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The unique confluence: Kanyakumari

The unique confluence: Kanyakumari
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The southernmost point of the country marking the confluence of three oceans in surroundings believed to be part of the land created by Parasurama, an...

The southernmost point of the country marking the confluence of three oceans in surroundings believed to be part of the land created by Parasurama, an incarnation of Vishnu according to mythology and folklore, Kanyakumari named after the presiding deity of the region has a distinct landscape and history quite unlike other tourist destinations in the country. As we drive past different towns from Kerala’s capital city Thiruvananthapuram, the two and a half drive take us past quaint little towns before we reach our destination.

As we reached our sea facing hotel, we gazed in awe at the rocks that held the Vivekananda memorial and the majestic statue of the revered poet Thiruvalluvar framed against the beautiful skyline. We checked into the hotel and immediately left for the point where we would be ferried to these rocks. About 10 minutes later we are on the rock, which houses the Vivekananda Mandapam and Sripada mandapam. The Sripada mandapam is where the goddess Kanyakumari performed penance to attain Lord Shiva while the Vivekananda Rock Memorial has his statue and the rock where he attained enlightenment before visiting the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

Vivekananda is said to have come all the way to seek the blessings of the goddess Kanyakumari at the behest of his guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa when he decided to take Sanyasa. The meditation hall with the sound of “Aum” being played was a sanctuary of peace as tourists sat in quiet contemplation undisturbed by sounds outside. We could have sat there forever but we got up a tad reluctantly to catch up with the rest. We stood on the rock looking at the expanse of the sea and the waves lashing the rocks for a while before reaching our next destination, the 133-foot statue of Thiruvalluvar denoting the 133 chapters of “Thirukkural” from close quarters.

Built in 2000, this solid structure is said to have been unaffected by the Tsunami that raged here a couple of years later. By the time we completed our visit, it was dark, and we missed the famed sunset as the sky was filled with dark nimbus clouds and there was a slight drizzle. We then decided to visit the three-thousand-year-old Kanyakumari temple on the seashore. According to legend the goddess whose marriage with Lord Shiva has stalled thanks to Narada, who takes on the form of a rooster and crows before time signalling the end of the auspicious time for the union, remains single and is worshipped as Kanyakumari.

This is done so that slays the demon Banasura, who could only be killed by a virgin. The beautiful image of the goddess in blue stone with a sparkling nose ring and a rosary in one hand is alluring. We get to see the door opposite the image of the goddess, which remains closed and is opened only during two or three auspicious days in the year. The door which opens to the sea has been closed because the glow from the sparkling stones in the nose ring of the goddess led sailors to mistake it for the light from the lighthouse resulting in shipwrecks.

We see the spectacular ‘sunrise’ the next morning as it seems to emerge literally from the water like a ball of fire filling the sky with a crimson glow and drawing sighs of admiration from people on the shore, across rooftops and just about everywhere. Parasurama’s land has a charm all its own. Crowds of people had already gathered near the seashore and there were people above the rooftop of every hotel and building in the vicinity to behold the spectacular sight of the setting sun that seems to sink into the water even as an azure glow envelopes the surroundings.

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