Kanyakumari, the farthest end of India is an iconic destination to visit by anyone who tours around Tamil Nadu or live in South India. It harbours the weight of Kumari Kandam’s history. Being born in Tamil Nadu, and living in the southern part of India one cannot miss visiting Kanyakumari. Well, it took 24 years for me to step into this land of novelistic beauty, and to witness its renowned glory which awed me while reading various Tamil literature.
For me, Kanyakumari was a dream destination in Tamil Nadu. After all, only 2021 bestowed the right time for me to visit. And this Kanyakumari trip came to me right when I needed a break. It was a break for my exhausted brain from writing content day by day that didn’t have a space for me to put my soul into it. The tiny trip to Kanyakumari did give life to my withering soul. This blog is partially about my 2 wholesome days, and at the same time provides you a little bit of idea on coming up with a simple Kanyakumari itinerary.
My dad, brother and I left from home on a boring September Thursday eve to get hold of our reserved seats in Kanyakumari express!!! I was waiting for this day since my last trip to Tuticorin in January. So, I was feeling so high right from the moment I took my seat. After a jolly train ride, we reached Nagercoil(City) at 5:30AM. Earlier than expected!
I have so many friends(UG and PG combined) whose home town and residence is this heaven. So does my dad, and yes! our host was my dad’s best friend and his family.
I was a bit sceptical at first. But realised sometimes a trip to a new place becomes way closer to your heart and feels home when you decide to choose a homestay with the locals. They speak the language of the place not just by words but by their way of life, food and hospitality.
Kanyakumari at 1st glance! Dark! Because the sun was yet to rise, but from the window seat of the car, it was neat!
Our host’s home was half home-half factory. Talking about the home, we never felt like we were in a stranger’s place as they have already visited us once. They warmly welcomed us and took care of us during the entire stay without the slightest discomfort. Those two days with uncle, aunty and their two sons, who are close to our age and quite similar to our personalities, was bagged into a happy memory.
If you are a bit curious about what factory it is, it’s a fishing net factory that runs 24 hours. This directly highlights the way the sea sustains the locals and the importance of the fishing community. I could still remember the sound of the factory. While that was new to me, it was a lullaby to the family.
Now, let’s talk about the 2nd glance. Breathtaking! Absolutely! After freshening up, I immediately ran to their rooftop. On the east, I saw the sun slowly rise to paint the sky with orange and yellow, as time go it gradually turned into pink. It is been years since I saw such a vibrant sunrise. To the left, there was another spellbinding scenery as the mountain range reveals behind the clouds and eagles flying around. And I can’t forget the untainted song of birds chirping in chorus. This counts as a best impression of the town.
It’s best to have a wholesome breakfast before you start to roam the town. And our host offered the best authentic flavours of Nagercoil like Rasam Vada, which is not easy to find in Chennai. I never ever had that much food for breakfast in my life. It is hard for me to say no to food when I am in someone else’s house. So I ended up eating idlis, dosas, vegetable salna(stew), vadas, omelette and a hot cup of tea. I thought my tummy might burst. And my mother even now didn’t believe I had that much food. There is also more to this food chronicle that you come across.
Day 1 was full of exploration of scenic attractions and historic revelations. It is better to hire a car for the entire day to get the most out of the beautiful roadways of Nagercoil. It will also allow you to easily access all the stunning sites dotted with fresh vegetation that makes you jealous of the people who live there.
Though I didn’t prepare an ideal itinerary beforehand, I pretty much researched a bit and made sure what I really wanted to visit on the short trip and took a note out of it and I also checked with one of the sons. Yes! Luckily, our trip became even more cheerful as we were joined by the brothers and uncle.
Along the way, we listened to music and embraced the lively aura of the Kanyakumari by its lakes, hills and a canopy of coconut and rubber trees. Whereas in the backseat, my dad and his friend were diving into their memory of nostalgic youth with stories and laughter. I was taking endless photographs and videos to show to my mother, who wasn’t able to join us.
- We started with a brief stop at Perunchani Dam. It was a sunny friday, with no one around. Naturally, we had a nice time over there. Besides, with the clear sky that tinted the far spread waterscape in brisk blue, we were able to take some beautiful picture and admire the pacifying beauty.
- Next stop is very short as its the most disappointing moment of the day. We went to witness the legendary Thiruparappu falls. Unfortunately, we returned without seeing it as we were not allowed for a reason which was so absurd that I don’t even understand. So make sure to check before visiting any place so that you don’t have to waste time or get disappointed.
Though disappointed, we drove to the next spot. “Mathur Thottipalam”. Before telling about it, I want to say that you need to keep your eyes wide open during your ride if you are a flower enthusiast. I saw tons and tons of flowers in the sideways which I struggle to grow in my garden. Cosmos to Sunflower everything will cheer you up along the way.
- Mathur Thottipalam(aqueduct) was on the top of my list. Its pretty obvious. Who doesn’t love to visit such a photogenic place that offers a phenominal view to hang around. Built in 1966 over river Pahrali, walking in Mathur Thottipalam’s 1 KM bridge hanging at the height of 115ft with the support of 28 pilllars is a must do. Yes! With fresh breeze blowing through the hair, and witnessing the majestic view of the river and rising hills while you listen to the clinking tone of running water is worthy of every moment you spend there.
- The small pond on the rightside right below the bridge was the most dramatic sight. While on the left the long river and banks emerging among the green cover makes you wonder if its real or you were dreaming. Sounds a bit exaggerating. But I am pretty honest with how I felt. One minus is that the parking and restroom facilities are a bit off. I am pretty sure things would be worse if its during peak season.
We went there during mid-noon, so with full lighting of the sun, the colours of the destination and everything around emerged so beautifully.
Our next stop is close to Padhmanabhapuram Palace. We initially went to a local favourite “Oottupura Homely Mess”. Unfortunately, our lunch didn’t go well as we were quite late. So we compromised with food whatever was left. We had a humble meal with rice, fish gravy and fry. It was better than I expected.
- The surrounding locality near Padmanabhapuram feels more like Kerala than Tamil Nadu. From houses to shopkeepers’ accent everything will stand as a proof to the statement I made. Naturally, these atmosphere elevate the beauty of the Padmanabhapuram palace that spread out stunningly under the foot of Veli hills.
- The palace is under the management of Kerela government and its maintainence and cleanliness speaks for it. It takes a solid one and a half hour to explore the entire place. You have to get a ticket and if you are using mobile camera or DSLR you have to pay seperately for that too.
- The sky was cloudy when we were at the palace. The palace’s architecture is exquisite and uncommon that it became a feast to the eye. Surprisingly there are instructors at every corner who makes your visit meaningful with their storytelling. From floor to ceiling every corner feels like you travelled back to 16th century.
- It has a minimalistic interior with artistical wood carvings and transitioning flooring, floral carvings, the doors and windows that leads you to distinctively attractive rooms and views that hold stories of their own. It offers you an experience which lasts in your memory even if its as weak as mine.
I wasn’t able to enjoy the entire palace as I expected. Why?! Because I had leg cramps out of nowhere. It started with the left leg and then suddenly both. So I literally ran out of the palace for saving my life. After resting in the garden close to the 16th-century kitchen, I felt a bit relieved and slowly walked around the weapon gallery and end the sightseeing with a fairly terrifying note.
Our final stop was at Udipi hotel where we energised ourselves with a cup of filter coffee.
After going back to home, we had a complete rest and then a comfort dinner with mouthwatering food. We ate lots of idiyappam, parottas, chicken gravy and more. Then, my dad and I took a walk on the rooftop. The sky was completely different from the day. It was completely cloudy that we can’t see the moon at all. But the breeze was comforting. We went to sleep hoping for a rain-free day.
Day 2 started as early as 5AM. We headed to the iconic Kanyakumari beach to witness the surreal Sunrise. This pristine beach is a tourist hotspot, so I pretty much expected a huge crowd on Saturday morning. But it wasn’t that crowded so that I was able to get the most out of the entire event. I was also able to capture those beautiful moments.
- We stood close to the temple and I set my camera standing in a perfect spot. The darkness begin to transition. But the most astonishing thing is the duality of the colour which you could see in the photograph even before the horn is blown, the flag is raised and the sun rose to the left of the majestic Thiruvalluvar statue. It was mindblowing while the left side of the statue changes from pinkish orange to gold and consequently the right side transitioned from grey to blue while the waves were beating rhythemically.
- After spending enough time by taking more than enough photographs, we decided to go back home. But luckily, we made another stop and encountered a magical sight. A lotus ponds on both side of the roads with thousands and thousands of lotus on full bloom. Even though I captured in my camera. I can’t get the full essence of its beauty captured. Thats how beautiful it was in my naked eye.
After freshening up, we had a plate full of tasty but enormous food that my poor tummy struggled to hold. I was the last person to finish the breakfast plate that has more than enough amount of White Puttu, Pachai Paiyiru(Mung Bean), Bananas and Appalam(pappads).
In the noon we decided to go to explore two of the popular markets, Aapta Market and Vadasery Market in Nagercoil. Wherever you go, it is essential to roam around the market. It is not only an amusing thing to do but also gets you closer to the daily life of the people. It wasn’t as crowded as I imagined but there are many shops which had local produce, sweets, toffees and savouries. So it did go well.
From there we head to a small cold press oil factory. After trying some Ruby cold press oil in the host’s home, I felt an urge to buy some for our home too. We took a small tour inside and they explained everything about their production process. It was the very first time I was seeing the cold press machine.
After roaming there for a while we went back home with a hungry stomach and they fed us with the catch of the day from the sea, cooked in perfect Kanyakumari style. There is this thing about fish in Kanyakumari. It has a sweetness that can’t be tasted anywhere else due to the Kanyakumari water. It is a flavour of its own kind, that makes you long for it even after going back home and eating the fish you have always eaten. We are lucky enough to savour such a delicious homemade fish meal with an omelette and I am still grateful for that hearty meal.
After resting for a bit, we were given some herbal tea which was not only sounded healthy but also was very aromatic and flavourful.
After a few hours, we packed our bags and bid adieu to our wonderful host who become closer than the first time we met. We still WhatsApp each other now and then in an introverted style.
We got on our seats on the train and looked back at all the photographs nostalgically and said bye for now to the beautiful Kanyakumari while admiring the stunning view through the window.
Whenever you feel lifeless or want a change, make sure to take a tiny trip to witness the Spectacles Of Kanyakumari that will let you power up.
2 days is more than enough if you want a pocket-friendly trip thereby making your stay in a budget-friendly Airbnb like Pheonix holiday home or hotels like Sangam. But make sure to research before booking.
Kanyakumari and Nagercoil are very much accessible by public transports, so make sure to utilize them to save more. Besides, make sure to check the weather before planning for your trip. Because the day after we returned, there was heavy rain in the district.
Just like anyone, I have always wanted to visit this destination. My reason to visit changed at every da stage of my life. When I was a kid, I wanted to see the Thiruvalluvar statue in Kanyakumari as I was a freakin Thiruvalluvar fanatic. When I was in my teen I want to visit as everyone already visited. Before my recent visit, my main motive was to eat Mussels and Oysters. Did I get to eat?! Nope. I didn’t! This probably gives me even more reason to revisit Kanyakumari.
You can check out more pictures at @asolivagantsshoes on Instagram or take a look at “Iridescence in my lens” on this blog where I shared an unshared exclusive photograph. And I am really sorry for taking so long to write this post as I was quite exhausted and took some break.
If you enjoyed the post make sure to like and comment below. If you want to add more places to the list feel free to add them in the comment section so that I’d make sure to check them out during the next visit.