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Kanyakumari
Thiruvalluvar Statue seen at night image_map=
Kanyakumari
Location of Kanyakumari
in Tamil Nadu and India
Coordinates 8°04′41″N 77°32′28″E / 8.078°N 77.541°E / 8.078; 77.541
Country  India
State Tamil Nadu
District(s) Kanyakumari
District Collector Dr. Rajendra Kumar, I. A. S.
Population
Density
19678 (2001)
665 /km2 (1,722 /sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area
Elevation
25.89 km2 (10 sq mi)
0-300 m (-984 ft)

Kanyakumari About this sound pronunciation (Tamil: கன்னியாகுமரி, Malayalam: കന്യാകുമാരി Sanskrit: कन्याकुमारी) is a town in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu state, India. Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, it is also known by its former name Cape Comorin. The closest major cities are Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari district, (22 km) and Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala (85 km).

The town is a popular tourist place in India.

Contents

Recorded History

Kanyakumari takes its name from the Kumari Amman or Kanyakumari Temple, situated in the town, on the sea-shore, the very confluence of the three water-bodies - the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Mannar and the Indian Ocean. In his work on ancient India, Ptolemy had identified Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) along with the Gulf of Mannar as a center for pearl fishery. He also identifies Korkai, a place to the east of Kanyakumari as an emporium of pearl trade, also Travancore Census 1931 says that Paravars ruled that Coast and built the temple for their reverence to Sea Goddess.[1].

There are multiple myths revolving around this place:

  • According to Hindu legend, Kanya Devi, an avatar of Parvati, was to marry Shiva, but as he failed to show up on his wedding day, the rice and other grains meant for the wedding feast remained uncooked and remain unused thereafter. As the legend goes, the uncooked grains turned into stones as time went by. Some believe that the small stones which look like rice on the shore today, are indeed grains of the wedding that was never solemnized. Kanya Devi is now considered a virgin goddess who blesses pilgrims and tourists who flock the town.
  • According to another Hindu legend, Lord Hanuman dropped a piece of earth as he was carrying a mountain with his life-saving herb, Mrita Sanjivani from the Himalayas to Lanka (Sri Lanka) during the Rama-Ravana war. This chunk of earth is called Marunthuvazh Malai, which is literally translated to "hills where medicine lives".This is said to be the reason for the abundance of unique native medicinal plants in the area. Marunthuvazh Malai is located near Kottaram about 7 km from Kanyakumari town on the Kanyakumari-Nagercoil highway.
  • The sage Agasthya, who was himself an expert in medicinal herbs, is believed to have lived around this site in ancient days. The reason why, some believe, so many medicinal herbs are to be found on these hills near Kanyakumari. There is even a village by the name Agastheeswaram close to the town, named after the sage. Today, there is a small Ashram on the middle of the Maruthuvazh Malai hill, which tourists visit (after a short trek from the base of the hill), both to visit the Ashram and also to take a glimpse of the sea near Kanyakumari a few kilometres away, and the greenery below.
The 133 ft tall Thiruvalluvar Statue

Kanyakumari has been a great centre for art and religion for centuries. It was also an area of great trade and commerce. It was ruled by the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks. The architectural beauty of the temples in the area are the works of these rulers. Later Kanyakumari became part of the Venad kingdom with its capital at Padmanabhapuram. The king of Venad, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, established Travancore by extending his domain further north up to Azhva, during his reign from 1729 to 1758. By this, the present Kanyakumari District came to be known as Southern Travancore. In 1741, Maharaja Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch East India Company at the famous Battle of Colachel.

Kanyakumari was under the rule of the Paravar Kings till the downfall of Pandyas, and later by kings of Travancore under the overall suzerainty 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.

Under Travancore rule, the town, and the modern administrative district that bears its name, Kanyakumari District, progressed both socially and economically. Still a significant part of population study and speak Malayalam as their mother-tongue. The culture followed by Kanyakumari people is mixed and has more influence from Travancore.

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

Kumari Thanthai Marshal Nesamony was instrumental in the merger of Kanyakumari district with Tamil Nadu in 1956 during the linguistic reorganisation of states. Kanyakumari was integrated with Tamil Nadu (then known as Madras State) as per the language-based reorganisation of States.

Christianity arrived in South India around AD 52 through St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ. However, European missionaries, who arrived in the 16th century, propagated Christianity in the area. St. Francis Xavier (April 7, 1506 – December 2, 1552) was the pioneer in preaching Christianity in the present day Kanyakumari district. Islam is believed to have entered the southern part of India through Kanyakumari during the early part of the eighth century AD through traders and missionaries who came through sea-routes. Islam, Christianity and Jainism have also contributed to the architectural wealth and literary heritage of the region.

Geographical Location

Kanyakumari - Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue at sunrise

Kanniyakumari is located at 8°05′N 77°34′E / 8.08°N 77.57°E / 8.08; 77.57.[2] It has an average elevation of 0 metres (0 feet). It lies at the meeting point of three bodies of water: the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Mannar and the Indian Ocean.[3] It is situated at 8° 4′ 41″ N, 77° 32′ 28″ E, and is the terminating point of the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. On the north and the east, it is bounded by Tirunelveli District, while on the west and northwest it is bounded by Kerala state.

It is suggested that there once existed a continent called Kumari Kandam to the south of Kanyakumari, often compared with Lemuria.

The Town

As of 2001 India census,[4] Kanyakumari town had a native population of 19,678.

Kanyakumari is the southernmost town of the Indian mainland. The land mass in and around the town are hilly and uneven, with many commercial buildings and hotels at the upper crest of the land mass with the sea visible below. The old areas of the town, where the natives live, are on the lower side. Many of the natives are into fishing activity and other maritime professions.

Tourism is one of the main activities of the town ; and many locals are employed in shell-craft and other tourism-related businesses.

It is the only district in India which has a 99% literacy rate, a 98.5% female literacy rate. 60% or more are college degree holders.

Tourism

The Gandhi Mandapam

Beginning the early part of the 1970s, tourism has been an important activity in the town. Today, it is one small town in South India where one can see different languages of India spoken at different street corners, among the tourists and traders. Of late, Tourism is increasingly being promoted in the district also, apart from the town, with several beautiful natural landscapes, historic and religious places found around the district.

A total of 1.9 million tourists (domestic and foreign) visited Kanyakumari in 2007[5].

With tourism also picking up in neighbouring Kerala, the future prospects for the growth of tourism looks bright both in Kanyakumari town and the district.

Though there are several places of tourist-interest in the town and district, Kanyakumari is especially popular in India for its spectacular and unique sunrise and sunset. The confluence of three ocean bodies - the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea - makes the sunrise and sunset even more special. On balmy, full-moon evenings, (locally called Chitra Pournami) one can also see the moon-rise and sunset at the same time - on either side of the horizon.

Tourist Sites within the Town

View of the sea from Vattakottai Fort, near Kanyakumari town.

The Kumari Amman or the Kanyakumari Temple, located on the shore, is a Shakti Peetha 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, situated overlooking the shore, attract tourists from all over the world. The sparkling diamond nose-ring of the deity is said to be visible even from the sea.

On two rocky islets just off the shore, southeast of the Kumari Amman temple, are the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, built in 1970, and the gigantic 133 feet (40.5 m) tall statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar (Completed on January 1, 2000 by the legandary Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, Chennai) is one of the biggest statues in Asia. One of the rocks called Sri Padhaparai is said to bear the footprints of the virgin goddess. Swami Vivekananda is said to have seated on this rock in deep meditation. Also on this rock, there is a Dhyana mandapam, an area for meditation. Ferry services are available to reach the memorial.

The 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.

From The Gandhi Memorial, The Tour de India is going to start from 2009 1 December and this race will continue till 1 January 2010. More detail visit [1]

Photo Gallery : Kanyakumari and Around

Tourist Information

The state-owned Poompuhar Shipping Corporation runs ferry services between the town and the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar statue, situated on rocky islets off the coast.

Kanyakumari is directly connected by rail with almost all metropolitan cities in India.

Nearest Airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, 90 km away from Kanyakumari Town and 70 km from Nagercoil.

Tourist Attractions in Kanyakumari District

Mathur Aqueduct - one of the largest Aqueducts in Asia

While Kanyakumari town has tourist attractions of its own, the district has many more, from centuries-old historic and religious sites to scenic places. The district is also rich in flora and fauna. A unique feature of Kanyakumari district is that it has all kinds of natural eco-systems. Thus, one can see beaches, mountain valleys, evergreen forests in the deep interior, rubber and clove plantations on the highlands, etc. - all in a 50 km radius of Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District. Nagercoil is 22 km from Kanyakumari town. (see Kanyakumari District for more on the district).

The following are some of the many popular tourist attractions around Kanyakumari -

Baywatch Amusement Park, Kanyakumari
Map showing near-by areas and Pancha pathi
Vivekananda Memorial and Tiruvalluvar Rock at sunrise
View of the Western Ghats at Keeriparai
Chothavilai Beach, near Nagercoil
  • Vattakottai Fort (literally, "circular fort") is an 18th-century fort overlooking the sea, located six kilometres from Kanyakumari. The small historic fort also gives an enchanting view of the sea around and the hills on the other side.
  • Suchindram has the Sthanumalayan temple with a repository of art treasures belonging to several kingdoms. The temple is famous for its ninth-century inscriptions, musical columns, and 6-meter-tall statue of the monkey god Hanuman. The main deity in the form of a shivlinga represents Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, the trinity of the Hindu pantheon.
  • The Panchappathi, five primary sacred places of Ayyavazhi are all situated within a fifteen-kilometre radius of Kanyakumari. It also includes the Swamithope Pathi (headquarters of Ayyavazhi), a famous temple in Tamilnadu, situated ten kilometres to the northwest. It is not structurally massive temple, but is known for its non-idolatry system of worship.
  • Nagercoil has the St. Francis Xavier's church at Kottar, where the missionary, St. Francis Xavier resided when he did his missionary work in the nearby areas. In Nagercoil, there is also the Nagaraja Temple, and shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu. The entrance to this temple is reminiscent of the Chinese architecture of a Buddhist Vihar.
  • Padmanabhapuram Palace is a large 17th century palace of the Travancore kings, made almost entirely of wood - the only one of its kind in India.
  • Udayagiri Fort, built by King Marthanda Varma, has a foundry for casting guns. It is also the tomb-site of the king's trusted European general Captain De Lennoy. Udayagiri Fort is now a bio-diversity park, administered by the Department of Forests, Kanyakumari Division.
  • Mathur Hanging Trough, near Thiruvattar in the District, is an aqueduct that carries irrigation water through a canal between two hills. The canal itself goes above a small river. Built on very high pillars, is one of the biggest aqueducts, both in height and length, in Asia. The view from the middle of the aqueduct of the surrounding hills and vegetation, and the small river flowing down below, is breathtaking.
  • 'Baywatch' (water amusement-park), and Wax museum (the only one of its kind in India) are the newest attractions, located within 2 km from Kanyakumari.
  • Chitharal Jain Monuments (about 35 km near Marthandam), 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 local fishermen. It is 35 km from Nagercoil, 12 km from Kuzhithurai and 54 km from Kanyakumari.
  • 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 - pristine and beautiful, places like Keeriparai haven’t been publicized much by the Forest Department for various reasons - Keeriparai hills (30 km from Nagercoil) and the nearby Kalikesam are good picnic spots - one can enjoy water rushing through small mountain streams - with pebbles and ferns all around. There are also a few small waterfalls in this area - the popular one being Vattaparai Falls. Maramalai, which is further up in the hills of Keeriparai is famous for Wild elephants.
  • Kodhayar (called Kodhayar Lower Camp) – is about 60 km and takes travellers through some exciting motorable hill roads with some thrilling 'hair-pin bends' and U-turns - Kodhayar forests are famous for bisons. Access to some areas need prior permission from the Forest Department.
  • Pechiparai Reservoir, about 30 km from the town,and also Perunchani 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 a waterfall near Thiruparrapu. There is an ancient temple near the falls, which is popular among the locals and Keralites.
  • Muttom, a coastal village, is another popular place with tourists. The terrain in this village and its surroundings is hilly and from a height one can have 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. Another attractive feature of this area, is a ravine-like area with casurina trees near the seaside. This place with very popular with Tamil and Keralite film-makers, especially Tamil film director Bharathiraja.
  • Sanguthurai Beach, about 8 km from Nagercoil is a palm-fringed and sandy beach. Sothavilai Beach is another good beach, about 7 km from the heart of town. Both beaches were hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami, but authorities have taken steps to improve facilities again. There is a very good lagoon (estuary - place where the river meets the sea) at Manakudy - 10 km from the town.
  • Mukkudal reservoir : Fresh water supply to Nagercoil 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.
Thirparappu Temple

References

  1. ^ Muslim Identity, Print Culture, and the Dravidian Factor in Tamil Nadu By J. B. Prashant More
  2. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Kanniyakumari
  3. ^ "Kanyakumari District Website - Location". http://www.kanyakumari.tn.nic.in/location.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  4. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20040616075334/http://www.censusindia.net/results/town.php?stad=A&state5=999. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  5. ^ http://www.hindu.com/2008/01/15/stories/2008011555560100.htm

External links

"Thiruvalluvar Statue". http://www.nanjilonline.com/tourism/thiruvalluvar.asp. Retrieved 2006-10-28. </ref>

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Kanniyakumari article)

From Wikitravel

Tiruvalluvar monument in Kanniyakumari
Tiruvalluvar monument in Kanniyakumari

Kanniyakumari is a town on the southern most tip of the main land of India, in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as Cape Comorin.

Understand

India is probably one of those privileged lands which have high mountains on one side and oceans and sea shores on the others. India is also one of those rare countries that have their shores shared between not one, not two, but three great seas - The Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. And there is probably only one place in the whole world where one can witness the 'confluence' of three great seas; and that place is Kanyakumari. This unique geographical phenomenon has made this little town in the southern most tip of mainland India one of the significant destinations in any religious or pleasure trips that one seeks to undertake in this country. where the fame of Kanyakumari has in the past attracted great saints like Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi. There is beauty in every part of this little town and one has to be there to witness it. Moreover, Kanyakumari is one of the few places in the world where one can witness both the sunset and sunrise at the same beach due to the geography.

The oldest and the most ancient landmark in this town is the temple of Goddess Kumari who prayed to Lord Shiva to be accepted as wife by him. The name of this place has taken after the name of the Goddess. During the British Raj, it was also known as 'Cape Comorin', is probably a British spoilt version of 'Kumari', which mean virgin. The town is so small that an enthusiastic tourist may actually walk the entire length and breadth of the town and not shed a drop of sweat. Anyway, buses are available and the fares are rock bottom. The auto rickshaws fares are also very reasonable. In short, travelling in and around Kanyakumari is not expensive.

  • Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) of neighbouring state Kerala, is the nearest international airport, with direct flights from the Middle East, Singapore, Maldives and Sri Lanka. And is served by Air-India, among others. From there it takes about two hours by train or bus or taxi. The taxi charges are pretty cheap, about Rs 9-10 per km, and should be around Rs 1000 (US$22 Approx), for a trip to Kanyakumari from the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
  • Alternatively, if you cannot reach Thiruvananthapuram directly from your place, you can reach Chennai (Madras) the state capital and then take either train or bus to reach Kanyakumari. Note that travelling to Kanyakumari is a bit tiresome via road, especially for Westerners, as the travel time is about 14-15 hours and the climate is pretty hot (30-35 degrees during summer and 25-30 degrees during winter) through out the year. Insist on a II tier air-conditioned coach as this is pretty cheap, about Rs 1200 (US$27). A local flight travel to Thiruvananthapuram is also a viable option, but the ticket prices are slightly higher, ranging from Rs. 1500 and can go up to anywhere around Rs. 5000. In India, the faster you book/plan your travel, the more you save on tickets.

By train

Very well connected and serviced by rail to all major cities in India like Chennai, Trivandrum , Kochi, Bangalore, Bombay, New Delhi, Kolkata, Coimbatore etc. And from here starts second longest train route in the world, Kanyakumari to Jammu.

By bus

Buses are frequently available from Thiruvananthapuram,the closest major transport hub. Long distance buses are available from Chennai (Madras), Coimbatore, Madurai etc.

Get around

Most people travel around Kanniyakumari using a hired vehicle. Auto-rickshaws (tuk tuks) are available, along with busses.

See

If you can escape from the crowds, you can visit Vivekanandapuram (the only peaceful area in Kanyakumari) maintained by the Ramakrishna Mission. It has its own lodging and boarding arrangements. If you'd like to see the sunset or sunrise, it is recommended that you see it from the beach at Vivekanandapuram. The other popular places are the Kanyakumari Devi temple, Vivekananda Rock, and the Thiruvalluvar Statue. It is not recommended that you visit Kanyakumari in December-January; the crowds are at its peak during these months.

The temple of Goddess Kumari is rather small by South Indian standards, but comes with the usual ingredients of Pujaris (Hindu Priests), Poojas, Kumkums, and Prasad (sweet offerings made to the Gods). All men are supposed to enter the temple with bare torsos as it deemed to be a mark of respect to the Devi. You should be careful about the touts in the temple.

  • Vivekananda Rock is about a hundred meters from the shore and a regular ferry service exists between the mainland jetty and the rock. The tickets are Rs 20 for a ride. The Rock has two Mandaps (halls); one belonging to Swami Vivekananda and the other belonging to a Holy Foot. The Holy Foot is a foot shaped carving found on the rock and is believed to be the footprint of Goddess Kumari who stood on this rock on one leg and performed the Tapasya (penance). The Rock memorial has a tall statue of Swami Vivekananda whose photographs are not allowed to be taken from inside the hall. Below the statue was mentioned the year of death of the Swamiji and the "probable" dates when Swamiji attained Samadhi on the rock. Here you can see both sunrise and sunset and it is one of the main tourist attractions here. Golden Hues of the Horizon are very impressive with a silhouette of the Rock Memorial. Timings: 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. You should enter main gate to the jetty for ferry before 4 pm, after that entry is denied. One can stay at the rock even until after sunset.
  • Vivekanandapuram is the headquarters of the Vivekananda Kendra and the centre spreads over an area of 100 acres. There is a well stocked library within the premises. It is well connected. Buses are also regularly available from Vivekanandapuram to Kanyakumari. One can enjoy absolutely breathtaking views of sunrise from the beaches of Vivekanandapuram. It has its own boarding & lodging facilities, a post office and a bank on its premises. http://www.vkendra.org/
  • Thiruvalluvar Statue is dedicated to arguably the greatest Tamil poet, philosopher, and saint Thiruvalluvar. The rock supports a huge statue of the saint carved out of many rocks that were then joined together. It was inaugurated fairly recently. The statue is about 133 feet long which corresponds to 133 chapters in the greatest epic written by the saint – Thirukkural. Tourists can climb up to the feet of the statue. The view from this point is quite breathtaking! It is a very entertaining and enlightening piece of work and inspires one to lead a very principled and moral life. It is a must read for anyone who visits this place and it is advisable to spend at least half an hour specially dedicated for this exercise. Such is the beauty of Kanyakumari that a lot of people find themselves attracted to it. Mahatma Gandhi too could not resist its charm and there is a place here dedicated to him called Gandhi Mandapam. This is the place, as told by locals, where one could witness the 'Sangam' (confluence) of the three oceans! Gandhiji arrived here and succumbed to the beauty of the place as described in his beautiful words inscribed below his portrait in the Mandapam. After he died, his ashes were brought to this place and kept before they were discharged into the sea. The Gandhi Mantapa is engineered in such a way that at the place where the ashes were kept stands a small stone which is said to receive the Sun’s rays only on the 2nd of October, Gandhiji's birthday, every year through a small hole on the roof.
  • Our Lady of Ransom Church - Located on the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal, the 100-year-old Church of Our Lady of Ransom is dedicated to Mother Mary. The Church, which is one of the most beautiful churchs in India, looks beautiful against the backdrop of the beautiful blue sky.

The Church of Our Lady of Ransom was built in the Gothic style of architecture with a strong Portuguese influence. The church is slightly off-white in appearance and has three massive towering spires and stained glass windowpanes contributing to its overall grandeur. Another attraction of the church is the Central Tower. It is 153 feet high and is crowned with a cross of pure gold. (Interesting to note that the dimesnsions of the church structures are based on the count of beads in the rosary!

There are a few things about the church that make the visitors gasp with awe as they enter. The church boasts a beautiful statue of Mother Mary clad in a saree. Surprisingly, as compared with the grand and ornate exteriors, the visitors are quite taken aback by the simplicity of its interiors. There is just a tiny cross that adorns the altar. There are no church benches and the masses are held inside the church in normal days and outside on the clean sands during carnivals and occassions. The prayers are held in Tamil considering the parish here mainly comprises the local fishing folks. However, English masses are being conducted lately. Be on the lookout for the 10-day carnival festival during the second week of December every year. It is vibrant and colourful with the fishing hamlets of other nearby places and people of other religions celebrate together.

  • Padmanabhapuram Palace is the erstwhile palatial residence of the rulers of Travancore. It is made entirely of wood. It lies an hours drive away from Kanyakumari on the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala state. It is actually maintained by the Kerala government. There is an entrance ticket of Rs. 25 for Indians and Rs 200 for foreigners. It will take approximately an hour to one-and-half hours to see this palace. Ticket Timings: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
  • Kamarajar Mani Mantapa Monument was raised and dedicated to a freedom fighter and Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, President of Indian National Congress, Mr Kamarajar. He's also popularly known as Black Gandhi among the masses. Like the Gandhi Mantapa, this place is where Kamarajar's ashes were kept for the public to pay homage before immersion into the sea.
  • Baywatch is a water theme amusement park at Sunset Point and is home to India's first wax museum.
  • Tsunami Monument is a momument recognizing the tragic events of the 2004 tsunami that claimed the lives of many Kanyakumari denizens. It is near the south shore. The monument is made of uniquely coloured items such as a wave, a flame, and human hands, together.

Do

Vivekananda Rock memorial has a special meditation room which is absolutely quiet. One could meditate there. People also wet their feet on the shores of the ocean before entering the temple as the waters considered sacred. Bathing is banned in many part of the beach(though you may find some people bathing) due to a number of tourists dying each year due to the powerful ocean waves. For bathing in the sea, consider Vattakotta (Meaning: Round fort) beach, situated about 6 km from Kanyakumari. Naked bathing or bathing with bikinis are a taboo not only in Kanyakumari but also in nearly all beaches in India. Beaches in Goa and Pondicherry, are a bit different, as a majority of people visiting there are foreigners.

Buy

Tourists can buy a lot of interesting items ranging from, straw hats, conches, sea shells, cheap electronics etc., There are some small shops where one can get a customized conch with name or quotes inscribed. These items can serve as a memorable item of your trip. Electronics available at Kanyakumari are dead cheap but, since all of them are imported from china, the quality of them are always sub-par. It's always good to avoid the electronics shops and the associated hagglers. Hair bands and clips made of coconut shells are worth the money and you may have to ask one for to the shop keeper if one is not available at the display. Star fish shells (for decorating your indoors), sea shells of various sizes, kaleidoscopes, colourful sand packets(not artificially colored), collected from different parts of the beach, used specially for decorating your indoor showcases, are also available. The cost of majority of these commodities range from Rs 20 (0.5 US$) to Rs 50 (1.1 US$), and never cross a 100.

Eat

The food in Kanniyakumari is more of the classic South Indian style. It is mostly vegetarian, and maybe even some Tamil favorites including iddlis, sambar, dosai, and related are available. Typical South Indian vegetarian food is available. In some cases, they may serve you the food on the traditional banana leaf. South Indian food is more of an acquired taste for some people from the Western part of the world. It is different, but still good. Do not expect much as far as Western style breakfast foods or western style foods.

Meals available at Kanyakumari are of the classic South-Indian type with rotis (roasted unleavened flatbread...perhaps similar to Mexican style wheat tortillas).

North-Indian style meals are available in some Rajastani/Punjabi style restaurants. A one time meal usually cost around 25 Rs (0.5 US$).

Drink

Kanyakumari has a lot of tender coconut shops selling tender coconuts for Rs. 10. (US$ 0.2). The orange variety of tender coconut, which is plentiful in this area and is priced the same, is worth trying as it's much tastier than the green coloured one.

Avoid bringing alcohol to the beach as this place is a pilgrim centre and it's considered taboo to booze.

Though there are a lot of fresh juice stalls, it is perhaps best to avoid them as the stalls are seldom clean and the ice they add to the juice may be contaminated. It may have many water-borne diseases of the digestive tract.

Bottled drinks or tender coconut are readily available, and usually safe to drink. Note that bottled drinks are always priced higher (about Rs 2 to Rs 5 higher) than the MRP in these areas. Of bottled drinks, ThumsUp (Cola flavored) and Limca (Lime flavored), both branded by The Coca-cola company are worth tasting as they are tailored specially for the Indian market.

Sleep

There are numerous hotels, residencies etc. in and around Kanyakumari and therefore, staying over is not be a problem. But there are agents, touts and brokers in every nook and corner looking for unsuspecting tourists. Eschew buying or booking rooms from them, as many a time you end up paying a lot more than the actual price. Vivekananda Kendra can be a good option for people looking for a decent, yet cheap accommodation, but it's around 3 km from Kanyakumari. Prefer hotels near the beach especially if you want to watch the sunrise right out of your bed! Note that, you should quote this preference when booking the room or else, you'll always be given a room without a window opening out to the sea. Moreover many a times, these rooms are in great demand and you'll find yourself shelling a extra 400 - 500 Rs (~10 US$)for such a room. Hotel Sea View, Hotel Sangam and a couple of other hotels offer such rooms and the rent is about Rs. 1100 (~ 25 US$) for 12 hrs. Note that many rooms are priced for 12 hrs and not per day especially during the peak season.

ATM's in Kanyakumari:

Canara Bank Main Road, Kanyakumari 629702, ,

Indian Bank S No 658 / 1, National High Way Opp St Antony'S Higher Secondary Sckanyakumari 629702

State Bank Of Travancore P.B.No.1, 1/17 Amman Sannathi Street, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, 629702

  • Swamithoppe - The religious head quarters of Ayyavazhi and the most important pilgrim center of Ayyavazhis.
  • Suchindram - A noted pilgrim center in the south, hosting the famous Sthanumalaya temple.
  • Vattakottai Fort - Meaning Circular fort, this place was built by the King of Travancore, as a coastal defence-fortification. It's about 7 km from Kanyakumari.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CAPE COMORIN, a headland in the state of Travancore, forming the extreme southern point of the peninsula of India. It is situated in 8° 4' 20" N., 77° 35' 35" E., and is the terminating point of the western Ghats. The village of Comorin, with the temple of Kanniyambal, the " virgin goddess," on the coast at the apex of the headland, is a frequented place of pilgrimage.


<< Ignacio Comonfort

Comoro Islands >>


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