Kanyakumari – The Tip of India
Located at the southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari lies in the state of Tamil Nadu. In olden times, it was called Cape Comorin. Kanyakumari is one of the most famous tourist spots of India. The name Kanyakumari has been dervised from the name of a hindu goddess Kumari Amman, whose temple is located on the shores of the Laccadive Sea.
Railways – Trivandrum Central is the major rail station near Kanyakumari and it is connected to all major cities of India. Kanyakumari Junction is 1Km from the bus stand.
Airways – Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport and it is 87 kms away. One can hire a taxi from Trivandrum. Trivandrum is well-connected all major cities of India.
Roadways – Kanyakumari is connected to all major cities through the Tamil Nadu and Kerela Road Transport Corporation Services.
Climate of Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari enjoys a moderate climate throughout the year. Winters and summers both are pleasant but it gets a bit warm and less tourists visit here during the summer months. It receives heavy rainfall and also experiences thunderstorms. The best time to visit Kanyakumari is October-March.
There are many legends about Kanyakumari. One Hindu Legend states that Kanya Devi who was an avtar of Goddess Parvati was supposed to marry Mord Siva but he failed to show up on the wedding day and the grains and rice which were to be used for the wedding feast remained unused. These unused grains turned into stones and these stones are still seen on the seashore.
Another Hindu Legend states that Lord Hanuman had dropped a small piece of the earth when he was carrying a mountain from the Himalayas with a life-saving herb, while going to Lanka during the war between Ram and Ravana. This piece of the earth is known as Marunthuvazh Malai which means the hill where medicine lives. This is why once can find lots of medicinal plants in the area. Marunthuvazh Malai is 7 Kms away from Kanyakumari.
A medicinal expert, the sage Agasthya also lived around this area in the olden times. This is also one of the reasons why so many medicinal plants are found here. A nearby village has also been named after the sage. It is called Agastheeswaram and there is an ashram also where many tourists visit. A can get a fantastic view of Kanyakumari from the top of the hill.
History of Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari is well known for its art, culture and religion since the ancient times. In the earlier times, it was also a major centre for trade and commerce. The Cholas, the Cheras,the Pandyas and the Nayak rulers ruled here. The temples built by these rulers display great architectural beauty. Kanyakumari was later made a part of the Venad Kingdom by King Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma who made Padmanabhapuram his capital. Between 1729 to 1758, the King set up Travancore and the current Kanykumari town was called as Southern Travancore. In the year 1741, the Dutch East India Company was defeated by Maharaja Marthanda Varma in the Battle of Colachel. After the downfall of the Pandyan Kings, the Travancore Royals ruled over Kanyakumari till 1947. It was during the reign of the Travancore Royals that Kanyakumari got its present name. Malayalam is the preferred language in Kanyakumari.
Places to visit
Tourism is an important industry in Kanyakumari.There are many noteworthy locations in Kanyakumari:-
• The Kanyakumari Temple – The Kumari Amman temple is located on the shore and is devoted to Goddess Parvati. The diety of Goddess Parvati has a scintillating nose ring which is said to be visible from the sea.
• Vivekananda Rock Memorial – Eknth Ranade built this 41 m high structure of the famous Tamil poet and saint Thiruvalluvar in the year 1970. This statue is one of the tallest statues of Asia.
• Sri Padhaparai – This rock is believed to have the footprints of the Goddess Parvati, the virgin goddess and Swami Vivekananda also meditated on this rock.
• Gandhi Memorial – is also place worth-seeing, since Gandhiji’s ashes have been preserved here and can be seen by the public.
There are many other religious sites, beaches, forests and mountain valleys in the Kanyakumari district.