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Kanyakumari is One of the most exotic places to go in India is the city of Kanyakumari, also known as Cape Comorin, which is filled with many and interesting tourist attractions. Perhaps what makes it so interesting is the fact that it is located at the southernmost part of India, hence it is somewhat of a well of culture ready to be explored by tourists.
The rich history and the cultural heritage of Kanyakumari is one of mixed culture and profound heritage. The city of Kanyakumari have been around for thousands of years as it has been the city of culture, history, arts, economy and the hub of civilization for centuries. In Kanyakumari, you can find instances of many religions like Islam, Christianity, or Hinduism easily. Its mixed heritage of the city has called out for many people for pilgrimage that has been going on for centuries.
Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) represents all the beautiful things that India has to offer the world. You can find many temples, churches, religious pillars and statues that will keep the head spinning. It is a place of mixed culture that is reflected in the arts, buildings and even in the food.
Kanyakumari being the geographical end of the peninsular country, is famous for the meeting point of Indian Ocean with Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Kanyakumari offers spectacular view of sunrise and sunset, One of the best in world. The place is even known for its exclusively rich south Indian tradition and culture, which gets reflected from the varied temples in the district.
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 by Eknath Ranade, and the 133 feet (41 m) tall statue of Tamil saint–poet Thiruvalluvar, one of the biggest statues in Asia, completed in 2000 by sculptor V. Ganapati Sthapati.
One of the rocks, called Sri Padhaparai, is said to bear the footprints of the virgin goddess. Swami Vivekananda is said to have meditated on this rock for three days. 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.
This famous 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.
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.
It 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.
See the sunrise/sunset the actual geographic south point of India is a few kilometers to the West of Kanyakumari's point and the big Thiruvalluvar Statue. It has a nice stone boat shed, a big Virgin Mary statue, some rocks, and if you walk down onto the sand and rocks, best of all no other people
The food in Kanniyakumari is more of the classic South Indian style. It is mostly vegetarianincluding 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. 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.
There are numerous hotels, residencies etc. in and around Kanyakumari and therefore, 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