A town popular as the southern most tip of India, Kanyakumari is a delight for both pilgrims and a traveller looking to explore. This town in Tamil Nadu boasts of some magnificent temples, towering statues, memorials and yes, the beach! Kanyakumari has earned a special place in the hearts of travellers for the scenic sunsets and sunrises experienced here!
Nature abounds this scenic destination with hills in the background, colourful shores, lazy coconut trees and paddy fields. It also serves authentic South Indian food. Head to Kanyakumari for a memorable vacation with family or friends and it is also a safe destination for single travellers. Here are some of the places to visit in Kanyakumari.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Among the tourist attractions in Kanyakumari is the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, located 500 mt off the Vavathurai mainland. This monument pays homage to the Hindu philosopher and spiritual guide Swami Vivekananda. The monument sports a combination of architectural styles and also provides a view of the confluence of Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. This beautiful monument definitely makes for an interesting visit.
Photo Courtesy: Arul Jegadish
A must-visit place in Kanyakumari is the Thiruvalluvar Statue. Towering the landscape at a height of 133 ft, this beautiful stone sculpture pays homage to the great Tamil philosopher and poet Thiruvalluvar. The statue's pedestal representing the 38 chapters of virtue as described in the Thirukkural, is represented in the fact that it is 38 ft high. Built with stone and concrete, the monument weighs over 7000 tonnes!
Photo Courtesy: ritesh3
Devi Kanyakumari Temple
This unique temple in Kanyakumari worships the goddess Bhagavathy in her adolescent child form. The temple is also considered as one of the 'Shakthi Peeths'. A visit to this temple to seek Devi's blessings is a must if you are travelling to Kanyakumari. The temple is open for devotees from 4:30 am to 12:15 pm and 4:00 pm to 8:15 pm.
Photo Courtesy: Parvathisri
The Thanumalayan temple built in the 17th century is another place to visit in Kanyakumari. This important Hindu temple represents the worship of 'Trimurtis' namely the Hindu gods; Shiva, Bramha and Vishnu in a singular form called Sthanumalyam. Travellers will be thrilled to observe the architectural grandeur of the temple, some features standout such as the white Gopuram showcasing many sculptures. The monolith Hanuman statue standing at a height of 22 ft is among the tallest such statues in India. Popular festivals such as the Car festival and Teppam attract tourists from across the country and devotees from the world over!
Photo Courtesy: Vinayaraj
The Padmanabhapuram palace in Kanyakumari is located at the foothills of Veli ranges and is a stellar example of Kerala architecture. The palace consists of several structures such as the King's council chamber, Queen's palace, performance hall, central mansion and southern palace. Parts such as the southern palace are as old as 400 years, and currently functions as a museum, yet another old but functioning element of the palace is its 300 year old clock, still ticking strong! Even though the location of the palace is in Tamil Nadu, the administrative rights fall under the Government of Kerala.
Photo Courtesy: Aviatorjk
The Sothaivilai beach in Kanyakumari is another popular tourist attraction. Stretching across 4 km, this beach is considered one of the longest beaches in Tamil Nadu. It is popular for being a clean beach and not too crowded. An ideal location for a family picnic!
Photo Courtesy: Infocaster
A popular beach in Tamil Nadu, the Kanyakumari beach has the fierce waters entertain onlookers with waves that crash on the rocky edges. A wall separates the beach, and people are advised against venturing farther. With the multi-hued sands, the beach is an idyllic place to observe the vivid shades of sunset. It is also a great experience at night as the moon lights up the waters in a haunting manner!
Photo Courtesy: Raj
An ideal place to visit in Kanyakumari during or right after the monsoons is the Thirparappu waterfalls. The waterfall is 300 ft long and falls from a height of 50 ft. The government authorities have also constructed a swimming pool that has gained popularity among kids. This is another great picnic spot for family and friends to take a break from the heat and be refreshed.
Photo Courtesy: Pranav
Food and Shopping
Kanyakumari offers authentic South India dishes for foodies. The beaches also offer interesting street food and snacks. The hotel Seaview is suggested by travellers. Being a beach destination, Kanyakumari offers travellers a variety of products made from colourful sea shells such as wind-chimes, mirrors, wall hangings, keychains, etc. Other lovely products made from natural elements such as wood and palm leaf are also available.
Photo Courtesy: Ryan
How to reach Kanyakumari
By Road: Kanyakumari is well connected by both state and national highways. Closest cities are Thiruvananthapuram (85 km) and Madurai (244 km). Both Kerala and Tamil Nadu offer many buses to Kanyakumari. Buses are also available from major cities in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
By Rail: A vast network of trains connect Kanyakumari to most major towns and cities in India. Popular trains such as the Kanyakumari express, Kanyakumari Howrah express, Island express, etc are available for travellers to choose from.
By Air: The nearest airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram (82 km) and Tuticorin (89 km). Taxis and buses are available at the airport.
Photo Courtesy: Mehul Antani