Kanyakumari, one of the city which is surely in the bucket-list of every traveller. India concludes its boundaries here, and a confluence of two seas namely the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal along with an Indian Ocean meets from all directions making Kanyakumari one of the most wonderful and amazing city.
One Day trip to Kanyakumari from Trivandrum
We stayed in Trivandrum for our visit to this southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari. It was a two and half hour drive consisting of narrow roads, crossing border, and hopping cities.
We reached Kanyakumari at around 11:00 in the morning. As soon as we reached, we hopped to a place from where we can take the look at the two popular tourist destinations to visit in Kanyakumari, Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar Statue.
We reached the point from where we had to catch ferrys to visit the memorials. We bought the regular ferry ticket costing Rs 50 per person which take people from shore to Vivekananda Rock Memorial, from there to Thiruvalluvar Statue and then back to the shore. We stood in the queue to catch the next ferry for approximately an hour but if you are short of time, you can either come early like around 7:30 am or can buy the special ticket costing around Rs 200 per person to and fro.
We got bit tired and irritated while standing in the queue for so long but what kept us going was the mesmerising view which was visible while standing.
Finally, we got the chance to board the ferry, everyone of us got the life jacket to wear, frankly speaking these jackets were not of any use in case of emergency as many of them were torn and no proper guidance was there as how to wear them especially for those who don't know how to tie it. Anyways, without even giving the second thought to it we continued our journey.
We took the ferry and busied ourselves watching waves, clicking pictures, and enjoying the breeze. It approximately took us 15 minutes of ride as the Memorial is situated on a little rocky island just off the coast, about 500 meters away from the mainland.
Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Visiting Hours: 7 AM to 5 PM
Ticket Fee : Rs 20 per person
Upon reaching the Swami Vivekanand memorial, we bought the entry tickets to the memorial. This awe-inspiring Memorial was built in 1970 in the honour of Swami Vivekanand who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock before departing for Chicago to participate in the World Religious Conference in 1893.
The memorial comprises of two main structures: the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam. We first entered the Vivekananda Mandapam, which is a hall dedicated to Swamiji consisting of huge statue of Swami Vivekanand, Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, and Maa Sarda. A meditation hall named "Dhyana Mandapam" is attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The best experience is that you can spend some time for meditation at the back side of the Memorial and feel the power that Vivekananda might have felt.
Another building on the rock is Shripada Mandapam, which is adjacent to the Vivekananda Mandapam. According to the local people, it was on this rock that Goddess Kumari, the local goddess performed austerity.
After visiting both the mandapam, we busied ourselves in viewing the never ending ocean. The view from the memorial was just mesmerising, where one can actually see the different colours of the sea. The feeling of spending time in this place cannot be expressed in words.
Then after spending some time on the memorial, we again took the ferry to visit the Thiruvalluvar Statue. The statue is just adjacent to Swami Vivekaknd Rock Memorial seperated by about 70 meters.
Thiruvalluvar Statue, also called as the Valluvar Statue. This 133 feet statue is the memorial of the great Tamil poet Saint Thiruvalluvar and is one of the biggest statues in Asia. One has to climb more than 150 steps from the ferry point to reach the footsteps of the statue. The combined height of statue denotes the 133 chapters of the the Tirukkural. This includes 95 feet (29 metres) sculpture of Valluvar standing upon a 38 feet (12 metres) pedestal that represents the 38 chapters of Virtue, the first of the three books of the Kural text.
After vising the Swami Vivekanand Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar Statue we came back to the shore by ferry and went to Kanyakumari Bhagavati Ammana Temple.
Bhagavati Ammana Temple:
The temple is located in the main market of Kanyakumari. There is no entry fee for temple but the men and the women has to maintain the dress code. For men, they have to take their shirts and vests off before going inside the temple and for women, there body must be covered.
According to the Hindu mythology, Devi Kanya Kumari, an avataar of Parvaati also known as Kanya Devi had immense devotion towards Lord Shiva. Kanya Kumari was to marry Lord Shiva, but as he failed to show up on his wedding day due to wrong information passed by Narada that the Sun had already risen and the auspicious time passed. Sage Narada passed this wrong information because he realised that Bana could only be killed by a virgin girl. Devi Kanya Kumari waited for long for Lord Shiva but with unbearable insult, pain, grief, and anger she destroyed everything she saw. She threw away all the food and broke her bangles. When she finally gained herself she chooses to be a virgin forever and took to penance. Later, Bana, tried approach the goddess without realizing who she was, the infuriated Bhagavathy slaughtered Bana at once.
Tips for Visitors:
1. Last boat to the memorial leaves at 4.00 PM, so please plan your visit accordingly and try to reach before this as you need time to buy tickets and stand in the queue
2. The ferry ticket to the memorial is Rs 50 per person where one has to stand in the queue to catch the ferry whereas there is special tickets of Rs 200 where once do not have to wait in the que
3. Don't ditch the sunrise and the sunset view at the Triveni Sangam Drive from Trivandrum to Kanyakumari was awesome but comparatively slow due to narrow roads
4. Please carry goggles, wear socks, and apply sunscreen before you visit the memorial as its freaking hot there.
5. Local Market: Right outside the temple, there is the local market from where you can purchase Tamil Style Sarees on reasonable prices, suits, pearls, seashells, and more.
6. For Food, One can eat at Sarvana Bhawan. There are two Sarvana Bhawans in Kanyakumari, so the place where we ate the food was at the left hand side from the exit of ferry gate. The hotel staff was quiet good and both the north and south indian food was delicious.
After having the food, we stopped thereby the beach visiting the sunset, and then bid goodbye to Kanyakumari.