Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari is one of the most exotic tourist destinations to go to in India. Once called Cape Comorin, it is also the southernmost part of the Indian mainland.

About 86 km southeast of Thiruvananthapuram, Kanyakumari is the point of confluence of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Kanyakumari is home to another unique geographical phenomenon that allows you to witness the sunrise and sunset on the same beach.

The city gets its name from the Hindu goddess Kanyakumari who was also known as Kumari Amman. The temple dedicated to Goddess Kanyakumari is located at southernmost tip of the city.

Various myths and legends have been associated with the city. Kanya Devi, a reincarnation of Goddess Parvati was to marry Lord Shiva but he failed to show up for the wedding. The uncooked rice and other food items lay there and eventually turned into stones. Some people believe that that the stones on shore that resemble rice were actual grains of rice meant for the wedding feast. Kanya Devi is worshipped as a virgin goddess.

Kanyakumari has temples and churches, statues and beaches to entice the tourist. The location of the city played major part in the evolution of its culture. People from many countries visited the port town and its evidence is seen in its food, architecture and art forms.

Kanyakumari is also associated with Indian Renaissance as Swami Vivekananda spent time meditating here.

History

Kanyakumari was a major pearl fishing centre in the first century. It was a maritime trade centre during the rule of Cholas, Cheras, Nayaks and the Pandayas. Kanyakumari became known as South Travancore under the reign of Venad kings and the city prospered during their rule.

The city was under the rule of the Pandayan Kings, which was followed by the rule of the Travancore Maharajas.

Shopping

You can buy trinkets made of sea shells and other souvenirs. It is not a shopping destination; however, you can buy saris and other textiles. Handloom garments are also worth a buy.

Where to stay

Accommodation options are plenty ranging from budget, mid-range and luxury hotels. The budget hotels are clustered near the railway station and the bus stand. They have good facilities and are all located within two km of the railway station.

Mid-range hotels can be found all over the city. East Car Street and Kovalam Road have a good number of mid-range hotels.

Luxury hotels are located near Sunset Point and on Kottakari Road.

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Where to eat

The best place to eat is near Beach Road where the coast is dotted with shacks and restaurants that serve a wide array of seafood.

There are few vegetarian restaurants too on Hospital Road and Vivekanandpuram Road.

You can get Chinese, Punjabi, Italian, South Indian, and North Indian and Continental cuisine in Kanyakumari.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit is between October to March.

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