The southernmost tip of India, the confluence of 3 seas that you’ll only see here, a city with both religious and spiritual importance – this is Kanyakumari.
Located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, it is even very close to Kerala and a popular destination. The tip of the country from where you only see the vast expanse of water.
So what are you waiting for? Head out to explore the major tourist places in Kanyakumari.
Interesting Fact about Kanyakumari
The city Kanyakumari gets its name after Goddess Kanya Kumari, the adolescent form of Goddess Parvati.
It is believed that Lord Shiva did not turn up to marry Devi Kanya Kumari on the decided auspicious day which annoyed her a lot. She threw all the food and broke the bangles.
She remained unmarried and even killed the demon Banasura. The Devi is worshiped in Kanyakumari at the temple which is also one of the Shakti Peeths of India.
Tourist Places in Kanyakumari
A small city at the southernmost tip of India is a popular tourist destination for both spiritual and tourist reasons.
Most of the Kanyakumari tourist places are at a walking distance of each other and one day is good enough to explore this city.
So this can help you plan a 1-day itinerary to Kanyakumari.
1. Vivekananda Rock Memorial
The most iconic building of Kanyakumari is the Vivekananda memorial built on a huge stone on an island that is a stone throw away from the shore.
It is believed that Swami Vivekananda attained enlightenment on this rock before visiting Chicago.
The temple also houses a meditation hall and book store that can be explored.
Note: Small kids are not allowed in the meditation hall.
The rock even holds religious significance as it is believed that Devi Kanyakumari had stepped on this rock and blessed the place.
The Sripada Mandapam is the temple within the complex where the rock is kept with the impressions of Devi footprints.
Note: Photography is prohibited inside the mandapams/halls.
There is a sun clock at one end of the complex that is interesting to see. It actually shows the time of sunrise throughout the year.
Standing tall amidst the ocean, it is a great place to witness the waves from the three seas crashing.
We would advice you to visit the memorial in the morning as the stone floors get burning hot during the afternoon and it becomes difficult to walk barefoot. Try and walk over the white paint to avoid sunburns.
The rock memorial can be reached by a small ferry ride from the shore. There might be a long line for the ferry, so better to take that into account.
There are ferry charges apart from the entrance fees to the Vivekananda memorial.
Timings: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Entrance fees – INR 10 per person
Ferry charges – INR 20 per person
2. Thiruvalluvar Statue
Close to the Vivekananda rock memorial is a massive 133 ft tall stone statue of a famous Tamil poet Valluvar.
The statue can be accessed via the ferry. The ferry plying from Vivekananda memorial halts at the Thiruvalluvar statue.
Unfortunately, during our visit, the statue was closed for public due to maintenance. But the giant structure cannot be missed.
3. Triveni Sangam
The only place in the world where the confluence of the three seas – the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal with the Indian ocean happens is at Kanyakumari, called the Triveni Sangam (Tri means three, Veni means a stream of water and Sangam means confluence).
Being famous among tourists for a spectacular sight, it is a very popular pilgrim spot as well. People believe that bathing in this holy water will wash away the sins.
I don’t know about washing away the sins, but it’s great to at least dip your feet in the hot day. There are a few steps that lead to a rocky beach.
Note: There aren’t clean changing rooms around.
4. Gandhi Memorial
A beautiful architectural building close to the Kanyakumari beach is the Gandhi memorial.
This is the place where Gandhiji’s ashes were kept for public viewing before immersing them into the seas.
The architecture is special as on October 2nd (birthday of Mahatma Gandhi), the sun rays fall from a hole in the roof at the place where the ashes were kept.
5. Kanya Kumari Temple /Sri Bhagvathy Amman temple
The 3000-year-old temple dedicated to the Goddess Kanya Kumari is very popular and thronged by the disciples of the Devi, making it one of the most popular tourist places in Kanyakumari.
This temple is also significant as is one of the Shakti Peeths in Indian subcontinents. It is believed that out of all the body parts, the spine of Goddess Sati fell at this place.
The main sanctum is dimly lit with oil lamps and has a black stone idol of the goddess holding a rosary in one hand.
One thing that catches the sight is the sparkling nose ring. There are some interesting stories associated with it as well.
Sitting by the sea, the temple can be viewed from the Vivekananda memorial and Thiruvallur statue.
The temple closes in the afternoon and can’t be visited until the evening.
Timings: 4 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Note: Men have to be a bare chest in order to enter the temple.
6. Kanyakumari Beach
Adjacent to the Bhagavathy Amman temple is the Kanyakumari beach. Not a very big beach though, is popular among the tourists for both spiritual and pleasure reasons.
There were hawkers around and we did not find the beach very clean.
7. Kanyakumari Sunrise and Sunset
Kanyakumari, being the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, watching the sunrise or sunset is special.
Although sunrise can be watched from many places across the city, there is a Sunrise Point on the Kanyakumari beach.
With the sun rising from the horizon over the ocean behind the Vivekananda memorial and statue, it is a sight to behold.
The sunset can be watched from the Kanyakumari beach as well but there is a Sunset point about 3 km away from the sunrise point.
The sunset and sunrise at Kanyakumari can even be viewed from the View Tower that gives a 360-degree view of the landscape and the mesmerizing sun painting the sky.
8. Souvenir Shopping near Kanyakumari Temple
After exploring this small significant town it is time to indulge in some shopping of souvenirs. There are many small shops lined beside the beach and close to the Vivekananda memorial jetty point.
Right from stuff made of seashells to handicrafts to traditional clothes, there is a wide variety to shop for.
Remember: Don’t forget to bargain to get the best deal.
9. Bharat Mata Temple
Indians idolize their country not just as a piece of land, but their mother, Bharat Mata and treat like a goddess.
Bharat ~ India and Mata ~ mother
To show gratitude and love, there is a Bharat Mata temple in the city. The first thing that catches the eye is the beautiful garden outside the temple.
The temple has a huge idol of Bharat Mata (Mother India). It even has the story of Ramayan beautifully depicted in pictures.
Ticket: INR 30
Timings: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.- 9 p.m.
There is public parking available close to the beach. All the major places are at walking distance from the spot.
Things you Must Take Care of while visiting Kanyakumari:
- Since it is very hot and humid, do wear caps and sunglasses.
- Apply sunscreen before stepping out in sun.
- Try to visit the Vivekanand memorial in the morning or evening as the floor gets very hot in the afternoon and you need to be barefoot.
- There can be a long queue for the ferry both ways, so keep that in mind while planning.
- Photography is strictly prohibited inside Vivekananda memorial and Bhagvathy Amman temple. But I was saddened to see social media addicts clicking pictures inside the Vivekananda hall, in spite of the instructions.
Hotels in Kanyakumari
Wondering where to stay? Check out the best hotels in Kanyakumari.
Travelling with kids and looking for a fun option. Visit Magic Planet Trivandrum – first of a kind magic theme park
Trivandrum to Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari is a perfect day trip option or 2 day trip from Trivandrum about 100 km far.
It is best to leave early in the morning from Trivandrum for the 2 1/2 hour ride.
Passing from small towns and villages along the coastline, it’s a great way to explore the countryside with sea views giving you company all along.
One thing that we noticed as we approached Kanyakumari was fishes drying outside the houses, on roofs, on empty lands.
Kanyakumari can also be reached by trains that ply regularly from Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) Central railway station in 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hrs.
When in Trivandrum, do visit Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kerala – World’s Richest Temple
Have you visited Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India? Are there any things to do in Kanyakumari that you loved and I may have missed.
Do let me know in the comments and we’ll be happy to update. We truly believe in helping the fellow travelers in the best possible way.
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