Tour to Kanyakumari

wilson vacation rentals offers you complete city information on Kanyakumari, the places to see in Kanyakumari, the places to visit around Kanyakumari, the tourist attractions of Kanyakumari, popular trips from Kanyakumari, excursions from Kanyakumari, events and festivals celebrated in Kanyakumari and Nagercoil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you heard of Nagercoil?

Overview

Nagercoil or 'Nagarammankoil', as it is popularly known, also remains as a centre of tourist attraction. You will find junglee Asambu hills, kalakad hills and famous Courtallam - the local Niagara, the elephant sanctuary at Mundanthurai and so on are within an hour drive. You can reach Kerala, the god's own country, at about two hours dirve.

Nagercoil is the capital of Kanyakumari.  It was a part of Kerala, the erstwhile Travancore state, till almost a decade after India's Independence from Britain in 1947. In 1956, it was merged with Tamil Nadu. Nagercoil derived its name from a famous old Jain temple (1000 years back) called Naga Raja Temple (temple of the serpent king) which still exists in the central part of the town. Originally a Jain temple, it is now an important temple for the local Hindus and is also a tourist attraction. The Nagaraja temple situated here is unique in many respects. Though Nagaraja (Serpent God) is the presiding deity, the images of Siva and Anathakrishna (Vishnu) are also enshrined. The Nagaraja is installed on the ground where it was originally found. The prasadam distribution to the devotees is wet sand scooped out from the ground where the image of the Nagaraja deity is enshrined. The images of the Jain Theerthakaras, Mahavira and Parswanathar are found in the pillars of the temple. The entrance to the temple is reminiscent of the Chinese architecture of Budha Vihara. The Nagalinga flower found here is also symbolic of Nagaraja. In earlier days, Nagercoil and its surroundings were known as Nanjilnadu .

History

Nagercoil came under the rule of various kingdoms, notably the Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms. Historical records reveal that these kingdoms fought over the control of the fertile area of Nagercoil and Kottar (a town mentioned in old Tamil writings and maps of ancient India). Archaeological records also show Jain influences in ancient times.

The modern history of the town is interwoven with the history of Travancore. The modern town of Nagercoil grew around Kottar, now a part of Nagercoil. The town came into prominence during and after the reign of Maharaja Marthanda Varma, the king of erstwhile Travancore, the capital of which was Padmanabhapuram, about 20 km to the north of Nagercoil. The capital was later shifted to Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum), the present capital of Kerala state, about 65 km to the north of Nagercoil.

Foreign colonial powers, most notably the Dutch, tried colonizing the areas around Nagercoil and Colachel during the 18th century, but were subdued. The Dutch East India Company(also known as Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC), with a keen eye on the spices of Travancore, tried to establish a trading post at the port town of Colachel, near Nagercoil. In the Battle of Colachel, a Dutch naval fleet under the command of Captain Eustachius De Lenoy (locally called as Valia Kaaptain) gained control of the lands from Colachel to Nagercoil, but was subsequently defeated by the Travancore forces. The Dutch incurred severe losses and were forced to retreat back to their ships. Captain De Lenoy and 24 other Dutch men were taken as prisoners, but in a strange story of trust and understanding between the King (Marthanda Varma) and the European naval commander (De Lenoy), De Lenoy was released. Later he proved his trust and mettle to the king and was eventually made the commander of the entire Travancore Forces. De Lenoy taught the use of gun powder and modern arms to his forces and modernised the Travancore Army on European lines. He increased the strength of the regiments, built forts and established defences at key places (some forts like Udayagiri and Vattakottai near Nagercoil were built under his guidance). Captain De Lenoy was a skilled military strategist and won many battles for Marthanda Varma. During this period, Travancore grew in size and strength. Captain De Lenoy is buried in a small chapel inside Udayagiri Fort, near Nagercoil.

From the middle of the 18th century, after the reign of the great king Marthanda Varma, the successive Travancore monarchs gradually developed the whole infrastructure related to irrigation systems, dams, roads, schools (along with European missionaries), the judicial system, revenue system, literacy and awareness of the people. The British in India called Travancore a 'model native state'.

At the time of India's independence from Britain, the then Dewan of Travancore, Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyer, preferred Travancore to be a separate country, but eventually gave up after a tough stand by Sardar Vallabhai Patel. Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyer is still kept in high esteem in Nagercoil, for the many projects and developments that took place during his tenure.

When the states in India were re-organized in the 1950's, under the States Reorganisation Act, the then Government of Kerala gave Kanyakumari district to Tamilnadu (because majority of the population spoke Tamil in the district) in exchange for Palghat district.

The town, which was the second most important town in the state of Travancore, after the capital Trivandrum, became less important in the years after India's independence and also after integrating with the state of Tamilnadu. Since it's intergration into Tamil Nadu, the city has not see any major developmental project or infrastructure development.

Spotlight

 

Nagercoil is a typical South Indian town, surrounded by Hills, lush green paddy fields & inhabited by workalcholic, hard driven, peace loving people. The city is in the, southernmost Tamil Nadu state, Southern India. Nagercoil lies west of the Aramboli Gap in the Western Ghats. It controls the major routes between Madras and Trivandrum and is a commercial centre for a rich agricultural area.  Although historically a part of the Hindu kingdom of Travancore, Nagercoil has developed as an important Christian centre. It is a district administrative center, with industries in motor repair, rubber goods, and rice- and cotton-milling. Ilmenite and monazite are mined.. The city has several colleges affiliated with Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tirunelveli. About 9 miles (14 km) west is the tourist centre of Padmanabhapuram Palace, which was formerly the residence of the Travancore raja. It is 12 kms north of Kanyakumari. It also boasts as a medical hub and has a Government Medical College. It is an important Christian center in the primarily Hindu country of India. Nagercoil has a pleasant climate for most part of the year. Nagercoil is benefited by both the north-east monsoon and the south-west monsoon.

Shops and houses crowd the sides of the roads. But, if you have the time to go behind the houses, you will be amidst lush green fields. The fields can be found right in the centre of the town. It's a town where nature is at it's best. It's a place where traditional and cultural values are respected and preserved. In the mornings you will find kolams (water pockets) adorning the front yard of houses. In the month of margali, the tamil month corresponding to December, you will find a group of young devottes singing around the huge 175 year old Kal Koil the biggest Church in the Southern Districts. Another church the Home Church has an excellent English coir with a great English service. St.Xavier's Church is the popular Roman Catholic Church built by St.Xavier.Here you can see men hurrying-scurrying around in dhothis, lungis and pants. Women in colourful saris walk at a more sedate pace. Majority of the young girls still wear a thavani or half-sari or perhaps the salwar-kameez.

There is a huge bus terminus, which is awake around the clock. There are bus routes to every place in Tamil Nadu -- inter-state buses to Trivandrum, Ernakulam, Bangalore, Kanyakumari, Madurai too -- out of this busy little town.

The railway junction is just at stone's throw from the bus terminus. Trains are available to and from all over India. It is the easiest, cheapest and most comfortable way to travel (you can book train tickets online and take a print at http://www.irctc.co.in/

Nagercoil is known for its varieties of Bananas and famous Nenthiran Chips and Puttu.. Around the bus terminus you can find a couple of sweet shops where you can get the famous Nenthiran Chips doing a brisk business.

Geography

Nagercoil is located at 8.18 N 77.43 E at the southern tip of peninsular India. Since its close proximity to the Western Ghats, the area is generally hilly. The Western Ghats is the lifeline of the town, with water sources for irrigation and drinking, climate, eco-system and biodiversity, and the local economy to a great extent (like rubber cultivation, etc), being influenced by this mountain range.

Sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, the town has some breathtaking sceneries of the surrounding hills (the Western Ghats), lush green paddy fields on the eastern side of the town, and sandy, palm-fringed beaches on the western side. A common sight to the east of Nagercoil would be the plantations of rubber, cloves and cardamom. Many of these plantations were developed by the British (rubber-plant was introduced by the English missionaries) in the pre-Indian independence days. Some of these plantation estates are still owned by the descendants of these British planters. A majority of the estates are also owned by the influential Mapillai community (Syrian Christians) of Kerala.

Being close to the cape, the town is the intersection of the eastern and western lines of the Indian Railways with one line leading through Kerala called the Konkan route and the other through the eastern part of India (through Tirunelveli of Tamilnadu). Nagerocil is 65 km from Trivandrum (the capital of Kerala) connected by National Highway 47 and 80 km from Tirunelveli connected by National Highway 7.

Connectivity:


Through air : The nearest airport is at Trivandrum (80 km). It is directly connected with Bangalore, Bombay, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, and Madras by regular flights.

Via railways : Kanyakumari is connected to Trivandrum, Delhi, and Bombay by broad-gauge railway network. Tirunelvelli (80 km) is the other nearest railway junction and can be reached by road via Nagarkoil (19 km).

By roads : Kanyakumari is connected by road to Trivandrum (86 km), Nagarkoil (19 km), Tirunelvelli (91 km), Tiruchendur (89 km), Tuticorin (129 km), Rameshwaram (300 km), Courtallam (130 km), Madurai (242 km), Thekkady (358 km), Kodaikanal (362 km), Palani (370 km), Ootacamund (576 km), Cochin (309 km), and Coimbatore (478 km).

Climate

Nagercoil has a pleasant climate for most part of the year. The maximum temperature during summer hovers around 30 degrees Celsius. Nagercoil is benefited by both the north-east monsoon and the south-west monsoon. It rains more often in this district than any other place in Tamil Nadu, with the exception of the Niligiris. The southern tip of Kanyakumari is generally 2 C to 3 C warmer than Nagercoil during daytime, though Kanyakumari is only 20 km away. Another peculiar feature is, it rains often in the interior regions (Nagercoil and near the hills) during the monsoon season, while the cape (Kanyakumari) gets scanty rainfall.

Demographics

Though the official population count (for the municipal area) is close to 2.25 lakhs, a sizable population lives around the town, making the small district of Kanyakumari, with a population of about 17 lakhs, one of the most densely populated districts in Tamilnadu and in South India.

Culture

Tamil, Malayalam(due to its proximity to Kerala) and English is widely spoken by the people. These three languages are used as a medium for teaching in all the major schools.

The culture is a mixture of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Being multi-ethnic, festivals of different ethnicity are celeberated.

Christanity, Hinduism and Islam is widely practised. Some of the prominent festivals that are celeberated here are Ayya Vaikunda Avataram festival at Swamithope, Onam, Christmas, Bhagavathy Amman Temple festival, St. Francis Xavier's feast, the Peer Mohammed Durgah at Thuckalay among others.

Influence of European missionaries

The arrival of English, German and other Western Christian missionaries in the 19th century and the development of social infrastructure by the Travancore monarchs raised the social status, literacy and educational levels of the people. Today, one finds a number of streets, schools and colleges in the town named after these European missionaries. Many of these missionaries were also noted scholars.

The European missionaries preached the importance and value of education even as early as the 19th century, because of which the socio-economic factors developed. They also converted a section of the people to Protestants. The Portuguese missionaries were responsible for converting the locals to Roman Catholics in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Of the European missionaries, the services of two missionaries are particularly laudable. One is Rev C. Mead, who after arriving in 1817 in Nagercoil, as a missionary of the London Missionary Society (LMS), made immense contributions to the cause of education in the town and in Travancore. In 1818, he founded the Nagercoil Seminary, which became one of the first regular institutes to impart English education in Travancore state and also in Southern India. In 1855, in recognition for his contributions to education, the Travancore Government appointed him Superintendent of Schools, and while in this office, he furthered the cause of education and also encouraged female education in Nagercoil and in the state of Travancore. He also started the Nagercoil Mission Press, the first printing press in the state of Travancore. Rev. Mead also fought to abolish slavery.

The other great missionary was Rev. William Tobias Ringeltaube, a native of the then Prussia (present Germany), who from 1806 to 1816 established a number of schools and worked among the poor. He started one of the first regular schools in Travancore at Mylaudy, near Nagercoil and is still active at Mylaudy.

Like the London Mission Society (LMS), another organisation that rendered valuable services to the cause of education and upliftment of the socially downtrodden was the Christian Mission Society (CMS). Both these societies still have a presence in Nagercoil (after nearly two centuries).

Local Economy

Nagercoil is the headquarters of the state owned Rubber Corporation and the regional office of the Central Rubber Board.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a major testing facility for Cryogenic and Liquid Propulsion rocket engines on the Mahendragiri hills (on the Western Ghats) off Nagercoil. A number of rocket scientists and engineers from all over India work at this facility, called the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).

The town also serves as a centre for the Koodangulam Nuclear Power Plant reactors, being built with Russian assistance, which is situated in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu, but is the closest major town to the facility.

The public sector Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IRE), also has a major facility at Manavaalakurichy, near the town.

Aralvaimozhy, near the town is a major centre for renewable-energy production, with thousands of wind-mill electricity generators on tall towers dotting the entire area. The total power generated from these wind mills are 540 MW with each wind mill generating a power output of nearly 1.65 MW. The wind mills are erected and technically-supported by multi-national majors in the field of renewable energy like Suzlon, Micon, etc. The steady flow of wind for these wind-mills is made possible because Aralvaimozhy is situated on a mountain gap (pass) in the Western Ghats, through which the wind gushes, throughout the year.

Cottage and small scale industries include coir-making, handloom-weaving, rubber products, fish-net manufacturing (exported on a large scale), food-processing units, lace-making (export-oriented), etc.

Being the major Tamilnadu town closest to the Kerala capital, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) (65 km away and the closest airport to Nagercoil), trading and sending supplies to Kerala and Trivandrum is a major activity for the bustling markets at Vadasery and Kottar (availability and many items being cheaper in Tamilnadu than in Kerala adds to the thriving business).

Education

Some schools and colleges in Nagercoil are more than 150 years old, built by the foreign missionaries. This includes the Scott Christian College.

As explained above, European missionaries, in the 19th century and early 20th century stressed the importance of education to the people of the town and district.

Educational institutions include a number of private Engineering colleges, the Government-run Kanyakumari Medical College, Polytechnic colleges and Arts and Science Colleges. As in neighbouring Kerala, women's education and career-development are given importance almost on par with men, by all communities, especially among the Christians.

Several Colleges are run by Christian denominations and includes the St. Xavier's Catholic College of Engineering, CSI Institute of Technology, Scott Christian College (Arts and Sciences College, but with some specialised departments), Holy Cross College for Women, Women's Christian College, etc.

The South Travancore Hindu College and Sivanthi Aditanar College in the town are major Hindu Arts and Sciences colleges.

The Noorul Islam College of Engineering at Kumaracoil, near the town, is a noted institution for its facilities and management education programs.

Media

The town is served by an All India Radio (AIR) station (FM) and a Doordarshan relay station. The entire district is networked for Cable TV operations, with one major operator. Mobile phone coverage of most mobile operators cover the whole district, except the forested areas on the east. Maalai Malar is a locally published evening newspaper.

Places of interest

  • Kanyakumari, the Land's end, and the confluence of the three water bodies, is 20 km to the south of Nagercoil, with tourist attractions of its own which include the Vivekanda Rock Memorial, 133 ft high statue of Tamil poet-saint Tiruvalluvar - both on the mid-sea on rocky islands; the place is also famous for its distinctly beautiful (reddish) sunrise.
  • Nagercoil is 19 kms from Kanyakumari on the way to Padmanabhapuram.
  • Vattakkotai, or Circular Fort, is a fort near Kanyakumari, right on the sea-shore. The portion running into the area is the most strongly built under the orders of De Lannoy during the reign of Mathandavarma (1729-58 AD). The view from the top of the fort, of the sea and the palm-fringed beach below, is fantastic.
  • Suchindrum (Thanumalayan) Temple, about 6 km from the heart of town and Nagaraja Temple (in the town), are some tourist attractions within the town.
  • St. Xavier Church, (Kottar, Nagercoil), built in the year 1600 AD, has historic importance due to the visit of St.Francis Xavier from Goa. The church was built in the land alloted to St. Xavier by the venad king.
  • Swamithoppe Ayya Vaikundar Pathi, about 11 km from Kanyakumari, which is the religious headquarters of Ayyavazhi, is well known for its non-idolatory system of worship.
  • Padmanabhapuram Palace (22 km from Nagercoil), once the seat of the Travancore kings, is India's only palace made completely of wood (16th century).
  • Chitharal Jain Monuments (about 25 km), impressive rock shelters and idols dated 9-11th Century.
  • Thirunandikkara temple (about 20 km), rock-cut cave temple of Pallava art can be traced back to seventh and eighth century AD.
  • Thengapattinam Beach. This beach is located on the west coast near Painkulam village in Vilancode Taluk. It is a fine beach adorned with coconut groves. It is also a magnificent estuary where the river meets the sea. Riding in a catamaran (small boat) in the river can be a pleasant experience which can be arranged through a local fisherman. It is 35 km from Nagercoil, 12 km from Kuzhithurai and 54 km from Kanniyakumari.
  • Udayagiri Fort, built by the Travancore kings around 1741 AD, is a fort previously used for training the Travancore forces and also served as Barracks. Capt. De Lenoy's (see History section) tomb is within the fort. The fort (about 90 acres and almost full of vegetation now, with several plants, reptiles, etc.) is presently declared as a bio-diversity park and maintained by the Kanyakumari forest department.
  • Mathur Hanging Trough, near Thiruvattar in the District carries irrigation water through a canal between two hills with a one kilometre gap in between (the hills). Built on very high pillars, it is said to be one of the biggest Aqueducts in South Asia. The view from the middle of the aqueduct of the surrounding hills and vegetation and the small river flowing down below is simply superb.
  • Olakaruvi waterfalls, about 20 km from Nagercoil is on the middle of a hill and requires an hour's trek by foot from the base of the hill (better to go in a group, as it is a forested area)
  • Keeriparai - for nature-lovers and adventurers, there are some good places (like Keeriparai) - still virgin - these places are not publicised by the Forest Department for various reasons - Keeriparai hills (30 km) and the nearby Kalikesam are good picnic spots - one can enjoy water rushing through small mountain streams, ferns and pebbles in the rainforests. There are small waterfalls in several areas here - the popular one being Vattaparai. Mountain squirrels, Jungle fowls, various snakes and other reptiles are among the fauna at Keeriparai. Wild elephants could be seen further up the hills.
  • Kodhayar (called Kodhayar Lower Camp) - about 60 km by mountain roads (motorable roads) with some thrilling 'hair-pin bends' and U-turns - bisons and bears are famous in this area. Access to some areas need prior permission from the Forest Department.
  • Pechiparai Reservoir, about 30 km from the town, in the hills, and also Perunchaani and Chittar dams are a must-see for the nature-lover (with clouds touching the top of the hills around the dams on a misty day !).
  • Thiruparrapu Falls, is another good waterfalls, but the 'natural ambiance' is now gone, with many artificial make-overs and over-crowding of tourists.
  • Muttom, a coastal village, is another place popular with tourists. The terrain in this village and its surroundings is hilly and from a height one can see an idyllic view of the place, with a Portuguese style church standing in the middle of the village. The beach-area is somewhat rocky. There is also a 100-year old lighthouse. The lighthouse, though near the sea, is situated on a land mass some 105 feet above sea level. The lighthouse originally came up here in olden days, because of the presence of a huge rock, near Muttom called 'Crocodile Rock'. Another attractive feature of this area, is a ravine-like area with reddish earth (soil) and casurina trees near the sea-side. This place with very popular with Tamil and Keralite film-makers.
  • Sanguthurai Beach, about 8 km from the town is a palm-fringed and sandy beach. Sothavilai Beach is another good beach, about 7 km from the heart of town. It is sandy, but hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. There is a very good lagoon (estuary - place where the river meets the sea) at Manakudy - 10 km from the town.

Fresh water supply to the town is from the Mukkadal Reservoir, about 8 km from the town, in the interior - itself a very scenic place, with a small bushy island in the middle of the dam. The dam is surrounded by hills of the Western Ghats.

Kanyakumari Beach : A spectacular destination of ancient wisdom bestowed with eternal grace of nature!

Overview:

Kanyakumari 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.

 

Kanyakumari Beach THE LAND'S END

Kanyakumari is often referred as the 'Land's End' of India. Here, the Bay of Bengal confluences with the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea and, at Chaitrapurnima (the Tamil name for all full moon day that generally falls in April), it is possible to enjoy the unique experience of seeing the sunset and the moon rise over the ocean simultaneously. The multicolored sand is a unique feature of the beach here.

Kanyakumari (also spelt as Kanniyakumari) district is contoured 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 projects into the sea at Cape Comorin. At the southern most land tip of India, where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet, lies Kanyakumari, an important revered pilgrim centre.

HISTORY
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. Kanyakumari was also under the control of the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks who were great rulers of south India. The architectural beauty of the temples is the work of these rulers.

During the British Raj, Kanyakumari was bestowed the dry title of Cape Comorin, necessitated perhaps by the Englishmen's inability to pronounce local names.

Legend has it that Kanya Devi, an avatar of Goddess Parvati, was to wed Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Hindu trinity. But he did not turn up at the auspicious time and the wedding never took place. The rice and cereals meant for the marriage remained uncooked. Even today, one can buy stones there that look exactly like rice and cereals. Local folks believe that they are the leftovers of the legendary marriage that could not be solemnized. As for the princess Kanya Devi, she became a virgin goddess blessing pilgrims and tourists alike.

Sun rolls in the sea !
Kanyakumari is famous for its beach and the magnificent sunrises and emotive sunsets, especially on full moon days. Kanyakumari is also popular for its vast foliar stretches of paddy fields, rich forests, coconut groves and mineral sands. The Kanyakumari beach has an overwhelming sight with the sand which has played with the colours of the sky. The beach here does not usually offer one the opportunities to sunbathe on soft silver sands, either to frolic in the waves or in the sands. The seashore is rocky and dangerous, and there is a manmade wall running along it. People are warned to stay off the rocks, and when if someone moves out of bounds, he or she is quickly and severely admonished by a watchful policeman. There is a lighthouse from where one can get a panoramic view. The sea is fairly rough, so it is entertaining to watch it beat itself against the rocks and then subside, before it gathers itself up for another attack. With long stretches of sands of many hues, the beach welcomes you to capture the waves of change. A spectrum of shells are on sale on the Kanyakumari beach.


Best time to visit :
Due to it's friendship with the sea, Kanyakumari enjoys a pleasant climate and can be visited throughout the year. However, the most enjoyable season to visit this place is between October and March. During summers, the temperature can elevate to a high of 34.8C while it can dip to a low of 20.4C during winters.

TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

The Kumari Amman or the Kanyakumari Temple, located on the shore, is dedicated to a manifestation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who did penance to obtain Lord Shiva's hand in marriage. The temple and the adjoining ghat, picturesquely situated overlooking the shore, attract tourist from all over the world. The diamond nose-ring of the deity is famous for its sparkling splendor said to be visible even from the sea.

 Two rocks reach out of the ocean, southeast of the Kumari Amman temple. One of these is Sri Padaparai, where the footprints of the virgin goddess are said to be imprinted on this rock, Swami Vivekananda is said to have sat in deep meditation and here also stands the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial built in 1970. There is a dhyana mandapam where one can sit in a serene atmosphere and meditate. Ferry services are available to reach the memorial.

The striking 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 so designed that on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday (October 2), the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where the ashes of the father of the nation were kept.

Kanyakumari : The epitome of attractions! 
Kanyakumari Temple: The temple overlooks the shoreline. It 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. The temple opens from 0430 to 1130 and from 1730 to 2030.

Gandhi Mandapam : Not far from the Kumari Amman Temple is the Gandhi Mandapam, constructed at the spot 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.



Vivekananda Memorial : It is about 500 meters away from mainland. This memorial stands on one of two rocks separated by about 70 meters. It was built in 1970. This memorial is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, the greatest social reformer. Swamy Vivekananda was supposed to have medicated 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. It opens from Wednesday to Monday. Tuesday is holiday. It opens from 0700 to 1100 and from 1400 to 1700.

Suchindram Temple : Just 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 Hindu 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.

Padmanabhapuram PalaPadmanabhapuram Templece :
The Padmanabhapuram Palace in Kanyakumari district, located about 15 km from Nagercoil has the rare distinction of being one of the most ancient monuments in South India. Known for its strategic planning and military architecture, the palace was the seat of power for the Travancore emperors till 1790, when the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram by Karthika Thirunal Maharaja, popularly known as Dharma Raja. Its main attraction is its sheer aesthetic beauty, innovative designs and time tested wooden carvings.

 

 

 

PLACES AROUND KANYAKUMARI

Vattakottai (literally, circular fort) is an 18th-century fort overlooking the sea, located six km from Kanyakumari.


The Udayagiri Fort (34 km), built by King Marthanda Varma (AD 1729-1758), has a foundry for casting guns. The king's trusted European general De Lennoy's grave is located within this fort.

 

 

 

 

Situated 13 km from Kanyakumari, Suchindram bears the imprint of various kingdoms. The Thanumalayan temple here is a repository of art treasures belonging to those kingdoms. The temple is famous for its musical columns and its impressive six?m-tall statue of the monkey god, Hanuman. The main deity in the form of a shivling represents Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, the trinity of the Hindu pantheon. Ancient inscriptions dating back to the ninth century are found in this place.


Padmanabhapuram Palace (45 km) is a large mansion of the Travancore Kings. It is known for its fascinating natural splendor.

Tiruchendur (85 km) is the site of a beautiful temple dedicated to Subramanya. The temple located here on the shore of the Bay of Bengal is one of the six abodes of Subramanya. The location of the temple draws a perennial stream of devotees. The temple overlooking the singing sea is an inspiring sight.

The Courtallam Fall (Kuttralam) (137 km) is perched at a height of 167 m. Its water is believed to contain medicinal properties. About 135 km north-west of Kanyakumari at the base of the Western Ghats, the village of Kuttralam is a popular 'health retreat' for Indian families who come to stand and wash under waterfalls believed to be rich in minerals and capable of curing almost anything. Of the nine waterfalls, the only one in the village itself is the 60 m high Main Falls, a sheer rock face is carved with old Hindu insignia that is visible only during the dry months of January and February. Other falls, mostly accessed by shuttle buses, are up to eight km away.

Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary Mundanthurai is in the mountains near the border with Kerla. The closest railway station is at Ambasamundram, about 25 km to the north-east, and buses run from here to Papanasam, the nearest village, from where you can catch another bus to the Forest Department rest house. As the name implies, this is principally a tiger sanctuary though it's also noted for chital, sambar and the rare lion-tailed macaque. The best time to visit is between January and March, though it is open any time of the year. The main rainy season is between October and December. Tiger sightings are extremely infrequent and in addition the Forest Rest House is very basic.


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR - The nearest airport is at Trivandrum (80 km). It is directly connected with Bangalore, Mumbai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, and Chennai by regular flights.

BY RAIL - Kanyakumari is connected to Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, and Mumbai by broad-gauge railway network. Tirunelvelli (80 km) is the other nearest railway junction and can be reached by road via Nagarkoil (19 km).

BY ROAD - Kanyakumari is connected by road to Trivandrum (86 km), Nagarkoil (19 km), Tirunelvelli (91 km), Tiruchendur (89 km), Tuticorin (129 km), Rameshwaram (300 km), Courtallam (130 km), Madurai (242 km), Thekkady (358 km), Kodaikanal (362 km), Palani (370 km), Ootacamund (576 km), Cochin (309 km), and Coimbatore (478 km). We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and also for the intercity drives too.

 

Kanyakumari Sightseeing
 

Kumari Amman Temple

Kumari Amman TemplePicturesquely situated overlooking the shore, this temple and the nearby ghat attract pilgrims from all over India to worship and to bathe. according to legend, Devi did penance here to secure siva's hand in marriage. when she was unsuccessful, she vowed to remain a virgin (kanya). The temple is open daily from 4.30 to 11.45 am and from 5.30 to 8.30 pm, but non-Hindus are not allowed into the inner sanctrum. Men must remove their shirts, and everyone their shoes on entering the temple.

 
Gandhi Memorial

Next to the Kumari Amman Temple, this striking memorial stored the Mahatma's ashes until they were immersed in the sea. It resembles an Orissan temple and was designed so that on Gandhi's birthday ( 2- October), the sun's rays fall on the place where his ashes were kept. It's open daily from 7 am to 12.30 pm and 3 to 7 pm.

 
Vivekananda Memorial

Vivekananda MemorialThis memorial is on two rocky islands projecting from the sea about 400 m offshore. The Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda came here in 1892 and sat on the rock, meditating, before setting out as one of India's most important religious crusaders. The mandapam which stands here in his memory was built in 1970 and reflects architectural styles from all over India.

 
Suchindram Temple

This temple, 13 km noth-west of Kanyakumari at suchindram, is noted for its 'musical' columns and its impressive 3 m tall statue of Hanuman, the monkey god.

The list of attractions in Kanyakumari is endless. The tourist destination itself is a beautiful place to move around.

Kanyakumari Temple The Kumari Amman or the Kanyakumari Temple, located on the shore, is dedicated to a manifestation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who did penance to obtain Lord Shiva's hand in marriage. The temple and the adjoining ghat, picturesquely situated overlooking the shore, attract tourist from all over the world. The diamond nose-ring of the deity is famous for its sparkling splendor said to be visible even from the sea.

Two rocks reach out of the ocean, southeast of the Kumari Amman temple. One of these is Sri Padaparai, where the footprints of the virgin goddess are said to be imprinted on this rock, Swami Vivekananda is said to have sat in deep meditation and here also stands the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial built in 1970. There is a dhyana mandapam where one can sit in a serene atmosphere and meditate. Ferry services are available to reach the memorial.Gandhi Memorial

The striking 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 so designed that on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday (October 2), the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where the ashes of the father of the nation were kept.




 

Weekend Trips/Excursions

Kanyakumari has a number of interesting sites that you can include in your excursion.

Vattakottai (literally, circular fort) is an 18th-century fort overlooking the sea, located six km from Kanyakumari.


The Udayagiri Fort (34 km), built by King Marthanda Varma (AD 1729-1758), has a foundry for casting guns. The king's trusted European general De Lennoy's grave is located within this fort.

Udayagiri Fort Situated 13 km from Kanyakumari, Suchindram bears the imprint of various kingdoms. The Thanumalayan temple here is a repository of art treasures belonging to those kingdoms. The temple is famous for its musical columns and its impressive six?m-tall statue of the monkey god, Hanuman. The main deity in the form of a shivling represents Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, the trinity of the Hindu pantheon. Ancient inscriptions dating back to the ninth century are found in this place.

The Nagaraja Temple at Nagarkoil (20 km) is a magnificent temple with Nagaraja as the main deity. There are also shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu. The entrance to this temple is reminiscent of the Chinese architecture of a Buddhist Vihar. Nagercoil is 19 kms from Kanyakumari on the way to Padmanabhapuram.

Padmanabhapuram Palace (45 km) is a large mansion of the Travancore Kings. It is known for its fascinating natural splendor.

 Tiruchendur (85 km) is the site of a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya. The temple located here on the shore of the Bay of Bengal is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. The location of the temple draws a perennial stream of devotees. The temple overlooking the singing sea is an inspiring sight.

The Courtallam Fall (137 km) is perched at a height of 167 m. Its water is believed to contain medicinal properties.

Events and Festivals

Several festivals are celebrated in Kanyakumari. The Chaitra Purnima Festival (the April full-moon day, celebrated in the first week of May), Navratri (last week of October), and the Holy Annual Festival of the Roman Catholic Church (fourth week of December) are the notable festivals celebrated in Kanyakumari.
 

About Kanyakumari
 

   Kanyakumari 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.

 Susindram temple

Fast Facts

 

Population : 19,678
Best time to visit : October to March
STD Code : 04652

History

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. Kanyakumari was also under the control of the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks who were great rulers of south India. The architectural beauty of the temples is the work of these rulers.

During the British Raj, Kanyakumari was bestowed the dry title of Cape Comorin, necessitated perhaps by the Englishmen's inability to pronounce local names.

Legend has it that Kanya Devi, an avatar of Goddess Parvati, was to wed Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Hindu trinity. But he did not turn up at the auspicious time and the wedding never took place. The rice and cereals meant for the marriage remained uncooked. Even today, one can buy stones there that look exactly like rice and cereals. Local folks believe that they are the leftovers of the legendary marriage that could not be solemnized. As for the princess Kanya Devi, she became a virgin goddess blessing pilgrims and tourists alike.
Vivekanand temple

Best Season, Climate, and Clothing

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. During summers, the temperature can rise to a high of 34.8C while it can dip to a low of 20.4C during winters. Cottons are ideal while planning a travel trip to Kanyakumari.

Kanyakumari
 

Kanyakumari is the 'Land's End' of India. Here, the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea and, at Chaitrapurnima ( the Tamil name for the full moon day that generally falls in April ), it is possible to enjoy the unique experience of seeing the sun set and the moon rise over the ocean simultaneously. It's a popular day-trip for people staying at Kovalam Beach in Kerala. Kanyakumari is also a popular pilgrimage destination and of great spiritual significance to Hindus. it is dedicated to the goddess Devi Kanya, the Youthful Virgin, who is an incarnation of Devi, siva's wife. The pilgrims who come here from all over the country represent a good cross section of India. 


 

Facts

Parvathipuram with a scenic view of the Western Ghats

State
 - District(s)
Tamil Nadu
 - Kanyakumari district
Coordinates 8.18 N 77.43 E
Area
 - Elevation
 - Time zone
19.37 km
 - 0-300 m
 - IST (UTC +5:30)
Population (2001)
 - Density
208,179
 - 9813/km
Codes
 - Postal
 - Telephone
 - Vehicle
 
 - 629 xxx
 - +91-4652
 - TN-74