Kanyakumari is a popular tourist destination and pilgrimage center located on the southern-most tip of India. This place of scenic beauty lies in the state of Tamil Nadu, at the confluence of Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Bay of Bengal. The unique feature of Kanyakumari is that on Chitra Pournami (Full Moon day in the month of April), one can see the rare sight of a stunning sunset and moon rise at the same time, when the sun and the moon face each other on either side of the horizon. It has a beautiful beach with rocky shoreline and a vast expanse of multicolored sands. Kanyakumari is a wonderful place for a weekend holiday where the tourists can enjoy adventurous water sports, Ayurveda and pilgrimage. Kanyakumari can be reached by air, rail or road. Trivandrum International Airport is located 80 km away. Kanyakumari railway station is well connected to major cities of the country.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial: This huge rock formation situated in the sea, 500 meters from the shore, is the most popular attraction of Kanyakumari. In 1892 Swami Vivekananda meditated on this rock for three days. There is a Vivekananda Mandapam with Swamiji’s statue, and another Shripada Mandapam which is believed to be blessed by the touch of the Goddess feet.
Thiruvalluvar Statue: Constructed in the sea, it is a 133 feet tall statue of the legendary Tamil poet and saint Thiruvalluvar, the author of the epic Thirukkural. Its pedestal has a height of 38 feet and is surrounded by an Alankara Mandapam. 38 feet signifies 38 chapters of Thirukkural.
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial: The urn containing Gandhiji’s ashes was placed at this place before immersion in the sea waters in Kanyakumari. This monument was built to commemorate that event.
Kamarajar Manimandapam: This monument was constructed in memory ofKamaraj,the great leader and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Telescope House: It is a View Tower and Telescope House where the tourists can enjoy the magnificent views of the beach, Vivekananda Rock, Thiruvalluvar statue, etc.
Government Museum: The museum situated on the Beach Road has a good collection of bronze sculptures, artifacts, tribal items, old coins, wood carvings, etc.
Kanyakumari Bhagavathy Temple: This famous temple of great religious significance is dedicated to Devi Kanyakumari (Kumari Amman) and is visited by thousands of devotees to seek the blessing of the virgin Goddess.
Other popular attractions in and around Kanyakumari include Padmanabhapuram Palace, Suchindrum, Guganathaswamy Temple, St. Xavier church, Olakaruvi Falls, Mathoor Hanging Bridge, Udayagiri Fort, etc.
Kanyakumari offers a great shopping experience to the tourists. They can purchase a variety of handicrafts, seashell products, dress materials, decorative items, and souvenirs. There are several small shops selling decorative items made of wood, bamboo and cane. Palm leaf paintings and several attractive items made of seashells are available in the shops. One can also do shopping at the Tamil Nadu Co-optex Sales Emporium, Tamil Nadu Crafts, Poompuhar, etc., for attractive handicraft items.
There are a number of restaurants in Kanyakumari that serve delicious cuisines of south Indian, Gujarati, Rajasthani, north Indian and Chinese dishes of good quality at reasonable rates. Saravana Hotel, Annapoorna, Palace hotel, Hotel Anand, etc., are some of the good hotels one can depend for quality foods.
Nightlife in Kanyakumari may not be as vibrant as one can experience in major cities of India. After the tiring daytime activities and spending a late evening in the romantic ambience of the moon-lit beach, one can have a nice dinner and enjoy a comfortable sleep. There are some good bars and pubs in Kanyakumari such as Sea View Bar, Red Sun Bar, Dream Land Bar, High tide bar, etc., for those who look for a relaxed hangout in the night.
One can spend the daytime in visiting the popular tourist destinations and religious places in and around Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari beach is the perfect place to watch the spectacular sunset and moonrise. Besides, the tourists can involve in many other activities like surfing, adventure water sports, Ayurveda massage and spend some relaxing moments in shopping beautiful handicrafts and seashell products.