Once upon a time there was a demon called Banasura. He was a powerful and terrible demon, causing even the gods to tremble of fear. The Devas were advised to pray to the Goddess Shakti for help. She appeared as a young virgin girl (kanya kumari) and only she was able to kill Banasura. Before killing him, she did penance at the confluence of the three waters. Shiva saw her there and wanted her as his wife. So he approached Devas with the wish to marry her and arranged everything for the marriage ceremony on the next day at midnight. Devas wanted to postopne that marriage because they needed the young girl to kill Banasura first so they approached Narada Muni for help. The next day while Shiva and the others were approaching the place where the girl lived, Narada Muni turned into a peacock and crowed, like it was dawn. Shiva tought that he had missed the auspicios time for wedding so he returned back to Sucindram, his abode. Kanyakumari was waiting and when Shiva didn’t come she became angry and cursed all the parafernalia and food that was prepared for marriage. That turned into the seashells which can be seen today all around the place. After she killed the demon, Devas asked her to remain at that place protecting them. She agreed and after her the place was named Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumari is located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, at the confluence of three waters – the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabic Sea.
The place is best known of Vivekananda Memorial and 40 meters tall Thiruvalluvar (author of the Thirukural) statue. Vivekananda Rock Memorial was bulilt in 1982 in honour of the visit of Swami Vivekananda. It is said that at this place he attained enlightenment and became a reformer and philosopher. There is also a meditation hall (dhyana mandapam) for all the visitors who whish to meditate here.
A tall stone statue dedicated to the tamil poet and saint Thiruvalluvar was completed on January 1, 2000. The statue is about 30 meters tall and stands upon a 12 meters tall pedestal. The pedestal represents the chapters of Thirukural and three fingers which Thiruvalluvar is showing represent three themes – Aram, Porul and Inbam ( Moral, Wealth and Love). The statue and Vivekananda Memorial can be reached from the mainland by ferry.
It is said that the sunset in Kanyakumari is one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. From my personal experience, it is not only the sunset…everything here gives you a feeling that you are in a fairy tale. No wonder that the place inspired so many great people in the past and continues to inspire many people nowdays also.