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Cape Comorin
Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kanyakumari.jpg
Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kanyakumari
Kumari, Thiruvenisangam
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Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
India location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Kanyakumari (India)
Coordinates: 8°05′18″N77°32′19″E / 8.088300°N 77.538500°E / 8.088300; 77.538500
State Tamil Nadu
District Kanyakumari
Named for Devi Kanya Kumari
  Type Town panchayat
  BodyKanyakumari Town Panchayat
   District Collector P. N. Sridhar, IAS
  Member of Parliament Vijay Vasanth
  Member of Legislative Assembly Thalavai Sundaram
  District Panchayath Chairman S.Merliant Dhas
  Total25.89 km2 (10.00 sq mi)
60 m (200 ft)
  Density665/km2 (1,720/sq mi)
  Official Tamil
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
629 702
Telephone code91-4652 & 91-4651
Vehicle registration TN 74 & TN 75
Website www.kanniyakumari.nic.in

Kanyakumari ( UK: /kənˈjʌkʊmær/ ; lit.'The Virgin (or Kanya) Princess' referring to Devi Kanya Kumari, [1] officially known as Kanniyakumari, [2] formerly known as Cape Comorin) [3] is a city in Kanyakumari district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent and the southernmost city in mainland India, and thus referred to as "The Land's End". The city is situated 90 kilometres (56 mi) south of Thiruvananthapuram city, and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Nagercoil, the headquarters of Kanyakumari district.


Kanyakumari is a popular tourist destination and pilgrimage centre in India. Notable tourist spots include its unique sunrise and sunset points, the 41-metre (133 ft) Thiruvalluvar Statue , and Vivekananda Rock Memorial off the coast. [4] Lying at the tip of peninsular India, the town is bordered on the west, south, and east by the Laccadive Sea. [5] It has a coastline of 71.5 kilometres (44.4 mi) stretched along these three sides. [6]

On the shores of the city is a temple dedicated to the goddess Kanya Kumari (the virgin goddess), after which the town is named. [7] Kanyakumari has been a town since the Sangam period and was referred to in old Malayalam literature and in the accounts of Ptolemy and Marco Polo. [7] [8] [9]



The place derives its name from the goddess Kanya Kumari, considered to be the sister of Krishna. The goddess is believed to remove the rigidity from the mind, and women pray for marriage at her temple. In 1656, the Dutch East India Company conquered Portuguese Ceylon from the Portuguese East Indies, and the name eventually corrupted to "Comorin" and was called "Cape Comorin" during British rule in India. In 2016, the town and its district were renamed to "Kanniyakumari" by the Government of India and the Government of Madras. [10] [11]


According to a Hindu legend, Kanya Devi, an avatar of Parvati, was to marry Shiva, who failed to show up on his wedding day. Rice and other grains meant for the wedding feast remained uncooked and unused. [12] The uncooked grains turned into stones as time went by. Some believe that the small stones on the shore today, which look like rice, are indeed grains from the wedding that was never solemnised. Kanya Devi is now considered a virgin goddess who blesses pilgrims and tourists who flock to the town. Her temple in Kanyakumari is a Shakti Peetha: a holy shrine in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism. [13] [14] [15] [16]

According to another Hindu legend, Hanuman dropped a piece of earth near Kanyakumari as he was carrying a mountain with his life-saving herb, Mrita Sanjivani, from the Himalayas to Lanka (Sri Lanka) during the Ramayana War. The fallen earth formed an area called Marunthuvazh Malai, literally "hills where medicine lives". This legend explains the abundance of unique native medicinal plants in the area. [17] [18] Marunthuvazh Malai is located near Kottaram, about 7 km (4 mi) from Kanyakumari town on the Kanyakumari–Nagercoil highway. The sage Agasthya, who was an expert in medicinal herbs, is believed to have lived around this site in ancient days.[ by whom? ] There is an ashram on the middle of the hillside; tourists trek up to visit the ashram and to glimpse the sea near Kanyakumari town, a few kilometres away. [12]


Religion in Kanyakumari town (2011)

As per the 2011 Census, Kanyakumari town consisted of 61.16% Christians, 32.97% Hindus, and 5.47% Muslims. [19] It had a population of 19,739, comprising 9,884 males and 9,855 females, making the sex ratio (number of females per thousand males) of the town 997. A total of 2,403 people were under six years of age and the child sex ratio (number of females per thousand males under six years of age) stood at 1,024. The town had an average literacy of 88.62%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. There were a total of 4,236 households in the town.

As of 2001, Kanyakumari had a total of 5,929 main workers: 11 cultivators, 78 agricultural labourers, 66 in household industries, and 5,774 other workers. There were a total of 119 marginal workers: 4 marginal cultivators, 3 marginal agricultural labourers, 11 marginal workers in household industries, and 101 other marginal workers. [20]


Kanyakumari - panoramic view.png
Panoramic full view of the Thiruvalluvar Statue and the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, on the Laccadive Sea

Kanyakumari is located at 8°05′N77°34′E / 8.08°N 77.57°E / 8.08; 77.57 [21] and has an average elevation of 30 metres. The peninsular tip of Kanyakumari is bordered on three sides by the Laccadive Sea. It is located at the confluence of the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. The nearest city is Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala (85 km (53 mi) away), and the nearest town is Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari district (22 km (14 mi) away).[ citation needed ]

Kanyakumari is at the southern tip and is the southernmost point of the contiguous Indian Subcontinent. As such, it is part of the common Hindustani phrase used to describe the length of India: "Kashmir se Kanyakumari"; before the partition, the phrase in undivided India was "Khyber se Kanyakumari". [22] However, the southernmost point of Republic of India is at Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island, at 6°45’10″N and 93°49’36″E.


Climate data for Kanyakumari (1981–2010, extremes 1961–2012)
Record high °C (°F)34.4
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)31.1
Daily mean °C (°F)27.3
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)23.6
Record low °C (°F)19.8
Average rainfall mm (inches)14.1
Average rainy days0.
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST)66687074777979798080756875
Source: India Meteorological Department [23] [24]

Notable landmarks

Thiruvalluvar Statue

Thiruvalluvar Statue Tiruvalluvar statue LIC.jpg
Thiruvalluvar Statue

The Thiruvalluvar Statue is a 7,000-ton stone statue of poet and philosopher Valluvar. It has a height of 29 metres (95 feet) and stands upon an 11.5-metre (38 ft) rock that represents the 38 chapters of virtue in the Thirukkural. The statue standing on the rock represents wealth and pleasures, signifying that wealth and love be earned and enjoyed on the foundation of solid virtue. [25] The combined height of the statue and pedestal is 133 ft (40.5 m), denoting the 133 chapters in the Thirukkural.

The statue is reminiscent of a dancing pose of Nataraja. It was sculpted by the Indian sculptor V. Ganapati Sthapati, who also created the Iraivan Temple, and its opening ceremony was on 1 January 2000. The monument was hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004, [26] but stood unaffected. The statue is designed to survive earthquakes of high magnitude.[ citation needed ] During maintenance work, as well as during rough sea, entry is restricted for tourists. [27] [28]

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Vivekananda Rock Memorial Entrance view Vivekananda rock temple.JPG
Vivekananda Rock Memorial

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a popular tourist monument in Vavathurai, Kanyakumari, India. The memorial stands on one of two rocks in the Laccadive Sea, located about 500 metres (1,600 ft) east of the mainland of Vavathurai. It was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. [29] According to local legends, it was on this rock that Goddess Kumari performed austerity. A meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam) is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda. [30] The memorial consists of two main structures: the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam.

Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Kanyakumari A view of Kumariamman temple and Indian ocean.JPG
Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Kanyakumari

Bhagavathy Amman Temple

Bhagavathy Amman Temple is a 3,000-year-old temple dedicated to Goddess Kumari Amman located at Kanyakumari on the shore of the Laccadive Sea. Kumari Amman is one of the forms of Devi, popularly known as "Kumari Bhagavathy Amman". The temple is the first Durga temple created by Lord Parasurama and one of the 108 Shakthi Peethas. It is mentioned in the Ramayana , Mahabharata , and Purananuru . [31] [32]

Gandhi Memorial Mandapam

Gandhi Memorial Mandapam, Kanyakumari Gandhi Memorial Kanyakumari.jpg
Gandhi Memorial Mandapam, Kanyakumari

The Gandhi Memorial Mandapam has been built on the spot where the urn containing the Mahatma's ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Resembling central Indian Hindu temples in form,the memorial was designed such that on Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where his ashes were kept. [30]

Kanyakumari Pier

Kanyakumari Pier Kanyakumari View Point.jpg
Kanyakumari Pier

Kanyakumari Pier or Sunset View Point is considered one of the iconic locations in Kanyakumari. It is situated at a point where three oceans meet: the Bay of Bengal, the Laccadive Sea, which is connected to the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. [33]

Kamarajar Mani Mantapa Monument

Kamarajar Mani Mantapa Monument was raised and dedicated to K. Kamarajar, a freedom fighter, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and President of Indian National Congress. He is also popularly known as "Black Gandhi" among the masses. Like the Gandhi Memorial Mandapam, this monument is where Kamarajar's ashes were kept for the public to pay homage before immersion into the sea. [34]

Tsunami Memorial Park

Tsunami Memorial, Kanyakumari Tsunami Memorial Kanyakumari.JPG
Tsunami Memorial, Kanyakumari

Near Kanyakumari's southern shore stands a monument to the memory of those who died in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, an underwater megathrust earthquake that claimed around 230,000 lives in many countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Thailand, Maldives, and Indonesia. [35]



Ferries transport tourists from the mainland to Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Tiruvalluvar Statue (where this photo was taken). Kanyakumari as seen from Tiruvalluvar Statue.JPG
Ferries transport tourists from the mainland to Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Tiruvalluvar Statue (where this photo was taken).

The state-owned Poompuhar Shipping Corporation runs ferry services between the town and the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue, both situated on rocky islets off the coast. The operation of the ferry service began in 1984. Two ferries were used until June 2013, after which a third ferry was added to the service on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Swamy Vivekananda. [36]



The Kanyakumari railway station and nearby Nagercoil railway station offer direct connection by rail to almost all metropolitan cities in India. [37]


The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, 90 km (56 mi) from Kanyakumari town and 70 km (43 mi) from Nagercoil. [38] Kanyakumari is 744 km (462 mi) from Chennai. [39]

Kanyakumari has heliports for VVIP visitors at the Tri Sea Hotel on Beach Road.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nagercoil</span> Metropolis in Tamil Nadu, India

Nagercoil, also spelt as Nagarkovil, is a city and the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District in Tamil Nadu state, India. Situated close to the tip of the Indian peninsula, it lies on an undulating terrain between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Padmanabhapuram</span> Municipality in Tamil Nadu, India

Padmanabhapuram is a town and a municipality near Thuckalay in Kanyakumari district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. As of 2011, the town had a population of 21,342. Padmanabhapuram was the capital of Travancore state in the past. In 1795, the King of Travancore, Rama Varma (known as Dharma Raja moved the capital from Padmanabhapuram to Thruvananthapuram. At that time the boundaries of Travancore state included half the area of modem Kerala state. In 1947, after independence, Padmanabhapuram became part of Travancore-Cochin state When Indian states ware reorganized on the basis of language. In 1957, Padmanabhapuram along with other Tamil-speaking areas were ceded to Madras State, while the Malayalam-speaking areas became part of Kerala. Later the name of Madras State was changed to Tamil Nadu.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vivekananda Rock Memorial</span> Monument in Vavathurai,u Kanyakumari, India

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a monument and popular tourist attraction in Kanyakumari, India's southernmost tip. The memorial stands on one of the two rocks located about 500 meters off mainland of Vavathurai, Tamil Nadu. It was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda, who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kanyakumari district</span> District of Tamil Nadu in India

Kanyakumari district, officially Kanniyakumari district, is one of the 39 districts of Tamil Nadu state and the southern most district in mainland India. It stands second in terms of population density among the districts of Tamil Nadu. It is also the richest district in Tamil Nadu in terms of per capita income, and also tops the state in Human Development Index (HDI), literacy, and education. The district's headquarters is Nagercoil.

Thiruppathisaram is a village in the Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, the southern Indian state. This village is renowned for the Thiruvazhmarban Temple dedicated to Lord Thiruvazhimarban, Supreme God (Vishnu).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Devi Kanya Kumari</span> Hindu goddess

Devi Kanya Kumari is a manifestation of the Hindu goddess Mahadevi in the form of an adolescent girl. She is variously described by various traditions of Hinduism to either be a form of Parvati or Lakshmi. She is also worshipped as an incarnation of the goddess Bhadrakali by Shaktas, and is known by several names such as Shrī Bāla Bhadra, Shrī Bāla, Kanya Devi, and Devi Kumari.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sudalai Madan</span> Hindu village deity

Sudalai Madanlit.'cremation ground chief' is a rural Dravidian folk religion deity worshipped predominantly in South India, particularly in the districts of Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Kanyakumari, and Thiruvananthapuram. He is considered by adherents to be a son of Shiva and Parvati. He seems to have originated in some ancestral guardian spirit of the villages or communities in Tamil Nadu, in a similar manner as Ayyanar. He is regarded as a kaval deivam who protects people against evil forces. Sudalai Madan is also called Madan thampuran, Chudala madan, or simply as Madan.

Kanyakumari may refer to:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Colachel</span> Town in Tamil Nadu, India

Colachel is a coastal town in the far south of India, located in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. It is a natural harbor on the Malabar coast, located 20 km north-west of Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India. As of 2011 the municipality had a population of 23,227 and a metropolitan population of 47,007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Suchindram</span> Town in Tamil Nadu, India

Suchindram is a panchayat town in Kanyakumari district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu with Indian postal code as 629704. It is an important pilgrim centre and the site of the famous Thanumalayan Temple. There is an Anjaneya,, statue which stands at 22 feet and is carved of a single granite block.

<i>Thiruvalluvar Statue</i> Stone sculpture of the Tamil philosopher and poet Valluvar in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India

The Thiruvalluvar Statue, or the Valluvar Statue, is a 41-metre-tall(133 ft) stone sculpture of the Tamil poet and philosopher Valluvar, known as Thiruvalluvar, the author of the Thirukkural, an ancient Tamil work on Dharma and morality. It is located atop a small island near the town of Kanniyakumari on the southernmost point of the Indian peninsula in the state Tamil Nadu, India, where two seas and an ocean meet. The statue was sculpted by Indian sculptor V. Ganapati Sthapati, who also created the Iraivan Temple, and was unveiled on the millennium day of 1 January 2000 by the then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. It is currently the 25th tallest statue in India.

Marthal is a village in Tamil Nadu, India. It is 10 km (6.2 mi) from Nagercoil.

Mandaikadu Bhagavathy Amman Temple is a Hindu Temple where Devi Parvathi is the prime deity. It is located near Colachel in the Western coast of Kanniyakumari District, Tamil Nadu. This is one among the most renowned and most important Hindu temples in Kanniyakumari district.

A. Nesamony, sometimes known as Marshal Nesamony, was a political leader from Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, India. He was the second son of Kesavan Appavu Nadar, born on 12 June 1895 at Nesarpuram, Palliyadi in Vilavancode Taluk, Kanyakumari district. He graduated from Maharaja's College in Thiruvananthapuram, and studied at law college in Thiruvananthapuram. He began practising in 1921. He was among those involved with the merger of four Taluks from Southern Travancore to Tamil Nadu.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eraniel railway station</span> Railway station in Tamil Nadu, India

Eraniel Railway station is an NSG–5 category Indian railway station in Thiruvananthapuram railway division of Southern Railway zone. It in Eraniel is the most important railway station of Kallkkulam taluk of Kanyakumari district in the Tamil Nadu state of India. All daily trains passing through the station halts in Eraniel station. The famous Mandaikadu Bagavathi Amman Temple, Colachel Port, I.R.E Industries in Manavalakurichi and Padmanabhapuram Palace are situated nearby the station. The station also is the nearest railhead for two municipalities – Padmanabapuram, Colachel and for 25 villages.This Railway station is very useful to go work in morning time.

Madichel is a village in Vilavancode taluk, Kanniyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India. The village is near Kuzhithurai, a historical seaport where merchants came from across the Arabian sea in ancient times.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Architecture of Tamil Nadu</span> Overview of the architecture of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is known for its ancient temple architecture. Nearly 33,000 ancient temples, many at least 800 to 2000 years old, are found scattered all over Tamil Nadu. As per Tamil Nadu Hindu Endowments Board, there are 38,615 temples. Most of the largest Hindu Temples are located in Tamil Nadu. Studded with complex architecture, a variety of sculptures, and rich inscriptions, the temples remain the very essence of the culture and heritage of Tamil land, with historical records dating back to at least 3,000 years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kanyakumari resolve of 1892</span> Resolution taken by Indian Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda

The Kanyakumari resolve of 1892 was the resolution taken by Indian Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda to dedicate himself for the service and the welfare of people. In 1970 Vivekananda Rock Memorial was founded at the place where Vivekananda took this resolution.

Sanguthurai is a small village in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India, near Nagercoil. Sanguthurai beach is situated about 9 km from Nagercoil town. Sanguthurai beach is a sandy beach and it has huge white pillar with black conch built during King Chola period. From this beach you can see Thiruvalluvar statue and Vivekananda rock in a long view. Backwater view in Sanguthurai beach is really looks beautiful.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keezha Sarakkalvilai</span> Village in Tamil Nadu, India

Keezha Sarakkalvilai is a small village in Kanniyakumari district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu with Indian postal code 629002. It is an important pilgrimage and the site of the famous Bathirakali Amman Temple.


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