Vivekananda Rock Memorial:
Built in 1970, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is one of the finest pieces of human effort at construction in Southern India. Placed on a rock island, Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a major visitor appeal in Kanyakumari and houses the statue of the great cleric Swami Vivekananda. People believe that Swami Vivekananda swam to this small rocky island and meditated here in his quest for enlightenment. The Shripada Mandapam, having a study hall and a museum, and the Vivekananda Mandapam add to the spiritual significance and purity of the memorial.
Also known as the Kumari Amman Temple, the Kanyakumari Temple is dedicated to the goddess Devi Kumari Amman. The temple is of great religious importance and thousands throng the temple complex to pay their respects and seek the blessings of the goddess. The significance of this temple lies in the fact that it is a Shakti Peethaand legend has it that pieces of Goddess Durga’s body fell here during the great Shiva Tandav dance. The temple houses an opulent black statue of the deity.
Kamarajar Manimandapam is a shrine faithful to Sri Kamarajar, in the sector of Kanyakumari. Popularly known as the 'Black Gandhi', he was the erstwhile Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who served the state for a long period. He played a major role in the Indian freedom movement and was the President of the Indian National Congress before independence. He was also awarded India's highest civilian honour - Bharat Ratna, for his work in the field of education (free education to rural kids). After his death, his ashes were kept at the site of the present-day memorial before being immersed in the sea, for people to pay their homage.
Nestled in the Western Ghats is a beautiful waterfall named the Olakaruvi Falls, also known as the Ullakarvi Falls. This waterfall comprises two smaller falls – the lower is a popular picnic spot and the higher is about 200 metres uphill. Visitors can either enjoy bathing in the lower falls or trek further up to the higher falls. The beautiful cascade is located about 25 km away from Nagercoil in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The best way to reach Olakaruvi Falls is by trekking through rocky and forested area.
Thengapattinam Beach is a famous visitor appeal near Paimkulam village in Vilancode taluk. Placed around 35 kilometres away from Nagercoil, this beautiful beach is dotted with coconut and palm trees. This beach is acclaimed for being an attractive inlet, where river merges into the sea. A large number of visitors come here for picnicking and enjoying catamaran (small boat) rides arranged by fishermen. They can also plan a visit to the ancient mosque, situated in proximity of this beach.
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial:
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial in Kanyakumari is a famous visitor hotspot designed in the year 1956. It was built in the memory of preeminent Indian leader, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who is popularly known as the Father of the Nation. After his crime in 1948, his ashes were immersed in Triveni Sangam (junction of the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal) in Kanyakumari. However, before the process of immersion, the urn containing his ashes was kept here for the public to pay their homage. The architecture of this memorial resembles Hindu shrines of central India, which is why many refer to it as Gandhi Mandapam. The building's central part is 79 feet high, which is symbolic of Mahatma Gandhi's age. A unique fact about this memorial is that it is constructed in such a manner that on the day of Gandhi's birthday (2nd October), the sunrays pass through a hole and fall exactly on the point, where his ashes were kept.
Kanyakumari is a place where travellers have ample things to do and explore. One such popular spot in the city is the Thirparappu Falls, which is around 35 kilometres away from Nagercoil. This waterfall come from from the Kodayar River or Kothai River and go down at Thirparappu from a height of around 50 feet. Also known as Kumari Kuttalam, this waterfall stretches up to a length of 300 feet and forms a pool at the base. It is an ideal place for kids and adults alike, where they can enjoy swimming. Recently, the District Administration constructed a swimming pool especially for kids here.
Measuring a kilometre in length and 115 feet in height, Mathur Aqueduct or Mathoor Hanging Trough is among the longest and tallest trough bridges in Asia. This imposing structure was constructed in 1966 over the Parazhiyar River (also called Pahrali) in Mathoor - a small hamlet in Aruvikkarai. It was due to the efforts of the former Chief Minister Thiru K. Kamaraj that this bridge was constructed for agricultural development and as a drought relief measure. This concrete structure is supported by 28 huge pillars and carries water for irrigation from Pattanamkal Canal (from one side of the hill to another). Mathur Aqueduct is divided into two parts, a trough canal and a road. Partly covered with concrete slabs on top, the trough structure is 7.5 feet in width and 7 feet in height. Owing to its popularity among tourist and locals alike, a flight of stairs was built here to make it convenient for visitors to reach the bridge. A children's park and several bathing platforms have also been developed in this region.
Thiruvalluvar was a noted poet and philosopher, known for his contribution to Tamil literature. He is globally renowned for his work Thirukkural, which is a collection of 1330 Tamil couplets. The Thiruvalluvar Statue was built in the memory of this great man and stands atop a small island rock, about 400 metres away from the coastline of Kanyakumari. The creator of this marvellous statue was Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, who also made the Iraivan Temple. This spot was opened to public on 1st January 2000, and since then, it has been attracting people from near and far. The overall height of this structure is 133 feet (symbolic of 133 chapters in his book), including 38 feet high pedestal and 95 feet tall sculpture. Interestingly, the statue of Thiruvalluvar represents wealth and pleasure while the pedestal on which it stands depicts 38 chapters from the Thirukkural based on 'Virtue'. Another interesting fact about this statue is that its 19 feet high face (including nose, ear, forehead, eyes and mouth) is made using single stone, carved by hand. Surrounding the three-tier pedestal (also called Atharapeedam) is an artistically constructed mandapa, known as Alankara Mandapam. Inside the mandapa, 140 steps lead visitors to the feet of Thiruvalluvar.
St. Xavier's Cathedral:
St. Xavier's Cathedral, built during the 16th century, is a revered place in Kottar. This Roman Catholic Church is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, a professor from Paris, who was endearingly known as Valiya Pandaram. It is believed that during his stay in Kottar, he stopped the Padagas invasion on the Venad kingdom with just his Holy Cross. Quite pleased with this act, the king Unni Kerala Varma allotted him a huge area to build a church. In 1930, the church was declared a cathedral and named as St. Xavier's Cathedral. Architecturally, this church is quite beautiful and its main highlight is the altar that has been made using gold. Inside this cathedral, the relics of St. Ignatius Loyola and Blessed Devasahayam Pillai along with St. Francis Xavier have been preserved.