Kanyakumari town is named after the goddess Kanyakumari Amman, a popular deity of the area. Legend has it that the goddess Parvathi in one of her incarnations as devi Kanniya did penance on one of the rocks of this “Land’s end” to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva. If you visit a travel agency for the local tour, you have to shell out anywhere around Rs. 1,500 for the places which you can see on your own as they are quite nearby to one another.
It took me approx. 2 hours to visit all as I was on my bicycle. The most famous landmark of Kanyakumari is Thiruvalluvar Statue and Swami Vivekanand Rock Memorial, both situated in the sea, approx. 100 metres from the land. You can take a ferry for both sides for Rs. 34. Kanyakumari was known as Cape Comorin and a lighthouse of the same name is still there.
A road going to the sunset point beach gets too crowded in the evening. On this road is the Kamarajar Mandapam. Kamarajar was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for 13 years. He was known for his simplicity and integrity. He is still remembered for bringing school education to millions of the rural poor by introducing free education and free mid-day meal scheme during his tenure as Chief Minister. The mandapam contains galleries having photographs depicting his achievements. Next to it is the Gandhi Mandapam. This memorial stands at a place where the ashes were kept for darshan before being immersed into the sea. The central dome is 79 feet high representing Gandhi’s age at that point of his assassination. On 2nd October, sun rays falls at the urn containing Gandhi’s ashes through a hole in the roof.
The most strikingly beautiful structure to me in Kanyakumari is the Lady of Ransom Church, located near the railway station. This church is a more than 100-years-old building dedicated to Mother Mary. The Central Tower is crowned with a cross of pure gold. Truly a beautiful structure, the church looks particularly gorgeous against the molten-blue noon sky. Astonishingly, the grand gothic facade is a striking contrast to its almost bare interiors.
Kanyakumari is approx. 25 sq kms in area and is a beautiful town to give a visit to.
Plan your next holiday soon.