A visit to Kanyakumari, India is certainly a buck list item for anyone who loves the subcontinent. Being at the very southern tip it’s a popular destination mostly for Indians seeking a pilgrimage although with the emerging middle class in the country it is becoming just as much a vacation destination combined with a spiritual journey.
Having spent a few weeks traveling through Kerala it was hard to resist an extra 3 hour bumpy bus ride from Kovalam Beach to the southern tip of India.
With limited time I had to literally jump off the bus, find a place to stay, and make my way for the ferry line-up to visit the small little islands, or rock outcrops that were home to shrines.
The first stop on the ferry ride is at Vivekananda Rock Memorial where a shrine was built in 1970 honoring Swami Vivekananda who was believed to have attained enlightenment on the rock. The second stop was at The Thiruvalluvar Statue. The statue that rises 29 meters symbolizes wealth and pleasures.
After I finished my trip to the monuments I explored the small town that must swell daily with tourists and pilgrims that arrive by bus, car, and train. It’s definitely a circus atmosphere, with carnival acts, horse rides, and a little amusement park for kids. Of course besides the other temples that pilgrims and followers make their way to including The Kanya Kumari Temple and The Gandhi Memorial Mandapam, the site where the great Mahatma’s ashes were kept before their final immersion.
Just to see and meet Indians, many that had travelled hundreds of kilometers was absolutely fascinating.
Of course the top attraction for most are the incredible sunrises and sunsets, provided the weather is cooperative. We had an amazing sunset, the next day unfortunately overcast skies and light rains prevailed. Nevertheless it was one of the memorable adventures I’d ever experienced in India.
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