Kanyakumari, which is otherwise known as Kanniyakumari to the locals and in the past called Cape Comorin, is a town with a population of over 30,000 people in the state of Tamil Nadu. The name of the town was inspired by main temple, which goes by the name of the Devi Kanya Kumari Temple. Kanyakumari is also of an extreme southern geographical location and is the most southerly tip of the Indian peninsula. A very popular town with tourists due to its history and beauty, Kanyakumari has been a town every since the Sangam ruling. Kanyakumari over the years has been greatly inspired by art and religion and the town still features many prominent features of this. The history of the town dictates that is was once ruled by many empires including the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas and the Nayaks who all strived to rule the town due to its ideal location for trade. The rulers as mentioned above all left their mark on the town and are greatly responsible for the incredible construction of many of the temples in the region. After the rulings of these empires, the town was then laid into the hands of the Venad Kingdom. During the ruling of the Venad Kingdom, the town became known as Southern Travancore. In 1949, Kanyakumari was involved in a great reshuffle and eventually became a main piece of a Travancore-Cochin State. At this time, the people of Kanyakumari put great pressure on the government to become part of Tamil Nadu and through its leader Marshal Nesamony, they achieved just that in 1956 through the reorganization of states. Kanyakumari is amongst Indian people a very holy town and is most famous for pilgrimage and tourism. The town took its name from the Hindu Goddess, Davi Kanya Kumari who was widely believed to be known as a sister of Krishna. In the town, women are often seen praying to her for marriage as the Goddess is known to be the one who rigid thoughts from the mind and soul. The main temple in the town is Shakti Peetha Temple which is considered to be one of the holiest shrines of the Mother Goddess. The official and most widely spoken language in Kanyakumari is Tamil, but English is widely spoken in the city and surrounding areas. Best Season The most ideal time to visit Kanyakumari is between the months of October to March as this is when the weather is at its most pleasant and comfortable. Getting There The town is very well served and connection by train to and from all major cities such as Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore and Bombay. Buses are both frequent and common to and from the city whilst long distance buses to Chennai and Bangalore are also available. Tourist Attractions Vivekananda Rock - The magnificent Vivekananda Rock is situated roughly 100 meters from the shore which access only available by a ferry service which runs to and from the shore to the rock. The rock features two halls with one of them belonging to Swami Vivekananda and the other to a Holy Foot. The latter is literally a foot which has been shaped and carved into the rock with legend stating that it is the footprint of Kumari, a Hindu Goddess who stood up on one leg into the rock and performed the ritual, a penance. The rock bears a large statue of Swami Vivekananda with guards monitoring the site due to photographs being forbidden. Beneath the statue is a sign stating the year of the death of the Swamiji and the dates in which Swamiji gained Samadhi on the rock. One of the most prominent features of the rock is the impressive sunrise and sunset which visitors can view from the point. Due to the spectacular sunrise, it is recommended that visitors go nice and early in order to view. The last ferry leaves the island at sunset. Thiruvalluvar Statue - The Thiruvalluvar Statue was built in dedication to Thiruvalluvar, who is widely believed to be the greatest Tamil poet and Saint in history. The statue was produced and carved from many rocks which were welded together. The large statue comprises of being over 130 feet which is the equivalent to 133 chapters in the most popular epic, Thirukkural which was written by Thiruvalluvar. Visitors seeking the statue are allowed to climb up until the feet to get a close as possible view, which must be said is rather incredible. The statue is one that aims to inspire one to lead a life of true principles and morals which will aid in happiness. Tourists visiting the place are recommended to read transcripts and to spend time just enjoying the aura that it creates. As a keen visitor to the town, Mahatma Gandhi has a place dedicated solely to him called Gandhi Mandapam which is believed to have been the place where one could see the Sangam of the 3 oceans. After Mahatma Gandhi died, he gave strict orders were brought to the town and placed on site. The Gandhi Mantapa is designed in such a unique way that at the place where the ashes were kept lies a tiny stone which is believed to get sunlight only on the 2nd of October, Gandhi's birthday, every year through a small hole on the roof. Padmanabhapuram Palace - A palace of true beauty and culture, the Padmanabhapuram Palace was the first and main residence of the rulers of Travancore. Produced completely of wood, it is located roughly a one hour drive away from the main town on the border of the state. A palace flooded with history and ancient artifacts, despite it's relative distance from the main town, tourists should strive to take in such architectural beauty. Tsunami Monument - The Tsunami Monument strives to recognize and remember the deeply tragic events of the 2004 tsunami which struck the region and killed many lives of the residents of Kanyakumari. Constructed using a blend of uniquely colored items such as a wave, a flame and held together human hands, the monument is a fascinating place to visit to remember this tragic event. See the sunrise and sunset - It is highly recommended that visitors to the region take in the breathtaking sunset and sunrise from the most southerly point in India. The point is at a large boat shed made from stone, a large statue of the Virgin Mary and the opportunity to go onto the sand and rocks below. It is one of the best-known secrets of the locals and very rarely will you see other people at the location that makes it the perfect spot for couples and lovers of peace. When getting the bus there, ask the driver to drop you off at the Virgin Mary statue. Must Do Activities at Kanyakumari For the tourists who crave going to the beach and for a dip in the sea, then your best option will be to go to Vattakotta beach which is roughly four miles from the town. However, be wary that on this beach it is forbidden to be naked or even wear a bikini, so women visitors should wear light and thin clothing. On any trip, tourists like to go shopping and thankfully for the shopaholics, Kanyakumari is a great place to buy goods and products. There is a wide range of items that visitors can buy such as hats, conchos, seas shells and also relatively cheap electronics. There are also small stores will specialize in the personalisation of goods so you can get gifts for friends and families with a personal touch to them. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial has a special meditation room that is truly perfect and peaceful for those into or wanting to try meditation. Tradition states that people entering have to dip their feet in the ocean before entering due to it being considered sacred. Accommodation There are plenty of options for travelers and visitors of all budgets with our recommended hotels and accommodation as follows; Hotel Pioneer Paradise Hotel Seaview The Gopinivas Grand Hotel Tri Sea Despite being a town of relatively small size, Kanyakumari is a very cozy and humble place and one vastly popular with tourists. Indulge in the glorious beaches and also visit the blessed monuments, one thing when visiting the town is that you will never be short of things to do and see. Communicate with the locals and you will soon find and become apart of their humble world. With an excellent history and easy transport links, Kanyakumari is a must visit place for any traveler in the region.