Kanyakumari Beach is one of the most pristine beaches in the waterfront town of Kanyakumari. It is located at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. Beauty oozes here in the form of soft golden sand that is overlapped by shimmering waters of the endless sea.
Strong waves frequently strike the rocky shoreline of the beach, due to which visitors are not allowed to step into the sea. There is a lighthouse at the beach from where they can enjoy stunning views of the never-ending blue waters. During sunrise and sunset, the beach appears distinctly beautiful and reddish in colour. Other than revelling in the beauty of the beach, visitors can indulge in shopping in the beachside marketplaces.
Kanyakumari Beach is the perfect place for a shutterbug who wants to have an unforgettable photography experience. Sunrise and sunset are preferable times during the day, when one can get amazing shots.
The Tamilnadu Government has installed a statue of Saint Thiruvalluvar who gave us quintessential words of wisdom known as Thirukkural. The stone statue is 133 feet high including the pedestal. The 3 tier pedestal known as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapa stand 10 elephant statues signifying 8 directions, with earth and space down. The father of Sri. Rama, the hero of Ramayana was called Dasaratha as he was able to charioteer in ten directions. To help the tourists to worship the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar 140 steps are constructed inside the Mandapa. The pedestal with a height of 38 feet represents the 38 chapters in the Book of Aram in Thirukural and the statue of 95 feet on the pedestal represents the total chapters in Porul (70 chapters) and Inbam (25 Chapters). Thus the statue symbolically, and artistically signifies that the theme of Porul and Inbam are based on Aram.
The foundation stone for the statue was laid in 1979. Five hundred sculptors were engaged for this work under the able guidance of Dr. Ganapathi Stapathi and the work was completed in 1999. The statue was inaugurated on 1st January 2000 by Dr. M. Karunanidhi, the then chief minister of Tamilnadu .
The stones for the sculpture came from Sirudhamoor, Pattumalaikuppam and Ambasamudram hills.
Built in 1970, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is one of the finest pieces of human endeavor at architecture in Southern India. Situated on a rock island, Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a major tourist attraction in Kanyakumari and houses the statue of the great preacher Swami Vivekananda.
People believe that Swami Vivekananda swam to this small rocky island and meditated here in his quest for enlightenment. The Shripada Mandapam, having a study hall and a museum, and the Vivekananda Mandapam add to the spiritual significance and purity of the memorial.
Timing: 9 am to 5:30 pm (Daily)
Enveloped in serene Kerala backwaters, flanked by the Arabian Sea on the East and the majestic towering Ghats to the West, opening out to the ocean and a dream golden beach, Poovar Island Resort is a tropical paradise. Swaying coconut palms, endless golden sands, the ultramarine of the ocean, emerald backwaters, crimson sunsets and lush green vegetation create a magical ambience around you. Our distinctive Kerala resort is the ideal remote getaway location for a quiet holiday in spectacular natural surroundings. You can choose between floating cottages and land cottages for accommodation at our charming Kerala ayurveda resort and enjoy a boat cruise along the palm-fringed shores of bewitching backwaters.
Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing.
The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse. Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising are some of them. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, Ayurvedic health resorts, convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centres.
Accommodation facilities for tourists at Kovalam range from five star hotels to budget hotels and the choice of food available at restaurants and cafeterias range from Continental varieties to South Indian delicacies.
Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, is just 16 km away from Kovalam and getting there is no hassle. But if you are on holiday it is better to stay in Kovalam and visit the city. The city of Thiruvananthapuram has many interesting places to see like the Napier Museum, the Sri Chitra Art Gallery and the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The SMSM Institute, a State owned handicrafts emporium, is the ideal place to pick up ethnic curios and other articles.
Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in India. It is said to have been established in the year 1857 by Maharaja of Travancore. In a modernization project of 1995, this zoo got a makeover and its old enclosures were replaced with spacious naturalistic enclosures. The zoo is home to about 82 species of animals that include lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Indian rhinoceros, Asiatic lion, royal Bengal tiger, white tiger, leopard, Asian elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebras, and Cape buffalos. There is a snake farm and reptile house, which exhibits both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes along with 7 anacondas.
The zoo is situated 3 Kms from Thampanoor Bus Station and is approachable any K.S.R.T.C bus that is on the route of Museum, Vellayambalam, Peroorkada, Sasthamangalam, Vattiyoorkavu and Nedumangadu. Apart from the buses, cabs and autos are readily available.
Timing: 9 am to 5:15 pm Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Monday)
In the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city lies the great Napier Museum and the Natural History Museum in the Museum compound, close to the Zoological park. Built in the 19th century, it has its own natural air-conditioning system. It contains a host of historical artifacts including bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. People are especially impressed by the Japanese shadow play leather that is used to depict the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Kerala’s rich cultural heritage is in full display here. The museum was named after the former Madras Governor General, John Napier. Also known as Government Art Museum, the architectural style of museum is a mix of Indian, Chinese, Kerala and Mughal schools of architecture.
Natural History Museum, a modern structure, houses some excellent exhibits like the skeletal, bird, animal and taxidermy galleries. Photography is not allowed in the museum.
Timing: 10:00 am – 4:45 pm. Closed on Mondays and Wednesday forenoons
The Koyikkal Palace was built for Umayamma Rani of the Venad Royal Family between 1677 and 1684. Today however, it is famous as a Folklore Museum and a Numismatics Museum. Its unique antique collection provides one with a valuable insight into the past of Kerala and it attracts people from across the State on a regular basis.
That palace itself is a double storied structure famous for its distinct gabled roofs. The Folklore Museum was setup in 1992 and boasts of musical instruments, household utensils and models of folk arts among others. People are reminded that this is the only place in the State where one can see a Chandravalayam. This small percussion instrument is played while reciting the ballad Ramakathappattu (the story of Lord Rama). It also contains old manuscripts along with ornaments and decor items used by the erstwhile Royal family.
The Numismatic Museum is another unique centre as one can view its rare coin collection and gain insight into Kerala’s trade relations of the past with many different countries. It has some of the oldest coins of Kerala – Ottaputhen, Erattaputhen and Kaliyugarayan Panam. A rare coin presented to Jesus Christ himself, Amaida, also finds itself placed here. 2500 year old Karsha coins, Rasi coins (the smallest in the world), coins belonging to the Roman Empire and those used by a wide variety of dynasties across India, can be seen here. It is a veritable treasure trove of history.
Visiting Hours: 09:00- 17:00 hrs on all days, except Mondays.
The Sri Chitralayam, popularly known as Sri Chitra Art Gallery, was opened to the public by the erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore Sri Chitra Thirunal on the 25th of September 1935 for the enjoyment, education and development of artistic taste of the people. It has a collection of paintings representing the various genres of paintings in India, along with a few from other parts of Asia with a distinct stamp of Indian culture.
The Gallery was reconstructed out of two bungalows side by side in the museum Gardens. The Construction, furnishing of exhibits and hanging was done under the direction of Dr. Cousins, the well known exponent of art and literature. He was instrumental in assembling this collection of paintings from various places. He spared no efforts in furnishing this gallery with rare and representative specimens of paintings from near and far. A large collection of paintings is a generous gift from the Royal House of Travancore and also from Kilimanoor Royal family.
The major attraction of Sri Chitra Art Gallery is the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma. He is one among the greatest painters of India.
Visiting hours: 10:00 to 16:45 hrs. It is closed on Mondays & Wednesday forenoons
122 smiling wooden horses await all who visit ‘Kuthiramalika’, which means “palace of horses”. Formally known as Kuthiramalika Palace Museum or Puthenmalika Palace Museum, it is a pristine two-storied palace near the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Built by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, who was Maharaja of the Kingdom of Travancore in British India, it takes one back to the 1840s when it was first constructed. It is a great example of the Kerala school of architecture and is made from teakwood, rosewood, marble, and granite. The Museum houses idols and sculptures made from white marble, Kathakali figures, Belgian mirrors and paintings. The flourishing spice trade between Kerala and the world made it possible to obtain those items.
Barefoot walks are extremely famous here as well. It is a trip to another era hidden inside the capital of the State. The local guides give you a detailed idea of the many wonders hidden in the palace which will surely leave you enthralled.
Visiting hours: 08:30 – 13:00 hrs & 15:00 – 17:30 hrs. Closed on Mondays