The Kumari Amman Temple
Dedicated to the origin Goddess Kanniyakumari, who eternally protects the country? Legends has it that the Goddess Parvathy in one of her incarnation, as Devi kanya did penance to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva. The temple is a symbol of unity and sanctity.
In memory of the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, a Mandapam has been erected near the temple the memorial has been built on the spot where the urn containing his ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Architecture of the building allows the ray of the sun to fall on the spot where the urn was kept, on 2nd October, his birthday. The beautiful Gandhi Memorial completed in 1956, is situated as a memorial to the Father of the Nation. An urn of Mahatma Gandhi was kept here for public to pay homage before immersion. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari twice in 1925 and 1937. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari in January 1937. In 1948 his ashes were immersed in the sea waters in Kanyakumari. In commemoration of this event a beautiful monument has been constructed here. Its central shape is 79 feet high representing the age of the Mahatma at the time of the sun at mid day on 2nd October would fall on the peedam through a hole in the roof. The memorial was transferred to the administrative control of the Public (Information and Public Relations) Department from Public Works Department of Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 1978.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial is another place in Kanyakumari which attracts large number of tourists. As its name implies, it is essentially a sacred monument, built by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee to commemorate the visit of Swamy Vivekananda to “Shripada Parai” during 24th, 25th and 26th December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment.
From very ancient times, the rock has been regarded as sacred place. In Puranic tradition, it has been known as “Sripada Parai: meaning the rock, that has been blessed by the touch of Shripada feet of the Goddess. On the rock, is a projection similar in form to a human fort and a little brownish in complexion, which has traditionally, been revered as a symbol of Shripadam.
According to legend, it was on this rock that Goddess Kanyakumari did Tapas. The memorial consists of two main structures, viz (i) Vivekananda Mandapam and (ii) Shripada Mandapam.
This 180’-11 ½ ‘X 56’ Mandapam consists of (1) Dhyana Mandapam, i.e., Meditation Hall with six adjacent rooms (2) Sabha Mandapam or the Assembly Hall including Pralima Mandapam (statue section) two rooms, a corridor and an open Prakaram round the Sabha Mandapam (30 Mukha Mandapam (Portion) and (4) the Front Entrance steps with two rooms and a corridor below the steps.
This square hall consists of (1) Garbha Graham i.e., (Sanctum Sanctorum) (2) the Inner Prakaram (3) the Outer Prakaram and (4) the Outer Platform all around. Both the Mandapams are so designed that the vision of Swamiji in the statue would be seen direct towards the Shripadam.
Thiruvalluvar is the immortal poet of Tamil Nadu and has given to the world Thirukkural. The memorial statue of Thiruvalluvar is in Kanyakumari. The pedestal of the statue is of 38 feet height and the statue over it is 95 feet tall with a grand total of 133 feet for the entire sculpture. The 3 tier pedestal known as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapa stand 10 elephant statues signifying 8 directions with earth and space down. The father of Sri. Rama, the hero of Ramayana was called Dasaratha as he was able to charioteer in ten directions. To help the tourists to worship the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar 140 steps are constructed inside the Mandapa. The pedestal with a height of 38 feet represents the 38 chapters in the Book of Aram in Thirukural and the statue of 95 feet on the pedestal represents the total chapters in Porul (70 chapters) and Inbam (25 Chapters). Thus the statue symbolically and artistically signifies that the theme of Porul and Inbam are based on Aram.
Fountain at Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari district, which lies in the southern most tip of Peninsular India, is famous for its majestic hills, virgin beaches, pristine rivers and meandering rivulets. The district has a fragrance of architecture culture and customs of neighbouring Kerala mixed with the rich deep traditions, culture and architecture of Tamil Nadu. However, for want of promotional campaign and lack of basic amenities most of the tourists coming to this district return back after seeing just Kanyakumari and Padmanabhapuram Palace. It was at this juncture that the district administration decided to take up tourism promotion initiatives in a major way. Attempt has been made to put up basic amenities at the virgin beautiful spots so as to facilitate the inflow of the tourists.
Another monument Kamarajar Manimandapam was raised and dedicated to Late. Sri. Kamarajar, The freedom fighter, Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, President of Indian National Congress. He was popularly known as Black Gandhi among the masses and king maker during congress regime. This monument was constructed where his ashes were kept here for public to pay homage before immersion into the sea.
Sunrise and Sunset
Every day people gather here to watch the Sunrise and Sunset. But to watch the Sunset and the moon rise on Full Moon day is an experience that lives in one’s memory for life.