BANGALORE: With tranquil atmosphere and aesthetically built monuments, Kanyakumari flaunts an environment which perfectly blends spirituality with history. The much famous tourist destination is 100 km from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. As we proceed, the sight of tall stone statue of Tamil poet and saint Thiruvallavar and Vivekandanda Memorial rock set in the midst of Indian Ocean brings back textbook memories of the great spiritual guru. As an enthusiastic history student, this place, which has a deep rooted link with the legendary thinker, has always been my favourite destination. It was the beginning of summer and the heat was somewhat neutralised by frequent winds. Being one of the favourite destinations of the devout, Kanyakuamri temple is bustling with people from across the globe.
We headed towards the sacred rock, which is the centre of attraction, in a boat. Kanyakumari’s association with Swami Vivekananda is well recorded in the history. What stands testimony to that is the Memorial Rock built in honour of the great man who swam across the turbulent ocean and sat on the rock and meditated. The tall Thiruvalluvar statue, located atop a small island, stands upon a 38-feet pedestal that represents 38 chapters of virtue in the Thirukkural. Watching the Triveni Sangamam, the confluence of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, one gets an opportunity to be in complete serenity and in stark harmony with nature. The other must watch places are Gandhi and Kamaraj Memorials and Kanyakumari temple and church. The excitement of watching sunrise and the spectacular sight of sky wearing the majestic reddishness in the evening are worth cherishing for a lifetime. Vivekananda Kendra, a spiritual centre set up by Ekanath Ranade, who worked on establishing the Vivekandanda Memorial, adjoins a beach. The 100-acre campus houses a small forest. A place affluent in its natural magnificence and historical significance, Kanyakumari is worth adding to your itinerary.
Kanyakumari, the virgin goddess
Legend has it that Kanya Devi, an avatar of Parvati, was to marry Shiva, but as he failed to show up on his wedding day, the rice and other grains meant for the wedding feast remained unused. The uncooked grains turned into stones as time went by. Some believe that the small stones, which look like rice on the shore, are indeed grains of the wedding that was never solemnised. Kanya Devi is now considered a virgin goddess who blesses pilgrims. Many believe that she is meditating in the Kanyakumari temple waiting for Lord Shiva.