Vivekananda Rock Memorial is devoted to Swami Vivekananda who was a devotee of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Sri Ramkrishna was the creator of Ramakrishna Mission. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial was constructed in 1970 in blue and red granite. It is located on the peak of a rock island at a height of approximately 17 metres from the sea level.
This place covers roughly 6 acres of land. The memorial rests on the peak of 2 rocks and is located about 500 metres from the island.
It is said that Vivekananda came to Kanyakumari and swam to this rock and spent that night in intense meditation. After that he determined to devote himself to serve the country and spread out the Vedanta message all over the world. In the year 1983, in Chicago, he was present at the World Religious Conference.
The Vivekananda Rock Memorial memorialises Vivekananda’s visit to Sripada Parai on the 24th Dec, 25th Dec and 26th Dec, 1982, for profound meditation and spiritual enlightenment.
The visitors can see the statue of Vivekananda inside the building of Vivekananda Rock Memorial. The memorial includes 2 mandapams - Shripada Mandapam and Vivekananda Mandapam. The Shripada Mandapam is located on Sripada Parai, which is a holy spot supposed to be blessed by deity Kanyakumari. Vivekananda Mandapam has 4 parts - Sabha Mandapam, Dhyana Mandapam, Front Entrance and Mukha Mandapam. Dhyana Mandapam is the meditation hall where the travellers can meditate.
Kumari Amman Temple or Kanyakumari Temple is situated on the seashore and is committed to an incarnation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who underwent self-punishment to marry Lord Shiva. The name Kanyakumari is made of Kanya and Kumari - Kanya means virgin and Kumari means girl. According to the tales, the wedding between Lord Shiva and Goddess Kanyakumari did not happen, therefore, Kanyakumari decided to stay a virgin.
It is also said that the cereals that were gathered for the wedding were left uncooked and they transformed into stones. In the present day, the visitors can buy the stones that look like cereals, in the memory of the wedding which was never celebrated.
The temple was put up by Pandya emperors in eighth century and later it was refurbished by Vijayanagar, Chola and Nayaka kings.
Kanyakumari temple also includes an 18th-century sacred place where visitors can see the footprints of the goddess.
This statue is one of the main landmarks of Kanyakumari. The statue is a standing mammoth, made of stone, and is devoted to the famous saint and Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar. The height of the Thiruvalluvar Statue is about 133 feet. This statue is erected next to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.
The height of the pedestal of the statue is approximately 38 feet and it signifies the 38 chapters of Aram of the book Thirukkural written by Thiruvalluvar. Moreover, the statue that is placed on the pedestal is about 95 feet high and it denotes the 25 chapters of Inbam and 70 chapters of Porul of the book.
The sculptor of this statue was Dr V. Ganapati Sthapati.
Gandhi Memorial, which is also known as Gandhi Mandapam, was erected to respect the father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It was constructed in the year 1956 and the structural design of this monument is like the temples in Orissa.
The inner structure of Gandhi Memorial is about 79 feet high which symbolises the age of Mahatma Gandhi when he died. This monument is planned in such a technique that every year on 2nd October, at noontime, the sunrays fall over the accurate spot where Gandhiji’s ashes were kept prior to immersion.
Gandhi Memorial is situated close to Kanyakumari Temple. This monument is also popular for the library which includes the old books, pamphlets and magazines of the period before India’s independence. The library is open only on Fridays and Saturdays.
Chitharal is a small village which is a famous tourist spot in Kanyakumari and is located at almost 45 km from the city. This village is renowned for its hill temple and Jain monuments.
Chitharal Hill Temple is located on top of a hillock. This small hill includes a cave in which visitors can see rock-cut statues of the attendant deities and Tirthankaras. On the interior and exterior sides of the cave wall there are many rock-cut statues and carvings. To reach the hill temple visitors have to walk for about ten minutes to the hilltop.
The Jain monuments of Chithral are rich in culture and a lot of visitors travel to these monuments to respect their gods. The idols and rock shelters of the Jain monuments date back to 9th to 11th century.
This fort is situated approximately 6 km to the north-east of the city of Kanyakumari. Vattakottai Fort was erected in 18th century, and this was the last fort amongst the coastal forts built by the Travancore emperors.
The height of the walls of Vattakottai Fort is nearly 25 ft and the thickness of the walls is around 29 ft on the front. The fort was built by De Lannoy, who was a Dutch naval officer.
The fort is made of stone and it includes restrooms, watchtowers and weapon rooms. The walls inside the fort have engravings of fish designs, which is supposed to be emblem of Pandyas. It is also said by the archaeologists that the fort was under the authority of Pandyas in the past.
Earlier, Padmanabhapuram Palace was clearly visible from the peak of the fort. In the past, there used to be 1.2 m broad tunnel from the fort to the palace, but the tunnel is closed now.
Visitors can catch a glimpse of the sea from the elevated parade ground located on top of the fort. The water of Bay of Bengal is visible from one side of the parade ground and on the other side the serene water of Arabian Sea can be seen.
Vavathurai is a village in Kanyakumari which is famous for a catholic church known as the St Arockia Nathar Church. The church is located on the shoreline of Kanyakumari. It was launched in 2010 by the current bishop of Kottar, Most Rev. Peter Remigius.
The church in Vavathurai is devoted to St Arockia Nathar. The meaning of the name Arockia Nathar is one who constantly rescues the people from illness and provides good health to everyone. The church looks simply stunning because it is erected on the seashore with a blue background (due to the blue-coloured sky).