[Travel Series] Sun rise at the southernmost tip- Kanyakumari

– Megha

At the southernmost tip of the peninsular India lies the beautiful Kanyakumari. The coastal town is named after the goddess Kanyakumari who sits overlooking the sea and wears a nose ring that’s praised to be bright enough to guide the hardworking fishermen back home at night. The calm town has a reputation of being a popular spiritual destination in the country. Every corner in Kanyakumari has a story to tell. Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu Monk whose teachings inspired a great many freedom fighters has performed wonders in this place and is now almost an inseparable part of the spiritual town. The popular port is also well-known for serving a wide variety of delicious sea food. Even though the spot is extremely popular, there are some places that are visited as rare as some of the seashells found here.

When to visit?

Kanyakumari is visited throughout the year. March to May could be the best time to enjoy the cool breeze at night and play in the water on sunny mornings.

Approximate expense (For a day): Rs 600

What to eat?

Kanykumari offers a wide variety of options. Being a coastal city, sea food is definitely a must try. Other than that many restaurants serving South Indian and North Indian cuisine both in veg and non-veg are found in plenty. Many of these hotels have servers who come up to the front and invite you in, blurting out the day’s specials. It’s hard to say no to their smiling faces.

What to visit?

Kanyakumari is not just a sun rise and sun set point. It has many anecdotes from history and mythology that has influenced the enrichment of spirituality and religion in the country. The tranquillity of the beaches and people’s friendly faces makes Kanyakumari a great place to unwind and relax.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue

Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue have now become Kankyakumari’s main attractions. With fun ferry rides, standing in a peaceful environment and enjoying the force of serene water at the beautiful sun rise/ sun set point is made possible for everyone. The government ferry to Vivekananda Rock Memorial costs Rs 34 per person and operates from 8:00 a. m to 4:00 p. m. The same ferry stops for a while at Thiruvallavur Statue. It is wonderful to stand on the rock that a wise man – Swami Vivekananda once swam to and relish the tranquillity at the meditation centre that has now been built in his memory.

Kanyakumari Temple

Kanyakumari, the goddess who the town is named after resides on the shore of Kanyakumari beach. At the popular sunrise point, the goddess wears a nose ring so big and bright that legends claim that it could guide the fishermen back home. The temple is around 3,000 years old and has its roots with mythology. Goddess Kanyakumari is believed to be an avatar of Goddess Parvathi, she is believed to have taken the form of a virgin adolescent girl to annihilate the demon king – Banusura. The temple is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations of the country and hundreds of people visit the temple every day.

Vattakottai Fort

Along with popular beaches, Kanyakumari is home to many other wonders and attractions. Among these, the Vattakottai – a seaside fort is an important one. Vattakottai is situated at about 7 Km from Kanyakumari. Vattakottai literally means circular and the fort was built in the 18th century to ensure coastal defence for the Travancore kingdom. A part of the fort extends into the sea now and the Indian archaeological department has listed it under the protected sites list. The ancient fort silently stands witnessing the beauty of mighty Western Ghats and the Roaring Sea. The fort is open from 8 a. m to 5 p. m on all days of the week.

Chinnamuttom harbour

Chinnamuttom Harbour is Kanyakumari’s hidden gem, it’s almost a modern day pirate lair. The sailors that come to this Harbour hail from various ports of the country. The harbour is only visited by fishermen and locals, hardly any visitors know about this beautiful destination. Along with big ships and rocks shaped like anchors, the Harbour also has a tiny beach hidden at a corner. One can pay Rs 7 and take a share auto or even a private auto for a flexible price to Chinnamuttom village from the city centre. A few buses travel to this route too. Visit the Harbour to enjoy beautiful sun rise.

Mathoor Hanging Bridge

Asias’s longest and tallest aqueduct is situated in the Aruvikkarai village of Thiruvattar Panchayat of Kanyakumari District. Mathoor Hanging Bridge is also called as the Mathoor Hanging Trough and Mathur Aqueduct. The bridge is one the popular attractions of Tamil Nadu and many tourists visit it throughout the year. A panoramic view of the water and the greenery in Kanyakumari can be witnessed from the top of the bridge. This is a must visit destination in Kanyakumari.

Where to stay?

Kanyakumari has a wide variety of options for accommodation. Luxury hotels, resorts or beach houses can be found in the area. Budget friendly guest houses, cottages, hostels are also available. Being a popular tourist destination, many hotels offer rooms for a range of prices. The town’s main railway station also has both AC and Non AC boarding facilities.

Hostels: YMCA Youth Hostel is a good option in Kanyakumari.

Plan your commute:

Train: Kanyakumari railway station (CAPE) is well connected to most parts of the country.

Road: Different kinds of buses operate from various prominent cities of the country. Local Tamil Nadu transport and many private businesses are also available.

Air: Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport. Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala and is located at 67 Km from Kanyakumari.

Local Transport: There are many options to travel in and around Kanyakumari. Many local buses and autos can be found in plenty here. Share autos are the cheapest option available.

A note to the backpacker:

Kanyakumari is a popular tourist destination. Many local and international tourists visit this place throughout the year. Even though the local language is Tamil, many retailers, hotel staff and a few locals can converse in English and Hindi. Check your bargaining skills if you wish to shop in Kanyakumari, venders can try to overcharge. Local autos can be expensive too. Local buses and share autos would be a cheaper option to travel around. When you’re in Kanyakumari, don’t restrict yourself to the popular destinations; roam around to discover some brilliant unexplored gems hidden in and around the beautiful coastal town. People in the area are very well adjusted to tourists and are kind enough to offer help if needed.

Sun rise at the southernmost tip – Kanyakumari

At the southernmost tip of the peninsular India lies the beautiful Kanyakumari. The coastal town is named after the goddess Kanyakumari who sits overlooking the sea and wears a nose ring that’s praised to be bright enough to guide the hardworking fishermen back home at night. The calm town has a reputation of being a popular spiritual destination in the country. Every corner in Kanyakumari has a story to tell. Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu Monk whose teachings inspired a great many freedom fighters has performed wonders in this place and is now almost an inseparable part of the spiritual town. The popular port is also well-known for serving a wide variety of delicious sea food. Even though the spot is extremely popular, there are some places that are visited as rare as some of the seashells found here.

This is an article from the Aao hostel travel fellowship series

Read this article also on: Your Story: Travel Stories

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