Kanyakumari is a town located in Tamil Nadu. At times it is also called ‘Cape Comorin’. It lies at the southern-most tip of the Indian Peninsula, which is also the geographical end of the Indian mainland. Tamil and Malayalam are the predominant languages spoken here.
The town lies at the point where the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Mannar and the Indian Ocean merge with each other. Towards its north and the east lies the Tirunelveli District, while the state of Kerala is located towards its west and northwest. Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, is at a distance of about 85 km from Kanyakumari.
History of Kanyakumari
For the past several centuries, Kanyakumari has been one of the major hubs in the region not only for art and religion, but also for trade and commerce. It was under the rule of several dynasties including the Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras and Nayaks. The art and culture of these dynasties is evident through the architecture of temples in the region.
Later on, Kanyakumari came under the rule of the Venad dynasty and at that time, its capital was located at Padmanabhapuram. From the year 1729 to 1758, the king of Venad, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, established Travancore and the area, which currently falls under the Kanyakumari district, was known as South Travancore.
After the Paravar kings, Kanyakumari was ruled by the kings of Travancore, under the complete authority of the British, till India’s independence in 1947. After independence, Travancore became a part of the independent Indian Union in 1947 and the rule of the Travancore monarchs came to an end.
People & Culture of Kanyakumari
The Chaitra Purnima Festival, Navratri, and the Holy Annual Festival of the Catholic Church are some of the major festivals celebrated in Kanyakumari. Kathakali or the story-dance is the most popular traditional dance form in this region.
Things to do in Kanyakumari
The popular religious places in the region include Lord Subramanya Temple, Tiruchendur Temple, Gandhi Mandapam, Kumari Amman Temple, Swamithoppe Suchindram, St Xavier’s Church, Nagaraja Temple and Thirunandhikarai Cave Temple. Some of the popular beaches near Kanyakumari are Thengapattinam Beach, Sanguthurai Beach and Sothavilai Beach.
To aid travellers and pilgrims there are several Kanyakumari packages
which cater to the southernmost destination of India or combine other places in South India along with it.
Food & Shopping in Kanyakumari
Food in Kanyakumari is limited to traditional South Indian fare, which is similar to what is available in other towns and cities across South India. Idlis, dosas, rice and stew is served on a banana leaf in most of the restaurants. For shopping, tourists can explore small shops near the beach where locals sell jewellery, sea shells, conches and star fish shells.
Travelling to Kanyakumari
Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is the nearest airport to Kanyakumari, which is connected to major cities in India and international destinations like Sri Lanka, Singapore and Maldives. Travellers can disembark at Thiruvananthapuram and catch a bus, train or taxi and reach Kanyakumari
in two hours.
Kanyakumari is also connected by rail with cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkatta and even Jammu. Although long distance buses are available between Chennai, Bangalore and Kanyakumari, it is advisable to reach Thiruvananthapuram and board a bus from its main bus station.
Travelling within Kanyakumari
The best way to explore Kanyakumari is by local transport which includes local buses and auto rickshaws. Private taxis can also be hired. There is nothing much to do at this beach destination other than soaking your feet in the sea or heading to Chitra Pournami to watch the moonrise and sunset simultaneously.
Accommodation options in KanyakumariHotel options in Kanyakumari range from luxury accommodations to budget hotels, dormitories, Devaswam lodges private lodges and home stays. Most luxury hotels of Kanyakumari can be found on the beach road towards the sunset view point, providing views of the sunset and sun rise. The dormitories and private lodges are located within the town whereas Devaswam lodges are located nearby the pilgrimage spots.
Although Kanyakumari enjoys a moderate climate throughout the year, October to February is the best time to visit this city. During this season, the weather is pleasant. The rainy season between June and August should be avoided as beaches might not be accessible.