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Surrounded by Majestic Hills and the plains bordered by colourful sea-shores, fringed with coconut trees and paddy fields, here and there are few elevated patches of red cliffs with undulating valleys and plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea - coast, so closely interwoven with Temples and Churches and other edifices lies the district, 'Kanyakumari'.

(The district name is spelled as ' Kanniyakumari ' in official records which is in tune with the spoken name of the district in Tamil language). With an area of 1672 it occupies 1.29% of the total extent of Tamil Nadu. It ranks first in literacy among other districts in Tamil Nadu.

Kanyakumari is located at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari was referred to by the British as Cape Commorin.

This is very popular coastal town on the peninsular lands end. The Vivekananda Rocks, Kumari Amman Temple and the Gandhi Mandapam here are visited by thousands of tourists and pilgrims.

Devi Kanyakumari (Opening time 4.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon and 5.00 pm to 8.30 pm).

The virgin goddess Kanyakumari has watched over the land since the beginning of time, standing at the tip of the country, as if, an unending vigil, with the waters of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal drawing to her feet. It is believed that here Goddess Parvati in her incantation as Devi Kanya practiced penance so that she could marry Shiva. A temple stands here today, dedicated to the virgin goddess. Not far from the borders of Kerala100 km, from Thiruvananthapuram, and worth excursion. The temple has two annual festivals one in May/June and other in September/October.

Vivekananda Rock Elemental nature has hallowed this place where the land, three seas and the sky meet, and called out to people of all faiths. More recently two saints of modern India Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi, found sanctuary here where now stand everlasting representation to their memories . In 1970, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built. Among other things, it houses a statue of the great saint. The architecture of the complex comprises the styles of all the religions in the country. A boat service operates between the mainland and the Memorial.

Standing on the rocks, one can look into the mainland in a view otherwise possible only from a ship on the sea. And if you look out towards the sea, sunrise and sunset offer rare views, incredulous on a day of full moon, when sunset and moonrise happen at the same time. And on one day in an year the full moon day in April, the sun and the moon are visible on the same horizon.

Gandhi Mandapam (Opening 7.00 am to 12.30 pm and 1.00 pm to 7.00 pm).

Part of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were sent to Kanyakumari to be immersed in the three seas. At the spot where the urn carrying his ashes was kept for public view was raised Gandhi Mandapam, a memorial to Mahatma. The Mandapam is so designed that the suns rays fall on the dais on 2nd October, the great mans birthday.

Temple Of Goddess Bhagavathi: Goddess Bhagavathi Temple in Kanyakumari is picturesquely located at the confluence of the three oceans - the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Originally built by Pandyas, it was expanded later by Nayaks. The image of the Goddess in the sanctum looks serene and beneficent. The eastern gate of the temple facing the Bay of Bengal is opened only five times a year.

Alvar Tirunagari: One of the celebrated Vaishnav temples of Kannyakumari, Alvar Tirunagari temple is one of the nine sung of by the saint Namalvar. It is said that the saint attained enlightenment under a tree enshrined here. It is dedicated to Lord Adinatha and the musical instrument used in the temple festival here called Nadaswaram is made of stone.

AttitudeSea Level
Area 1672 sq kms
Temperature21.4 c 35.6 c
Summer 25.6 c -32.3 c
Winter22.7 c -32.9 c
Rain fall 1188 mm
Best time to visitSeptember May
ClothingCottons all year round
Nearest Railway Kanniyakumari 0km
Nearest Railway Nagercovil.55 kms
Nearest Railway Thiruvananthapuram 100 kms
Nearest AirportThiruvananthapuram 100 kms
Places to visitVivekananda Rock, Gandhi Mandapam, Devi Kanyakumari , Alvar Tirunagari.

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