India, land of dynamic civilizations, land of colorful cultures and traditions, land of sages and mystics, has never ceased to fascinate tourists from all over the world. From north to south and east to west, every part of India has a different flavor. When thinking of exploring India, why not start from the southern tip, Kanyakumari? There are some really awesome places to visit in Kanyakumari that will fulfil the desires of every traveler. Let us have a fleeting look at them.
Oh yeah, before that, why Kanyakumari here? In fact, Kanyakumari is the starting point our journey to Kohima. We are traveling almost 4111 kilometers covering 11+ destination in 30 days for taking part in the great Hornbill Festival. You can also read about our plans for the Hornbill Festival before continuing to the best places to visit in Kanyakumari.
11 Selected Places to Visit in Kanyakumari
1. Kanyakumari Temple
Kanyakumari temple also known as Kumari Amman Temple, is the biggest tourist attraction of Kanyakumari. Located on the beach, the temple creates a divine atmosphere in the entire area. The Goddess here is an adolescent girl and so the name Kumari, which means girl. The temple dates back to Vedic times and it said to have been consecrated by the great sage, Parasurama.
The magnificent architecture and the awe inspiring idol of the temple attract scores of visitors. The diamond nose ring of the Goddess looks dazzling even from far. It is said that this was visible even from far seas, so ships often mistook the sparkle as a lighthouse, leading to many ship wrecks. To avoid this, the door of the temple facing the sea is always kept closed, except on special occasions.
2. Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Located off the shores of Kanyakumari is this place which is among the most awesome places to visit in Kanyakumari. Swami Vivekananda had selected this rock, located at the confluence of three oceans, to contemplate on spirituality. As amazing as Kanyakumari sunrise is a trip to this rock island, which is dedicated to one of the most learned men in the history of India!
A ferry ride will take tourists to the island. There are two main structures, Vivekananda Mandapam and Shripada Mandapam. There is a museum which throws light into the light and teachings of the great saint. Meditate in the place which has still got the same powerful vibrations, perfect bliss!
3. Kanyakumari Beach
A visit to the beach and a dip in sacred waters form an integral part of your trip to Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari beach boasts of something very unique. It has the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal surrounding it. The place known as Triveni Sangam is a sacred site for Hindu worshipers.
Another astonishing fact is that in Kanyakumari, you can watch both sunrise and sunset from the same place. Advantage of being on the tip of land! Watching the crimson dot growing into the huge ball of fire over the vast horizon of ocean, Kanyakumari sunrise is magical! The beach is rocky and the sea is rough, so it is not a very good place to venture deep into the waters. Nevertheless, dip your feet in the holy ocean and feel divine energies engulfing you.
4. Thiruvalluvar Statue
Another attraction in the middle of sea, Thiruvalluvar statue is the first thing that captures your eyes when you visit seaside. Thiruvalluvar was a renowned Tamil poet and philosopher and was best known for his work, Thirukkural. The statue fixed on a rocky island in the ocean stands apart due to its enormity. It is 95 feet tall and is fixed on a pedestal which is 38 feet high. The pedestal is symbolic as it represents 38 chapters of Thirukkural. The slight bend around the waist of the statue is adapted from Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva. Take a ferry ride to this statue to view one of the most awesome places to visit in Kanyakumari.
5. Vattakottai Fort
This is the place that lets you know about the past of this amazing destination. Kanyakumari was once under Travancore kingdom. Vattakottai fort, which means circular fort, was built by Travancore kings to fortify their territories. The fort made of granite blocks stands majestic along the coast. The fort has a picture perfect setting with parts of it jutting into the sea. Enjoy the splendid views of the placid Indian Ocean and turbulent Bay of Bengal and even the Western Ghats from this fort.
6. Padmanabhapuram Palace
Padmanabhapuram Palace located near Kanyakumari is an addition to the list of most awesome places to visit in Kanyakumari. This palace was the official residence of erstwhile Travancore kings. The palace is a testimony to the simple lifestyle of Travancore kings. Unlike palaces in the northern parts of India, this palace is not about all gold and glitter. Intricately carved wooden doors and ceilings are the mark of the palace. Enter the rooms and you walk into another era, where kings and queens reigned. There are several ancient monuments displayed here, like swords and daggers used by the kings. A palace where history peeps from every corner, do make a point to visit this.
7. Thiruparappu Falls
Thiruparappu waterfalls will provide for a stopover on your way to Kanyakumari. Though not very gigantic in terms of size, the falls have a visual appeal. The waterfalls are 300 feet long and falls from a height of 50 feet. This place has got gushing falls almost throughout the year, so visitors can enjoy even in scorching summers. You can take a natural shower under the falls. Get drenched under the stream, with nature to accompany you. What a welcome change it will be from the swanky baths of your urban homes!
8. Gandhi Memorial
Gandhi Memorial is the place which brings fond remembrances of Mahatma Gandhi, father of nation for all Indians. The last remains of this great man were immersed in the Triveni Sangam in Kanyakumari. Before immersion, the urn containing the ashes was kept for public to pay homage. It was exactly in this place that Gandhi Memorial was built. Located on the sea shore, it resembles a temple in appearance and also in spirit. The structure has been built in such a way that on Gandhiji’s birthday, October 2, the first rays of sun fall on the place where ashes were kept.
9. Suchindram Temple
This temple is located close to Kanyakumari and is one of the most awesome places to visit in Kanyakumari owing to its spiritual value as well as impressive architecture. The temple is also called Thanumalayan Temple. The presiding deity of this temple is Sthanumalayan, a united form of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. This temple has been constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture with a giant gopuram, a pyramid shaped tower at the entrance. The seven storied gopuram is in white color, symbolizing the peace pervading in the area. Intricately carved images of god adorn the gopuram giving it a magnificent look.
10. Courtallam Waterfalls
Much hyped tourist destination in Tamil Nadu, Courtallam Falls, is surely a gift of nature. Though located at around 100 kms from Kanyakumari, this place is also worth a try when you are exploring the nearby areas. There are 9 waterfalls, some pretty small and some enormous. The biggest one falls from 60 m and is quite impressive. If you are scared of the mighty falls, you can try having a bath in the smaller ones. These waterfalls are dependent on rains for their supply, so if you happen to visit in extreme summers, you might be disappointed.
11. Mathur Hanging Bridge
Don’t imagine a bridge hanging in the air. This is actually an aqueduct carrying water for irrigation. As the terrain of the area is mostly hilly, this aqueduct was needed to bridge the gap between two villages. This concrete structure is supported by 28 huge pillars, the tallest pillar reaching a height of 115 feet. There is a flight of stairs to the top, allowing tourists to walk on the bridge, along the water. A walk high above the ground enjoying the scenic beauty down under, but with flowing water by your side! Isn’t that something? This bridge is truly one of the most awesome places to visit in Kanyakumari.
A trip to Kanyakumari will gift you some unforgettable moments. A place with enthralling sunrise and sunset views, majestic views of three oceans, Kanyakumari is unlike any other destination.