A Trip to Kanyakumari

A Trip to Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari is the southernmost point of our country situated in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its rich cultural heritage and the confluence of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal & Indian Ocean. 

I visited Kanyakumari during my Kerala trip. Initially it was not part of my itinerary, I included it after knowing that it’s just takes three hours of drive to reach from Kovalam. However, it is reachable through Kanyakumari bus stand and railway station. 

The road to Kanyakumari from Kovalam is in perfect condition so you can reach without much hurdle in between. Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kumari Amman Temple, Thiruvalluvar statue, Gandhi Memorial, Triveni Sangam Point, are in close proximity with each other. After reaching Kanyakumari, I immediately bought passes for jetty which will take me to Rock memorial & the statue. On following the indications I reached the boating area. The last jetty is at 4pm so one should try to reach by at the least 3pm.  At the waiting area near the ocean there was a huge crowd waiting for the jetty to arrive. I could visualize the jetty ride will be no less than a roller-coaster one, considering the gigantic waves of the ocean playing along. After boarding the jetty, we took our seats & wore our safety jackets. The boat was full to its capacity of 150 people. Around 10 minutes later reached Vivekananda Rock Memorial, somewhere in the middle of the ocean. On entering the rock memorial, we have to pay 20Rs. entrance fees & asked to leave the footwear before climbing to the rocks. There’s a place to keep all shoes at no charge, & a token will be provided to claim the shoes back. This monument was built in the 1970s and Swami Vivekananda was believed to have attained enlightenment at this fine piece of human endeavor at architecture. One can explore the entire memorial where there are separate sections. One of the section is of utmost significance as it was the meditation spot of Swami Vivekananda. This mediation hall has 6 adjoining rooms, & is alluring because of its spiritual aura. In another section, one can view images of much revered Shri Ramakrishna & Sarada Devi. This architectural masterpiece draws its similarity from Ramakrishna Math, Belur, West Bengal. A bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda present in this memorial catches our attention being one of the attractive features of this memorial.

The bird’s eye view from top of the memorial & the windy atmosphere shouldn’t be missed as you can get a graceful picture of the southernmost tip of Indian peninsular, surrounded by the mighty & the endless Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean & Bay of Bengal. 

The jetty arrives at the same place, where it left you off, after regular intervals to take you to Thiruvalluvar statue. Initially unaware of the historical background of this statue, I later learnt that Saint Valluvar was a Tamil poet & philosopher. The height of this gigantic statue is 133 feet built on a 38 feet long pedestal. Given the sky-touching height of the statue, its nearly impossible to catch a glance of the entire structure if you stand near to it. There are stairs with the help of which you can reach the top of the statue & enjoy a similar majestic view of the ocean. While climbing you can view Tamil poem versus of the great Valluvar sculpted on the statue. 

There are not many restaurants in Kanyakumari however I managed to find one close to the entrance of jetty service area. After lunch I visited Kumari Amman Temple & Gandhi Memorial. 

Situated close to the sea, Kumari Amman Temple is the home to Goddess Kanyakumari & considered to be one of the holy Shakthi Peeths. As per legend the temple dates back 3000 years ago, when it was constructed with an impressive architecture. 

Also located near to the shores is Gandhi Memorial built in honour of Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi. Initially unaware of the historical richness of this memorial, I decided to take a tour to know more about its significance. Mahatma Gandhi twice visited Kanyakumari in the year 1925 & 1937. After his demise in the year 1948 his ashes were kept in 12 different urns which were then transferred to different parts of the country, & one of the urn arrived at Kanyakumari. Before immersing the ashes to sea waters , the urn was kept at a place where the memorial is now built for citizens to pay homage to one of the greatest sons of India. The most striking feature of this memorial is that the ceiling oft he building has an opening that has been constructed in such a way that on 2nd October of every year the sun rays comes in contact with the spot where the urn was kept. Prior to entering the memorial hall one needs to leave the footwear outside. This two-storied hall contains a library with an extensive collection of photographs, books, magazines from the pre-independence era that narrates some of the life events of The Father of Our Nation. From the top of the memorial one can have a glimpse of the scenic beauty around. 

The Triveni sangam point of Kanyakumari is the meeting point of the three seas. Going by word of mouth & my strong instinct I had the belief one can differentiate between the three seas by having a glance at the three different colour of each sea but honestly it is practically impossible to tell the difference with naked eyes. Perhaps it requires the perfect environmental conditions. The water level of the sea has less depth that makes it suitable for vacationers to come close to the beach and enjoy the view of the waves colliding with large rocks and splashing water around. 

Formerly known as Cape Comorin, Kanyakumari gives an unique experience of historical, religious , and spiritual importance one would definitely not want to miss.
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Payel Biswas
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