Day 4 – Kanyakumari
The fact of waking up to a pleasant morning in the southernmost tip of India made this day a memorable one. Kanyakumari is a town in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu and is one of the popular tourist destinations in India because of its scenic geographical location. Kanyakumari is famous for many reasons – It is the southernmost tip of India, it is here the three seas (Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea) meet, and it is here where you can watch both sunrise and sunset.
Sunrise in Kanyakumari Beach
- Parking/Entrance fee: 30 Rs
Since we did not want to miss the sunrise, we woke up at 5.15 AM and rushed to the sunrise point in Kanyakumari beach. We were in the beach at 5.30 AM and were surprised to see the huge crowd at that early hour of the day. The first glimpse of Vivekananda Memorial Rock and Thiruvalluvar Statue in silhouette was mesmerizing. There are steps to sit and capture the sunrise moments at the sunrise view point. The sea waves were rough and were hitting the rocks fiercely. As we were waiting, the sun started to peep out from the horizon at around 6 AM. It was bit cloudy that day which made us little disappointed. However, watching the sun emerging from the end of the sea with Vivekananda Memorial Rock and Thiruvalluvar Statue in the foreground was a magical moment.
After capturing sunrise moments in our cameras, we walked on the sea shore towards the Triveni Sangamam point. Till that day, we had seen the Sangama points in many places where rivers used to confluence. But, in Kanyakumari, Triveni Sangamam is the point where three seas meet. Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean meet at a point in Kanyakumari called Triveni Sangamam. A small Mandap is constructed in this place which makes it easy for anybody to locate the point.
Gandhi Memorial Mandapam
One more attraction in Kanyakumari is Gandhi Memorial Mandapam. This memorial has been built on the spot where the pot containing Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were kept for public display before immersion. The mandapam is designed such that on October 2nd (Gandhiji’s birthday), the first rays of sun fall on the exact place where his ashes were kept.
After Triveni Sangamam, we headed back to hotel Sivamurugan where we stayed. While returning, we got the sight of Kanyakumari town in day light for the first time. The town is very neatly maintained. There are many good hotels for accommodation as well. When we returned to the hotel and opened the window curtains, we were up for a lovely surprise. There was a clear view of the beach from the window and the point in front of us was one of the tourist attractions in Kanyakumari, Pier point, a narrow path built out of rocks which extends from the sea shore for few meters. We were already impressed by the hotel room and this view made us more happier. Pier point which was built after 2004 tsunami, was in our to-visit places’ list for the day, but after seeing it clearly from our room’s Window, this point became an optional destination. We quickly got freshened up and went to the terrace of the hotel. As we expected, the view from the top of the building was mesmerizing. We could see the spectacular view of the gigantic sea, the Pier point, and the popular Our Lady of Ransom Church. After spending some time capturing the scenic beauty, we then headed towards Kumari Amman Temple at 8.30 AM.
Tip: If you are staying in hotel Sivamurugan, opt for rooms facing east side to get a beach view.
Kumari Amman Temple (Bhagavathi Amman Temple)
- Visiting hours: 6.00 AM to 11.00 AM and 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM
Kanyakumari gets its name from this temple. The temple is also called as Bhagavathi Amman Temple and Devi Kanya Kumari Temple. Located on the sea shore, this 3,000-year-old temple is dedicated to Goddess Devi and is one of the 108 Shakti Peethas of India. The temple attracts huge crowd from all over the country, but luckily, when we visited, there was hardly any people. The idol of Goddess Devi standing in the form of a young girl is truly spectacular. It is believed that the diamond nose ring of the deity is so bright that it could be seen from a very far distance at night and because of this, in olden days, many ships sailing in the sea mistook this light as the light from the lighthouse and went off track and got hit by the rocks. To avoid such accidents, the eastern gate of the temple is always kept closed except on five festival days in a year.
After spending some time in this beautiful temple, we came out at 9.15 AM. There were many shops selling amazing shell handicrafts for cheaper price in the car street. We purchased few items, had breakfast at hotel Annapoorna, and then returned to hotel at 10.45 AM. We checked out of the hotel at 11.15 AM and then headed towards Vivekananda Rock Memorial.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue
- Ferry Ticket: 34 Rs/person
Special Entry Ticket: 169 Rs/person
- Timings: 8 AM to 4 PM
- Entrance fee at Vivekananda Rock Memorial: 20 Rs/person
When in Kanyakumari, you are not supposed to miss going to Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue. We had been seeing the glimpses of these wonderful creations since morning from different places, but now the time has come to actually visit these monuments. These memorials are located in the sea and one has to take a ferry ride to reach there. There was an extremely long queue at the ticket counter on the day we visited. After collecting the ferry tickets also, we had to wait in an equally long queue. But, there were benches to sit. So, though it took a long time, we did not feel frustrated. We saw that there were only two ferries running between the sea shore and the rock memorials, which were not sufficient to serve the huge crowd present which in turn resulted in a long queue. We hope this is not the case every day!!
The ferry ride of about 100 m is a memorable one. It sailed through a very rough sea and made us safely reach the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. The memorial is built on a huge rock to commemorate the great philosopher of India, Swamy Vivekananda. Swamy Vivekananda is believed to have attained enlightenment on this rock. The rock memorial is huge and very well maintained and mainly consists of two structures namely, the Vivekananda Mandapam and Shripada Mandapam. There is a meditation hall called as Dhyana Mandapam for visitors to meditate. You can also spend time watching the sea waves ferociously hitting the rocks.
Tip: Carry a pair of socks and enough water when you are visiting Rock Memorial. Because, you have to leave your slippers at the entrance and the weather will be very hot and sunny.
After appreciating the scenic beauty, we decided to go to the nearby Thiruvalluvar statue. To reach, Thiruvalluvar statue, you again have to take the ferry ride. There was once again a long queue for the ferry ride. When the boat arrived, we were bit disappointed as it did not take us to Thiruvalluvar statue, and instead took us back to the sea shore. We read in many blogs that many a times the ferry riders won’t go to Thiruvalluvar statue if the sea current is rough and unfortunately, on that day, the waves were very rough.
Though we could not go to the Thiruvalluvar statue, we were happy to see the statue from a closer distance. Thiruvalluvar statue is dedicated to the popular Tamil poet and philosopher, Thiruvalluvar, the author of Thirukkural. The construction of this tall stone sculpture was ended in the year 1999 and was inaugurated on 1st January, 2000. The total height of this monument is 133 ft (statue of height 95 ft and a pedestal of height 38 ft) denotes the 133 chapters of Thirukkural.
Tip: If you do not want to miss going to Thiruvalluvar statue, then start early to rock memorial.
After capturing the photos of these wonderful structures for one last time, we returned from the place at 3 PM and had lunch at a small hotel.
With the sense of an accomplishment and a wish of repeating this amazing journey all over again in future, we bid goodbye to the beautiful town of Kanyakumari. The multi-lingual friendly people, neatly maintained place, the remarkable stone monuments, the aggressive waves of the sea hitting the rocks, the attractive sunrise where three seas meet, and the spellbinding view of the never ending sea have given us memories of a lifetime.
After Kanyakumari, our return journey towards Bengaluru started at 4.15 PM. But, en route, we had the plan of visiting Madurai. We traveled via NH44 to reach Madurai at around 7.30 PM and checked in to hotel Rajadhane. We had our dinner at the nearby hotel Samrat and then retired for the day.
- Route Traveled: Hotel Sivamurugan, Kanyakumari > Sunrise Point in Kanyakumari Beach > Triveni Sangama > Bhagavathi Amman Temple > Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Thiruvalluvar Statue > Thirunelveli > Madurai > Hotel Rajadhane, Madurai
- Photos: Kanyakumari Album
- A Mega Nano Trip to Kanyakumari
- Day 1 – Gingee Fort (Senji Fort)
- Day 1 – Pondicherry (Puducherry)
- Day 2 – Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram Temples
- Day 2 – Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur
- Day 3 – Rameshwaram
- Day 3 – Dhanushkodi
- Day 5 – Madurai