Kanyakumari – the ‘Land’s End’ – has numerous places that find mention in legends, are seeped in historicity and are rich in artistic outpourings. Green hills, perennial rivers, dense forests, wild elephants, a beautiful coastal line of nearly 70 km, peppered with beautiful beaches at Sanguthurai, Muttom and Chothavilai have merged together to create a land that is unique in the country.
It is on this tip that on full moon days, a glorious sunset synchronises with an awesome moonrise, an outstanding feature that draws very many tourists. It is the only place where the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea merge with the Indian Ocean.
The Bhagavathy Amman Temple in Kanyakumari attracts tourists and pilgrims from North India as it believed that Lord Ram had come here while he was in search of Sita. He is said to have worshipped Goddess Bhgavathy Amman and the Goddess had appeared before him and directed him to go to Rameswaram.
Known as the Alexandria of East, Kanyakumari in ancient times had been seen trade flourish and had been a cradle of civilization. Again in modern times, the pillar of civilization was commemorated with the setting up of the Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial. The memorial constructed on one of the twin-rocks arising from the sea about 200 metres offshore, provides an apt setting for people from all over the world to come and meditate. It is said that it was here in December 1892 that Swami Vivekananda meditated and realised the greatness and weakness of India.
Another tourist attraction is the presence of the 133-foot-high granite statue of the great poet Thiruvlluvar. The colossal statue has a few parallels in the world. The other attractions include Kamarajar Manimanapam, Vattakottai, St.Mary’s Church and Guhanatheswara Temple.
The Government has allotted a sum of Rs.13.75 crore for the implementation of ‘Mega Tourism Project’ to provide infrastructure and other developmental activities in Kanyakumari. The works are being completed and would be inaugurated at the earliest. Though water sports are not a viable option because of the rocky sea bed in the region, proposals have been sent by the administration to improve the beaches at Vattakottai, Chothavilai, Sanguthurai and Muttom in order to attract more tourists.
The inauguration of ‘Sound and Light Show’ depicting the history of Swamy Vivekananda is another concept that could attract both foreign and domestic tourists. The Government has allotted a sum of Rs.25 lakh for this project, and works have been completed. After the final inspection by the officials of Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, this programme would be started, said the officials. Kanyakumari is an epitome of the best that the civilization of the East and the West have to offer.
— P.S.Suresh Kumar