Temples & Other interesting Places
|The ancient historical town Padmanabhapuram is one of the four municipalities in the district is 55 Km. south of Trivandrum, about two km. east of Thuckalay and 35 km. from Kanniyakumari on the Trivandrum-Cape Comerin road. This town is surrounded by a fort with an area of 187 acres. The ancient capital of Travancore might be constructed before AD 1601. The palace with an area of seven acres, is situated in the very centre on the Padmanabhapuram Fort, amidst hills, dales and rivers. The palace which is situated in Kanniyakumari District is under the control of a Curator of the Archaeological Department of Kerala Government. The fort which was built with mud originally was dismantled and reconstructed with granite by Maharaja Marthanda Varma. The height of the walls varies from 15’ to 24’ according to the inclination of the ground.
Udayagiri Fort : Udayagiri Fort is about 2 K.M. from East of Thuckalay and about 13 kilometres from Nagercoil. The fort was built in the 18th century by King Marthanda Varma. The grave of the Dutch General De Lennoy, one of the most trusted generals of the king, lies within the fort.
Kumariamman Temple : The legend of this temple is as romantic as the place itself. Dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanniyakumari (Parvati) who stands guard over the country, the temple is built at the spot where the goddess is believed to have waited for her consort Lord Siva to come and claim her hand in marriage. At one time the shifting sands at the shores of Kanniyakumari were believed to be multi-hued as a result of the coloured rice that was sprinkled by approving gods over the couple at their wedding. Equally fascinating is the story about the diamond nose stud worn by the goddess believed to have (mis) guided many a ship to a sorry end at the treacherous rocks near the shore. So great was the threat of the reflected light from the nose-stud to the unsuspecting ships that the door on the side facing the sea had to be closed for ensuring the safety of the ships.
Gandhi Memorial :
|The Gandhi Mandapam has been constructed at the spot where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept for public view in an urn before a portion was immersed into the three seas. Every year on Gandhiji’s birthday 2nd October, the sun’s rays fall at the exact spot where the urn was displayed before immersion.
Visting Hours -7 AM To 7 PM . Entrance Free
Vivekananda Memorial :
|The memorial has been built on the Vivekananda Rock where the great philosopher – guide Swami Vivekananda went into meditation that transformed him into one of the most charismatic spiritual leaders of this century. The unique, structure was built in 1970 and is a blend of various architectural styles of India. Close to the Vivekananda Rock is another rock called Sripada Parai meaning ‘the rock that has been blessed by the touch of the feet of the goddess’. Both these rocks are fine places from where one can have a view of the land’s end of India. Poompuhar Shipping Corporation operates frequent ferry services from the shore to the rock memorial at regular intervals.
Thiruvalluvar Statue :
THIRUVALLUVAR, author of THIRUKKURAL – A Sagacious saint born before the Christ ( i.e. about 30 years before the Jesus Christ) Tamils take cognizance of the birth of Thiruvalluvar as a basis of the calendar. Now we are in the 2032 of Thiruvalluvar Aandu.
Thirukkural is regarded as a renowned work, that is eulogised as a directory of code of conduct and ethics to the Humanity, through his 1330 couplets, the revered poet not only deals with the general administration, but also codified the clear cut directions to the mankind on how they should behave and act in a social, political, religious and family circles.
The work of Thiruvalluvar was translated into more than 60 languages world wide. The magnificient 133 foot height statue denoting the chapters in Thirukkural has been opened for Tourist’s visit in the midst of sea on 1.1.2000 in Kanniyakumari.
Kamaraj Memorial at Kanniyakumari : The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu declared on 19-4-1998 that the Government would construct a Memorial to honour the services of Thiru K.Kamarajar, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The memorial was constructed on the seashore, where the ashes of the Late Leader was immersed. A building at cost of Rs.50 lakhs was completed in an aesthetic way with the permission of Government of india.
Thanumalaiyan Temple – Suchindram :
|Suchindrum is a small village about 12 km. from Kanniyakumari and about seven kilometres from Nagercoil. This holy place is located on the bank of the river Pazhayar, adjoining fertile fields and coconut groves and the temple is dedicated to Sri Sthanumalayan. The word denotes Siva, Vishnu and Brahma as. Sthanu represents Siva, Mal represents Vishnu while Ayan represents Brahma i.e. Siva, Vishnu and Brahma in “One Form”.
Suchindrum means the place where Indra attained ‘Suchi’ i.e., purification. The Sthalapurana has it that Indra suffered a curse from sage Gowthama, when he stealthily cast amorous glances at Ahalya the wife of Gowthama. Not able to suffer the mortification brought about by the curse. Indra had to seek immediate redemption. He came to ‘Gnana Aranya’ as this place was then called and offered worship to Lord Shiva. Relieving Indra of his curse, Lord Shiva granted him of his wish that the place where he attained purification should henceforth be called ‘Suchindrum’.
Another story goes to say that the Trimurthys i.e. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, cajoled by their divine consorts came down to the earth to test the chastity of Anusuya, wife of sage Athri at Gnana Aranya. The Gods for this misadventure had to suffer a surse form the Rishipatni and to undergo the purification process, before they could be restored to their former glory.
It is said that Thanumalaya Swamy temple is the only shrine dedicated to the Trinity in India. The present structure of the temple is the work of a number of persons spread over a number of centuries. It is a complex of many beautiful structures constructed at various times and is one of the best specimens and a store house of the Dravidian style of art and architecture.
Visiting Hours : From 04.00 AM to 11.45 AM and 05.00 P.M to 08.00 PM
Nagercoil : Named after the temple dedicated to Nagaraja – the King of Snakes – Nagercoil, the headquarters of Kanniyakumari district is 19 kms from Kanniyakumari.
There are frequent buses from Nagercoil to any other part of the state and to Trivandrum.
Olakkay Aruvi Water falls : Olakkay Aruvi Water in the Western Ghats is about 8 kms., North of Azhgiapandiapuram, 14 kms., from Nagercoil and 33 kms., from Kanniyakumari. The beautiful water falls and the natural scenery all around the place attract many holiday seekers and this place has become an important picnic center. A small temple connected with the sage Agasthiar near the falls attracts a large number of religious people on full moon day of the month of Chithirai (April – May) and they worship the altar, after a bath in the falls. It is one of the places for Trekking also.
Kumarakovil : Kumarakovil is at the foot of the Velimalai hills in Kalkulam Taluk, about 15 kms., North – West of Nagercoil and 3 kms., east of Thuckalay, and 34 kms., from Kanniyakumari.
The Lord Muruga Temple is built on the the hillock about 200 feet height in a lush green field of Paddy, Plantain and Coconut trees. The temple is noted for architectural beauty. Goddess Valli, the spouse of Lord Subramaniya, the Presiding deity, is also enshrined in the temple by the side of Lord Subramaniya. The right side of the temple there is one big lake, suitable for boating.
Mondaikadu Bagavathy Amman Temple : Mondaikadu is situated in the sea coast, north – east of Colachel Port. It is connected with Nagercoil and Trivandrum by a motorable road. It is 22 kms., from Nagercoil and 41 kms., form Kanniyakumari. This place is famous for its temple dedicated to Bagavathy Amman, dates back to the 7 th century B.C. The Amman is in the form of anthill which is about 12 feet in height and with five heads and believed to be growing gradually. The annual festival called Mondaikadu Kodai is celebrated in March for 10 days and is the main attraction at this place. Department of Tourism, Government of Tamilnadu, organises Photographic Exhibition during the festival.
The temple, though small attracts a large number of people from all over the district, besides a regular flow of pilgrim from Kollam in Kerala State, about 160 kms., from Mondaikadu during the annual festival celebrated for 10 days.
Thengapattinam Beach : Thengapattinam situated on the west coast is a place of historical importance. It is 35 kms., from Nagercoil and 54 kms., from Kanniyakumari. As coconut trees are abundant in this place, this might have derived this name.
This village had, in ancient times, trade relations with foreign countries like Arabia. There was direct Cargo boat service between Thengapattinam and other foreign maritime towns.
Some Arab Merchants who came here found suitable for their trade. The Mosque at Thengapattinam is said to be is built about 1200 years ago. This place is well connected with Nagercoil and Thiruvananthapuram by regular bus service. Thengapattinam Beach is an excellent picnic spot with back water facilities.
St.Xavier Church, Kottar (Nagercoil) (16 Kms) : It dates back to 15th century A.D. dedicated to St.Francis Xavierr, A 10 day festival from November 24th to December 3rd is held every year.
Pechipparai Dam (46 kms) : Like all other dam sites this one too is a popular picnic spot where facilities for boating have also been provided.
Thirparappu Water Falls :
|Thiruparappu is located about 25 kilometers away from Thuckalay. The Kodayar makes its descend at Tirparappu and the water fall at this place is about 13km. from Pechiparai dam. The river bed is rocky and about 300 feet in length. The water falls from a height of nearly 50 feet and the water flows for about seven months in a year. The whole bed above the falls is one rocky mass which extends up to a distance of about quarter of a kilometer upstream where the famous Thirparappu weir has been constructed for supplying water to the paddy fields. On either side of the river, on the left bank of the river in between the water falls and the weir, there is a temple dedicated to Siva enclosed by strong fortification. The District Administration has constructed a swimming pool for children over here which is very popular among the children.
Ticket Fare- Rs.5. Video and camera fees are Rs.75/- and Rs.5/- respectively.
Thiruvattar : (40 kms.) The temple here is one of the finest specimens of temple art and architecture. The paintings on the walls of the temple are worth seeing.