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Monday, March 31, 2014

Solo Tour Diary: Trip 2 - Day 3: Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, Kumarakoil, Suchindram

Continued from Day 2 -

I thanked my lucky stars that I reached Kanyakumari shore at 5.55 am. I rushed to the Sunrise Point and started walking along the famous pathway.

It was thrilling to finally see the Vivekanandar Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar statue in real, after seeing tons of pics online.

I finally made my way to the end of the pathway and waited for the sunrise.

Though it was a bit cloudy, it was totally worth it! The sun rose at around 6.20 am. 

Once done, I took a bus back to Nagercoil. It took me 45 mins and it was 7.45 am by the time I got off at Vadasery bus stand. I had booked a room at Hotel Udupi International, via telephone. This is an amazing hotel and is a big, proper star hotel, as opposed to small one like Brindavan Residency. 

The cheapest room here is 1800, but it is totally worth it, with excellent facilities. After freshening up, I went down for their complimentary breakfast. (What they don't tell you is that only a breakfast worth 75 is complimentary) 

So I gorged on an utterly delicious masala dosa & pongal and ended up paying 40 extra :-/ Anyway, I decided to cover Kumarakoil in the afternoon. Any bus going towards Marthandam goes to Kumarakoil junction. I took a bus and reached this junction in half an hour. 

From this junction, there are many mini-buses and shared jeeps playing the temple and for 5, you can reach the temple in 10 minutes.

At this temple, Shorts are not allowed. Gadgets are allowed, but photography is not. Males have to take off their shirts/Tshirts. This is the place where unmarried youngsters come to pray for a good spouse. I prayed too :P

Tip: Please carry a pair of socks. It is really hot and to walk barefoot in the temple in such heat is very difficult.

I went back down-hill and noticed a shop selling nungu+sherbet. Nungu is my absolute favourite fruit and I will even kill for that :P. This combination was awesome!

I took a bus back to Vadaseri, went back to the hotel and had a light curd rice for lunch. I took a bus to Kanyakumari and got off at the shore. It was around 1.30 pm I guess, when I boarded the ferry for Vivekanandar rock. The ticket costs 34 and the special ticket costs 169, but since there was no major rush, the guys at the counter advised me to go for the ordinary ticket itself.

Life jackets are to compulsorily be worn. The ride on the rough Indian ocean was thrilling and within minutes, we were on the rock.

After removing chappals at the counter, we first saw the Amman mandapam, followed by the Vivekanandar mandapam, followed by the meditation hall. 

Tip: Please carry a pair of socks, a cap, glasses and sunscreen lotion. It is really very hot!

But it is also very highly windy. From here, it was another 2-minute ferry ride to the Tiruvalluvar statue. This is another piece of art, a huge one. I'm very tempted to call it India's answer to Statue of Liberty but the 2 really can't be compared.

The inner walls of the statue are filled with Thirukkurals.

By the time I was done with these, it was 3.15 pm. I then headed to the Triveni Sangamam and saw the meeting point of 3 oceans - fun place! 

I rushed to the Kumari Amman temple at 4 pm, when it would open.

This Amman in this temple is known for her mookuthi which can be seen shining from a distance. Legend has it that the early British sailors mistook this for a lighthouse!

Notice the shining dot in the middle?
There was a big rush and I didn't want to miss sunset, so I took a guided special darshan for 100 and it was over in minutes. Bags and Cameras are NOT allowed in this temple. Shorts are NOT allowed. Males have to remove their shirts / TShirts. There is, however, a cloak counter to keep bags.

Once this was done, I took a battery-operated car to take me 2 km to the sunset point for 10. The sunset is absolutely worth the huge crowd of people that gather to watch it. It was about to be a disappointment that day, with a few clouds, but soon, we saw the sunset in all its beauty.

From here, I took the battery operated car back to the shore for 10 again and caught a bus to Suchindram temple. The bus reached at around 7.30 pm. The temple is about a minute's walk from the arch on the main road. This is another big temple, known for its Thanumalayan and Hanuman shrines. 

It takes quite a while to cover this and on the day I went, there was an auspicious pradosham happening, So we had a huge line of devotees carrying around the idols for 3 rounds in the temple, singing bhajans. By the time I was done, it was 8 pm.
Bags are NOT allowed in the temple. Shorts are not allowed. Gadgets are allowed, but photography is not. Males should take their shirts / Tshirts off.

I got back to the hotel by 8.30 pm. Delighted that I was going to get 6 hours of good sleep, I set my alarm to 3.15 am and crashed.

That ends Day 3. Day 4 can be read here! :)

PS - Temples close during the afternoon and open at 4 pm.


Swati Joshi said...

Nice Photos. Actually i am also planning to go to kanyakumari, your blog seems to be very helpful. Thanks for sharing this kanyakumari tourism blog.

Nick Halden said...

That's an incredible tour that you had. Really informative. Now I have a overview of the places to visit in kanyakumari. I'm planning a trip of my own. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Your posts are very useful for planning a trip.. thanks a lot for such detailed post..

Ganesh Pingalkar said...

Hi, Nice blog. I need your help to carve my itinerary to Kanyakumari soon next week. Pl give me list of places I should visit in Trivendrum and Kanyakumari. Thanks. Pl send your reply.

Ashwin S Kumar said...

Hi Ganesh,

I'm not sure about Trivandrum ...but as for Kanyakumari, you can read about all places in that city in my blog post.