Leisure Places

Mathur Hanging Trough, is an Aqueduct in Southern India, in Kanyakumari District. Built over the Pahrali River . It is one of the longest and highest aqueducts in South Asia and is also a popular tourist spot in Kanyakumari District. Mathur Aqueduct was constructed in 1966 by the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, K. Kamaraj, as a drought relief measure across the river Pahrali. Its purpose is to carry water for irrigation from an elevated level of one hill to another. The irrigation water feeds the taluks of Vilavancode and Kalkulam. The Aqueduct is built across the Pahrali river, a small river that originates in the Mahendragiri Hills of the Western Ghats. Mathur Aqueduct itself carries water of the Pattanamkal canal for irrigation over the Pahrali river, from one hill to another, for a distance of close to one kilometer. This Aqueduct is necessitated due to the undulating land terrain of the area, which is also adjacent to the hills of the Western Ghats.Mathur Aqueduct is a concrete structure held up by 28 huge pillars, the maximum height of the pillars reaching 115 ft. The trough structure is 7 ft in height, with a width of 7.5 ft. The trough is partly covered on top with concrete slabs, allowing people to walk on the bridge and also see the water going through the trough. Some of the pillars are set in rocks of the Pahrali river, though some of the pillars are set in hills on either side.

Olakaruvi is a waterfall on the Western Ghats hills around 25 km from Nagercoil, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu. According to the old legends Olakaruvi Falls has the rejuvenating power. Olakaruvi waterfalls, requires an hour's trek by foot from the base of the hill. However, it is better to go in a group, as it is a forested area.There are two falls - the lower falls, which is a good picnic spot, and the higher falls, which is further uphill. The water is basically spring water, coming in as a stream up from the hills nearby.

About 43 km from Nagercoil this dam has been constructed. This dam in Kalkulam Taluk, was built during the days of the Maharaja Sri Moolam Thirunal across the river Kodayar. The construction of the dam was designed on the pattern of the Periyar dam in the Madurai district. The length of the dam is 425.1 mts. It has a catchment area of 204.8 sq.km. There is a camp shed provided at the dam side for the visitors. The reservoir is surrounded by dense forests which are famous for their valuable trees and rich would life such as tiger, elephants, deer etc. A hill tribe, small in number known as 'Kanikars' dwell in the dense forests around the lake.

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 recently constructed a swimming pool for children over here which is very popular among the children.

The famous beach at Muttom is located about 16 kms from Nagercoil and 32 kms from Kanyakumari. Muttom is famous for its beautiful landscaping and high rocks dipping into the sea at the beach-side. The sun set view point at Muttom is one of the most Panoramic view points in the district. Another attraction of Muttom is the century old light-house built by the British. However so far this beautiful beach has always been unsafe for the tourists since the rocks on which tourists go to see the sea view are slippery and a number of fatal accidents have occurred over the past few years.

Sanguthurai beaches are popular picnic spot in Kanyakumari. Sanguthurai is a small village in Kanyakumari district near Nagercoil. Sanguthurai beach is situated about 9 KMs 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.

The Sotha Vilai or Chothavilai beach is one among the most important beaches in the district of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu. The beach here stretches over 4 km which make it one among the longest beaches in Tamil Nadu. It is about 10 km from Kanyakumari, close to Sanguthurai beach.Shallow water makes Chothavilai ideal for swimming. With high sand dunes in the background and an endless aqua blue sea stretching into distance, the few hours spent at this beach will be truly memorable

Thengapattinam beach is located on the west coast near Painkulam village in Vilavancode Taluk. It is a fine beach adorned with coconut groves. It is also a magnificent estuary where the river meets the sea. Riding in a catamaran (small boat) in the river can be a pleasant experience which can be arranged through local fishermen. It is one of the perfect picnic spot with its background trees that provide shade and comfort to the visitor.

Keeriparai is one of the most beautiful natural attractions that you can come and see when you visit kanyakumari. Keeriparai is actually a natural habitat that has been transformed into a natural trek for those international visitors who wish to see the lush jungles of India. Keeriparai has a wide variety of Fauna and Flora that is unparallel by many natural treks and habitats in the world. It is very easy to see big roaring wide elephants in the plains of Keeriparai. In addition, there are many herbal and medicinal plants that can be found there for many purposes.

Maruthuva Malai is filled with medicinal plants, caves housing swamis & butterflies and a hike up can be really energizing. Located 7 km from Kanyakumari Maruthuva Malai is also known as 'Marunthu Vazhum Malai', which translates to abode of medicinal herbs. Maruthua Malai is a sacred hill expecially for followers of Shri Narayana and sages like Agasthyar and Paramartha lingeshwar. On top of Maruthuva Malai there is a cave called Pillathadam where Narayana Guru used to meditate for many years at a time when the hill was a thick forest with leopards and poisonous snakes. According to him as told to the villagers "animals will not attack you if you have no fear or anger towards them or any inclination to hurt them. According to legend, Maruthuva Malai is a fragment of the Sanjeevani Mountain, which was being carried by Hanuman from Mahendragiri to Lanka for healing the fatal wounds of Lakshmana.Maruthuva Malai is the southernmost tip of the Western Ghats about 2 km from Swamithoppe and 11 km from Nagercoil. An abode of medicinal plants Maruthuva Malai stretches for more than a km, with a height of 800 feet.

This is a natural dam constructed by T. Chitirai Maharaja. If supplies water to Nagercoil Municipality and it is also proposed to get water from here for Suchindrum and Kanniyakumari. The dam is constructed of clay and granite stones. The depth of water behind the dam is approximately 100 ft. Many medicinal plants of high value which are harvested here. The mountain range is near the end point of Western Ghats. The forest are highly enhancing with pleasant sholas, hill top forests, beautiful grasslands, panoramic valleys, top hillocks, singing streams, vast stretches of rubber plantations, valuable teak plantations and excellent climate. The foot hill is followed by green paddy fields and coconut groves, Banana groves with few rubber plantations. The dam and reservoir are surrounded by hills on three sides. The people in the nearby villages mainly depend on this beginning point of the Western Ghats for their livelihood.

The water theme amusement park at sunset point offers a unique way to experience the exotic grandeur of Kanyakumari. Baywatch comes up with a wholesome family entertainment saga of rapturous experience, which leaves you at a point of nonstop excitement in a thrilling and bewitching water world. Great fun styles equaling international standards keep you on the ecstatic brink of frenzy. Fun loaded rides like Bumping Car, Sky Cab, Crazy Chairs, Hot Tea Cups, Giant Wheel, Columbus, Wave pool, Milky Way, Multiple Splash, Kids Pool are some of our attractions. The location being a prominent place of national integration, by all means, Baywatch has become the abode of leisure, happiness laughter, family gatherings, etc.

Museums & Art Galleries

Kanyakumari wax museum is situated at Baywatch Amusement Park in Kanyakumari. Wax Museum Kanyakumari is the first Wax Museum in India and opened for visitors on 24th Dec2005.Accuracy of Kanyakumari Wax museum statues are looking like an original personalities. This is one of the good places in Kanyakumari for tourists. Kanyakumari wax museum is similar to the famous wax museum of Madam Tussauds Wax Museum at London.

Monuments

Padmanabhapuram Palace is located in at Padmanabhapuram Fort, close to the town of Thuckalay. The palace complex is inside an old granite fortress around four kilometers long. The palace is located at the foot of the Veli Hills, which form a part of the Western Ghats. The river Valli flows nearby. The palace was constructed around 1601 AD by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal who ruled Venad between 1592 and 1609. The palace complex continues to be one of the best examples of traditional Kerala architecture, and some portions of the sprawling complex are also the hallmark of traditional Kerala style architecture.

The Palace is located in Kanyakumari district of TamilNadu state but administered by the Government of Kerala state. The clock tower in the palace complex has a 300 year old clock, which still keeps time. A big hall now bare, which can accommodate around 1000 guests, and where ceremonial feasts were held, on auspicious occasions. A secret passage, now blocked, through which the king, his immediate family members, and their entourage could escape to another palace, located several kilometers away in the event of any emergency. Name of this palace is Charottu kottaram. A flight of steps leads to a bathing pond.

The Chitharal Jain Monuments are the ruins of a Jain training centre from the 9th century, on a small hill in Chitharal village. Chitharal is historically known as Thirucharanathupalli, the abode of Jain monks belonging to the Digambara section. It is famous for the hillock which has a cave containing rock-cut sculptures of Thirthankaras and attendant deities carved inside and outside dating back to the 9th century. Among the rock-cut relief sculptures is a figure of the goddess Dharmadevi. Jain influence in this region was due to the King Mahendravarman I. The Archaeological Survey of India has preserved the images in the Jain temple.

The Thiruvalluvar Statue is a 133 feet tall stone sculpture of the Tamil poet and saint Tiruvalluvar, author of the Thirukkural. It was opened on January 1, 2000. It is located atop a small island near the town of Kanyakumari, where two seas and an ocean meet; the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean . The statue has a height of 95 feet and stands upon a 38 foot , pedestal that represents the 38 chapters of "virtue" in the Thirukkural. The statue standing on the pedestal represents wealth and pleasure, signifying that wealth and love be earned and enjoyed on the foundation of solid virtue.

The combined height of the statue and pedestal is 133 feet , denoting the 133 chapters in the Thirukkural. It has a total weight of 7000 tons.The statue, with its slight bend around the waist is reminiscent of a dancing pose of the ancient Indian deities like Nataraja. It was sculpted by the Indian sculptor Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, who also created the Iraivan Temple.This monument was hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 26, 2004.

The fort in Tamil Nadu is located at a distance of 14 km from Nagercoil town in Kanyakumari District. The fort is situated on the Thiruvananthapuram.This was the most important military barracks of the Travancore rulers, when Padmanabhapuram was their capital. It had been originally built in the 17th century, and then rebuilt later by Maharaja Marthanda Varma of Travancore in the 18th century. Enclosing an area of about 90 acres with an isolated hill 260 feet high, the fort contains an old foundry which was used for casting guns. The fort was rebuilt during the reign of Marthanda Varma, Venad King, during 1741-44 under the supervision of Eustachius De Lannoy, a Flemish naval commander of the Dutch East India Company, who later served as the Chief of the Travancore Army. In the early days, the fort was of strategic importance. Prisoners captured in the campaign against Tippu Sultan were confined in the fort for some time.Foundry for the manufacture of guns, mortars and cannonballs were also established within the fort under the supervision of the General.The fort is built of massive granite blocks around an isolated hillock. Recently, officials of the Department of Archaeology found an underground tunnel within the fort. Presently, the fort has been turned into a bio-diversity park by the Tamil Nadu forest department, with sites of historical importance, such as De Lannoy's tomb, remaining as protected archaeological sites under the Archaeological Department of India.

Vattakottai Fort is a seaside fort near Kanyakumari.It was built in the 18th century as a coastal defence-fortification and barracks in the erstwhile Travancore kingdom. It was constructed under the supervision of Captain Eustachius De Lannoy, an ex-Dutch naval officer of the Dutch East India Company, who became commander of the Travancore Army (the very army that defeated him in the Battle of Colachel) in the 18th century, after he earned the trust of the Travancore King Marthanda Varma. De Lannoy constructed Vattakottai, as part of the defence-fortifications he undertook throughout Travancore.

The fort is made of granite blocks and, today, a part of the fort extends into the sea. It is a protected site under the Indian archaeological department. A major renovation of the fort was undertaken recently by the department, and the site is now a popular tourist spot.Vattakottai Fort commands a picturesque view of both the sea on the one side, and the hills (Western Ghats) on the other. Another interesting feature near the site is a beach of black sands.

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 Kanyakumari twice in 1925 and 1937. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari in January 1937. In 1948 his ashes were immersed in the sea waters in Kanyakumari. 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 Mani Mandapam was raised and dedicated to Late. Sri. Kamarajar in Kanyakumari. Kamarajar is the freedom fighter, Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu and President of Indian National Congress. Kamarajar Manimandapam was constructed where his ashes were kept for public to pay homage before immersion into the sea. There is a museum displays photographs and books narrating the life of great leader Kamarajar.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a monument and it is a popular tourist attraction in Vavathurai, Kanyakumari.The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters east off mainland of Vavathurai.It was built in 1970 by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee in honour of the visit of the Hindu spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda to Shripada Parai during the month of December 1892. It is claimed that he swam to this rock and meditated. It is said that he attained enlightenment on the rock, and henceforth became a reformer and philosopher. According to legend, it was on this rock that Goddess Kumari performed austerity.A meditation hall 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. The merger of three seas - Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean can be seen from these rocks.The memorial consists of two main structures, the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam.

Places of Worship

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. 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.

The 3000 year old Kumari Amman temple at this place is dedicated to Virgin Goddess Kanyakumari.Kanyakumari derives its name from from Goddess Kanyakumari 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 Kanyakumari 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 Kanyakumari 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.

Nagaraja Temple is a Hindu temple temple dedicated to the god Nagaraja situated at the heart of Nagercoil. The name for the town Nagercoil originated from this temple. The temple is full of images of snakes. In addition, the gatekeepers of the sanctums are two snakes.The temple has two main deities Ananda Krishna and Nagaraja. The upadevathas are Mahadeva, Subrahmanya Swami, Vighneshwara, Devi and temple guardian. The temple has a vast pond. Itis difficult to ascertain the exact age of the temple. There is no authentic epigraph to aid the historian with its chronology. The mountain Mahendragiri in the Kanyakumari district is referred to as the abode of Nagas in the Ramayana of Valmiki. From this, it can be presumed that the origin of Naga influence in the area goes back to legendary times.

Suchindrum is a small village about 12 km. from Kanyakumari. 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.

Thirunanthikkara Siva Temple 37 km from thiruvananthapuram en route to kanyakumari. centuries old mural paintings has great value in history of south Indian art. protected by archeological survey of India.Thirunanthikkarai Temple is situated on the river banks of Nandhiaaru. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of temple architecture. Though the temple is the abode of Shiva, a shrine of Lord Vishnu is also present in the temple facing Lord Shiva.There is an ancient rock-cut cave temple situated towards the northern side of this temple.

Thirunanthikarai Cave Temple is one of the hundreds of temples that are found in the southernmost region of India. It is a very ancient temple, probably dating to the 9th century AD, that is a symbolic pillar of Indian religion and culture. There are many sculptures inside the temple which are now extinct. The Thirunanthikarai Cave Temple is one of the founding stones of the Jain religion. Currently the Thirunanthikarai Cave Temple is under the purview and care of Archeological Survey of India. According to research, in 1003 AD, King Raja Raja Chola celebrated his birthday here. He conquered Muttom, and named Mummudi Chola Nalloor as stated in the stone carvings available in the temple. Around the eighth century AD an ascetic named Veeranandi came from Thirunarunkondai Melappalli and stayed here to preach Jainism.