The southernmost tip of mainland India is the only place on earth where one can witness both the sunset and sunrise from the same spot
If you are a geographically conscious Indian then like Kashmir, Kanyakumari should be central to your idea of India. It’s where India begins and ends.
Growing up, an average Indian hears at least a dozen mentions of Kanyakumari. So, if you are a travel head, it becomes part of your once-in-a-lifetime itinerary.
As beautiful as it is eulogised for, Kanyakumari is the sun-swept southern tip of India which is hemmed by the waters from three sides.
Famed for its resplendent dawn and dusk, it is the only place on Earth where you can witness both the sunrise and the sunset from the same point. And both are unlike any you would normally experience.
Not just that, if you time your visit to the city on full moon nights, you can also witness the rare spectacle of moonrise and sunset at the same time.
Rarer still is the annual spectacle of Chitra Pournami, the magnificent sunset and moonrise of April-May, when the sun and the moon face each other on the same horizon.
Unfortunately, when we visited, the skies were not clear, so we couldn’t witness the epic in its full glory. Nevertheless, it was still magical.
Favoured by tourists throughout the year due to its natural beauty, highlighted by the confluence where the Bay of Bengal, the Laccadive Sea and the Indian Ocean meet.
Considered an auspicious place by many, pilgrims throng Kanyakumari especially during the winter for a holy dip at the confluence on their way to or from Sabrimala Temple.
During this period of around 45 days, from early December to mid-January, the beaches and bazaars of Kanyakumari are at their liveliest, attracting not just shoppers but also vendors and hawkers from across India.
Apart from the gorgeous sunrise and sunset, the small town has many popular places to visit, including the calming Gandhi Ashram, the towering Thiruvalluvar Statue and the adjoining Vivekananda Rock Memorial that is located off the shore on a tiny island and the azure Cape Comorin Beach.
But what caught our attention most was the sea-facing temporary bazaar that is thronged by tourists throughout the day until late evening.
From jackets and sweaters to trinkets and accessories the bazaar is the ideal location for some bargain shopping if you know how to haggle.
Amidst all the sightseeing and shopping, don’t forget to try the mouthwatering local seafood delicacies.
However, the only thing that bothered us a bit was the weather, which even in the peak winter is sweltering, particularly from noon to 4 pm.
But despite the weather, this ancient capital of Travancore Kingdom warrants a visit at least once in a lifetime.