Kanyakumari is a coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu on India’s southern tip. Jutting into the Laccadive Sea, the town was known as Cape Comorin during British rule and is popular for watching sunrise and sunset over the ocean. It’s also a noted pilgrimage site thanks to its Bagavathi Amman Temple, dedicated to a consort of Shiva, and its Our Lady of Ransom Church, a center of Indian Catholicism.
Offshore, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial sits on a tiny island steeped in ancient legends, with a fortlike structure dedicated to Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda. Another island is home to the colossal Thiruvalluvar Statue, adorned with elephant statues at its base. It was built to honor the Tamil poet, philosopher and author of “Thirukkural”, an important work of Tamil literature. The Tsunami Monument commemorates the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Nearby is Gandhi Mandapam, built in the style of an Orissan Sun Temple, which marks the spot where Gandhi’s ashes were kept in an urn before being scattered in the ocean in 1948.