Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari  is the Land’s End of India, a staggering 3300 km south of Jammu. It is named after the Kumari (virgin) goddess whom the gods tricked out of a marriage with Shiva because they needed a virgin to defeat the powerful demon Banasura. It’s just the kind of poignant, tragic love story that devout Hindus adore, and they turn up here in their thousands to console the dejected goddess in her temple, and to seek her help. They also come because Kanyakumari is the meeting-point of three great seas: the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, and bathing in the waters is believed to wash away all sins. Local tourists and foreign travellers come for the unique sunrises and sunsets which are most spectacular at full moon, when sunset and moonrise take place simultaneously. It’s otherwise a small, unremarkable place which has somehow developed in the short space of a few years from a modest fishing village into a full blown Indian-style resort.And of all Indian resorts, this one is the most full of cheap tourist junk.It sells grass hats, funny masks, plastic whistles, plastic tropical plants, and bags of coloured Kanyakumari sand. It has crowds of well-to-do families clambering over rocks, taking invigorating walks, and paddling around in the shallows dressed in their best suits and saris. It even has a drive-in restaurant chicken corner. The high season months are November–January and April–June. For peace, quiet and a chance of a decent room visit between February and March. It’s fairly cool then, and you can enjoy the full moon.

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE

Road
Kanyakumari has a swish new bus-station, with rest rooms, a restaurant and a shopping complex. It’s inconveniently situated, a long 1-km ( 3/4-mile) walk up the hill from Vivekanarida boat-pier. From here, buses go to Trivandrum /Kovalam, to Madras (at 9.45 am, 12.45 pm, 4.45 pm, and 8.45 pin; l6hrs ), to Madurai (at 7 am, 2.30 pm, and 9.30 pm), to Coimbatore and to Trichy.

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