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Has Anyone Been To Kanyakumari?

Discussion in 'South India' started by NomadV, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. NomadV

    NomadV New Member


    I'm planning to travel from Chennai all the way down to Madurai and gradually make my way to Kanyakumari and Nagercoil. Does anyone have any tips?

    Besides the famous temples, I was told that the beaches there are quite spectacular.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there! Welcome to the forum!

    I would suggest this order for visiting those places:
    • Madurai
    • Nagercoil
    • Kanyakumari
    Madurai is about 243 kms from Nagercoil. It can take you 4 hours to reach Nagercoil from Madurai. Then, from Nagercoil to Kanyakumari, it's about 19.3 kms and can take you 30 minutes to reach the latter.

    Here are some of the attractions of the different places:

    Places to Visit in Madurai
    • Meenakshi Temple - This temple is located on the Southern bank of the Vaigai River. It's a temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati, also known as Meenakshi, and her consort, Lord Shiva, also known as Sundareswarar. The original temple is believed to have been built during the 6th Century. The structure now was built during the 1623 to 1655 CE though. It was looted by Malik Kafur and it was Viswanatha Nayak who renovated the temple. There are about 33,000 sculptures in the temple alone. During the Meenakshi Tirukalyanam Festival, an estimated 1 million visitors are present here.
    • Gandhi Memorial Museum - This was established in 1959 as a museum dedicated to Gandhi. It is one of the five museums dedicated to Gandhi in the country. Some of the rare collections in the museum are the letters written by Gandhi to prominent individuals like Narayanan Sathsangi of Devakottai, Subramania Bharat and even Adolf Hitler. Also, the blood-stained cloth worn by Gandhi on his assassination can be found here.
    • Samanar Hills - This hill contains the caves where Jain monks used to live. You can also find various inscriptions, sculptures and stone beds here. The most famous sculptures here are the Settipodavu and Pechipallam.
    • Koodal Azhagar Temple - This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Here, Vishnu is worshipped as Koodal Azahagar and his consort Lakshmi as Maragathavalli. The temple was originally built by the Pandyas. However, additions and renovations were made by the Vijayanagar and Madurai Nayak kings.
    • Pazhamudir Cholai Murugan Temple - This temple is dedicated to the Lord Muruga. It is one of the six important abodes of Lord Muruga, called the Arupadaiveedu. Other shrines found here are for: Valli, Deivayanai and Ganesha. The temple is relatively small though.
    • Thirumalai Nayak Palace - This was built by King Thirumalai Nayak during the year 1636 AD. The original palace complex was bigger than its present structure. However, due to effects of time and war, many of these structures were destroyed. Now, only the dance hall, main hall and entrance gate have survived in the palace. It is a grand example of the Dravidian and the Rajput styles of architecture. It's best visited at night for the daily lights and sounds show conducted here.

    Places to Visit in Nagercoil

    • Nagaraja Temple - This temple is dedicated to Nagaraja, the king of serpents or Vasuki. It is unknown when the temple was consecrated though. several legends about it has been around. One of which goes like this, one day, a girl was cutting grass on the area when suddenly a spurt of blood came from below. To her shock, she saw a five-headed snake from below that she has cut the head accidentally. She called on the other villagers and they saw the same snake. So from then on, the place was cleared and became a place of worship.
    • Nagercoil Clock Tower - This clock was built to commemorate the visit of Sri Moolam Thirunal. It was designed by Hogeorf and S. Horesly of England.
    • St. Xavier's Church - This was built in 1600, from a land donated by Unni Kerala Varma. This is so because Saint Xavier saved the town from an attack of the Padagas.
    • CSI Home Church - This is one of the largest and oldest Protestant churches in Asia. It was built by Rev. William Tobias Ringeltaube during the year of 1819. The land was donated by General John Munro.

    Places to Visit in Kanyakumari

    • Kanyakumari Temple - This is a 3,000 year old temple dedicated to Goddess Kanyakumari. The story goes that Goddess Parasakthi assumed the image of a virgin girl so she can kill Banusura. However, Lord Shiva fell in love with her and the supposed marriage was arranged. But Banusura can only be killed by a virgin, as what has been realised by the sage, Narada. So Narada assumed the form of a chicken and crowed as Shiva was on his way to Kanyakumari. Thinking that he was too late for the wedding, he went back and so Kanyakumari remained a virgin. She was able to kill Banusura with her Chakragudha and remained a virgin well after that.
    • Vivekananda Rock Memorial - This was built in 1970 in honour of Swamy Vivekananda, as this is where he has attained enlightenment. The memorial has two structures: Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam.
    • Padmanabhapuram Fort and Palace - The fortress is around 4 kms long and houses the palace inside. The palace was constructed by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal during 1601 AD. But by 1750 AD, the palace was renovated by King Marthaanda Varma. The palace complex has the following structures: a council chamber, a queen mother's palace, a performance hall, a central mansion and a Southern palace. There's also a secret passage underground which leads to the Charottu Kottaram.
    • Thiruvalluvar Statue - This is a 130 feet tall statue of the poet named Thiruvalluvar, the author of Thirukkural. It stands on a 38 feet pedestal, representing the 38 chapters of the book.
    • Our Lady of Ransom Church - It is believed that Saint Xavier worshipped the Our Lady of Delights of Grotto in Kanyakumari. This, later on, became the Our Lady of Ransom Church. There's a statue of the Mother Mary in the centre of the altar of the church.
    • Baywatch - This is a water theme park in Kanyakumari, the first of its kind. There are various rides here that the whole family can enjoy. Aside from that, the Wax Museum of Kanyakumari can also be found here. Entrance fee here is Rs. 200 for adults and Rs. 150 for children.
    • Vattakottai Beach - This is a black sand beach about 6 kms away from Kanyakumari's city centre. There's also a fort here with the same name. It's a serene beach, away from the crowds and water is generally clean.
    • Kanyakumari Beach - This beach is situated where the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea meets. Another name for the beach is Cape Comorin. The sands here are multi-coloured but the water isn't safe for swimming. You can enjoy the view though from the nearby lighthouse offering panoramic views of the sea.
    • Muttom Beach - This beach has two shores: a rocky one on the other side and a sandy one on the other side. This is a bit further though, at 34 kms away from Kanyakumari. It's secluded though and not many tourists go here. The water is safe for swimming and the views especially at sunset can be quite beautiful.
    • Sanguthurai Beach - This is in the Kanyakumari District although it's just 9 kms from the Nagercoil town. The entire area is surrounded by coconut trees and again, there's not many tourists here. If you love privacy and seclusion, it's a must to visit this beach.
    • Sothavilai Beach - This beach stretches over 4 kms, making it one of the longest beaches in Tamil Nadu. It is about 10 kms from Kanyakumari and very close to the Sanguthurai Beach. The water here is very shallow and suitable for swimming. Unfortunately, this was one of the majorly affected areas during the 2004 tsunami. The beach was reconstructed already to attract tourists again.
    • Thengapattinam Beach - This is about 54 kms from Kanyakumari. This beach coincides with the river, which is a beautiful view to see. All along the beach, there are coconut trees to shade your stay. You can even avail of a boat ride from the local fishermen to explore the area.
    There you go. I hope this helps!


    I've included the beaches already. They are in Kanyakumari and some are a bit further from the city centre. Good luck and enjoy!