|Vivekananda Rock Memorial||Just 400 meters from Kanyakumari|
|Thiruvalluvar Statue||Located atop a small island near the town of Kanyakumari|
|Vivekanandapuram||Located nearly 6 kilometers from the heart of the city|
|Mahatma Gandhi Memorial||Located near to Kumari Amman Temple.|
|Tsunami Monument||Situated at a distance of 7 km from Marthandam and 55 km from Kanyakumari|
|Kumari Amman Temple||Situated on the coast facing the sea|
|Kamarajar Mani Mantapa||Near Mahatma Gandhi memorial|
|Padmanabhapuram Palace||Situated at Thuckalay, a village in Kanyakumari District|
|Mathoor Hanging Bridge||Situated about 60 km form Kanyakumari town|
|Chitharal||Situated proximately 45 kilometers from Kanyakumari and about 7 Kilometers from Marthandam|
|Suchindrum||Situated nearly 15 kilometers from Kanyakumari|
|Vattakottai (Circular Fort)||Situated in Agasteeswaram taluka of Kanyakumari district|
|Udayagiri Fort (Dillannai Kottai)||About 14 km away from Nagercoil|
|St. Xavier Church||Situated at Kottar in Nagercoil|
|Government museum||Located on the Beach Road near the Tourist Office|
|Maruthuva Malai||Located about 11 kilometers from Nagercoil|
|Tirparappu Water Falls||Situated about 13 km from the famous Pechiparai Reservoir and 35 km from Nagercoil|
|Pechiparai Reservoir||Situated about 45 km from Nagercoil|
|Muttom Beach||Situated about 32 kilometers from Kanyakumari|
|Sanguthurai Beach||Situated At eight kilometer odyssey from Nagercoil|
|Chothavilai Beach (Shotharilai Beach)||Located about 10 kilometers from the town Kanyakumari.|
|Thengapattinam Beach||Located about 54 km from Kanyakumari|
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Situated at the juncture where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal embrace one another, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial has today become the icon of Kanyakumari. Constructed in 1970 AD by ‘Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee’ in the memory of Swami Vivekananda, this rock monument is parked about 500 meters off the mainland.
Built in blue and red granite, this memorial is spread over the area of 6 acres. It is perched at the height of 17 meters on a rocky island. It is said that the endeavors of 650 men for nearly 2081 days took to complete this marvel of architecture. The rock island on which the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is towered is the very place where Swami Vivekananda had spent the three days of self awakening. He swam to the rock before his departure for Chicago. 24th, 25th & 26th December, 1892 were the three auspicious days of his the pursuit of the enlightenment of soul.
The Vivekananda Rock Memorial is built in two structures: Vivekananda Mandapam and Shripada Mandapam. Shripada Mandapam is located on ‘Shripada Parai’, which means the rock blessed by the foot prints of Goddess. Shripada Parai is the same spot where Goddess Kanya had performed her penance standing on one foot. A shrine housing that foot impression of the virgin Goddess is a place of worship here.
Vivekananda Mandapam is divided in four parts namely Dhyana Mandapam (Meditation Hall), Sabha Mandapam (Assembly Hall), Mukha Mandapam (Front Portion) and the Main Entrance. A large statue of Swami Vivekananda is placed in Pralima Mandapam which directly faces towards the Shripada Mandapam. The four portions of Shripada Mandapam are; Garbha Graham, Inner Prakaram, Outer Prakaram and Outer Platform.
The front side of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial offers a spectacular panorama of the entire Kanyakumari terrain. Hindquarters of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial propose an enticing perspective of the wide fathomless sea. The halcyon atmosphere of spiritual sublimity, pleasant sea breeze and the enthralling spectacle mesmerize the vacationers.
Ferry services are available from the main land to reach the Rock Memorial. The odyssey takes only 15 to 20 minutes but standing in a queue to wait for your turn to come really tests your patience. It is compulsory for everyone to wear a life jacket during the boat ride. The visiting hours of Vivekananda Rock Memorial are from 7:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the evening.
Set up just next to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, this 133 feet tall statue of a renowned Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar is one of the hugest statues in India. Perched on a rocky island at the juncture of the three Oceans, this stone structure is positioned about 500 meters from the mainland. This sculpture of the ingenious poet is encapsulated with the carvings that read the chapters from his celebrated work Tirukkural. Tirukkural is a peerless treatise composed in Tamil describing Indian way of life. The three major themes covered in 133 chapters of Tirukkural are: Virtue, Love and Wealth.
The statue of Thiruvalluvar is constructed over a three storied platform called Atharapeedam. This platform is encircled by a 38 feet tall Alankara Mandapam. The ten elephants that stand on the circumference of the Alankara Mandapam symbolize the ten directions.
This monument was inaugurated and declared open for public visits from 1st January 2000. This statue has survived the devastating tsunami of 26th December, 2004 and it still stands upright singing the sagas of Tamil literary endowment. The tourists can visit this memorial between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. To reach the statue, Ferry services from the mainland are made available.
Vivekanandapuram, the home base of the renowned Vivekananda Kendra is located nearly 6 kilometers from the heart of the city. Spread over the total area of about 100 acres, this is a Hindu sacrosanct organization that comply the principals promoted by the esteemed Indian philosopher - Swami Vivekananda. Established by Shri Ekanathji Ranade on 7th January 1972, Vivekananda Kendra presently administers 225 branches spread across the 21 states of India.
The spiritual, tranquil and serene ambience of Vivekananda Kendra premises makes us feel that we are close to God and close to nature. This is a very good place to get away from the hustle bustle of city life and hear the voice of your soul. Legions of peacocks and other birds can be perceived roaming about freely in the campus. The Vivekananda Kendra offers an affordable accommodation, vegetarian canteen, free bus service, dispensary, bank, library, book shops and handicraft shops.
From Vivekanandapuram beaches, which are very close to the Kendra, one can enjoy absolutely astonishing and overwhelming views of sunset and sunrise. Venders selling sea shells, conches, pearls, jewellery, artifacts, etc. are seen at the shores in abundance and you can buy them at affordable prices.
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial
Established in the honor of the Father of the Nation - Mahatma Gandhi, this memorial is the very place where the urn carrying the ashes of Gandhiji was placed for public Darshana before they were immersed into the sea. The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial was built in the year 1956. Inadvertently, the central dome of this memorial is 79 feet tall; the number that illustrates the age of Mahatma Gandhi at the time of his assassination in 1948.
The architectural style of this Mandapam is designed after Oriyan style temples. This structure is specially known for its unique technical feature that causes a mysterious phenomenon every epoch. On 2nd October, i.e. the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, every year at 12 o’ clock in noon the sun beams directly flash upon the exact place where the ashes were once laid. Breathtaking views of the surrounding town and the Circumforaneous Sea can be witnessed from the terrace of this monument.
The Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is situated adjacent the Kumari Amman Temple and the celebrated Anna University. A library housed here is furnished with old books, magazines and pamphlets of pre – independence era. This library is functional only on Friday and Saturday. The Memorial is open for the visits from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
As the aphorism clearly states, the Tsunami Monument was set up in the memory of the victims of Tsunami which attacked coastal area on 26th December, 2004. Built near the south shore of Kanyakumari, this memento constantly reminds us that nature overpowers human beings. The Tsunami Monument is a vestige of the hundreds of people who lost their lives in that tragic event. The memorial is built in the peculiar design and colors that epitomize a wave, a lamp and a hand: representatives of both man and nature.
Kumari Amman Temple
‘Kanyakumari’ has been christened after the name of Goddess Kumari who dwells here showering her blessings for centuries. Kumari Devi is seated in the legendary ‘Kumari Amman Temple’ which is situated on the coast facing the sea. According to the famous myth behind this temple, the Kumari Amman or Kanya Devi is the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. She performed a severe penance and persuaded Lord Shiva to wed her. Lord Shiva was expected to reach the wedding place before the early bright. But some schemes on the part of other deities misguided him.
Actually the Goddess Kanya was supposed to demolish a demon named Banasur. But the precondition behind that required her to retain her virginity to be able to kill the demon. So it was necessary to stop the marriage. Lord Shiva was at Suchindram and it was not day break yet when sage Narada made the false sound of a rooster. Lord Shiva, thinking that he was late halted at the very place. Disappointed Kumari Devi decided to spend her remaining life as a virgin at Kanyakumari. Later, Banasur arrived there to woo her when she successfully killed him. The food that was cooked for the wedding was wasted. It is believed that the food has turned into the multicolored sand today.
Pandya Kings constructed the original Kumari Amman Temple in 8th century AD. Subsequently Chola, Vijayanagara and Nayaka kings renovated it. Because of that the temple exhibits the peculiar consolidation of different architectural styles. The temple consists of a sanctorium and three corridors. Navarathri Mandapam positioned in the outer corridor is the very famous section of the temple. Adorned with artistic painting and delicate carvings, this Mandapam manifests the eminent architectural expertise of past eras. The idol of the Goddess seated in the sanctum faces east. Kumari Amman is conspicuous for the gleaming diamond nose ring that it is visible far from the sea as well. It is also said that the glare of the diamond misled many ships and caused many ship-wracks in past.
In addition to the main temple, a small shrine is housed in one portion which is believed to have its roots in 18th century. A foot impression of the Virgin Goddess is worshipped in this shrine. It is said that during the severe penance that the Goddess had performed in order to win the hand of Lord Shiva, she was standing on one foot. This is the imprint of that foot. The two major festivals celebrated at this temple include The Car Festival and the Navarathri Festival. The temple is open for paying homage from 4.30 am to 12.15 pm in the morning and from 4.00 pm to 8.15 pm in the evening. The temple permits entrance only to the Hindus.
Kamarajar Mani Mantapa
Elevated in the honor of Sri Kamaraja, a renowned freedom fighter and a dexterous political leader of the state of Tamil Nadu, the Kamarajar Mani Mantapa is situated alongside the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. Sufficing for the similar purpose as Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, this Mantapa is the locus where the urn containing the ashes of Sri Kamaraja was kept for the Darshana. Reckoned far and wide as ‘Black Gandhi’, Sri Kamaraja played a vital role in the freedom struggle of India. Initially, before the independence of India, Sri Kamaraja held the position of the president of Indian National Congress. After independence, he was elected as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The Kamarajar Mani Mantapa is can be visited between 7 in the morning and 7 in the evening.
Honored by the ‘Guinness Books of World Records’ to be the largest Wooden Palace in the world, the Padmanabhapuram Palace is situated at Thuckalay, a village in Kanyakumari District. Entirely built in rosewood and teakwood, this 16th century palace sufficed as the command post of the royal family of Travancore Kings.
The grandiloquent Darbar Hall built in pure rosewood and glass augments the amplitude of the palace. The 600 years old spice bed, sandal pillars, granite dance halls, the clock tower, beautifully carved mahogany ceiling, Belgian mirror, mica windows, wide range of murals, etc are some of the anomalous features of the Padmanabhapuram Palace. The noteworthy clock tower of Padmanabhapuram Palace is one of the oldest cock towers in South Asia.
The flooring of the palace is built in glossy granite. The distinct characteristic of this floor is that some rare Ayurvedic herbs were mixed with it. These Ayurvedic herbs keep the floor cool in summer and warm in winter and monsoon. Apart from the herbs, the floor also contains a unique composite of egg white, jaggery, burnt coconut, lime, river sand and charcoal. This extraordinary floor was built in 1601 AD by Iravipillai Iravivarma Kulasekhara Perumal, the king of Travancore. The various chambers of the palace like Mantrasala, Natakasala, Thai Kottaram, Thekee Kottaram, etc highlight the architectural expertise of Padmanabhapuram Palace.
Though this Palace is a part of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu State, the maintenance of the palace is handled by the Government of Kerala. The royal sword of the kings of Travancore is preserved in this palace. The Padmanabhapuram Palace, a cauldron of historic, architectural and cultural heritage leaves the beholders dumbfounded with its splendid engineering ingenuity and its distinguished architectural magnitude.
Mathoor Hanging Bridge
Mathoor Hanging Bridge, situated about 60 km form Kanyakumari town is recognized amongst the highest and the longest aqueducts in South Asia. Built across the Pahrali River at Aruvikkarai village of Thiruvattar Panchayat of Kanyakumari district, this aqueduct serves as a channel to transport water of Pattanamkal canal for irrigation purposes. This enormous structure is built in pure concrete and is supported by 28 huge pillars. Some of the pillars are as tall as 115 feet. The top of this aqueduct is blanketed with concrete slabs so that it can double as a bridge too. Mathoor Hanging Bridge was constructed in the year 1966. From the top of this hanging bridge one can perceive the astounding diorama of lush green hills of Western Ghats and an enthralling prospect of the Pahrali River meandering and percolating down the bridge. This location has been developed as a tourist destination by the combined efforts of TTDC and the local Panchayat.
Chitharal is a small village that is situated Approximately 45 kilometers from Kanyakumari and about 7 Kilometers from Marthandam. This is one of the most visited tourist destinations near Kanyakumari and attracts myriads of tourists every year. Celebrated for the Jain Monuments and Rock – Cut Temples that it harbors, this heritage hamlet is maintained by the department of Archaeological Survey of Government of India. These unique temples are perched at the top of a hill. Atop the hill you can see a cave like structure wherein the before mentioned delicate sculptures carved out of rock are found. These sculptures discerned on both outer and inner walls of the cave delineate the 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism and their attendants. Archaeological surveys have recorded that these sculptures are dated back to the 9th century. It is also said that in 13th century, these Jain temples were transposed to a Bhagavathy temple. About 10 minutes of walk on an extremely panoramic and eye catching road from the foothills will reach you to the top of the hill.
Suchindrum, a famous Hindu pilgrim destination is situated nearly 15 kilometers from Kanyakumari town in Kanyakumari District. ‘Thanumalayan Temple’, the most important shrine for both Shaivaites and Vaishnavites is the most renowned religious hub and the icon of the town of Suchindrum. The temple houses the three deities of Hindu Trinity; Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh together.
As per the myth goes, this is the very region where Lord Indra relieved himself from the curse of Sage Gautam. Suchi means purify. That’s the reason why the town is named Suchindrum. It is postulated that Lord Indra arrives at this temple every mid night and performs the Pooja of Lord Mahadev.
The temple is known in every corner of the country for its architectonic wonder. The seven musical pillars situated in Alangara Mandapam are carved out of one single stone. If we hit them, we hear the seven Swaras of music. There is a 22 feet high statue of Lord Hanuman which is carved out of a single granite stone. This idol is amongst the tallest Hanuman statues in the country and a very rare one. This is perhaps the only idol of Lord Hanuman whose tail is positioned straight till his head. Another attraction is the 13 feet tall Nandi statue which is the highest Nandi statue in India. Topping all the wonders, the specialty of this temple is that, no electricity is used inside the temple to light the lamps. Only natural light and the oil lamps suffice the objective. The Hindu Trinity is represented by a single idol here. The head stands for Lord Brahma, the 14 Chandrakala represent Lord Vishnu and the cobra at the top symbolizes Lord Shiva.
Vattakottai (Circular Fort)
Vattakottai; the circular fort is situated in Agasteeswaram taluka of Kanyakumari district. Located just 7 kilometers from the centre of Kanyakumari, this fort was constructed during the dominion of Maharaja Marthandavarma of Travancore. Constructed in 18th century, Vattakottai Fort acted as the coastal defense-fortification. Captain Eustachius De Lannoy, the trusted General of the King was the person in command when the fort was reinforced.
Spread over the area of 3.5 acres, the fort is enclosed by 26 feet high and 29 feet thick walls. The structure of this fort is built in granite blocks of rectangular shape. Vattakottai fort has watchtowers, weapon rooms and rest rooms. The fish shaped carvings embellishing the walls suggest that the kings of Pandya Dynasty once owned the fort. Because fish was the symbol of Pandya kings. From the terrace of Vattakottai fort an explicit vista of Padmanabhapuram Palace could be perceived in olden days. There was a 1.2 meter wide and 25 kilometer long tunnel that connected both these palaces. Recently the archaeological department of government of India undertook a special renovation of this fort.
The quiescent and calm water of ocean, a tiny river meandering nearby and the lush green blanket enveloping the landscape amplify the scenic beauty of the surroundings. Tourists enjoy bathing in the placid Arabian Sea here. One side of the Vattakottai Fort provides the mesmerizing view of tranquil Arabian Sea and the other, a boisterous purview of mischievous Bay of Bengal. Vattakottai beach is widely famous for its rare coastal area decorated with pure black sand.
Udayagiri Fort (Dillannai Kottai)
The famous Udayagiri Fort is situated at Puliyoorkurichi; about 14 km away from Nagercoil in Kanyakumari District. Originally constructed in 1600, this fort was renovated in the 1741 to 1744 when the famous Travancore King ‘Marthanda Varma’ ruled the domain. Eustachius De Lannoy worked as the chief of this project. The fort is situated on a hill which is 260 feet high and it is spread over the area of 90 acres.
Udayagiri Fort was the major military barrack of Travancore kingdom. Captives of the campaign against Tippu Sultan were imprisoned here for some time. 19th century witnessed the overtaking of the fort by British East India Company.
The tombs of Eustachius De Lannoy, his wife and son are housed inside the fort. A chapel was built near the tombs in the honor of De Lannoy. Other than that, there is a foundry built in the fort which was used for casting guns. Recently the Department of Archaeology has discovered an underground tunnel. A biodiversity park that is housed in the fort shelters a wide range of fauna like ducks, birds, deer and more than 100 species of trees are cultivated here. The fort can be visited between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm.
St. Xavier Church
This church, built in 1600 AD by a prominent missionary and evangelist; St. Francis Xavier, is situated at Kottar in Nagercoil. It is said that Travancore was expecting an invading from Padagas when St. Francis Xavier helped the kingdom in averting them. Then onwards he became famous by the name of ‘Valiya Pandaram’ amongst the people of Travancore Kingdom. Travancore King was very much pleased with him and he gifted St. Xavier a piece of land at Kottar. This is the place where the original church was established.
Afterwards, the present church was constructed by him adjacent the St. Mary’s Church. In the course of time the St. Mary’s Church was taken over by this church and gradually by 1930, St Xavier’s Church became so honored that it was converted into a cathedral. In 1942, a tower was constructed here in the memory of St. Francis Xavier. Subsequently, a grotto for St. Mary’s statue and a small shrine dedicated to St. Ignatius Loyola were built. In the year 1955 the church was renovated. At this time a new St. Mary’s chapel was included in the premises of the St Xavier’s Church.
Every year in November and December St. Xavier’s Church celebrates a ten days annual festival. This church is recognized as a historical site and is quite popular amongst the tourists.
Located on the Beach Road near the Tourist Office, this multipurpose museum was founded in 1991. A wide range of exhibits are displayed in the museum. They include the articles related to archaeology, anthropology, philately, numismatics, zoology, geology and botany. The sculptures from various temples of South India are also exhibited here. They include Manickavasagar, Tirumangai Alwar, Rama, Srinivasa, etc. Old coins, wood carvings, musical instruments, tribal objects, bronze artifacts, etc. are also display in this museum. The chronological record of history of Travancore Kingdom is preserved in the Government Museum. The museum timings are between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm. It is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Only 10 Rs. are charged from adults and 5 from kids as an entry fee.
Maruthuva Malai, also called Marunthuvazh Malai is the southernmost part of the Western Ghats. Located about 11 kilometers from Nagercoil, these hills carry an interesting allegorical background. The word Marunthuvazh Malai means the mountain where Ayurvedic medicinal herbs grow. As the myth goes, it is said that this hill is the fragment dropped off the Sanjivani Mountain when it was being carried by Lord Hanuman to Lanka. Maruthuva Malai hill is approximately 1 kilometer long and 800 feet high.
Tirparappu Water Falls
Tirparappu Water Falls or Thiruparrapu Falls is a famous picnic spot near Kanyakumari. Situated about 13 km from the famous Pechiparai Reservoir and 35 km from Nagercoil, this is one of the must visit places. The avalanche water of this waterfall burst into the Kothai River at a sheer drop of 15 meters. The riverbed of Tirparappu Water Falls is about 300 mtrs long. The waterfalls come to life in rainy season and then keep alive for next 7 to 8 months every year. Children’s park, Landscape gardens, Swimming Pool, and other recreational facility augment the attraction of this place. There is a temple which is situated just next to these waterfalls. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The site is open for visits from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. and Rs 5 are charged as the entry fee. .
Situated about 45 km from Nagercoil the Pechiparai Reservoir is one of the major tourist attractions around Kanyakumari. Pechiparai reservoir is parked amidst the Western Ghats, near the famous Tirparappu Water Falls. This reservoir, designed after the Periyar Dam of Madurai was constructed during the rule of Maharaja Sri Moolam Thirunal. Built across the Kodayar River, this reservoir is approximately 425.1 meters long and consists of a catchments area of 204.8 sq. kilometers. The natives of this area are known by the name of Kanikars. The forest surrounding the reservoir is rich with its diverse variety of flora and fauna. There is a camp shed built near the reservoir which can be used by the tourists as a resting spot. The reservoir is open for visiting from 9:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening. 5 Rs. are charged at the entrance as the entry fee.
The widely known Muttom Beach is Located at a small village named Muttom. This village is situated about 32 kilometers from Kanyakumari. The enchanting spectacle of sunset and the rocky shores make this place a favorite tourist destination. The prominent feature of this beach is a 100 years old lighthouse built during the British Raj. Many huts and seats are perched at the beach where the tourists can sit and admire the beauty of sunset and the jade green sea.
An eight kilometer odyssey from Nagercoil will land you at the popular Sanguthurai Beach. The palm fringed coasts, the golden sand and the serene waters of the sea increase the charm of this place. The special attraction of Sanguthurai Beach is a huge white pillar holding a small black conch at the top. This monument is said to be built during the dominion of Chola Kings. From this beach both the Thiruvalluvar statue and the Vivekananda Rock Memorial are clearly visible.
Chothavilai Beach (Shotharilai Beach)
Acclaimed as one of the longest beaches of Tamil Nadu state, the Chothavilai Beach is located about 10 kilometers from the town Kanyakumari. Located very near to the popular Sanguthurai Beach, the Chothavilai Beach is almost 4 kilometers long. As the water is shallow, this place is one of the safest beaches for swimming and bathing. Tsunami of 2004 had extremely affected this area, but later the beach was reconstructed keeping tourism objective in mind. Today Chothavilai Beach is counted amongst the most sought after beaches near Kanyakumari.
Located about 54 km from Kanyakumari at a village named Paimkulam of Vilavancode Taluk, this beach is another week end get away from Kanyakumari. There is an estuary created near this beach where the Thamirabarani River meets the sea. This beach is very famous for this estuary where tourists can enjoy boating and catamaran rides. It is believed that in past Thengapattinam Beach had direct commercial relations with several foreign countries with Arabia being the major one. The coastal area here is embellished with coconut groves and a 1500 years old mosque is the noteworthy feature of this place. The shallow waters here provide a very good opportunity of safe bathing and swimming in the sea.