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Kanyakumari: The Land's End of India And The Confluence of Three Seas
The world is a country which nobody ever yet knows by description;
one must travel through it, one's self to be acquainted with it.
- Lord Chesterfield
A romantic spot, lovers' paradise, sea lovers' favorite choice and above all a sacred religious destination of Hindus. Kanyakumari is very different and vibrant. Romance and spirituality flow smoothly here. Kanyakumari is well famed for its incomparable geographical location for two reasons: 1) It is the land's end of India and reason 2) Three great seas-the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal confluence here.
It has other reasons too to become the most sought after tourist destination of South India. The serene beauty of this place and the spectacles of sunrise and sunset. The sun rises over the Bay of Bengal and sets on the Arabian Sea. On full moon evenings, sunset and moon rise can be seen simultaneously. Thousands of tourists assemble on the tip of the seashore to see this splendor view of nature. It is a unique spectacle, you will never forget. Kanyakumari is in Tamil Nadu and the nearest chief city is Thirvananthapuram (93 km).
The sunrise can be viewed throughout the year. Sunset is visible only from October 15 to March 15 Still, you can view both sunrise and sunset through the year from atop a hill called Murugan Kundram. If you wish to watch the panoramic view Kanyakumari, Murugan Kundram is the place you need to land.
The place gets its name from the Virgin Deity. 'Kanya' means virgin and 'Kumari' is equivalent to 'Miss'.
The Myth related to Kanyakumari
Kanya Kumari is actually Parvati, the Virgin Goddess, who did penance at this place to marry Lord Shiva. But the marriage could take place due to some strange circumstances. hence the Devi (goddess) remained a virgin Kanya Kumari. There is a story related to the power of the goddess. It goes thus: Once, the demon named Banasura created a lot of problems and spoilt the very peace of the residents of this place. He always troubled them. Later, the goddess came to the rescue of the residents and killed Banasura.
Google Map of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India
Below I present some of the best attractions of Kanyakumari.
Kumari Amman Temple
The 3000-year-old temple at this place is dedicated to Virgin Goddess or Kanyakumari or Devi Parashakthi or Kumari Bhagavati. These are the different names of the goddess. The temple is situated on the sea shore. The deity in the shrine is divinely charming. the diamond nose ring she wears is visible even from the sea. The main festivals celebrated are Navaratri (Sept/Oct) and Car Festival (May or June). The Dharshan time of the temple is as follows: 4.30 am to 12.15 pm and 4.0 pm to 8.15 pm
Swamy Vivekananda Rock
On 24-02 1892 Kanyakumari had a great visitor. It was Swamy Vivekananda. He came here before his departure of Chicago to participate in the World Religious Conference in 1893. He became a powerful spiritual leader and philosopher after sitting and meditating on this rock for two days. Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built in 1970.
The Mandapam is built on the Swamy Vivekananda Rock. It resembles with the Sri Ramakrishna Temple at Belur. The entrance is designed on the style of Ajanta and Ellora Cave Temples. this rock is approachable only by boat which provides a pleasure cruise into the sea. The journey is through the vibrant waves and a thrilling experience. Standing on the rock, you can watch the surrounding beautiful location of Kanyakumari. It is truly amazing.
Vivekanandapuram (1 km)
It is the headquarters of the Vivekananda Kendra. There is an imposing statue of Swamy Vivekananda as a wandering monk and a unique pictorial exhibition. the beach here offers a panoramic view of the sun emerging from the ocean.
Vetta Kottai Forts (6 km)
This is the 18th century historical fort overlooking the sea. The beach is clean and clam. An ideal place for bathing a fine picnic spot.
The stone statue is 133 feet high including the pedestal. The pedestal is 38 ft high representing the 38 chapters in the first part of the Kural (Virtue) and the 95 ft statue represents the total chapters in the 2nd and 3rd parts of the Kural, wealth and love. The statue thus symbolizes the themes of wealth and love. The pedestal is surrounded by an artistic 'Mandapam" known as 'Alankara Mandapam'. See the photo below.
A Shiva temple, but, in fact, the only temple in the country dedicated to the Hindu Trinity- Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. the deity is a single 'lingam' known as 'Sthanumalaya', representing triple aspects of Shiva-Vishnu[Brahma. The remarkable feature of the temple is its 18 ft high statue of hanuman, the musical pillars, tall 'gopuram' and architectural beauty. The Human statue is said to be the tallest in India.
This is the place where Lord Indra was purified, thus giving the name Suchi-Indra.
St. Mary's Church
A beautiful Roman Catholic Church dedicated to St. Mary. It is a huge monument with a central tall tower and two others at the sides. This is one of the biggest and beautiful churches in the South India. Kanyakumari has a large concentration of Christians apart from Hindus and Muslims.
Kanyakumari zincs well with a religious landscape attracting thousands of pilgrims. It has a romantic background too which lured many famous directors to shoot their films on this soil. On the right side of this text, I have clipped a video of a Malayalam movie titled 'Meghamalhar', which was filmed in and around Kanyakumari. Please enjoy this video for it would take you to a different world of mood and nostalgia. The sunset, sunrise, powdery sand, seashore, sea shells, devotional atmosphere.......Kanyakumari has it all. It is a beautiful painting drawn by the god on the large canvas of nature.
© 2013 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth