Kanyakumari is a town in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The town is also known as Kanniyakumari. The former name of the place was Cape Comorin. The place has been a great centre of art and religion for centuries.
Kanyakumari is a famous place for pilgrimage and tourism. The place takes its name from the goddess Devi Kanyakumari considered to be a sister of Krishna. The deity here is the goddess of sanyasa. People from all over India desired to lead a sanyasa life come here and take deeksha in the Kanyakumari Bhagavathiamman Temple. The beach sands of Kanyakumari are multicoloured. There is a shrine for Kalabhairava in the temple. The other nearby pilgrimage is famous Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil.
The main tourist attractions here are:
Thiruvalluvar Statue: The statue has a height of 95 feet and stands upon a 38 foot pedestal that represents the 38 chapters of virtue in the Thirukkural. The combined height of the statue and pedestal is 133 feet denoting 133 chapters in the Thirukkural.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial: This is a famous monument in Vavathurai, Kanyakumari. The monument stands on one of two rocks located about 500 metres east off mainland of vavathurai. This was built in honour of Swami Vivekananda in 1970. There is a meditation hall attached to the memorial. The two main structures of the memorial are the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam.
Mahatma Gandhi memorial: It is here the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept for public viewing before immersion. This memorial is designed in such a way that on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, 2nd October the first rays of the Sun fall on the exact place where his ashes were kept.
Suchindrum: This is a small village about 12 Kms from Kanyakumari. This is a holy place located on the banks of the river Puzhayar dedicated to Sri Sthanumalayan. The word Sthanumalayan means Siva, Vishnu and Brahma in one form.
Padmanabhapuram Palace: The palace is located at Padmanabhapuram Fort in Kanyakumari district. This palace is located about 20 kms from Nagercoil. The palace complex is inside an old granite fortress and is around 4 kms long. This is one of the best examples of traditional Kerala architecture.
Udayagiri Fort: The Fort is located about 14 kms from Nagercoil. This fort was originally built in the 17th century and then rebuilt in the 18th century by Maharaja Marthanda varma of Travancore. The fort is built of huge granite blocks around an isolated hillock. There are tombs of the Dutch admiral De Lannoy and his wife and son inside a partly ruined chapel in the fort.
Kanyakumari is a best place to watch sunrise and sunset. Sunrise can be seen throughout the year and sunset can be seen from View tower throughout the year except the months of June, July and August.
Tsunami Memorial Park: This is a unique monument located near the southern shore of Kanyakumari. The Tsunami monument here, as the name suggests was built in the memory of those who died in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami.
The nearest airport to Kanyakumari is Trivandrum International airport at about 67 kms. Kanyakumari has its own railway station.
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