A place of both myth and legend where beyond kaleidoscopic beaches the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal meet, forcing wind whipped waves to slap at the feet of giant poets, where those drawn to its mystical power and unique beauty can hear stones sing and watch the moonrise and sunset simultaneously on opposing horizons; all this while receiving the blessings of a virgin goddess… it may sound like the imaginary setting of some whimsical author’s fantasy, but Kanyakumari is very real, and it sits at the extreme southernmost tip of mainland India.
If you’re attracted to water, there is plenty of it. Not only will you find the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal at your doorstep lapping beaches surfaced in multi-colored sands, the Thirparappu Waterfalls fall 50 feet onto the River Kodayar. If Mother Nature hasn’t by now fulfilled your inner aqualicious self you can check out the ridiculous view from one of the largest aqueducts in Asia or indulge in some serious playtime at the seaside waterpark.
For those seeking treasure, mystic, historic or artistic adventure, there are many temples, memorials, forts and palaces that won’t disappoint. Goddess Kumari Amman in her temple sports a diamond nose ring of such quality and brightness they closed the eastern sea gate as ships had drifted off course thinking it a lighthouse.
Just offshore are two rocky islets on which are built the imposing Vivekananda Rock Memorial and a 133 foot Libertyesque statue of Thiruvalluvar (philosopher and poet) which can be reached by ferry and gorgeous at night.
Kanyakumari al Suchindram Thanumalayan temple contains brilliant granite pillars which sound musical notes when struck. This temple also houses an 18 foot statue of Hanuman, a Hindu deity who when trying to rescue the Lord Rama’s wife is helped by a lovely mermaid.
What hyper-exotic destination is complete without a day at the palace? Padmanabhapuram Palace is known for its 17th and 18th century murals and carved mahogany ceiling, secret underground passages, 1000 seat dining hall, granite dance halls and unique floors made from egg white, unrefined sugar, lime, burnt coconut, charcoal and river sand which produce a regal shiny black surface.
If time spent indoors in these lovely architectural wonders leaves you craving a bit of nature and the great outdoors, visit the wildlife sanctuary! Although generally a tiger habitat, it is also home to many endangered species. You may see here anything from elephants and several cats to a flying fox – fun to say and even more fun to imagine. Unfortunately it’s a bat, not a flying dog, which would be lovely…