Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, Kanyakumari is a coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu. Earlier known as Cape Comorin, Kanyakumari is surrounded by mountains and bordered by vibrant sea shores, lined with paddy fields and coconut trees, and also boasts of aesthetic elevated patches of hills with undulating valleys and plains in between the sea and the mountainous terrain. Ever since ancient times, Kanyakumari has been one of the major centres of religion, art and culture. Famous for being the only place in India where you can observe the sunrise and sunset at the same beach, Kanyakumari is a very popular tourist destination, not just because of this unique geographical phenomenon, but also because of its pristine beaches as well as its temples and churches which attract a huge number of tourists to this city all year round.
The Kanyakumari temple, also known as the Bhagvaty Amman Temple or the Kumari Amman temple is one of the major Hindu temples all across India. Built in dedication to Goddess Kumari Amman, the temple finds mention in almost all ancient Hindu scriptures and is frequented by pilgrims looking to pay their respects to the virgin goddess Kanya Devi.
One of the most iconic monuments in the city, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a gigantic structure surrounded on all sides by the Laccadive Sea, so the only way you can reach the monument is by taking a boat/ferry ride. Built by the Ramakrishna Mission, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is dedicated to the great philosopher Swami Vivekananda who used to meditate here. The memorial comprises of two main structures – the Shripada Mandapam and the Vivekananda Mandapam, with an attached meditation hall for visitors to sit and meditate in.
Kanyakumari is also home to the Statue of the Saint Poet Thiruvalluvar, one of the greatest Tamil poets in India. Standing at a massive height of 133 feet, the statue is one of the biggest in the entire Asian subcontinent and is the result of the hard work of over 500 sculptors. Other historic sights that you can visit in Kanyakumari include the Padmanabhapuram Palace, the Vattakottai Fort, and the Gandhi Memorial.
Apart from historic monuments and buildings, Kanmjyamurai is also famed for its beaches and waterfalls. The Kanyakumari beach is the perfect place where you can spend a lazy afternoon sitting on the white sand and sipping a cool drink. Unlike the beaches in Goa which tend to be a little overpopulated, the Kanyakumari beach is a lot less crowded and is the best place to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. Waterfalls in Kanyakumari that you should not miss out on include the Thirparappu falls, the Courtallam Falls, and the Olakaruvi falls.
Kanyakumari has an authentic South Indian cuisine, with seafood and coconuts being an integral part of almost all dishes. Starting from light snacks to full course gourmet menus, Kanyakumari delights tourists with the numerous options it offers for eating out. While Kanyakumari is not a traditional shopping destination, you can buy plenty of souvenirs and curios from the numerous stalls and boutiques dotting the beachfront, with decorative seashell trinkets being a must-buy.
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You can find temples, churches, religious pillars and statues everywhere to keep you fascinated. The mixed culture of the place is reflected in the art, architecture and even in the local cuisine. If you are a history buff, you can undertake an excursion to the Kumari Amman Temple or to the Vattakottai Fort that stands erect even today. And if you wish to chill out at a seashore, Sanguthurai Beach, Sothavilai Beach amongst plenty others on the coastline are exotic and the perfect place to spend the evening. The wax museum is a different yet equally alluring hotspot for vacationers and is worth a visit.
Kanyakumari as a tourist destination can be described simply as, ‘ONE PLACE THAT SATISFIES ALL INTEREST’. The Vivekananda rock memorial is one of the oldest heritage structure built and allows one to witness both sunrise and sunset. Trust me and don't miss this place. Amongst all the temples, the Kanyakumari temple is the most auspicious and oldest temple here. In between the greenery and seas, Kanyakumari allows one’s eyes to witness all natural shades and experience peace.
- Carry camera, torch, light and fully covered clothes, proper footwears, munchies, beverages and water along
- Since the early 1970s, tourism has been an industry in the town. Because of this, it is one of the few small towns in South India where one can hear many different street Indian languages. Lately, the promotion of tourism has increased, with increasing emphasis on attractions outside the town, such as the surrounding landscapes, as well as the historical and religious sites found around the district. Ultimately a total of 1.9 million tourists visited Kanyakumari in 2007. Kanyakumari is notable for pilgrimage and tourism. The place takes its name from the goddess Devi Kanya Kumari, considered to be a sister of Krishna. Women pray to her for marriage. The goddess is believed to be the one who removes the rigidity of one's mind. The temple here is a Shakti Peetha, one of the holiest shrines of the Mother goddess.
Kanyakumari is famous for its sunsets and sunrise. Being the Southern most tip of India, it is filled with a number of beaches. An important pilgrimage spot for both Christians and Hindus.
Crowded and dirty in peak seasons. Can be quite hot and humid during summers.
Kanyakumari is considered an ideal destination to spend your vacations with your family. It is also a great pilgrimage spot owing to a number of temples and ashrams located in the city. Apart from this, Kanyakumari is also a delight for nature and beach lovers as the sunset and sunrise offer one of the best landscapes of nature.