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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