Kanyakumari, the land's end of India, or Cape Comorin, is the southern most tip of India, also known as Indira Point, is a beautiful tourist attraction of Tamil Nadu State. Easily accessible by train and availability of rooms at many hotels of all budgets, should not be missed at any cost. The approximate stay is from 2 to 4 days depending on how much time you can give for sight seeing.
We took a train from Kottayam, Kerala, in the morning at around 9.30 and reached Kanya Kumari at around 2.30 afternoon. We had already booked the Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation hotel, which is ideally located near the beach, and checked in the AC room. The AC room is really affordable especially in the hot summer season.
After lunch, we set out to see the Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial, by boat. There are regular ferry services from the jetty which is very close to the TTDC resort. We were lucky to get the last ferry, at 4.30 p.m. and were taken first to the Thrivallavur Statue, a famous Tamil poet of yester years. The statue is magnificent and stands tall on a rock near the Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial - the author of the philosophical work Tirukkural - a treatise on the Indian way of life.
Our next halt was the Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial which was built in 1970. Swami Vivekananda, is said to have meditated here before setting out as one of India's most important religious crusaders. The memorial is one of India's greatest architechtural magnificence, and has a statue of Swami Vivekananda in the memorial building.
There is a temple opposite to the entrance of the memorial. The temple is of Godess Kumari Amman and the footprints of the virgin godess can be seen here. In one of her incarnations, Parvati, the consort of Shiva, was born as Kanyakumari Devi, who could not marry Shiva and thus remained unwedded and a virgin. The rice that was used for the wedding was scattered on the sands as seven different coloured sands on the beach.
Kanyakumari is a place where we can see the confluence of the three seas. The Bay of Bengal, The Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. One can actually see the three colours of the waters during the low tides.
On the mainland Kanyakumari is the Kumari Amman temple. A visit to the temple is a must. The Diamond nose-ring of this godess is famous for its sparkling splendor which is supposed to be visible even from the sea.
There is a dress code while entering the temples in South India. For the males there is the Adda Munda, or Dhoti, and the Anga Vastra, and saree for the females. Photography is strictly prohibited inside the temples.The entrance to the magnificent beach is just behind the temple. One can find a lot of curios on the beach, the vendors sell all sorts of shells and shell-craft. Bargaining is a must. Conches are my favorites. You can get the most economical conches here than in the rest of India.
There are a lot of eateries on the jetty road, near the temple. STD facilities are also available.
SUCHINDRAM TEMPLEPADMANABHAPURAM PALACE
A beautiful temple, with typical South Indian architecture, situated just about 13 kms from Kanyakumari, and is a treat to visit. The insides of the temple are very intricately carved out of stone. There is a huge 18 feet idol of Lord Hanuman on your right, as soon as you enter the temple. There are musical pillars, cut out of a single rock. There are 1035 pillars with carvings and stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata are depicted on either side of the temple. There is the pujari who doubles up as your guide and takes you around inside the temple and describes the details about the idols, the history, and the construction of the temple. It is believed that Lord Indra was blessed by Lord Shiva and hence the name Suchi which means "purified" Indram.
One of the most wonderful piece of the architecture of Kerala, is the Padmanabhapuram Palace. Situated at around 45 kms away from Kanyakumari, this place is worth a visit. One is struck by awe and wonder at the architecture carved out of wood and it is believed that there is not a single nail in the entire palace. One can see the maintenance personnel polishing and shining the black floor with carbon black and oil and give it a gleaming appearance. Padmanabhapuram was the capital of Travancore.
A long bridge which spans about a kilometer between two villages is a beautiful sight to watch. The scenery on either side of the narrow pedestrian bridge is breathtaking.
Sunset point like any other sunset point, is about 5 kms away from Kanyakumari town. Here you can watch the sun go down from behind the clouds on the horizon. People throng here to watch the sunset. Make sure you hire a cab or an auto rickshaw to return back to your hotel, after sunset.