At the southern most land tip of India, where the Arabian
Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet, lies
Kanyakumari (also spelt as Kanniyakumari),
an important pilgrim centre. Kanyakumari is
famous for its beach and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, especially
on the full moon days.
There are two significant memorials here. One is the Gandhi Mandapam, built to commemorate the immersion of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi in the waters by the temple. The other memorial, dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, is built on the rock 656 ft. from the shore where he meditated in 1892 before taking the message of the Hindu philosophy to the west. Swami Vivekananda was the foremost disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Across from the shore line, barely a quarter of a mile into the sea, is the majestic Vivekananda Rock Memorial built on a rock in 1970, dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, the world famous reformer, sage and philosopher. On the rock where the memorial stands, Vivekananda sat and meditated having swam to it from the shore, way back in 1892. This was immediately prior to his departure to Chicago where he participated in the Parliament of World Religions and delivered his legendary discourse. A meditation hall is attached to the memorial.
The Memorial houses a huge metal statue of Vivekananda. The merger of three seas- Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean can be seen from these rocks. While looking at the horizon, one gets a feeling that nature has sprayed various colours on water. Though the structure is well constructed, it has been very badly maintained.
To reach this memorial one has to take the ferry services or boats plying between the rock memorial and the mainland. Ferry service is available from the shore during daylight hours on a nominal fee.
Not far from the Kumari Amman Temple is the Gandhi Mandapam, constructed at the spot where the urn containing the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi was kept for public view before a portion of its contents was immersed in the three seas. It resembles an Oriyan temple and was designed so that on Gandhiji's birthday (2nd October), the sun's rays fall on the place where his ashes were kept.
Air: The nearest airport is at
(80-km), which is well connected with National and International flights.
From Thiruvananthapuram, one can take a taxi or bus to
Rail: Kanyakumari is well connected by train services with all the places in India. Superfast trains connect the southern most railhead of India with northern cities like Jammu and Delhi. Intercity trains are running from almost all the southern cities.
Road: Kanyakumari is connected by regular bus services with Chennai, Pondicherry, Bangalore, Trichy, Madurai, Mandapam (Rameshwaram), Nagercoil, Tuticorin, Tiruchendur, Tiruvelveli, Trivandrum, etc.
Water: To reach the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, one has to take the ferry services or boats plying between the rock memorial and the mainland.
Accommodation is available at the moderate class and small budgeted hotels and lodges in Kanyakumari.