Its 22-March-2012 10:30 PM, we have boarded Nagercoil Express in Bangalore City Junction station. Since this train does not have any pantry, we had to get packed food. When I am traveling I am always double hungry than normal days. The train was full, but it was totally empty once it reached Madurai next day at 10:00 am. Runai and I were thinking whether the train will go till Nagercoil or not. Then I saw there was another family far end in the same coach.
We reached Nagercoil Junction station at 23-March-2012 2:30 pm. We came out of the station and saw lots of taxi waiting to take you to Kanyakumari. We know that they are going to take you on a ride if we hire them, so thought of taking a bus because it 20 KM from Nagercoil to Kanyakumari. There lots of local public bus very frequent to go to Kanyakumari. But then I came to know that it will take 2 hours to reach in this type of bus because it will go everywhere and will stop in every place. One person told us that if we walk a kilometer from there to reach highway, then we will get direct express bus for Kanyakumari and will take hardly 20 min to reach. Along with us there were another family who came to highway road bus stop. After waiting for 10 min, a bus came and we boarded that bus. Ticket was Rs. 18 per head and we reached Kanyakumari around 3:30 pm. We asked one fellow passenger to drop us in Kanyakumari Railway station. I had a printed google map of all the places from Kanyakumari Railway station. Anyway we got down and saw that it’s the entrance for Our Lady of Ransom Church.
We decided to go to the church and then search for hotel. We did that promptly. It’s a beautiful church. A bit of information about this church – Located on the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal, the 100 year old Church in dedicated to Mother Mary. It was built in the Gothic style of architecture with a strong Portuguese influence. It is 153 feet high and is crowned with a cross of pure gold. One lady near the entrance asked me if I know Tamil and I replied yes. May be she knows only Tamil and wanted to communicate something important. She told me that behind the church, there is a staircase and on top there is a new smaller church build and we also get to see beautiful view of Bay of Bengal from the terrace. We opened our shoe and went inside the church. Interior was very simple just opposite to the decoration on outside. Then we went backstage and went to that new church which was pretty small and from the terrace we can see the beautiful sea. We could not take any picture because we did not yet open our luggage.
Next was our hotel search. Tell you something, if there are 100 houses for local resident, then there are 1000 hotels for tourist. So we decided to go near the beach and get a hotel. In the midway we found a budget Hotel Sangam. We wanted to enguire the rate and they told Rs. 1300 and 1000 for A/C and Non A/C double bed. We told its too much and we were about to leave and the receptionist told us, that they have room for Rs 600. Basically it’s the same room and since it is off season, they lower the rate and I instantly booked it for 3 days. After refreshing we went to the restaurant downstairs. We did not wanted something fancy so ordered for 2 plates of lunch meal. Tell you something, I don’t know what they gave in food but I till late night I was not hungry. So we decided that we are not going to go in that restaurant anymore.
We headed toward Triveny Sangam (which is the meeting point of three water bodies). I am confused here. Till now I know that there are 3 different Triveny Sangam (one near Srirangapatnam, another near Coorg and next is this one). If a traveler ask for Triveny Sangam details, where will the person refer to? Anyway it’s a rocky place and no sea beach as such. There are plenty of shops for sea shells and they are pretty cheap AMO. Big shells were for Rs. 200 whereas in Chennai they are sold for min Rs. 500 for bad quality ones. We can have a so-so view for sun rise and sun set from here with lots of obstacles. After the sun set and few photographs, we left the place.
|Triveni Sangam (Bay of Bengal + Indian Ocean + Arabian Sea)|
|Vivekananda Rock & Thiruvalluvar Statue|
|Vivekananda Rock & Thiruvalluvar Statue|
Just opposite to Aqua World, there is a nice beautiful well maintained park. People can seat there and feel the breeze of Indian Ocean because it faces south. We got an ice cream and peanut pack and sat there till 7:30 pm, when the security guard shouting that it’s time to close. We also got some night vision photograph for light house.
|Night View of Light House|
We went in the hotel and this restaurant was 5 buildings away, so figured out it was easy for us. On the way we got 4 L of water. We slept early that day because we planned to watch sun rise next day.
24-March-2012 4:30 am, our room phone was ringing and I received it and found that it was from reception for wake up call to go and watch sun rise. I think it is a custom for them. Anyway I got up, got prepared and headed toward the pink color watch tower. Ticket was Rs. 5, timing is 5:30 am to 7:00 pm and we have to climb 5 floors to reach the top. I had wait till 6:20 am for the sun rise. It’s an awesome view.
Then we started walking toward Vivekanandapuram which is the headquarter of Vivekananda Kendar. Bit of info – The center spreads over an area of 100 acres. It was founded by Eknathji Ranade for Swami Vivekananda.
|Vivekanandapuram -Entrance Gate|
|Vivekanandapuram - Peacock Santuray|
|Vivekanandapuram - Eknathji Mandapam and Vivekananda Mandapam|
|Vivekanandapuram - Vivekananda Mandapam|
|Vivekanandapuram - Gangotri|
|Vivekanandapuram - Sree Ekakshara Maha Ganapati Temple|
|Vivekanandapuram - Vivekananda Pictorial Exhibition Entrance Gate|
|Vivekanandapuram - Vivekananda Pictorial Exhibition|
|Vivekanandapuram -3D picture in Vivekananda Pictorial Exhibition|
Then we went for lunch. There is a restaurant inside the premises and serve simple but good homely food. Lunch is Rs 38 and starts from 11:30. We were little early, so had to wait for 15 min. But waiting was worthy and got steaming rice with dal and other stuffs.
In Vivekanandapuram there are many things to see.
- Sree Ekakshara Maha Ganapati Temple
- Vivekananda Pictorial Exhibition
- Gangotri (on the life of Eknathji Ranade – Founder of Vivekananda Kendra)
- Bharat Gramodaya Darshan Park
- Nalanda (Library and Reading Room)
- Eknathji Samadhi
- Vivekananda Samadhi
- Sunrise Beach
If anybody wants to stay there, then you have an option of boarding and lodging along with restaurant. It’s nothing fancy but good place to stay and enjoy the calmness with reasonable price.
In Vivekananda Kendra I think it is open even before 8:00 am but most of the tourist places inside the premises is open after 10:00 am.
After lunch we came out and went to the jetty at 1:00 pm for ferry service. Ticket is Rs. 20 and timing is 7:45 – 4:00. We had to wait inside for 15 min, till one mega boat came to pick us. It’s literally a big boat with shade on top and has a capacity of around 200 people. Everybody is supposed to take a safety jacket which they will provide and handover when you are getting down. The ride takes around 15 min to drop you in Vivekananda Rock. There are 2 such boats which do the service.
|Holy Foot Mandaps in Vivekananda Rock|
|Vivekananda Rock from Thiruvalluvar Statue|
So we went to Gandhi Mandapam. It shows history of Mahatma Gandhi in form of picture frames. The central dome of the memorial is 79 feet high representing Gandhi’s age. Gandhi’s ashes were kept for darshan before being immersed in sea. The Gandhi Mandapa is engineered in such a way that at the places where the ashes were kept stands a small stone which is said to receive the Sun rays only on the 2nd of October, Gandhi’s birthday, every year through a small hole on the roof.
|Inside Gandhi Mandapam where ashes has been kept|
|Kamarajar Mani Mantapa Monument|
Then we headed toward Kanyakumari Temple. On the south-west corner of the temple, there is a Swami Vivekananda Temple.
|Swami Vivekananda Temple|
|Kanyakumari Temple entrance gate|
|Government Museum (Whale Jaw Bone)|
|Wandering Monk Exhibition entrance gate|
|Wandering Monk Exhibition|
|Inside Light House|
|Left Arial View from Light House|
|Straight Arial View from Light House|
|Right Arial View from Light House|
|St. Roch’s Church|
We were tired and went back to hotel and later we parceled dinner from Hotel Vishwa.
Next day 25-Mar-2012, we did not do anything except sleeping and watching TV and chatting inside the hotel room.
Later in the evening we came out and went to Our Lady of Ransom Church for photographs and then went and then went to see Kanyakumari Railway Station which was deserted. We wanted to go to Bay Watch but did not work.
|Our Lady of Ransom Church|
|Kanyakumari Railway Station|
In Kanyakumari you can visit below places.
- Vivekananda Rock Memorial
- Wandering Monk Exhibition
- Devi Kanyakumari Temple
- Thiruvallur Statue
- Gandhi Memorial
- Kamraj Memorial
- Guganatheeswara Temple
- Triveny Sangam and Shree Sankaracharya Temple
- Wax Museum/Bay Watch
Near Kanyakumari you can visit below places.
- Suchindram Temple (4:30 – 11:45 and 5:00 – 7:45)
- Vattakottai Circular Fort (8:00 – 5:00)
- Padmanabhapuram Palace (9:00 – 4:00 and Monday closed)
- Datta Mandir – near Vattakottai Circular Fort
- Mathur Hanging Water Bridge
- Thiraparappu Water Falls
- Technology Resource Center – Anjaneyapuram, Kalvilai
- Shree Ram Temple – Kottaram (6:00 – 10:00 and 5:30 – 8:00)
- Nagaraja Temple (4:30 – 11:45 and 5:00 – 8:00)
|We know what it is :-)|
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