Kannyakumari has been named after the Goddess Kannyakumari Amman who is the popular deity of the area. Legend has it that the Goddess Parvati in one of her incarnations as Devi Kanniya did penance on one of the rocks of this land's end to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva. Kanyakumari is the southern most district of Tamil Nadu. The district lies between 77o 15' and 77o 36' of the eastern longitudes and 8o 03' and 8o 35' of the northern Latitudes. The District is bound by Tirunelveli District on the North and the east. The South Eastern boundary is the Gulf of Mannar. On the South and the South West, the boundaries are the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. On the West and North West it is bound by Kerala.
The legend of this temple is as romantic as the place itself. Dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanniyakumari, Parvati who stands guard over the country, the temple is built at the spot where the goddess is believed to have waited for her consort Lord Shiva to come and claim her hand in marriage. At one time the shifting sands at the shores of Kanniyakumari were believed to be multi-hued as a result of the coloured rice that was sprinkled by the approving gods over the couple at their wedding. Equally fascinating is the story about the diamond nose stud worn by the goddess believed to hae led many a ship to be shipwrecked onthe treacherous rocks near the shore. So bright was the threat of the reflected light from the nose-stud to the unsuspecting ships that the door on the side facing the sea had to be closed for ensuring the safety of the ocean liners.
Vivekananda Rock where the charismatic and philosopher Swami Vivekananda meditated and transformed himself. The unique, structure was built in 1970 and is a blend of various architectural styles of India. Close to the Vivekananda Rock is another rock called Sripada Parai meaning the rock that has been blessed by the touch of the feet of the goddess.
Both these rocks are fine places to have a view of the land's end of India. Poompuhar Shipping Corporation operates frequent ferry services from the shore to the rock memorial at regular intervals.
Thiruvalluvar, is the author of Thirukkural . Tamils take cognizance of the birth of Thiruvalluvar as a basis of the calendar. Now we are in the 2036 of the Thiruvalluvar Aandu. Thirukkural is regarded as a renowned work, eulogised as a directory of the code of conduct and ethics to humanity. Through his 1330 couplets, the revered poet not only deals with the general administration, but also codified and gave clear-cut directions to mankind on how they should behave and act in a social, political, religious and family circles. The work of Thiruvalluvar has been translated into more than 60 languages worldwide. The magnificent 133-foot height statue denoting the chapters in Thirukkural has been opened for tourists visit in the middle of the sea on 1.1.2000 in Kanniyakumari.
The Gandhi Mandapam has been constructed at the spot where theashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept in an urn for public view before a portion of it was immersed into the confluence of the three seas, in 1948. Every year on Gandhiji's birthday 2nd October, the sun's rays fall at the exact spot where the urn was displayed before immersion. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanniyakumari twice, in 1925 and 1937. In commermoration of this event, a beauthiful monument has been constructed here its central shape is 79 feet high representing the age of Mahatma.
Visiting hours: 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.
Regarded as the "King Marker of India", Kamaraj influenced many a political event in the country. From a humble background he rose to become the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu through sheer hard work and political acumen. As a tribute to the freedom fighter and "Perunthalaivar" (meaning great leader) this memorial was constructed where his ashes were kept for public to pay homage before immersion into the sea.
Visiting Hours : 07.00A.M to 07.00 P.M. Entrance free.
The museum is situated near the Tourist Office, Beach Road, Kanniyakumari. The Museum contains bronzes, coins, tribal objects, woodcarvings and zoological and botanical specimens. The Museum's collection also contains the Temple Car made from Samythoppu and whale-bones from Manavalakurichi in Kanniyakumari District.
Visiting Hours : 09.30A.M to 05.00 P.M. Friday and second Saturday Holiday.
The Sthanumalayan temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. This is a repository of art treasures. Musical pillars and a huge 18-ft high Hanuman statue are proof of the artistic skill of the 9th Century A.D. artisans. It has a unique bas-relief carving of Vinayaki or the Female Vinayaka. Male tourists should remove their upper garments before they enter the temple.
Timings: 4.00 a.m. - 11.45 a.m. 5.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.
Padmanapuram or the City of Lord Vishnu is an ancient historical town is situated 45 kms from Kanniyakumari. It was an ancient Capital of the Travancore rulers until 1798 A.D. There is a palace inside the fort that spreads over an area of 6 acres. The palace is known for it antiques, including the armoury of the royal family. The Ramaswamy temple adjoining the palace has scenes from the Ramayana carved in 45 panels. It provides a visual extravanganza to the visitors. The woodwork in this palace is intricate
Thirparappu literally means a pavilion of beauty and sanctity. The panoramic view of the Lord Mahadevar temple or (Lord Shiva) atop green hills and the perennial River Kodayar running in front of the shrine is really fascinating and attractive. The Kodayar makes its descent at Thirparappu and the sparkling waterfall is a rich feast for the eyes.