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Kanyakumari Amman Temple - Kanyakumari

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Kanyakumari Amman Temple - Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India and the merging point of three seas; the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. It is named after the virgin Goddess Kanyakumari whose temple is situated here on its shore.
The temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari was referred to by the British as Cape Commorin.

This temple is devoted to a manifestation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who performed penance to acquire Lord Shiva's hand in marriage. The temple is a major tourist attraction with neighboring ghat, beautifully placed overlooking the shore. It is an eminent belief that the diamond nose-ring of the deity is so shiny that it is visible even from the sea.

There are two rocks emerging out of the ocean, located southeast of the Kumari Amman temple. One among these is Sri Padaparai, where the footprints of the virgin goddess are believed to be imprinted on this rock. It is said that Swami Vivekananda sat in deep meditation here and therefore the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built in 1970. Along with this there also a dhyana mandapam, which provides a tranquil atmosphere to meditate.

Legends Related To The Temple:

Kanyakumari Amman Temple - Kanyakumari
There are multiple myths revolving around this place:
** 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.
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 rice and other grains meant for the wedding feast remained uncooked and remain unused thereafter. As the local lore goes, the uncooked grains turned into stones as time went by. Some believe that the small stones which look like rice on the shore today, are indeed grains of the wedding that was never solemnized. Kanya Devi is now considered a virgin goddess who blesses pilgrims and tourists who flock the town

Kanyakumari Amman Temple - Kanyakumari
** According to another local myth, Lord Hanuman dropped a piece of earth as he was carrying a mountain with his life-saving herb, Mrita Sanjivani from the Himalayas to Lanka (Sri Lanka) during the Rama-Ravana war. This chunk of earth is called Marunthuvazh Malai, which is literally translated to “hills where medicine is found”.This is said to be the reason for the abundance of unique native medicinal plants in the area. Marunthuvazh Malai is located near Swamithope about 7 km from Kanyakumari town on the Kanyakumari-Nagercoil highway.

Kanyakumari Amman Temple - Kanyakumari
** The sage Agasthya, who was himself an expert in medicinal herbs, is believed to have lived around this site in ancient days. The reason why, some believe, so many medicinal herbs are to be found on these hills near Kanyakumari. There is even a village by the name Agastheeswaram close to the town, named after the sage. Today, there is a small Ashram on the middle of the Maruthuvazh Malai hill, which tourists visit (after a short trek from the base of the hill), both to visit the Ashram and also to take a glimpse of the sea near Kanyakumari a few kilometres away, and the greenery below.

¤ The Features of The Temple:

Kanyakumari Amman Temple - Kanyakumari
The temple is entered mainly through the northern gate, inspite of the fact that the deity is facing east. The eastern entrance remains closed except for special occasions when the deity is taken out for ceremonial bath.

There are all together three corridors that skirt the sanctum. The outer corridor is deprived of special shrines, but after a walk round it the devotees cross the 'Navarathiri mandapam'. A pathway leads to the second corridor surrounding the shrine. There stands the flag mast or 'Kodisthambam'. The Goddess can be clearly viewed from here. Moving further you will reach the front of the sanctum.

The Idol of the Goddess stands with rosary in one hand as if in prayer. It is said to be installed by Parasurama and is made of blue stone. In the inner corridor, the shrines of Vinayagar and Thiagasundary are present, which is visited by devotees after worshiping the Goddess.

The Devi stands as a charming young girl in her penance with a rosary in her right hand, and a sparkling nose jewel that sheds lustrous radiance. It is believed that the nose ring of Devi Kanyakumari set with rubies are so bright and that could be seen from far at night. Also it is told that some ships sailing in the sea, mistaking the brilliance of the rubies for the light from the Lighthouse , went off shore got wrecked, hitting against the rocks nearby. In this point of view eastern side gate of the temple is kept closed. The idol made of blue stone, is believed to have installed by sage Parshurama.

¤ Festivals:
The temple festivals celebrated here are held in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May/June) . Navarathri festival is an important festival celebrated in the months of September/October.

¤ Darshan Timings
The temple is remains open for the public from 4.30 AM to 11.45 AM and 5.30 PM to 8.45 PM.

Kanyakumari Amman Temple - Kanyakumari
How To Reach Kanyakumari?
The Nearest Railway station to kanyakumari is kanyakumari railway station which is 01 KM from kanyakumari Beach .Most of the Important hotels are located very near to the railway station. The Bus stand is also located very near to the railway station.
Very well connected and serviced by rail to all major cities in India like Chennai, Trivandrum , Kochi, Bangalore, Bombay, New Delhi, Calcutta, Coimbatore etc. And from here starts second longest train route in the world, Kanyakumari to Jammu.

The Nearest Airport To kanyakumari is Trivandrum international Airport which is 80 KM from kanyakumari . From Trivandrum you can come to kanyakumari by TRAIN or BUS or TAXI.
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) of neighbouring state Kerala, is the nearest international airport.

Kanyakumari is connected by regular bus services with Chennai, Pondicherry, Bangalore, Trichy, Madurai, Mandapam (Rameshwaram), Nagercoil, Tuticorin, Tiruchendur, Tiruvelveli, Trivandrum, etc.

Distance From Important Places (In Kms)
Bangalore to Kanyakumari - 674
Chennai to Kanyakumari - 703
Delhi to Kanyakumari - 2693
Kashmir to Kanyakumari - 3584
Madurai to Kanyakumari - 400
Trivandrum to Kanyakumari - 85

Tourist Information Center:

Tourist Information Centers(Govt)
Govt. of Tamil Nadu Tourist office –
Beach Road, Kanyakumari,
Tamil Nadu, India.
Tel. - +(91)--04653--71276

Information Centre –
Vivekanada rock memorial, Beach road,
KanyaKumari, Tamil Nadu, India.
Tel. - +(91)--06543—71250

Souvenirs and handicraft articles made from seashells and palm leaf articles are the main items to buy at Kannyakumari. Trinkets and packets of coloured sea sand for children can also be bought here. There are several shops selling these articles.

Kanyakumari Amman Temple - Kanyakumari

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