Places of interest in Tamilnadu
Places of interest near Kanyakumari
Suchindram - Thanumalayan Temple

Suchindram is located 13 kms away from Kanyakumari. Lord Siva started from this place to wed Kanyakumari Amman, but returned when he heard the cock crow.

Sage Atri lived here with his wife Anasuya. Anasuya was considered a chaste woman. Lords Siva, Vishnu & Brahma visited her once in the absence of her husband to test her & prove her chastity to the world. They came as sanyasis asking alms. They bade Anasuya to feed them, but without any dress. Anasuya was not baffled. She just prayed to her husband & made the Lords into three small babies & fed them. As a result, Siva, Vishnu & Brahma are worshipped here.

The Thanumalayan temple is dedicated to the Lords Siva, Vishnu & Brahma (Thanu-Siva, Mal-Vishnu & Ayan-Brahma). The gopuram is 40m high with wonderful carvings. There are 30 magnificiently carved shrines with images so finely carved that even the veins on the limbs have been carved beautifully.

It is believed that a lingam sprouted naturally at the foot of a 2,300 year old Konnai tree. Three sections of the lingam represent Siva, Vishnu & Brahma. The tree exists even today near the shrine. It is said that once Indra was blessed by Lord Siva here & hence the name Suchi - purified , Indram. It is also known by other names such as Sivaindram & Jaynarayana.

There are 7 musical pillars in the Alangara Mandapam cut of of single rock, which emit the sound of various musical instruments when struck. There are 1035 pillars with carvings in the dancing hall. The stories from the Ramayana & Mahabaratha are depicted on either side of the temple top.

There is a huge 18ft high idol of Lord Hanuman.

Nagercoil
Nagercoil is situated 20kms from Kanyakumari. There is a temple here dedicated to the serpent deity Nagaraja. The presidign diety is Nagaraja who is seated on a silver throne with a five headed cobra over his head. The sand around the Nagaraja idol which is said to have sprung naturally from the earth changes colour from balck to white every six months & is given as prasadam to devotees. Siva and Vishnu are also enshrined here.

The temple entrancegateway is built in the form of the Buddist viharas. There are fived headed nagas guarding the entrance to the inner temple. There are pillars in this temple, with carvings of the Jain Tirthankaras. In the courtyard are several serpent idols under a peepal tree to which devotees offer worship There is a small enclosure behind the shrine with snakes.


Guganathaswamy Temple
This 1000 year old temple is said to have been built by the king Raja Raja Cholan.


Vattakottai Fort (Circular Fort)
This 18th century fort built by the Dutch, overlooking the sea is located 6 kms from Kanyakumari. The sea here is calm for bathing.


Udayagiri Fort
This is located 34 kms from Kanyakumari and 54 kms from Thiruvananthapuram. It was built during the rule of king Marthanda Varma (1729-1758). De Lennoy, was one of the Dutch captured by Marthanda Varman. De Lennoy later became one his most trusted generals and trained his army in European warfare methods. There is a tomb here, the cemetry of De Lennoy.


Padmanabhapuram Palace
This wonderful piece of Kerala architecture is located 45 kms from Kanyakumari. Padmanabhapuram was the capital of Travancore. The palace with its gleaming black floor, wood work, murals, the king's bed made of numerous medicinal woods are worth seeing.


Tiruchendur
One among the six abodes of Lord Muruga, Tiruchendur is located 80 kms from Kanyakumari. It is situated on the Kanyamumari - Tuticorin - Rameswaram bus route. This temple is built close to the seashore. Lord Muruga vanquished the asura Surapadman, with his army in Veeramahendrapuram.


Courtallam (Kutralam)
This is tourist spot , a health resort. It is situated at an elevation of about 167 metres 137 kms from Kanyakumari, 58 kms from Tirunelveli and 6 km from Tenkasi. There are around 7 waterfalls of the Chitar river believed to have medicinal properties, collected as the water runs thruough the herbal forest.

There is a temple here dedicated to Lord Siva. The presiding deity is Kurumpalaveesar, Kutrala Nathar & Ambal - Kuzhalvaaimozhiammai. It is known also as the Sangakovil for the prakaram is shaped like a conch. There are several inscriptions here about the Chola and Pandya kings.

The Chitra Sabhai is dedicated to Lord Nataraja. This is located a little distance from the temple. This is one of the five Chitra Sabhas ( Chidambaram, Madurai, Tiruvalankadu, Tirunelveli and Courtallam). There are several murals in this hall depicting scenes from the Puranas, several deities.

Other interesting places are:
Thirupparappu waterfalls (60 kms)- the Mahadeva temple nearby,
Thiruvattar (60kms) - Siva temple with Kerala architecture & wall paintings
Muttam (32kms) - picnic spot with a lovely beach
Chidaral (55kms) - picnic spot - fine Jain sculptures
 
Places of interest in Kanyakumari
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