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Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari THE SOUTHERN MOST LAND TIP OF INDIA - Kanyakumari (also spelt as Kanniyakumari) district is bounded by Tirunelveli district in the north and northeast, by Kerala state in the northwest and confluence of Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean in the west and south. The coastline is almost regular except for some points of land projecting into the sea at Cape Comorin. Kanyakumari is the district headquarters of the district of the same name.

The city of kanyakumari

At the southern most land tip of India, where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet, lies Kannyakumari, an important pilgrim centre. Kannyakumari is famous for its beach and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, especially on full moon days. Kanyakumari is also famous for its vast green stretches of paddy fields, rich forests, coconut groves and mineral sands.Kannyakumari has been named after the Goddess Kannyakumari Amman who is the popular deity of the area. Legend has it that the Goddess Parvati 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.

The history of Kanyakumari

Kanniyakumari district, once known as "The Granary of Travancore" lies at the southwestern part of Indian peninsula. It was in Travancore for a long time and then merged with Tamil Nadu in 1956 under the State Linguistic Reorganisation Act.

Kanyakumari Beach

The Kanyakumari beach is a beautiful sight with multi-coloured sand. The beach here does not really offer one the opportunity to sunbathe on soft golden sands, or to frolic in the waves either. The seashore is rocky and dangerous, and there is a manmade wall running along it. People are warned to stay off the rocks, and when if someone ventures out of bounds, he or she is quickly and severely reprimanded by a watchful policeman. There is a lighthouse from where one can get a panoramic view.

The sea is fairly rough, so it is entertaining to watch it beat itself against the rocks and then subside, before it gathers itself up for another attack. With long stretches of sands of many hues, the beach offers a welcome change. A variety of shells are on sale on the Kanyakumari beach.

Kumari Amman Temple

Kumari Amman Temple is dedicated to Parvati as Devi Kanya, the Virgin Goddess who did penance to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva.

Temple of Goddess Bhagavathi

Few temples in India are more picturesquely located than that of Goddess Bhagavathi in Kannyakumari. It stands near where three oceans meet: the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

In its early form the temple seems to have been built by the first Pandyas. The Nayaks expanded it later. There are three Prakaras. The image of the Goddess in the sanctum is marvellous in its serenity and beneficence. She carries a necklace in Her right hand. The eastern gate, facing the Bay of Bengal is opened only five times a year.

Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial

On the evening of December 25, 1892, Swami Vivekananda who had come to Kannyakumari on pilgrimage swam to the rock and spent the whole night there in deep meditation. He then resolved to decide himself to the service of the Motherland and to spread the message of Vedanta. Next year he attended the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, an event of seminal importance in the modern history of Hinduism. To commemorate his visit to the rock a superb memorial has been erected. It attracts thousands of visitors.

Gandhi Mandapam

Not far from the Kumari Amman Temple is the Gandhi Mandapam, constructed at the spot where the urn containing the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi was kept for public view before a portion of its contents was immersed in the three seas. It resembles an Oriyan temple and was designed so that on Gandhiji's birthday (2nd October), the sun's rays fall on the place where his ashes were kept.

The Temple at Suchindram

Tradition connects the Kannyakumari temple with that in Suchindram (13-km from Kanyakumari). This is a fine, large fane, with a beautiful tank. It is one of the few temples in the country where the Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Isvara, are worshipped. The Linga, named "Sthanumalaya", is in three parts; the top represents Lord Shiva, the middle Lord Vishnu, and the base Lord Brahma. "Sthanu" is a name of Shiva, "Mal" of Vishnu, and "Ayan" of Brahma.

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