Sunday, February 01, 2009

Kannyakumari India - Meeting Point of 3 seas

My Tamilnadu tour continued on 3rd day. Day-1 covered Chettinad houses.. Day-2 covered Mandappam, Kurusadai Islands and Dhanushkudi.
I started 4.30 am from Mandappam via NH-49 so that I can reach Ramnathapuram by 5.30 or by sunrise or so (45 kms from Mandappam). Thereafter to Madurai. and then NH-7 to Kannyakumari .. see map below and you can also download the PDF map from Mandappam to Kannykumari here.

Kannyakumari is the southernmost part of INDIA where the 3 oceans meet: Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. Here you can see both sunrise and sunset. For more details see or download this booklet. Nearest town is Nagercoil which is connected by rail. Nearest Airport os Trivandrum or Thiruvanthapuram (new name!!!!!!) which is 80 kms.

I completed my Vivekananda Rock Visit, Wax Museum visit and Sunsets on 27th itself. Unfortunately it was cloudy and the sunset pictures were not clear. So I skipped the sunrise- no point! same clouds! The Vivekananda rock and ThiruValluvar Statue rock are twin rocks which inside the sea which has to be reached by a boat. In the first one Swami Vivekananda sat and meditated on Dec 26th 1892.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is built on the legendary Vivekanad Rock that juts out of the convergence of the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. About 400 mts offshore the two rocky islands became the seat of enlightenment for Swami Vivekanand, an Indian philosopher and social reformer. It is believed that in the year 1892, Swami Vivekanand swam across the sea and meditated on this isolated rock island, imparting the spiritual charisma to him.

Kanyakumari is famous all across the world for Vivekanand rock that houses a memorial dedicated to Swami Vivekanand. The memorial has two structures in its precincts - Vivekananda Mandapam and Sripada Mandapam on two rocks facing each other. The smaller rock called 'Sripada Parai' is revered as a sacred spot where Goddess Kanya Kumari did meditation. The rock has an impression of a human footprint, which is revered to be that of Goddess Kanya Kumari.

Vivekananda Mandapam is thronged by tourists from across the world and all those who seek mystical enlightenment come to meditate here. It has a Meditation Hall called Dhyan Mandapam where one can meditate in peace. In the Assembly Hall or Sabha Mandapam there is a statue of Swami Vivekanand. The design of mandapam has different styles of temple architectures of India, instilling a complete Indian essence within itself.
Poet Thiryvalluvar's statue is 95 feet high and is placed on a 38 feet pedestal totalling 133 feet that signifies the 133 chapters of the 'Thirukkural" a Tamil book of wisdom

How to Reach Vivekanand Rock Memorial

Reaching Vivekanand Rock Memorial is quite easy. There are regular ferry services connecting the rock island to the mainland. You can reach Kanyakumari by air, rail and road, whichever mode of communication suits you. The nearest airport is at Trivandrum about 86kms from Kanyakumari. If trains are your choice then its good to know that Kanyakumari railway station on a broad gauge line that is situated about 1km from the port and connected to Trivandrum. An extensive road network and public, private transport operators ensure an easy travel connecting you to Kanyakumari from almost all the major cities of the South.

There are many hotels where you can stay including the hostels at Vivekananda Puram. I stayed at a resort because it was cheaper by standards simply because it is new and 30 kms away - Indien Hermitage Resorts. A small resort, but situated behind a hill and quite beautifully made. rooms are large and good, food is National. The photos of the resort are in the separate slides below.

This is the slide show of Indien Hermitage Resort... quite ok... you can stay...and I met Pashupathi Tamil Nadu.

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