Kanyakumari forms the southern most end of mainland India. It is also the place where the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean merge. Kanyakumari has been a great center for culture, civilization and pilgrimage for years. Kanyakumari is named after the virgin goddess Kanyakumari whose temple is situated here.
Legends have it that Kanya Devi, an incarnation (avatar) of Goddess Parvati, was to wed Lord Shiva but he did not turn up for the wedding and the marriage never took place. According to legends, the rice and cereals meant for the marriage remained uncooked. Even today, stones that look exactly like rice and cereals are available in the market. It is a common belief that these stones are the leftovers of the legendary marriage, which could not be solemnized. As the marriage could not take place, Kanya Devi became a virgin goddess
The Kanyakumari temple is dedicated to Kanya Devi. The main entrance to the Kanyakumari temple is through the northern gate. Though the deity in the temple is seated facing east, the eastern gate is kept closed except for some special occasions. There are three corridors that surround the sanctum. After a walk around the outer corridor, the devotees cross the ‘Navarathiri mandapam’ and head to the second corridor, which encircles the shrine. From here you can get a clear view of the Goddess. The main festivals at the Kanyakumari temple are held in the month of Vaikasi (May/June) and the Navarathri (September/October). Male worshippers are required to remove their shirts before entering the temple.
How to Reach the Kanyakumari Temple
The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram (80-km), well connected with national and International flights. Taxis and buses are available for Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumari is well connected by train services with all the places in India. Express trains connect kanyakumari with northern cities like Jammu and Delhi and other cities of India.
Kanyakumari is connected by regular bus services with Chennai, Pondicherry, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Nagercoil, Mandapam (Rameshwaram) etc. Local bus services, tourist taxis and auto rickshaws are available.