KANNIYAKUMARI (CAPE CORMORAN)

Enjoy a trip to the the southern most tip of India which is considered a holy place and is where the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal meet.

Reknowned for it's spectacular views especially at sunrise and sunset, the most breathtaking of these comes on Chaitra Purnima (the full moon night in April) when both sunset and moonrise occur at the same time.

Kanniyakumari is believed to be the abode of Kumari, the Virgin Goddess, who is supposed to have done penance here so that she could marry Shiva. The marriage however never took place as it was deemed that she should remain a virgin in order to save the world!!

Kanniyakumari is believed to be the abode of Kumari, the Virgin Goddess, who is supposed to have done penance here so that she could marry Shiva. The marriage however never took place as it was deemed that she should remain a virgin in order to save the world!!

Her temple, the Kumari Amman temple is a popular pilgrimage centre on the seashore and was built by the Pandya Kings in the 8th Century and extensively renovated by the Chola, Vijayanagar and Nayaka rulers.

The temple has a Navaratri Mandapa with a beautifully painted panel of Mahishasuramardini (Durga killing the demon Mahisha). An 18th Century shrine within the temple contains the footprints of the Goddess Kumari who performed her penance at this spot

The Gandhi memorial near the temple is where Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were kept before emersion. The building is designed so that every year on 2nd October (Gandhi's birthday), at mid day the rays of the sun fall on the exact spot where his ashes were placed.

Just off the coast on a rocky island the Vivekananda memorial marks the spot where the great Indian philosopher Vivekananda meditated before attending the World Religious Conference in Chicago in 1893.

Near the memorial is the imposing 131 ft high statue of Tiravalluvar, the 1st Century Tamil poet who wrote the epic Tirukural, often referred to as one of the greatest classics of Tamil literature.

The Church of our Lady of Joy, founded by St. Francis Xavier in the 1540s is located at the southern edge of the town. Other attractions include the sandy beaches and coloured granite rocks.

The journey from Kovalam travels South through Tamil Nadu and a visit to the Wooden Palace and Monkey temple can be included in the itinery if required

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