A Glimpse of the southernmost end of Bharath – Kanyakumari

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2009- “A week ago my aunt and her family visited us for a summer vacation, as we lived in Trivandrum, Kerala. We planned a road trip to Kanyakumari we hired a taxi and our journey began…..

Towards the southernmost end of Bharath – Kanyakumari.”

Kanyakumari is a town in Kanyakumari District in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The name comes from the Devi Kanya Kumari Temple in the region. It is the southernmost tip of peninsular India and is a popular tourist destinatiom as there are many interesting places to visit in Knayakumari.

Kanyakumari has been a great centre of art and religion for decades and centuries. Kanyakumari was also recognised as a place of trade and commerce. It was ruled by the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks, the architectural beauty of the temples in this area are the works of these rulers.

Kanyakumari was under the rule of the Pandyan Kings till the downfall of Pandyas, and later by kings of Travancore under the overall empire of the British until 1947, when India became independent. Travancore joined the independent Indian Union in 1947. The reign of the Travancore royals came to an end.

In 1949, Kanyakumari became part of the reconstituted Travancore-Cochin State. Around this time, a popular agitation by the Tamil-speaking people of the district for the amalgamation of Kanyakumari District with Tamil Nadu intensified under the leadership of Marshal Nesamony.

Kumari Thanthai Marshal Nesamony was instrumental in the merger of Kanyakumari district with Tamil Nadu, formally known as Madras State, in 1956 during the linguistic reorganisation of states.

Why Kanyakumari?

Since the early 1970s, tourism has been an industry in the town.

Kanyakumari is especially popular in India for its spectacular and unique sunrise (Suryodaya) and sunset (Suryaasth); one can also see the moon-rise (Chandrodaya) and sunset (Suryaasth) at the same time.

The place takes its name from the goddess Devi Kanya Kumari, considered to be a sister of Krishna. The temple here is a Shakti Peetha, one of the holiest shrines of the Mother goddess.

People from all over India who desire to devote their life as Sanyasin come here and take the deeksha.
Swami Vivekananda came to this temple as directed by his Guru Shri Ramakrishna Parama Hamsa, being a Sanyasin.

The temple is very old and is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature.

The beach sands are multi-coloured and likened to a mythological story.

6 Interesting places to visit in kanyakumari

Thiruvalluvar Statue

Thiruvalluvar StatueThe Thiruvalluvar Statue has a height of 95 feet (29 m) and stands upon a 38 foot (11.5 m) pedestal. The statue standing on the pedestal represents “wealth” and “pleasures”, signifying that wealth and love earned and enjoyed on the foundation of solid virtue.

The combined height of the statue and pedestal is 133 feet denoting the 133 chapters in the Thirukkural. It has a total weight of 7000 tons. The statue, with its slight bend around the waist is reminiscent of a dancing pose of the ancient Indian deities like Nataraja.

It was sculpted by the Indian sculptor Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, who also created the Iraivan Temple. Its opening ceremony was on 1 January 2000. The monument was hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26 December 2004.

“When I saw this state I could not believe my eyes and I was standing beside the statue and my neck was extremely paining as I tried my best to see the tip of the statue, but it seemed impossible.”

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Vivekananda Rock MemorialIt was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock.  A meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam) is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate.

The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda.

“Yes, like all of you I had heard I lot about guru Vivekananda but never was much interested about his books and philosophy. But once when I saw his statue inside his temple I felt curious, I asked my father and he did explain about Vivekananda to his extent of knowledge.

And you know what Mr Amitabh Bachchan has also donated funds towards this memorial maintenance along with many other legends.”

Gandhi Memorial

Gandhi MemorialThe Gandhi Memorial has been built on the spot where the urn containing the Mahatma’s ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Resembling central Indian Hindu temples in form, the memorial was designed in such a way that on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where his ashes were kept.

“I was excited when heard about Bapu’s ashes kept for public viewing. But yes of course we could never witness the auspicious sunrise rays on 2nd October.”

Bhagavathy Amman Temple

Bhagavathy Amman TempleKumari Amman Temple is a 3000-year-old temple dedicated to Goddess Kumari Amman located at Kanyakumari. Kumari Amman is one of the forms of Devi, popularly known as “Kumari Bhagavathy Amman”.

Kumari Bhagavathy Amman temple is the first Durga temple created by Lord Parasurama and one of the 108 Shakthi Peethas. This temple is situated at the shore of the sea. Kumari temple has been mentioned in Ramayana, Mahabaratha and Purananooru.

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram PalaceThis granite palace is a fortress and was the residence of the Travancore rulers. It was constructed around 1601 AD. This palace also has a small museum that contains various artifacts from the older times.

The complete construction of the palace is undertaken by sing wood, iron, copper and all other natural minerals. This palace is the only tourist attraction at Kanyakumari where photography is restricted.

“Whoa, a palace…. I had visited a real palace. Where you can see amazing artifacts carved by ancient workmen sing wood. The ruler’s bed and the queen’s swing were my favourites.”

Last but not the least…..

The Triveni Sangam

The word Triveni Sangam describes the confluence or watermeet of 3 oceans in Kanyakumari. The Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet in Kanyakumari.

This point is considered very sacred for Hindus as they believe that bathing in Triveni Sangam washes all their sins. The exact point of watermeet cannot be seen but there will be slight colour change of water.

“I have always been a water baby and my favourite part of this trip was at the beach, where like every other child, I had fun writing my name, collecting sea shells, playing with the water waves and also I had witnessed sun set for the first time in my life. Trust me I was awestruck. Wait, are you thinking that why didn’t I mention about sunrise but sunset, friends that was our bad luck we reached Kanyakumari on time but it was cloudy at the time of sunrise and we missed it. Natural problems can’t help. #Wink!!”

“Being a teenager when my mother asked me to start packing as we were going to Kanyakumari, I just thought it will be a boring pilgrimage just like any other temple.

But after being there I feel blessed and proud to be an Indian.

Now, that I have given you interesting information about places to visit in kanyakumari. Let us kick start our journey towards the end of the world, oops..!! Our world INDIA.

Enjoy the beauty, the coastal panorama, the pleasant soothing atmosphere and don’t miss the feel we get while in Kanyakumari.Happy Travelling

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About Author

Naval Gupta, an entrepreneur who runs faster than the clock and has very less time to spare for himself, somehow finds time to write! Ask him why, he says ' writing is that fun time activity with which I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Travelling and trekking being one of his favorite activities, he cant stop his hands when he starts writing on travel. His articles hit the bulls eye and are to the point as he believes in ' seedi baat- no bakwaas'. With lots of information written in simple English, his articles will definetly inspire you to pack your bags and start travelling.

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