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Kanyakumari - Cape Comorin

STATE - TAMIL NADU
   
DISTANCE - 452 KM From Coimbatore, 95 KM From Mullur, 88 KM From Thiruvananthapura

CONNECTION
 
By Air : The nearest airport from Kanyakumari is situated at Trivandrum about 80 kms away. It is directly connected with Bangalore, Mumbai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, and Chennai by regular flights.

By Rail : Kanyakumari is well connected by rail to major parts of the country. Kanyakumari is connected to Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, and Mumbai by broad-gauge railway network. Superfast trains connect the southernmost railhead of India with northern cities like Jammu and Delhi. Tirunelvelli, situated around 80 kms away from Kanyakumari is the other nearest railway junction and can be reached by road via Nagarkoil (19 km).

By Road : Kanyakumari is very well connected to all the major cities in the Southern India. Tourist buses, both luxury coaches and state transport buses ply in and out of Kanyakumari with good frequency.
 
ABOUT KANYAKUMARI
 
Kanyakumari is the place where the waters of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. Kanyakumari is visited by thousands of tourists from all over India throughout the year. The place Kanyakumari is known so due to the temple dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanya Kumari. Kanyakumari was referred by the British as Cape Comorin. Kanyakumari is one of the important Hindu pilgrimage center due to the famous temple of Kanyakumari. The multicolored sand is a unique feature of the beaches here. From the Kanyakumari one can view spectacular sunrise and sunset.

Kanyakumari was also known as the Alexandria of the east. This place was a great center for art, culture, civilization, commerce, trade and pilgrimage for the years. During the early part of the eighth century AD Islam entered the southern part of India through the sea route with traders and missionaries. Christianity arrived at this place in 52 AD through St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ. Islam, Christianity and Jainism have greatly contributed to the architectural wealth and literary heritage of this place. The Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas and Nayaks who were the great rulers of south India also controlled Kanyakumari. All the famous temples were built during their rule which are known for their architectural beauty. During the British Raj, the Britishers gave the name Cape Comorin. It may be due to their inability to pronounce the local name. According to the legends the Kanya Devi, an avatar of goddess Parvati undertook penance to gain the hand of Lord Shiva in marriage. But the Lord Shiva did not turn up at the auspicious time and the wedding never took place. The rice and cereals meant for the marriage remained uncooked. The disappointed goddess decided to spend her life in Kanyakumari as a virgin, and all the food prepared for the wedding was wasted and that it turned into the colored sand which can be seen on the southern shores of the subcontinent.
 
PLACES OF INTERESTS IN KANYAKUMARI
 
Swami Vivekanda Rock Memorial : Swami Vivekanda Rock Memorial is situated on a little rocky island just off the coast, about 500 meters away from mainland. This memorial stands on one of two rocks separated by about 70 meters. This memorial belongs to Swami Vivekananda, the great Indian philosopher and was built in 1970. In 1892 he sat here in deep meditation on the rock, where this memorial is located now. There is a dhyana mandapam where one can sit in a serene atmosphere and meditate. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda. On the island one can also see the Shri Pada Parai, the footprints of Kanyakumari, the virgin goddess. To reach the memorial one has to hire the ferry services. A memorial has also been recently built which is dedicated to Tiruvalluvar, the author of the philosophical work Tirukkural.

Gandhi Memorial : The Gandhi Memorial is located at the place where the urn containing the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi was kept for public view before a portion of its contents were immersed in the three seas. This memorial resembles an Oriyan temple. This temple is designed in such a way that on 2nd October, his birthday, the sun’s rays fall directly on the spot where his ashes were kept.

Thiruvalluvar Statue : Thiruvalluvar is the immortal poet of Tamil Nadu and has given to the world Thirukkural. The memorial statue of Thiruvalluvar is in Kanyakumari. The pedestal of the statue is of 38 feet height and the statue over it is 95 feet tall with a grand total of 133 feet for the entire sculpture. The 3 tier pedestal known as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapa stand 10 elephant statues signifying 8 directions with earth and space down. The father of Sri. Rama, the hero of Ramayana was called Dasaratha as he was able to charioteer in ten directions. To help the tourists to worship the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar 140 steps are constructed inside the Mandapa. The pedestal with a height of 38 feet represents the 38 chapters in the Book of Aram in Thirukural and the statue of 95 feet on the pedestal represents the total chapters in Porul (70 chapters) and Inbam (25 Chapters). Udayagiri Fort : 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.

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

Nagaraja Temple : 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.

Suchindram : 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.

Tiruchendur : 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.
 
WHEN TO GO KANYAKUMARI
 
The temperatures are more or less constant through the year. The rains hit in the beginning of June though. Although Kanyakumari can be visited through the year the best time to visit would be between October and March. But whichever month you visit be sure to include a full moon night in your stay. The sunsets and the moon rises at the horizon almost simultaneously, in breathtaking synchrony.
 
WEATHER FORECAST
 
From April to June, Kanyakumari faces a very hot temperature that can reach up to maximum 35°C, whereas from November to February Kanyakumari remains coolest and the temperature hovers around 21°C. On the other hand, sometimes due to the Northeast Monsoon gentle rainfall takes place between the month of October and December.
 
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN KANYAKUMARI
 
Cape Festival : Kanyakumari, also known as Cape Comorin is located at the southern most tip of India, where the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. A dip in the ocean here is considered holy, but the sea is rough here and not fit for bathing. This is the only place in India, where the sunset and moonrise can be viewed simultaneously on a full moon day. The Vivekananda memorial set amidst the sea is a place known to give mental emancipation. The Cape festival is celebrated on a large scale for three days at Kanyakumari. The festival is marked by a series of cultural programs.

Some of the important festivals celebrated here are the Chaitra Purnima Festival celebrated in the first week of May, Navratri celebrated in the last week of October and the Holy Annual Festival of the Roman Catholic Church celebrated in the fourth week of December.
 
FOOD AND RESTURANTS IN KANYAKUMARI
 
The Foods of Kanyakumari are quite spicy, but the preparations always use less ingredients than the ones in other Tamil Nadu districts. In most of the dishes, people prefer extensive use of coconuts as a major ingredient and in their curries and food items the flavor of coconut can be felt. Avial is one of the most popular dishes in Kanyakumari. It is basically a vegetable dish that can be very easily prepared at home. But to prepare this mouthwatering vegetable course certain ingredients are needed. Coconut Rice in fact the most preferred one, since coconuts are cultivated over here at a large number. There are several ingredients that are used to prepare this dish. Almost all those ingredients remain available in the Kanyakumari markets throughout the year so people don't face any difficulty to make Coconut Rice. Valakkai Porial is a preparation from vegetables. The basic ingredients of this South Indian dish are coconut and banana. This is a very simple dish and can be easily prepared at home for the near and dear ones. Meen Kolambu is one of the favorite foods of Kanyakumari. Meen Kolambu or fish curry is a non-vegetarian dish. To prepare this dish, one will require fresh fish and an array of condiments. Meen Kolambu can be served with the main meal of the day. This dish can be served with rice. Semiya Payaasam is sweet dish and generally served after a meal. On the other hand, eating Payasaam is considered to be very auspicious by the Indians. The Kanyakumari recipe for Semiya Payaasam is very easy to prepare. At home, Semiya Payaasam can be prepared for the loved ones.

 

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