History And Geography

The area covered by the present district of Kanyakumari was a part of the previous Travancore state. In the year 1835, when the Travancore state was divided into Northern and Southern divisions, this area formed part of the Southern division and was placed in charge of Dewan Peishkar, Kottayam. In the month of July 1949, when the United States of Cochin and Travancore was inaugurated, the present Kanyakumari area continued to form a part of Trivandrum district in Kerala. The people of Agasteeswarem, Thovalai, Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks, which formed the southern divisions of the former Trivandrum district, were predominantly Tamil speaking. They agitated for the merger of this area with state of Madras. The States Reorganization Commission recommended this and the States Reorganization Act, 1956 was passed and the district of Kanyakumari was formed on the 1st of November 1956, with the four taluks, Viz., Kalkulam, Agasteeswarem, Thovalai and Vilavancode and merged with the state of Tamil Nadu.


The Christian Missionaries, as in other parts of India, were the pioneers of English education in the erstwhile Travancore State and mainly in the then South-Travancore, the area that presently forms the district of Kanyakumari. The Dutch and Portuguese, who came to the erstwhile Travancore State even before the British, were the Roman Catholics and they did little to improve education. But, the Protestant Missionaries who arrived later were the first to introduce English Education in Kanyakumari, which formed a part and parcel of the then Travancore State.


The district attracts a large number of tourists from different parts of India throughout the year. The Kanyakumari district is famous for its majestic hills, pristine rivers, virgin beaches and meandering rivulets. It has a fragrance of architecture, culture and customs of neighbouring Kerala mixed with the rich deep traditions, culture and architecture of Tamil Nadu as well. Tourists often come and go by seeing Kanyakumari and the Padmanabhapuram Palace as well as various other attractions. Some of the major tourist attractions in the district of Kanyakumari include Fountain at Kanniyakumari, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, Kamarajar Manimandapam, Vivekananda Mandapam, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Shripada Mandapam, View Tower and Telescope House, Guganathaswamy Temple, Government Museum, Suchindrum , Kanyakumari Bagavathiamman Temple, Mathoor Hanging Bridge, Udayagiri Fort, Padmanabhapuram Palace, St. Xavier Church, Pechiparai Reservoir, Tirparappu Water Falls, Peer Mohammed Durha, Maruthuva Malai, Muttom Beach, Sanguthurai Beach, Chothavilai Beach, etc.

How to reach Kanyakumari

By Road: National Highways NH7(North-South). and State highways intersect at Kanniyakumari. Two major bus stands in Nagercoil – Vadachery and Anna Busstand . Bus Terminus Mofussal Routes & Town Bus Stand – Local Routes. Kanniyakumari Well connected with all important cities.
By Rail: Daily train connected to all cities from Kanniyakumari and Nagercoil Junction . So it plays an important transit point in south India.

Tourist Information
District Tourist officer,
Tourist office,
Beach Road,
Kanniyakumari. 629 702.
LandLine : 04652-246276
Mobile : 9176995866.
Email : tokki702@gmail.com

Tourism Information Centre
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Seaside Road,
LandLine : 04652-246250

Places of Interest

Vivekanandar rock memorial

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is another place in Kanniyakumari which attracts large number of tourists. As its name implies, it is essentially a sacred monument, built by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee to commemorate the visit of Swamy Vivekananda to “Shripada Parai” during 24th, 25th and 26th December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment.

From very ancient times, the rock has been regarded as sacred place. In Puranic tradition, it has been known as “Sripada Parai: meaning the rock, that has been blessed by the touch of Shripada feet of the Goddess.On the rock, is a projection similar in form to a human fort and a little brownish in complexion, which has traditionally, been revered as a symbol of Shripadam. According to legend, it was on this rock that Goddess Kanniyakumari did Tapas.

The memorial consists of two main structures, viz (i) Vivekananda Mandapam and (ii) Shripada Mandapam.

Vivekananda Mandapam:- This 180’-11 ‘ X 56’ Mandapam consists of
Dhyana Mandapam, i.e., Meditation Hall with six adjacent rooms
Sabha Mandapam or the Assembly Hall including Pralima Mandapam (statue section) two rooms, a corridor and an open Prakaram round the Sabha Mandapam (30 Mukha Mandapam (Portion)
the Front Entrance steps with two rooms and a corridor below the steps.

Shripada Mandapam:- This square hall consists of
Garbha Graham i.e., (Sanctum Sanctorum)
the Inner Prakaram
the Outer Prakaram and
the Outer Platform all around

Thiruvalluvar Statue

Thiruvalluvar is the immortal poet of Tamil Nadu and has given to the world Thirukkural. The memorial statue of Thiruvalluvar is in Kanniyakumari. The pedestal of the statue is of 38 feet height and the statue over it is 95 feet tall with a grand total of 133 feet for the entire sculpture. The 3 tier pedestal known as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapa stand 10 elephant statues signifying 8 directions with earth and space down. The father of Sri. Rama, the hero of Ramayana was called Dasaratha as he was able to charioteer in ten directions. To help the tourists to worship the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar 140 steps are constructed inside the Mandapa. The pedestal with a height of 38 feet represents the 38 chapters in the Book of Aram in Thirukural and the statue of 95 feet on the pedestal represents the total chapters in Porul (70 chapters) and Inbam (25 Chapters). Thus the statue symbolically, and artistically signifies that the theme of Porul and Inbam are based on Aram. Visting Hours -8 AM To 4 PM.

Mahatma Gandhi Mandap at Kanniyakumari

The place has been associated with great men like Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi in whose names memorials have been here. They are very beautiful and add to the attraction of this place. The beautiful Gandhi Memorial completed in 1956, is situated as a memorial to the Father of the Nation. An urn of Mahatma Gandhi was kept here for public to pay homage before immersion. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanniyakumari twice in 1925 and 1937. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanniyakumari in January 1937. In 1948 his ashes were immersed in the sea waters in Kanniyakumari. In commemoration of this event a beautiful monument has been constructed here. Its central shape is 79 feet high representing the age of the Mahatma at the time of the sun at Mid day on 2nd October would fall on the peedam through a hole in the roof. The memorial was transferred to the administrative control of the Public (Information and Public Relations) Department from Public Works Department of Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 1978.Visting Hours -7 AM To 7 PM . Entrance Free

Kamarajar ManiMandapam at Kanniyakumari

Another monument Kamarajar Manimandapam was raised and dedicated to Late. Sri. Kamarajar, The freedom fighter, Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, President of Indian National Congress. He was popularly known as Black Gandhi among the masses and king maker during congress regime. He is still called by all as “Perunthalaivar”. He played vital roles in the administration of TamilNadu, by introducing education for down trodden and also started the Noon Meal scheme for the students to encourage education. Development activities like Dams and Industries in Tamilnadu took place during his rule. This monument was constructed where his ashes were kept here for public to pay homage before immersion into the sea. Visting Hours -7 AM To 7 PM . Entrance Free

Thiruparappu Water Falls

Thiruparappu is located about 55 kilometers away from kanniyakumari. 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.

Mathoor Hanging Bridge

The Mathoor Hanging Trough is the tallest as well as the longest trough bridge in Asia, having a height of 115 feet and a length of one kilometre. Constructed in 1966, this bridge has become a place of tourist importance and hundreds of tourists visit this place. This is situated in Mathoor, hamlet of Aruvikkarai revenue village in Thiruvattar Panchayat Union.

The bridge has been constructed at Mathoor across the river Parazhiyar at a cost of Rs. 12.90/- lakhs and the trough canal (Pattanamkal canal) on the bridge carries water for irrigation from one side of a hill to the other side of a hill. The trough has a height of seven feet with a width of seven feet six inches. The canal is being shouldered by 28 huge pillars. By the unrelented efforts of late Thiru. K. Kamaraj, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, this canal was constructed as a drought relief measure and for the development of agriculture in Vilavancode and Kalkulam Taluks. The District Administration has put up a staircase from top to the bottom of the bridge and also built a children’s park and bathing platforms over here.

Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple

Chitharal is located about 45 kilometers away from kanniyakumari. It is famous for the Rock-cut temple. Hillock at Chitharal has a cave containing Rock-cut sculptures of Thirthankaras and attendent deities carved inside and outside dating back to 9th Century A.D. King Mahendra Varman I was responsible for the Jainism influence in this region. It was converted into Bagavathy Temple in the 13th Century A.D. Cars and Vans can go upto the foot of the hill. One has to walk for about 10 minutes to reach the temple. The Jain images have been preserved by the Central Archeological Survey of India. It comes under Vellankode panchayat.

Bhagavathi Amman Temple- Kanniyakuamri

Kanniyakumari derives its name from from Goddess Kanniyakumari Amman, the presiding deity of the area. The most prominent temple, the Kumari Amman, is dedicated to the goddess Parvathi as a virgin. The temple situated at the edge of the ocean for Goddess Kanniyakumari has the legendary account that once Banusura, the demon king got supremacy over Devas and meted out cruel punishment to them. The Devas performed a Yagna pleading to annihilate the evils. Goddess Parasakthi came to Kumari in the form of a virgin girl and began her penance. Meanwhile Lord Shiva fell in love with her and arrangements for the marriage were made in the midnight a particular day. Now the Devine sage Narada realised that their marriage would destroy the chances of annihilating Banusura because he could be killed only by a virgin. When Lord Shiva was on his way to Kanniyakumari from Suchindrum at Valukkamparai 5 kms south of Suchindram, Sage Narada assumed the form of a cock and crowed falsely heralding the break of dawn. Thinking that the auspicious time for the marriage was past, Lord Shiva returned disappointed. The Goddess too decided to remain virgin after that. Then, when Banusura attempted to win the Goddess by force, she killed him with her Chakragudha, and relieved the suffering s of Devas. Then she resumed her penance and remained virgin. The contact telephone number of Devesthanam office, Bagavathiamman Temple is 04652-246223. Timings from 4.30 AM to 12.15 PM & 4.PM to 8.15 PM. Annual Festivals are Car festival (May / June) and Navaratri (Nine Days) Festival (September / October).

Guganathaswamay Temple

Guganathaswamy Temple is a 1000 year old temple and is said to have been built by the King Raja Raja Chola. The architectural style of the Cholas is quiet apparent in this temple. It is located near Railway Station. There are 16 inscriptions found in this temple that date back to the years 1038 A.D., 1044 A.D., 1045 .A.D. Visiting hours are from 06.00 to 11.15 A.M and 05.00 P.M to 08.45 P.M.

Athikesava Perumal Temple- Thiruvattar

Thiruvattar is located about 60 kilometers away from kanniyakumari and boasts of a temple with fine architecture. The temple walls also feature paintings, which worth look.Thiruvattar,Sri Adikesava Perumal Temple, 108 Vaishnava temples is one of 13 mountain country in Tirupati Secondary Tirupati and vilankukiratutiruvanantapuram Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, Thiruvattar AdiKesavaPerumal temple appearance, structure orematiyanavaitiruvattar Sri atikecavap temple local myth ittiruttalattai “beginning anantapuram was” the Thiruvattar spot time Thiruvananthapuram Sree Padmanabha was overtaken after seeing terikiratutiruvattar atikecavap perumalait believed that cuvamiyaik want to go see.Appearing in the ninth century, modify Nammazlvar ippunniyat “vattaru rich as” the highest court of the temple mankalacanam ceytullarkalsri AdiKesavaPerumal amaintullataip Nammazlvar praised “the mountain top matattaravanai vattarran” he sang.

Due to an error in the conduct of a yajna by Lord Brahmma, two demons appeared from the fire – Kesan and Kesi. They caused all troubles to Sages and Devas. They came to Lord Vishnu for protection. Lord killed Kesan and used Kesi as a pillow for his bed. The demon’s wife, to avenge the Lord, called Rivers Ganga and Tambiraparani to help her.

They came in spate to wash off the Lord. Mother Earth simply raised the ground level where Perumal was reclining. Both Rivers went round the Lord, prayed to Him and continued to flow round as two garlands. This event is mentioned in Nammalvar’s Mangalasasanam hymn.

As Perumal destroyed demon Kesan, He is named Kesava Perumal. Kesi tried his best to escape from the Lord with his 12 hands. Lord put 12 Rudrakshas in his hand and foiled his escape bid. 12 Shiva temples came into being through these Rudrakshas around Tiruvattaru. During Shivrathri, devotees run to cover all the 12 Siva temples and end the prayer with Lord Shiva at the feet of Adikesava Perumal. The practice continues even today.

Mandaikadu Bhagavathi Amman Temple

Sri Bhagavathi Amman Temple is an important temple situated near to Nagercoil – colachel State highway in Mandaikadu .This Temple was built in kerala tradition in very simple style. Holy trees for this temple are Bo Tree and Neem . Pujas is performed four times daily. Mandaikadu Bhagavathi Amman Temple is known as a Sabarimala for Women. The 15 feet tall anthill is the Bhagavathi amman. Women visit the temple with the Irumudi (a bundle containing puja items for the Goddess) as men go to Sabarimala.

His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya was performing Srichakra Puja with his Kerala disciples here. One day the Chakra did not turn back after the puja was over as usual. The Acharya stayed here itself and attained Samadhi. It is on this spot where the Srichakra existed, the anthill began to grow. Children playing this side and hitting the anthill were injured. Marthanda Varma, the king of Kerala came to know of these developments and built a temple and performed pujas regularly. Gradually, the temple assumed significance among the devotees. Today is a famous temple blessing the devotees.

Thanumalaiyan Temple – Sucindram

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

Nagaraja Temple – Nagercoil

Arulmigu Nagaraja Thirukkoil is one of the temples of associated and unassociated temples of Suseendram. Nagercoil is located 19 milestone away from Kanyakumari. It is said that the place “Nagercoil” is named because of Nagaraja(five headed) Temple. The greenish area, the arduous coconut tree and flowered gardens surrounded by this temple attracts everyone’s heart.It is believed that the Naga Flower in this garden is worshiped as the symbol of Nagaraja image. It is also believed that the snakes around this place is protecting the Temple and the garden. This is a proven one in World’s Religious encyclopedia that even though lots of snakes are found, no one is died because of snake-biting and this is the specialty of this temple.

Ayya Vaikundar Temple- Swamithope

Swamithoppu is a small village about 11 km. from Kanyakumari. Swamithoppu, formely known as Poovandanthoppu, is situated in Thamarakkulam village of Nanchi naadu in Kanyakumari District.This is the birth place of Ayya Vaikundar. After the enlightenment at Thiruchenthur in March 3, 1833, at the age of 24, Ayya Vaikundar returned to this place where he started his social reformation. This can be considered as the first pathi. The successors of Ayya Vaikundar conduct the daily Pani Vidai and they administrate the activities.

Our lady Ransom Church – Kanniyakumari

The Kanyakumari Parish almost coincides with the civil village of Kanyakumari. Archeological evidences suggest that St. Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ visited this soil. In 1542 St. Francis Xavier came here. In 1862, Kanyakumari became a separate parish. In 1914 the church was constructed. The length of the Church is 153 feet, breath 53 feet and height is 153 feet. All these depict the breads of the Holy Rosary. The parish has nearly 13,000 people organized into 86 Basic Christian Communities.

St. Xavier Church – Kottar

St.Xavier an outstanding and dedicated priest visited the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu from Goa, he never missed the opportunity of visiting Kottar in Kanniyakumari district which was a celebrated commercial centre at that time. During his stay at Kottar, he used to worship St. Mary in the small temple. He was popularly known as “Valiya Pandaram” among the people of Kottar. While he was at Kottar, he averted the invasion of Padagas on the people of Venad which was appreciated by the king, who became closer to the Priest. In recognition of Xavier’s services, the king allotted a land to him for the purpose of constructing a catholic church at Kottar. There was already a church in 1544 in the same place, where the St. Xavier’s church stands now.

The church records show that the church was built in the year 1600 A.D. In the year 1865, the Church was enlarged and the shrine of our lady was also renovated and vaulted over. In 1930, the church was raised to the status of a Cathedral.

In 1942, in commemoration of the fourth centenary of the arrival of St.Xavier in India, a beautiful tower to the saint, a grotto to Out Blessed Mother and a small shrine to St.Ignatius who sent him to India were constructed in the Cathedral premises. In 1955, the church was further extended and the chapel of Our Lady was incorporated into the enlarged church.

The Church of St. Xavier enjoys a great fame as a place of miracles from early times. The annual festival is celebrated during the month of November December lasting for 10 days.

Peer Mohammed Durha, Thuckalay

There is a durha named ‘Peer Mohamed Oliyullah Durha’ at Thuckalay named after the great philosopher Mohamed Appa, who was born in Tenkasi of Tirunelveli District. After spending sometime in spiritual pursuits in Peermedu of Kerala State he came and stayed at Thuckalay. Being a Tamil poet of great eminence, he wrote many books on philosophy. He had intimate relationship with the Kings of Chera dynasty. It is said that he laid foundation stone for the Padmanabhapuram Granite Fort. The Anniversary of the great philosopher poet is celebrated every year on a grand scale on the full moon day in the month of Rajap. Both the people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu attend the celebrations on large numbers irrespective of their caste, creed and religion.

Padmanabapuram Palace

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.

Entrance Hall:- The entrance to the main edifice is controlled by another ornamental gateway with retainers for watch and ward. The gabled entrance has wooden ceiling profusely ornamented with lotus medallions. The most striking feature of the entrance is the clock-tower which is one of the oldest in India erected in 1832 A.D. and still continues to be in working order.

The first floor the Poomuham has a council chamber or Mantrasala which is meant for holding discussions with ministers and prominent citizens. The floor off this hall, which is polished with the admixture of coconut shell ashes, eggs fermented in molasses and lime reflects the figure like a mirror. Next to the Mantrasala is the Dancing Hall which was used exclusively for the members of the royal family. Adjacent to the Council Chamber and to the south of dancing hall is the dinning hall called “Uttupura”, with two floors (the ground and the first) each measuring roughly 78 by 6 metres and it would accommodate about 2000 people at a time. Feeding of about 2000 poor persons, it is said, was done here every day and so the king was called ”Dharmaraja”.

Uppirika Malika : – The most attractive building in the whole palace is the ‘Uppirika Malika’ which consists of three storied. ‘Uppirika’ is the abbreviated term of ‘Muppirika’ which means the residence of the eldest member of the family. A wooden cot is erected on the top most floor in the belief that “Lord Vishnu” the chief deity. The first floor contains a wooden cot made of 64 medicinal plants, on which Maharaja used to sleep. The medicinal cot was presented to Maharaja “Marthanda Varma” by the Dutch East India Company in 1750, as a mark of friendship.

The Navarathri Mandapa: – To the west of the Zuppirika Mandapa is the Navarathri Mandapa which is a spacious hall of exquisitely beautiful granite pillars with drooping pendants reminiscent of the Nayakar style of architecture. In the Navarathri Mandapa, performances of Bharatha Natya and musical recitals took place in the royal presence.

Visiting Hours : From 09.00 AM to 01.00 PM and 02.00 P.M to 04.30 P.M . Every Monday Holiday