Kanyakumari is located on the furthermost tip of India, where the Bay of Bengal merges with the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. The distinguishing feature of this spiritual town is the Swami Vivekananda Memorial and towering statue of Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, located on a rocky island off the shore. The Swami meditated there in 1892, before setting out on his religious crusade. Kanyakumari is also home to a striking Gandhi Memorial, with architecture resembling that of an Orissan temple. If you visit Kanyakumari on the full moon night in April, you’ll be treated to the magical sight of the sun setting and moon rising simultaneously over the ocean. It’s also one of the best places to see the southwest monsoon arrive in India, in late May each year.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport to reach Kanyakuamri is the Trivandrum international airport and the domestic Tuticorin airport. Both of these airports are located at a distance of around 82 km and 89 km from Kanyakumari correspondingly. You can get taxi or bus easily from outside the airport.
There is a wide network of public and private buse services which provide number of internal and interstate transportation facilities to Kanyakumari. The Kerala and Tamil Nadu road Transport Corporation offer A/C and Non-A/C buses. NH 7 and NH 47 join Kanyakumari to various other major cities of the country. How to reach Kanyakumari is not a major concern as it has very good connectivity. Cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Madurai, Kochi and Tiruchchirappalli are located at a distance of 80.8 KM, 215.6 KM, 254.9 KM and 327.9 KM respectively from Kanyakumari.
Railways are considered as the most prominent means of transport to get here. Travelers can get any number of trains to reach Kanyakumari including trains to Delhi and Bangalore. The Kanyakumari express, Himsagar express, Kanyakumari Howrah express, Tirrukural express, Bangalore express and Island express and many others are some trains which operate from major cities connecting Kanyakumari.
WHAT TO SEE
The Padmanabhapuram Palace of Kanyakumari, a symbol of rich cultural heritage, is one of the chief attractions of Tamil Nadu. Padmanabhapuram Palace is located in Padmanabhapuram village of Kanyakumari District, nearby Thuckalay, at a distance of about 15 km from Nagercoil and 55 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial :-
Vivekananda Rock Memorial is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the founder of Ramakrishna Mission. Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built between 1963 and 1970 in red and blue granite. It is situated on the top of a rock island, at a height of about 17 meters above sea level, covering an area of about 6 acres. Vivekananda Rock Memorial is about 490 meters offshore nearby the confluence of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean.
The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial or Gandhi Mandapam is one among the frequented tourist attractions in Kanyakumari. The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial was built to honour Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. The Memorial was built in 1956, in the Orissa temple architectural style. The memorial is built in the same place where his ashes were kept for the public to pay homage, before its immersion in the confluence.
Thiruvalluvar Statue is a popular tourist spot in Kanyakumari. Thiruvalluvar Statue is one of the biggest statues in India located atop a small island in Kanyakumari, nearby the confluence of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Thiruvalluvar Statue was built in the year 2000 to commemorate Thiruvalluvar who was a renowned ancient Tamil saint and poet who wrote Thirukkural.
Kanyakumari Beach is a beach destination as well as religious spot located towards the southern-most tip of peninsular India. The sun set and sun rise at Kanyakumari Beach, especially during Chaitrapurnima (full moon days in April), are highly popular among visitors. During Chaitrapurnima, visitors can watch both sunset and moon rise simultaneously at Kanyakumari Beach.
St Xavier Church:-
St Xavier Church was built by St Francis Xavier in the 1600s, in Kottar of Nagercoil. St Francis Xavier was a priest from Goa, who frequented Kottar. He was known by the name â€˜Valiya Pandaramâ€™ among the masses. According to history, St Francis Xavier helped to avert the Padagas from invading Travancore. The king granted him a plot at Kottar, which had housed a church earlier. St Francis Xavier built the church on the site adjacent to the Church of St. Mary.
Kanyakumari is lined up with tiny stores known for their excellent collection seashell products. Here you can get wide range of sea-shells, pearls, painting and handicraft items, cloths, wooden handicrafts, palm leaf items, Trinkets. The sea-shell items that you can buy in different shapes, designs and colors. If you are interested to buy anything, you have to bargain and get a good one. Another good thing you can buy is pack of different color sand, this is the specialty here. Donâ€™t expect to swipe your credit/ debit card on these small shops.
Kanyakumari’s gastronomy mainly includes South Indian food. Mostly being vegetarian items, the menu comprises of Dosa, Idli, Sambar, Coconut Rice, Meen Kolambu, Valakkai Porial, Semiya Payaasam etc. Their traditional style of serving food on banana leaf is the main attraction of the different restaurants in Kanyakumari. The place has even got some Punjabi and Rajastani food places. Western food style is not much prevalent in Kanyakumari, though.