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See How Easily You Can Visit The Tip Of India

Places to visit in Kerala and Tamil Nadu – the Tip of India

Kanyakumari

See the sunrise at the tip of India in Kanyakumari. Thanks to Wikimedia

If you want to say that you went all the way down to the South of India, if you want to walk on water all the way to Sri Lanka, if you want to feel on the edge whilst visiting special places this trip is for you. A trip to the end of India.

In the far southern tip of India, surrounded by the sea from all directions, lie two cities. Directly on the ‘tip of India’ is the town of Kanyakumari. The other one leaning slightly to the east and creates an imaginary bridge between India and Sri Lanka, is the town of Rameswaram. These two places are major destinations of Hindu pilgrims but not always on the agenda of western tourists. However once you get there, you will discover that this is one of the most interesting places to visit in Kerala (although officially it belongs geographically to the state of Tamil Nadu).

Kanyakumari

This holy town is a meeting point of three seas: the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian Ocean to the south and the Sea Bengal to the east. Kanyakumari is named after the goddess Devi Kenyan, an incarnation of Parvati the feminine consort of Shiva. Kanyakumari can be seen as a bit grey and dated at first glance, with one main street and a few hotels. The giant statue of Swami Vivekananda a wandering sage and famous Indian philosopher, is the main monument of the town which is in New York’s Statue of Liberty style… It stands on a pair of huge rocks standing in the water. The legend says that the beloved swami finished his epic journey around India, reached the southern edge and meditated on these rocks that the statue is built on today. There is also an interesting small museum located on the main street which tells the story of the long journey of Vivekananda in India. Other interesting points are the Gandhi memorial which holds some of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi and the sacred temple of Kumari Amman, where people come from all over India to thank Kumar on saving the world from the demons. The most interesting place to visit is the ghats at the end of India. Here is the real scene of the city, were devotees come for baptism and prayers. Along the street and the ghats there are countless stalls selling souvenirs for local tourists.

Arrival and departure

Kanyakumari is the final stop for trains and buses from all over India. It can be reached by bus from nearby towns such as Ramswaram (9 hours), Madurai (6 hours) and Tiruvanntaroram (3 hours). Trains are a less frequent because the station is outside the city. Trains are available to the North West through Thiruvananthapuram to Bombay, and to northeast through Chennai. If you really like trains, there is also one going to Kashmir and arriving there after 72 hours…

Rameswaram

Rameswaram is located on Pamban island separated from the mainland by a channel and only 50km from Sri Lanka. Rameswaram is nicknamed as “Varanasi of the South” and many pilgrims visit Rameswarm at least once in their life.

Southern India temples in Rameswaram. Thanks to Wikipedia

Southern India temples in Rameswaram. Thanks to Wikipedia

The holiness of the city is connected to the beloved main mythological Epic in Hinduism, the Ramayana. In the story the demon Ravana captured the hero Rama’s wife, Sita, and took her to his kingdom that is identified as today’s Sri Lanka. Adam Bridge, a natural chain of islands between Sri Lanka and India, was built, according to legend by Hanuman (a monkey faced god which is one of Rama’s loyal devotees). Here he took large stones and threw them far into the ocean and a great temple was built in this place called Ramanathaswamy. From Rameswaram along the coastal strip to the edge of the tip there are few small fishing villages spread out on the white sand that are worth a trip by bicycles or local bus and there are a number of temples around, if you didn’t already have enough of them by now… Rameswaram is a lovely town to soak up the holy atmosphere on coconut lined beaches alongside yoga teachers and devotees going in to the water fully clothed, and of course trying out some very tasty south Indian food.

Arrival and departure

Rameswaram is linked and has good connections from multiple destinations. From Madurai (4 hours), Kanyakumari (9 hours), and further away in Chennai, Trivandrum and more. The main bus station in Rameswaram is around 4km rickshaw drive.

So if you are into an authentic experience that is off the beaten track whilst in the states of Kerala or Tamil Nadu a visit to the tip of India is one of the highlights of the south

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  1. […] language family, mostly in southern India. South India refers mostly to 4 Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh.). In fact, this style of temple building gains such […]

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