A vacation to South India on your mind? Consider visiting Kanyakumari, a coastal city in Tamil Nadu. It is the southernmost point of the Indian peninsula where the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet. Kanyakumari also proudly boasts being home to Vivekananda Rock Memorial, the place where the great Swami Vivekananda attained enlightenment.
Historically, it is believed that Goddess Kanyakumari, who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, prayed to Lord Shiva proposing marriage in this region. This is why the region was named in her honor. Keeping with the mythological traditions, women from all parts of the country flock here offering prayers to find a suitable groom.
While Kanyakumari is mostly known to be a destination for pilgrims, the city has a lot more to offer than just being a spiritual getaway. The city will enthrall you with breathtaking views of sunrises and sunsets, finest in the entire country. This makes for a perfect vacation for the ones looking out for serenity. If you are the more adventurous kind who like to delve deep into a city’s culture, there are a lot of historical monuments and beautiful temples to explore.
Your trip to Kanyakumari is incomplete without visiting the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, the most famous tourist attraction of the city. You can spend a few moments surrounded by tranquility and spiritual vibes in the same place where Swami Vivekananda attained enlightenment back in the year 1892. The memorial also has a meditation hall, Dhyan Mandapam, where you can meditate and experience pure bliss. Sunrise and sunset are even more beautiful when viewed from the memorial.
The Vivekananda Rock Memorial is located 500 meters off the mainland. To get there, you need to take a 15-minute ferry ride from Kanyakumari that operates from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. depending on the season. Standard tickets usually cost Rs 35. However, if you want to avoid the queue, you can purchase a premium ticket of Rs 169.
Thousands of tourists flood Kanyakumari every year, seeking to explore its beauty and serenity. Here are some of the best places in the city that will allure the traveler inside you.
Kanyakumari is a well-known pilgrimage site with numerous temples and various holy places. There are a couple of temples you should not miss out once you are in the city by the sea.
If you seek to explore the history of Southern India, below are a few places that you must visit during your trip to Kanyakumari.
The picturesque Kanyakumari beach is one of the most popular places in the city. The confluence of the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea makes this beach like no other in the world. Enjoy breathtaking views of sunrises and sunsets set against a backdrop of the Vivekananda Memorial and the majestic Thiruvalluvar statue.
Adjacent to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is the majestic, 133 feet high statue of Thiruvalluvar, a famous Tamil philosopher, and poet. You can also climb up the stairs through the base of the statue and enjoy a spectacular view of the ocean merging.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to the Muttom beach. The rugged beach is located 32 kilometers away from Kanyakumari and is perfect for families and couples seeking peace and serenity.
Kanyakumari is a major travel destination visited by tourists from all across the world. As such, the city offers numerous lodging facilities based on your needs. There are several luxury hotels and resorts, mid-range hotels, and even cheap lodging options to choose from.
High-end hotels and resorts are generally situated near the seashore area of Kanyakumari. If you are looking for mid-range or cheaper options, you can find the best options in Kanyakumari Main Road. You can also visit Tamil Nadu Tourism to discover more about hotels and stays in Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumari has an abundance of tourist attractions and activities; however, no visit to the city is ever complete without having a true taste of South Indian cuisine. The city has numerous restaurants and eating joints that offer authentic and traditional food.
While in Kanyakumari, do not miss trying out Banana Chips, Kothu, Appam, Aval, and other authentic dishes from conventional restaurants in the city. Being located in a coastal region, Kanyakumari offers a large variety of seafood.
Considering the huge number of pilgrims visiting the city, there is also an abundance of pure-vegetarian restaurants lined up. If you are not a fan of South Indian dishes, you can find numerous multi-cuisine restaurants to tickle your taste buds with their delicious gourmet food.
Shopping in Kanyakumari is an important part of the city’s tourism. You can pick up some amazing souvenirs to take back home after your vacation.
Palm leaf drawings are an integral part of the city’s culture and were used to write journals and manuscripts in the olden days. The tradition was passed to newer generations and is continued even today. You can pick up a few such drawings as a souvenir from local street shops in Kanyakumari.
If you are not intrigued by palm leaf drawings, antiques will surely rouse the shopper inside you. Get your hands into authentic antiques sold by local street shops and open air-vendors in the city. Usage of best quality manufacturing material makes the handicraft industry of Kanyakumari one of the finest in the entire country.
The Cape Comorin Festival is a three-day festival held in October and is the most prominent festival of the city. Navaratri, or worship of Goddess Durga, is another festival held with great pomp and show in Kanyakumari. Some of the other important festivals observed in Kanyakumari are Chaitra Purnima Festival, Kalabham Festival, etc.
Kanyakumari is well connected to the rest of the country through all modes of transportation.
By Air – Located 67 kilometers away, the Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport to Kanyakumari. The airport is served by regular flights from all major cities of India. It is also well connected to some of the Gulf countries. Tourists can hire a taxi from the airport to the city, which usually costs between Rs 1000 – Rs 1500.
By Road – A fleet of buses are operated to and from Kanyakumari by the Tamil Nadu and Kanyakumari Road Transport Corporation. Tourists can choose from regular, deluxe and even air-conditioned buses to reach the city from all major cities of Southern India.
By Train – Kanyakumari is well connected to the rest of India through railways. The city has its own railhead where trains from major cities of the country stop. Apart from the Kanyakumari junction, the nearest railway station is the Trivandrum Central with trains running to and fro from all parts of the country. Visitors can board a train to Kanyakumari Junction from Trivandrum Central or hire a taxi instead.
The climate of Kanyakumari is pleasant and comfortable throughout the year. The city experiences a maximum temperature of 35 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius. Travelers can carry medium to light clothing for their visit to the city.
Cameras and mobile phones are allowed at almost all top tourist attractions of the city for free or a minimal fee.
Kanyakumari experiences pleasant weather between October to February and this is known to be the best time for tourists to visit the coastal city. Filled with fun, adventure, and spirituality, this city has something in store for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get your bags packing and book your tickets to the unique city where a trinity of oceans merge.
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