Earlier known as Cape Comorin and bordered by the three water bodies– Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal, Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. It is a small coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu and is also termed as the Land’s End.
Kanyakumari is known for its scenic beauty and spiritual significance, but the main beauty lies in the magnificent confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea at one point. But that is not the mesmerizing sight, what is magical is that the three waters do not mix, and one can clearly separate the deep blue, turquoise blue, and sea green colors of the three water bodies. The sunset and sunrise views from Kanyakumari are exquisite which you can view from the Triveni Sangam point and the famous View Tower.
The terrain here is mountainous with elevated patches of hills, coconut trees and paddy fields. Kanyakumari is the only place where you can witness the sunrise and sunset, both at the same beach. The town is also famous for its temples, churches, and monuments along with a delectable variety of cuisine.
Places to Visit
- Kanyakumari Beach: Kanyakumari Beach is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the town. It is located at the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, where the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal meet. The beach is known for its beautiful sunrise and sunset views. Visitors can also enjoy a boat ride from the beach to the nearby Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue.
- Vivekananda Rock Memorial: The Vivekananda Rock Memorial is located on a small island near Kanyakumari Beach. It was built in honor of Swami Vivekananda, the famous Indian spiritual leader who meditated on the rock in 1892. The memorial features a statue of Swami Vivekananda and a meditation hall that offers a beautiful view of the sea.
- Thiruvalluvar Statue: The Thiruvalluvar Statue is a 133 feet tall statue of the famous Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar, located near the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. It is one of the tallest statues in India and stands on a small island. Visitors can take a ferry from Kanyakumari Beach to the statue.
- Padmanabhapuram Palace: The Padmanabhapuram Palace is an ancient palace located around 20 km from Kanyakumari. It was the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Travancore and is renowned for its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. The palace is made of wood and features intricate carvings and artwork. Visitors can also see a wide range of artifacts and antiques from the kingdom's history.
- Kanyakumari Temple: The Kanyakumari Temple is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in South India. It is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kanyakumari and is located on the shore of the sea. The temple features a beautiful idol of the goddess, and visitors can participate in the daily puja (worship) rituals.
- Gandhi Memorial: The Gandhi Memorial is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. It is located on the seashore, and it is a popular tourist spot. The memorial features a statue of Gandhi and a museum that showcases his life and achievements.
- Suchindram Temple: The Suchindram Temple is an ancient temple located around 13 km from Kanyakumari. It is famous for its intricate carvings and sculptures and is dedicated to the Hindu deities Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. The temple features a 40-meter-high tower and a large statue of Hanuman, the monkey god.
- Udayagiri Fort: The Udayagiri Fort is an old fort that dates to the 17th century. It is located around 34 km from Kanyakumari and offers a glimpse into the region's history. The fort features a watchtower and a museum that showcases the fort's history and artifacts.
- Mathur Hanging Bridge: The Mathur Hanging Bridge is a popular tourist spot located around 10 km from Kanyakumari. It is a suspension bridge that spans across the Pahrali River and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
- Vattakottai Fort: The Vattakottai Fort is an ancient fort located around 6 km from Kanyakumari. It was built during the 18th century by the Travancore kingdom and offers a beautiful view of the sea. The fort features a watchtower, a temple, and a small pond.
- Fish Curry: Fish curry is a popular dish in Kanyakumari due to its proximity to the sea. The curry is made with a blend of spices, coconut milk, and tamarind, and is usually served with steamed rice.
- Idiyappam: Idiyappam is a traditional breakfast dish in Kanyakumari. It is made with rice flour and water and served with coconut milk or chutney.
- Puttu: Puttu is another popular breakfast dish in Kanyakumari. It is made with rice flour and coconut and steamed in a cylindrical vessel. It is usually served with banana and curry.
- Pothu: Pothu is a popular street food in Kanyakumari. It is made with rice flour, grated coconut, and jaggery and is fried until crispy.
- Kothu Parotta: Kothu Parotta is a popular street food in Kanyakumari. It is made with flaky parotta, onions, tomatoes, and spices and is usually served with raita.
- Banana Chips: Banana chips are a popular snack in Kanyakumari. They are made by slicing bananas thinly and frying them until crispy.
- Pazham Pori: Pazham Pori is a popular snack in Kanyakumari. It is made with ripe bananas coated in a batter made with flour, sugar, and water and fried until golden brown.
- Saravana Bhawan: If you're looking for authentic South Indian cuisine, Saravana Bhavan is a must-visit restaurant in Kanyakumari. Their dosas and idlis are particularly delicious, and the restaurant is located near Kanyakumari Beach.
- Amma’s Kitchen: Amma's Kitchen is a popular vegetarian restaurant in Kanyakumari, offering a variety of South Indian dishes. Whether you're craving dosas, vadas, or idlis, you'll find something delicious here. The restaurant is located near Kanyakumari Beach.
- Annapoorna: For a satisfying meal in Kanyakumari, check out Annapoorna. This popular restaurant serves a variety of South Indian and North Indian dishes, and their friendly service is always appreciated. You'll find them located near the Kanyakumari Bus Stand.
- Hotel Sangam: Enjoy fresh seafood and stunning sunset views at Hotel Sangam in Kanyakumari. This popular restaurant is known for its delicious seafood and South Indian dishes, and it's located right near the Kanyakumari Beach.
- Sri Devi Hotel: Sri Devi Hotel is a favorite among locals and tourists alike for their delicious South Indian dishes. Whether you're in the mood for dosas, idlis, or vadas, you won't be disappointed. Plus, their prices are reasonable. You'll find them located in Kanyakumari.
- Triveni: Looking for a restaurant in Kanyakumari that serves both North Indian and South Indian dishes? Triveni is a great choice. Their tasty food and great service make it a popular destination near Kanyakumari Beach.
There are no nightclubs in Kanyakumari, but some bars are open till late at night where you can enjoy your drink after a hectic day at work or just unwind after exploring the town.
- Redsun Bar – A good place to hang out in the evening which serves a wide variety of Indian as well as imported liquor. The ambiance is relaxing, and you can enjoy a few cocktails here.
- Sea View Bar – It is in the Sea View Hotel and offers its patrons a pleasing ambiance and a variety of liquor choices to choose from. Be it beer, scotch, or a cocktail, the bar will treat you with any sort of choice you have.
- Landsend Bar– Located at the Sparsa Resort, enjoy an evening of cold beer, scotch or cocktail at this premium bar with soothing music playing in the background and well-lit interiors.
- Dream Land Bar – Another premium bar, Dream Land also offers you a variety of drinks to choose from.
- Rock Spot Bar – A fine place to have a few drinks after sightseeing. Enjoy a variety of drinks at reasonable rates here.
Museums and Art Gallery
- Government Museum: This is a small museum located in Kanyakumari that houses a collection of artifacts, sculptures, and historical objects from the region. The museum also has a section dedicated to the history of Kanyakumari.
- Vivekananda Rock Memorial: This memorial, located on a rock island in the sea near Kanyakumari, is dedicated to the great Indian saint and philosopher Swami Vivekananda. The memorial houses a small museum that showcases Vivekananda's life and teachings.
- Gandhi Memorial Mandapam: This is a memorial dedicated to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The memorial is in Kanyakumari and has a museum that showcases photographs and artifacts related to Gandhi's life and work.
- Tsunami Memorial Park: This park, located in Kanyakumari, is dedicated to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The park has a museum that showcases photographs and artifacts related to the tsunami and its aftermath.
- Kumari Amman Temple Art Gallery: This art gallery, located in Kanyakumari, is part of the Kumari Amman Temple complex. The gallery houses a collection of ancient sculptures and artwork from the region.
- Kanyakumari Main Bazaar: The Kanyakumari Main Bazaar is a bustling market located in the heart of the town. It is the main shopping area in Kanyakumari and offers a wide range of items such as handicrafts, clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs. The market is popular with both locals and tourists.
- Gandhi Market: The Gandhi Market is another popular market in Kanyakumari. It is located near the Gandhi Memorial and offers a wide range of items such as spices, tea, coffee, and local snacks. The market is known for its fresh produce and is a popular spot among locals.
- Handicrafts Emporium: The Handicrafts Emporium is a government-run store that sells a range of handicrafts and traditional items. It is located near Kanyakumari Beach and offers items such as wooden carvings, stone sculptures, and handmade jewelry.
- Tamil Nadu Co-operative Marketing Federation: The Tamil Nadu Co-operative Marketing Federation is a government-run store that sells a range of local items such as spices, tea, coffee, and handicrafts. It is located near Kanyakumari Beach and is a popular spot among tourists.
- Fish Market: The Fish Market is a popular spot for seafood lovers. It is located near Kanyakumari Beach and offers a wide range of fresh fish and seafood. The market is known for its variety of fish and is a popular spot among locals.
As Kanyakumari is a small town, it does not have any big shopping malls. But there are some shopping complexes and centers where you can shop a variety of things from clothes, accessories, electronics, etc. These are:
- Onestop Supermarket and Textiles
- S M Arcade Shopping Complex
- CSI Shopping Complex
- Nice Price Shopping Centre and Nice Fancy World
- Davi Complex
- Dwarka Dhas Mall
- Noor Shopping Centre
- Nellimoottil Plaza
- The Seashore Hotel - Rs. 2,050 to Rs. 5,100
- Hotel Sun World - Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 3,600
- Hotel Singaar International - Rs. 2,900 to Rs. 7,700
- Hotel Seaface - Rs. 1,250 to Rs. 3,750
- Hotel Temple Citi - Rs. 1,400 to Rs. 3,750
- Hotel Trisea - Rs. 1,700 to Rs. 3,400
- Hotel Melody Park - Rs. 950 to Rs. 2,700
- Hotel Ocean Heritage - Rs. 1,850 to Rs. 4,500
- Hotel Sea View - Rs. 1,050 to Rs. 3,375
- Hotel Sivamurugan - Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 3,750
- Varsha Stores
- RamrajCottn Showroom
- Co-opex Kanyakumari
- Tamil Nadu Spices
- CP Gopi Enterprises
- MR Margin Free Mart
- Kamala Stores
- Nisha Stores
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Kanyakumari is between the months of October and March. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the temperature ranges between 20°C to 30°C. The humidity is also low, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
The summer season in Kanyakumari starts in April and lasts until June. The temperature can go up to 35°C, and the humidity can be high, making it uncomfortable for tourists. However, if you plan to visit during this time, you can still enjoy water sports and other activities.
How to Reach
- By Air: The nearest airport to Kanyakumari is the Trivandrum International Airport, which is located approximately 100 km away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Kanyakumari.
- By Train: Kanyakumari has a railway station that is well-connected to major cities in India such as Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi. Several trains run to and from Kanyakumari daily.
- By Road: Kanyakumari is well-connected by road to major cities in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. You can take a bus or a taxi to reach Kanyakumari from nearby cities such as Trivandrum, Madurai, and Coimbatore.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
What is the best time to visit Kanyakumari?
The best time to visit Kanyakumari is between October and March, when the weather is pleasant and suitable for sightseeing.
Is Kanyakumari a safe place for tourists?
Yes, Kanyakumari is generally a safe place for tourists. However, like any other tourist destination, it is always advisable to take necessary precautions such as keeping your belongings safe, avoiding secluded areas at night, and following local customs and traditions.
How do I get to Kanyakumari?
Kanyakumari is well-connected by road, rail, and air. The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport, which is approximately 90 km away. The town has a railway station and is well-connected by buses from nearby cities.
What is the local language spoken in Kanyakumari?
The local language spoken in Kanyakumari is Tamil, but many people also speak Malayalam and English.
Can I watch the sunrise and sunset at Kanyakumari Beach?
Yes, Kanyakumari Beach is one of the few places in India where you can watch both the sunrise and sunset over the sea.