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.
The City Of Kanyakumari
At the southern most land tip of India, where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet, lies Kannyakumari, an important pilgrim centre. Kannyakumari is famous for its beach and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, especially on full moon days. Kanyakumari is also famous for its vast green stretches of paddy fields, rich forests, coconut groves and mineral sands.
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.
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.
Major Tourist Attractions in Kanyakumari
Close to the sea shore of Kanyakumari, the Kanyakumari Temple is one of the major tourist attractions in south India. The temple is dedicated to Parvati as Devi Kanya, the Virgin Goddess who did penance to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva. The deity, Devi Kanyakumari is' the protector of India's shores' has an exceptionally brilliant diamond on her nose ring which is supposed to shine out to sea. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple premise.
The Gandhi Mandapam is located very close to the Kumari Amman Temple. This is the place where the urn containing the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi was kept for public view before a portion of its contents was immersed in the three seas. It resembles an Oriyan temple and was designed so that on Gandhiji's birthday (2nd October), the sun's rays fall on the place where his ashes were kept.
Built in the memory of Swami Vivekananda in 1970, the Vivekananda Memorial is about 500 m away from mainland. This memorial stands on one of two rocks separated by about 70 m. The greatest social reformer and saint, Swamy Vivekananda spent some time meditating on the rock where the memorial stands today. A meditation hall is also attached with the memorial. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda. The divine foot print
'Pada Parai' of Devi is also seen here. Ferry service is available to reach the memorial.
About 13 kms. from Kanniyakumari, Suchindram has a temple dedicated to a deity who is the representation of the combined forces of Siva, Vishnu and Brahma. It is one of the few temples in the country where the Trinities are worshipped. The temple has a beautiful gopuram, musical pillars and an excellent statue of the Hanuman, apart from a valuable collection of art from different periods.
How to get there
By 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.
By 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.
Excellent accommodation facilities are offered in and around Kanyakumari. In order to make the travel tour to Kanyakumari even more entertaining you need to pick just the right kind of accommodation for you and your family or friends in Kanyakumari. The various hotels in Kanyakumari offer world class facilities, as per the tourists choice. You may take your pick from a range of luxury and budget hotels in Kanyakumari besides the star categorized hotels around the landmarks of Kanyakumari.