Saturday, 23 June 2012

A spiritual odyssey through South India (Part 2: Kanyakumari – Swami Vivekananda’s inspiration!!)


KanyakumariKanyakumari derives its name from the virgin goddess – Kanyakumari Amman. As per Hindu mythological tales,  Goddess parvati under the disguise of Devi Kanniya did a penance in one of the rocks in this area to reach the hand of Lord Shiva.
Kanyakumari is also sometimes referred to as Cape Comorin. Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, it is the geographical end of the Indian mainland and a popular pilgrimage. We took an express bus from Thiruvanathapuram to Nagercoil and then an autorickshaw from there to reach Kanyakumari, it took us around 3 hours for the whole journey.
KanyakumariThe most famous tourist attraction in Kanyakumari are the two rocks known as ‘twin rocks’ amidst the sea , around 500 meters off the coast, with the monuments of Swamy Vivekananda and Saint Thiruvalluvar.
vivekananda MemorialThe Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built in 1970 by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee in honour of the visit of the great spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda to Shripada Parai during the month of December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment. He swam to this rock and meditated about the past, present and future of India. It is said that he attained enlightenment on the rock, and henceforth became a reformer and philosopher.
Some other tourist attractions in Kanyakumari are:-
Mahatma Gandhi MemorialMahatma Gandhi Memorial – The beautiful Gandhi Memorial completed in 1956, is situated as a memorial to the Father of the Nation.  An urn  of Mahatma Gandhi was kept here for public to pay homage before immersion. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari twice in 1925 and 1937.   Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari in January 1937.  In 1948 his ashes were immersed in the sea waters in Kanyakumari.   In commemoration of this event a beautiful monument has been constructed here.  Its central shape is 79 feet high representing the age of the Mahatma at the time of the sun at Mid day on 2nd October would fall on the peedam through a hole in the roof.  The memorial was transferred to the administrative control of the Public (Information and Public Relations)  Department from Public Works Department of Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 1978.
Kamarajar ManimandapamThiruvalluvar StatueKamarajar Manimandapam – Another monument Kamarajar Manimandapam was raised and dedicated to Late.  Sri. Kamarajar, The freedom fighter, Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, President of Indian National Congress.  He  was popularly known as Black Gandhi among the masses and king maker during congress regime.  This  monument was constructed  where his ashes were kept here for public to pay homage before immersion into the sea.
Kanyakumari SunriseSunrise and Sunset – Lakhs of tourists, round the year are lured by the serene beauty of this place and the spectacles of sunrise and sunset. Though sunrise can be viewed throughout the year, sunset is visible only from October 15 to March 15 from this southernmost tip.  We were lucky to arrive at the time of the year when both sunrise and sunset could be viewed. The sunset was a beautiful spectacle amidst gentle waves and soothing sea breeze.
One day spent in Kanyakumari was totally soul stirring, especially experiencing the sunset…..and now it was time to travel to our next destination – Madurai.
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