is located at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. The small temple dedicated
to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess)
is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari was
referred to by the British as Cape Commorin.
Kanyakumari represents the
site where the spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda spent days in meditation upon
a rock off of the coast. A memorial built in his honor is accessible via ferry.
There is also a recently built memorial to Tiruvalluvar, the author of the philosophical
work Tirukkural - a treatise on the Indian way of life.
temple is an ancient one and has been mentioned in the Ramayana, Mahabharata,
and the Sangam works Manimekalai and Puranaanooru. It is believed that the image
of Kanyakumari was installed and worshipped by Parasurama, who is credited with
reclaiming Kerala from the ocean, and building several shrines.
has it that the demon Baanaasuran wreaked havoc on the inhabitants of this world,
and that Mahavishnu requested the Gods and the humans to request primeval energy
Paraasakthi to vanquish the demon. Answering the prayers of the oppressed, Shakti
appeared as a young virgin girl at Kanyakumari and commenced penance with the
desire of marrying Shiva at Suchindram.
Legend has it that the celestial
Sage Narada, fixed the midnight hour as the auspicious time for the wedding. When
Shiva's procession reached a site by name Vazhukkumpaarai, a rooster crowed, hearlding
daybreak, and that Shiva assuming that the auspicious hour was past, returned
to Suchindram. The disappointed Goddess decided to spend her life in Kanyakumari
as a virgin, and that all the food prepared for the wedding was laid waste and
that it turned into the colored sand seen on the southern shores of the subcontinent.
The demon Banaasuran upon hearing of Shakti's story proceeded to Kanyakumari
to win her hand in marriage by force, and this led to a fierce battle in which
he was slain by her. The
The black stone image of Kanyakumari in the sanctum bearing a garland
is an enchanting one. Of particular significance is the glittering nose ring that
is visible from a distance. Legend has it that the light emanating from this nose
ring misguided arriving ships and caused them to crash onto the rocky coast. There
is a door now, to the east of the shrine which is opened only five times a year.
There are also shrines to Vijayasundari and Balasundari, friends and playmates
of the Goddess in her youthful form. There are a total of 11 theerthams associated
with the temple in the ocean surrounding the area. The confluence of the seas,
at the southern tip of the subcontinent has been held sacred for centuries.
Worship services are carried out here, throughout the day,
in a manner similar to that in Keralite temples. It must be remembered that Kanyakaumari
was a part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.
The Vaisakha festival
is celebrated in the tamil month of Vaikasi where an image of the goddess is taken
around town in procession on various mounts. The car festival, the Aaraatu (when
the eastern door to the shrine is opened) and the float festival here are of significance.
The eastern door is opened also on new moon days in the months of Thai,
Aadi (Capricorn and Cancer), during Navaratri and in the month of Kaartikai.
The Kalabham (sandal) festival in the month of Aadi is also of importance here,
when the image is covered with sandal paste, and on the 13th day, ie. the last
Friday of the month, vast crowds throng the temple as the image is covered with
vast quantities of flowers brought in from several villages in the vicinity.
An image of the deity is held in worship at the Navaratri mandapam throughout
the duration of Navaratri, and processions mark the festive celebrations on each
of the nine nights.
The destruction of Baanasuran is enacted on Vijaya
Dasami, the concluding day of the Navaratri festival, where an image of the deity
is taken in procession on a horse mount to a nearby village - Mahadanapuram.
city is situated on both the banks of Vaigai river. It is called Saikashetra,
a place where Lord Shiva is worshipped. The Meenakshi Aman temple dedicated to
the goddess Meenakshi and her husband Sundareshwa(Lord Shiva) has a history dating
back 2000 years. It has a hall with 1000 pillars.
The Chitirai festival
held in April-May celebrates the marriage of the God and Goddess. There is also
a float festival called Teppam in January-February. It is a very popular festival.
Another festival is the Avanimoolam held in August-September.
has many more temples including the Koodal Alagar temple. The other temples around
Madurai include the Kalamegha Perumal, the Tiruparrankunram temple dedicated to
Lord Karthikeya and Alagar Koil temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Mariamman Teppakulam tank measuring 1000 x 950 feet is situated 5 kilometers from
Meenakshi temple. This is where the float festival is held. Madurai
: 51.85 Sq kms (approx. 20 sq miles) Population:
as of 1998 Altitude:
100.58 meters (330 feet) above sea-level
beautiful hill station that provides an escape from the oppressive heat of the
plains in summer. Its peace and quiet, un spoilt as yet by the commercialization
that has over-run other hill resorts. Location
: Kodaikanal is
one of the most popular serene hill stations in India.With her wooded slopes,
mighty rocks, enhancing waterfalls and a beautiful lake, Kodaikanal will mesmerize
any visitor. The town lies at the latitude 10deg7' N to 10deg20' N and longitude
77deg16' E to 77deg45' E on the southern tip of upper palani hills in the western
ghats at an altitude of 2133m The Seasons
: kodaikanal is neither
too hot in summer nor too cold in winter.Kodai get some rain almost every month,the
months January and February are on the whole generally dry.Declared season time
is from the middle of April to the middle of June.Winter months January, February
and March are best for health,since humidity is at its lowest and a warm morning
Summer festival may include Flower Show, Dog
Show & Boat Show Places to see:
Bear Shola Falls
Boat House in the Lake
Bryant Park and much more..