Kanniyakumari, the “lands end’ of India is one of the most popular tourist spots in the country. It nestles elegantly on the very tip of the Indian peninsula, at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. The town is at its best during the Chaitra Poornima (full moon day in April) when the Sun and Moon face to face at the same horizon. Other full moon days are also special when one can view the sunset and moonrise almost simultaneously.
Kumari Amman Temple: The legendary shrine is dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanniyakumari or Parvati. According to a mythological legend, the shrine marks the spot where the goddess prayed for Lord Shiva to come and claim her hand in marriage.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial: The memorial built-in 1970 on a rock in the sea, marks the spot where Swami Vivekananda, the great philosopher – guide, meditated at the end of 1892, before his departure to Chicago (USA), for participating in the World Religious Conference in 1893. It affords a fine view of the land’s end. Ferry services ply from the shore to the rock memorial at regular intervals.
Thiruvalluvar Statue: The 133 feet high statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar is set on a rock amidst Sea near Vivekananda Rock Memorial.
Gandhi Memorial: It marks the spot where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept in un for public viewing. The memorial is built in such a way that every year on 2nd October. the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the sun rays fall directly on the spot where the urn of Mahatama’s ashes was displayed.
Kamaraj Memorial: The memorial on the seashore commemorates Thiru K. Kamarajar, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Govt. Museum: It has a rich collection of bronzes, coins, tribal objects, wood carvings, and zoological and botanical specimens. It also exhibits a “Temple Car” from Samythoppu and Wales Bones from Manavalakurichy.
Guganathaswamy Temple: This temple is said to have been built by Raja Raja Chola, about 1000 years ago.
Suchindram (13 kms.)
The famous Thanumalayan temple here is dedicated to Trimurthy-Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma. It is also noted for the magnificent gopuram, musical pillars, and an 18 feet statue of Lord Hanuman. The rich collection of art treasures from different periods is noteworthy.
Padamanabhapuram (45 kms.)
The capital of erstwhile Travancore state is set amidst lush hills and paddy fields, which lies 65 kms. southeast of Thiruvananthapuram. The impressive fort here has a Palace Ramaswamy temple and beautiful buildings. The Padamanabhapuram Palace is a masterpiece of Kerala’s unique wooden architecture. The oldest parts of the palace date back to 1550. It houses important art relics, while the temple is adorned with exquisitely carved panels depicting scenes from the Ramayana.