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Things To Do In Kanyakumari
A trip to Kanyakumari, the end of India, does not finish with a sightseeing tour at the coastal town. Do not confine yourself to a tour around Kanyakumari. There are many beautiful tourist towns in the district, where you can go off on a day’s trip. Visit the beaches of Colachel (20 km), the temples and Dargahs at Thuckalay (32 km) or get amazed with the scenic beauty of Nagerkoil (19 km) nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats.
There are umpteen number of wild, rugged beaches and untamed waterfalls where you can go for a soak, or go trekking into dense forests, and shop for shells in the breezy by lanes by the seas. There are so many things you can do in and around Kanyakumari and we’ll tell you about some of the most exciting ones, including the stuff you can buy and the food you can feast upon!
Sun rise and Sun set
This is one of the most in-things you should do in Kanyakumari. You can view the sun rise and sun set over the seas from any part of the beach. Even more amazing is the vision of the sun set and moon rise at the same time on Full Moon nights. Even the resort you stay in will wake you up in time to watch the sun rise, that’s how beautiful the celestial event is in Kanyakumari. You could climb up the 4 storied Observation Tower by the sea to get a breathtaking view of the sea dashing against boulders around the tower and the sun setting beyond the waters.
Walk the beach
Take a stroll on the beach. You would find the sand in yellows, blacks and reds, probably the different colours deposited by the different seas that wash against the shore. Don’t be surprised if you’re reminded of the rice and cereals that the young Kanya Kumari cast away on the sea shores! If you are an avid shell collector, you would find beautiful shells on the beaches. There are many shops where you can buy shells, but nothing is as good as collecting your own!
It’s believed that bathing at the Triveni Sangam, the place where the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean meet will absolve you off all sins! You would be astonished to see the subtle changes in the colours of the water around the Triveni Sangam, where the water is part sea green, deep blue and turquoise blue in turns! The waters are quite rough so precautions need be taken if you’re planning a dip!
Drive along the beach
A tiny country road runs along the coastline near Sanguthurai Beach. Go for a drive along the road with the sea on one side and coconut groves on the other. These are the less crowded beaches of Kanyakumari and you are bound to have a good time. There are shacks on the shore where you can have a picnic. Go paragliding on Sanguthurai Beach.
The Thirparappu Waterfalls are where the Kodaiyaar River takes a 50 ft plunge into the Thirparappu Falls. Visit the ancient Shiva Temple near the Falls. You could take a cool shower under the waterfalls, let the kids go for a swim in the kids’ swimming pool or take a boat ride near the dam. The lush vegetation around the waterfalls and the manmade garden in the vicinity is spectacular.
The Thirparappu Waterfalls is a delightful weekend family getaway. The waterfalls are about 53 km from Kanyakumari.
Keeriparai Reserve Forest
These are dense unsullied forest ranges with wild flora and fauna including elephants, leopards and monkeys and exotic butterflies, rocky boulders, sparkling streams and just about anything you’d find in a picture book of a gorgeous forest. Keeriparai sits on a hillock that is bounded by rubber estates. Visit the Kali Temple, go trekking or on a coracle ride or get a dunk in the cool forest stream. The Vattaparai and Kalikesam Waterfalls are in this region. The Keeriparai Reserve Forest is about 40 km from Kanyakumari.
Festivals and Fairs
All the districts of Kanyakumari celebrate a number of festivals that are associated with their places of worship. Apart from the customary Diwali, Pongal, Christmas, Onam, Muharram and Ramzan, the other local celebrations unique to Kanyakumari include the Suchindram Chariot Festival (January), Chitra-Pournima ( May), Kalabham or sandal anointing festival (July-August), St.Francis Zavier’s Cathedral Festival (December) and the Cape Festival (October) - a grand carnival of dance and music which includes a ritualistic Bath in the Triveni Sangam.
The coastal town would naturally excel in dishing out exclusive sea food like Meen Kozhambu (fish gravy), spicy shrimp curry and tapioca with fish curry, with more tapioca consumed near the hilly regions. Kanyakumari’s other favourite fare are Pazha Bajji (fruit fritters), aapam with stew, summer drinks like fruit sherbet or nungu (ice apple) sherbet, banana chips and coconut rice with avial (thick veggie curry) and semia payasam (vermicelli dessert).
There are a number of good places to stay in Kanyakumari, right from lodges to resorts depending on your budget. Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari offers accommodation in a peaceful, serene environment, with a range of options at reasonable charges and you can contact them for details. Otherwise there are OYO rooms close to the sea and budget accommodations near the railway station. You will find luxuriously placed resorts a little away from the crowd of Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumari’s primary souvenirs are seashells. You find the most amazing kinds of seashells and conches, packets of colourful sand picked from the beaches, decorative wall hangings or bird nests made of coconut shells, spices and nuts, handicrafts made of wood and bamboo, silk saris, palm-leaf drawings, antiques and bronze idols of Gods.