, civilization, and pilgrimage for years. It was
also a famous center for commerce and trade. During the early part of the eighth
century AD Islam entered the southern part of India through the sea route with traders
and missionaries. Through St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, Christianity
arrived in this area in AD 52. Islam, Christianity and Jainism have greatly contributed
to the architectural wealth and literary heritage of this place.
According to Hindu legend, Kanya Devi, an avatar of Parvati, was to marry Lord Shiva,
but as he failed to show up on his wedding day, the rice and other grains meant
for the wedding feast remained uncooked and remain unused thereafter. As the legend
goes, the uncooked grains turned into stones as time went by. Some believe that
the small stones which look like rice on the shore today are indeed grains of the
wedding that was never solemnized. Kanya Devi is now considered a virgin goddess
who blesses pilgrims and tourists who flock the town.
On your travel to Kanyakumari, you will come across the Kumari Amman Temple which
is devoted to the goddess Parvathi. The life-like image of Devi with a smiling face
is a combination of innocence, purity and beauty. Devi is always smeared with sandal
paste, decked with different varieties of valuable ornaments and decorated with
beautiful garlands of flowers.
The renowned Vivekananda Rock Memorial is built in several architectural styles
off the coast on rocks that project from the Indian Ocean. The reputed Vivekananda
Rock Memorial on the sea-girl rock is a "visible symbol of invisible strength,
invisible faith and burning devotion that Swami Vivekananda personified.
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.
Three day long festival is celebrated in the month of October.
The 133 feet high statue of Thiruvalluvar in the mid-sea at Kanyakumari which was
erected by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr.Karunanidhi is unique and colossal
in size and has no parrallel anywhere in the world. This statue is enhancing the
appeal of Kanyakumari and spreading the message of the universal poet all over the
world through the lakhs of tourists who throng Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumari is home to lots of other tourist attractions including the Gandhi Memorial,
Government Museum and Sripada Parai where the virgin goddess is believed to have
set her foot. Lots of important landmarks are located close to the town and a day
trip to those places would definitely make for a wonderful travel experience. Kanyakumari
is also popular for its mouthwatering regional cuisine that is available in a large
number of hotels and restaurants. There are many food and beverage outlets that
are located near the important tourist attractions and you should not miss out the
lip-smacking seafood which is served there.
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.