Surrounded by Majestic Hills and the plains bordered by colourful sea-shores, fringed with coconut trees and paddy fields, here and there are few elevated patches of red cliffs with undulating valleys and plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea - coast, so closely interwoven with Temples and Churches and other edifices lies the district, 'Kanyakumari'. (The district name is spelled as 'Kanniyakumari' in official records which is in tune with the spoken name of the district in Tamil language). With an area of 1672 sq.km. it occupies 1.29% of the total extent of Tamil Nadu. It ranks first in literacy among other districts in Tamil Nadu.
Places To Visit In Kanyakumari...
Kanyakumari is the one of the favorite tourist destinations in India. This famous tourist destination has many fascinating attractions for its tourists that depict the glorious past and the cultural beauty of Kanyakumari. There are many mesmerizing tourist attractions in Kanyakumari that are worth visiting and exploring by all the visitors who visits Kanyakumari. While Kanyakumari town has tourist places of its own, the district has many more, from centuries-old historic and religious sites to scenic places. The district is also rich in flora and fauna. A unique feature of Kanyakumari district is that it has all kinds of natural eco-systems. Thus, one can see beaches, mountain valleys, evergreen forests in the deep interior, rubber and clove plantations on the highlands, etc. - all in a 50 km radius of Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District. There are many tourist places in Kanyakumari to marvel at, and your tour to Kanyakumari will definitely turn out to be a gratifying one. The following are some of the many popular kanyakumari tourist places-
Kumari Amman Temple
Kanyakumari Temple also known as Kumari Amman Temple is located on the shore and is devoted to a manifestation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who did penance to obtain Lord Shiva's hand in marriage. Kumari Amman Temple was built by the Pandya kings in 8th century and extensively renovated by the Chola, Vijayanagar and Nayaka rulers.
The temple is located picturesquely and commands breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty. You will be amazed to find that the diamond nose ring of the deity can even be witnessed from the sea. Inside the temple there is an 18th century shrine with the foot prints of the goddess Kumari who performed her penance at this spot. There are also shrines to Vijayasundari and Balasundari, friends and playmates of the Goddess in her youthful form.
There are a total of 11 theerthams associated with the temple in the ocean surrounding the area. The confluence of the seas, at the southern tip of the subcontinent has been held sacred for centuries. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple premise.
Gandhi Memorial is the place where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of Nation were kept before immersion. The building is designed in such a way that on 2 October, Mahatma Gandhi's birthday the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where his ashes were kept. This beautiful monument was completed in 1956. This temple resembles a temple in Orissa. Its central shape is 79 feet high representing the age of the Mahatma. The memorial was transferred to the administrative control of the Public (Information and Public Relations) Department from Public Works Department of Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 1978.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Vivekananda Rock Memorial is one of the most interesting places to see in the southern part of India. Vivekananda Rock Memorial stands on top of a two rocks that are situated approximately 500 meters off the island.
Swami Vivekananda who had come to Kanyakumari on pilgrimage swam to the rock and spent the whole night there in deep meditation. He then resolved to decide himself to the service of the Motherland and to spread the message of Vedanta. Next year i.e. in 1893 he attended the World Religious Conference in Chicago, an event of seminal importance in the modern history of Hinduism. The Memorial commemorates the visit of Swami Vivekananda to “Shripada Parai” during 24th, 25th and 26th December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment.
On this rock stands the "Vivekananda Rock Memorial" built in 1970 with a blend of all the architectural styles of India. A statue of Swamy Vivekananda has been installed inside the memorial building.
Two rocks reach out of the ocean, southeast of the Kumari Amman temple. Both these rocks are fine places from where one gets a view of the land's end of India. One of these is Sri Padaparai, where the footprints of the virgin goddess are seen.
A meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam) is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. The meditation hall and its polished floors reflect the huge metal statue of Vivekananda. The memorial consists of two main structures, the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam. The sacred 'OM' glows in green on the wall.
Although the Vivekananda Rock Memorial itself is fairly recent and built around the 1970's, the two rocks themselves have been there since the millennia. Vivekananda Rock Memorial is open everyday and attracts many visitors constantly.
Near the Vivekananda Memorial, there is an imposing 40 meter high statue of Tiruvalluvar, the 1st century BC Tamil poet, who wrote the epic Thirukkural, often considered as one of the greatest classics of Tamil literature.
Thirukkural is a precious gem among the classics, unique in the deliverance of code of conduct to the mankind to follow for all time to come. It enshrines in it 1330 couplets under 133 chapters, each chapter comprising 10 verses. The chapters again fall under three major divisions. Virtue, Wealth and Love. This treatise encompasses the whole gamut of human life and by Thiruvalluvar, its illustrious author illuminates every bit of it! This classical work written in Tamil, has been translated in over 60 languages of the world.
The Government of Tamil nadu had a vision beyond the Horizon. It was opened in January 1, 2000 (Millennium) and is located atop a small island near the town of Kanyakumari, where two seas and an ocean meet; the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
The structure is a standing mammoth commanding a total height of 133 ft - statue with 95ft and the pedestal supporting it with 38ft. An artistic peripheral wall around the statue, thereby forms a captivating mandap. The pedestal represents the 38 chapters on 'Virtue' and the 95ft statue standing on the pedestal represents 'Wealth' and 'Pleasure' signifying that Wealth and Love be earned and enjoyed on the foundation of Virtue solid. The statue, with its slight bend around the waist is reminiscent of a dancing pose of the ancient Indian deities like Nataraja. It was sculpted by the Indian sculptor Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapathi, who also created the Iraivan Temple.
The rocks for the sculpture came from Sirudhamoor, Pattumalaikuppam Hills and Ambhasamudram Hills. The stone work was divided amongst three workshops, in Kanyakumari, Ambasamudram and Shankarapuram. Ambasamudram contributed 5,000 tons of stones, while Shankarapuram was quarried for 2,000 tons of high quality granite stones for the outer portion of the statue. While the largest of the 3,681 stones weighed over 15 tons, the majority weighed three to eight tons. Stumps of Palmyra tree and poles of casuarinas (ironwood) were used for scaffolding. It took 18,000 casuarinas poles tied together with two truckloads of ropes to reach the top of the statue.
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Tourist places to visit in Kanyakumari
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