The southern tip of Indian soil, the only indian beach from where sunset and sunrise can be witnessed like a solo movie, a rare place where the creator of the universe has allotted a space for the three great oceans to meet together known as Triveni Sangamam, a place with a huge rock in the sea close to the shore that has made into the history book of its own as Vivekananda Rock Memorial, the bottom most part in the map of India, and finally the automatic choice of national political parties for creating an all India effective slogan “Kanyakumari se kashmir Tak”, and descriptions are many for the coastal town of in the state of TamilNadu.
A trip to this place that have easy access from Trivandrum, many parts of Tamilnadu as it is the final destination of NH from Kashmir, would always remain memorable and worthy for the variety of things on offer by this small piece of land. For anyone who could wander just one kilometer along the beach at a time interval of 12 hours at both ends of the night would be able to witness magic in the form of sunrise and sunset, a marvelous sight to behold taking place at far away where the sea and sky seems to be melt together.
Though the place is a perfect choice for a weekend trip the advantage of other days is less crowd and more comfort. So I choose a week day to experience this small place with some amazing locations and landed in a late evening. The time was perfect to book a room, get refreshed before proceeding to explore whatever places could visit with the available time before running to the beach where sun starts its journey down the sea can be witnessed clearly and the perfect start to it was a visit to the temple which is known by the name Kanyakumari itself.
TEMPLE VIEWED FROM OUTSIDE
The temple is believed to be where Sati Devi’s spine area fell down while Lord Shiva was carrying her lifeless body and one of the 51 Shakti peetha across India built on the seashore with waves splashes on the rock it stands as it can be seen from outside. The temple is believed to be around 3000 years old and the deity is young Kumari Kanya from which the name of the place is made. Close to the temple, the next attraction of any tourist is Gandhi Mandapam built in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Kanyakumari and also because one part of his ashes after his demise has been immersed in the sea water here and the location of the memorial is the place where the urn were kept for the public to pay the last homage.
The memorial is a beautiful structure which appeals to everyone and it is said to be constructed in such a way that on the death anniversary of Gandhiji on 2nd October sun rays will fall exactly on the spot where the urn was kept through a hole that provided at the top, indeed a special piece of information that deserves an appreciation for the special way of construction.
As I came out from the memorial, it was almost time for sunset, even on a week day there was lot of people rushing to find a perfect spot along the long stretch of beach for watching that event which most likely going to be an once in a life time chance for many. Looking ahead there seems to be no end to the long seashore to make a halt and stay there expecting a memorable view, so the best option was to utilize the view Tower built for the same purpose, a building with a circular ramp having 7-8 levels from where people can also able to watch the clear blue seawater, Vivekananda Rock, Thiruvalluvar statue, Temple etc.
LONG ROAD TO THE SUNSET POINT
There was not much rush in the ramps, so I tstood there to experience the sunset. As the time elapsed the hot red sun started moving towards the horizon slowly, the reducing glow of its face clearly visible as at approaches the sea. I wish to see few birds flying in the sky in between my eyes and the sun to make it a perfect shot but was not that much lucky to have that view.
It was a great moment to watch the sun slowly melting on the horizon till almost half and then all of a sudden some black clouds had appeared interrupting the remaining whole episode or it had blacked out completely without any hint which made everyone disappointed and the only option was to leave the scene and proceed to the hotel since there was nothing substantial in the streets to spent few hours hoping to get up early next day.
PEOPLE GATHERED TO WATCH SUN RISE,
VIVEKANANDA ROCK AND TIRUVALLUVAR STATUE CAN BE SEEN
Area for watching sunrise is relatively lesser than the long beach on the other side to watch sunset, hence it looked crowded with all the tourist were gathered on the seaside. Moreover this particular area from where sunrise is to be visible was between the seashore and homes of the locals with a church also along the line. From this location the Vivekananda rock and the statue of Thiruvallavar was clearly visible standing on the sea.
AN EARLY MORNING VIEW FROM THE SEA SHORE
A huge ramp was constructed in the sea, almost 100 to 200 meters in length using huge blocks of stone through which anyone can walk that feel like moving inside the sea. I was quite surprised by seeing the size of rocks as big as that of a small passenger car thinking that how it might had been transported and kept it in its position,. Many people were already at the far end of the ramp and at many intermediate locations seated well in advance to get the ideal view of sunrise. I too selected a convenient location in the ramp and were enjoyed the surrounding in the backdrop of sea everywhere.
PEOPLE MOVING TOWARDS THE EDGE OF RAMP TO GET CLOSE TO THE HORIZON
EXPECTING A CLEAR VIEW OF SUNRISE
Looking backwards to the seashore the ramp seems to be divided sea into two halves, on one side the rest of the endless seashore and on the other side the great vivekananda rock, the statue, the temple all looked glorious in the morning atmosphere just before the sun starts moving to this part of the earth.
ANOTHER DAY IS ABOUT TO START
Finally far away the colours has started changing indicating the appearance of sun to the hundreds of people standing at different places which includes the terraces, balconies of hotel building facing the east. A very small spot – golden in color had seen came out just above the sea over some clouds which slowly grown into semicircular sphere glowing with golden rays all around making everyone’s eyes widen by seeing the beauty unveiling in the horizon just above the level of sea. Gradually the size and golden effect has increased and became a full circle but still human eyes could directly focus on the sun without any difficulty.
DIFFERENT SHOTS OF SUNRISE
It took almost 10 minutes for the sun to come out from its shell, but no one might had changed their eyes to anywhere fearing the loss of those beautiful scene in between, experiencing the unadultered process of universe in its most perfect location, luck has been on the side of everyone present on the day for entire duration.
The horizon was still looks golden in color so is the sunrays that falling on the huge structure of Vivekananda rock, the great poet’s statue and the Kanyakumari temple throwing another perspective post card look that none of the most modern professional camera would never been able to catch the exact color combination and frame. It was an experience that could not wish for more.
THE VIVEKANANDA MEMORIAL
There was one more historically important place to visit after returning back to the hotel, having some rest and getting fresh for the next destination. It was a visit to Vivekananda Rock Memorial, literally lies in the sea. Is it an island, not sure but a huge rock in which the whole memorial buildings had been constructed. Travelling in a boat is the only option where the shipping corporation had made good arrangements for ferrying travellers to and fro.
Despite it is a short travel to the memorial, journey through the oscillating waves was quite interesting and those being lucky to sit in the window side could be able to catch some fine portrait looks outside. The memorial is quite big with a full sized statue of Vivekananda at the particular space where he believed to be Sat in a rock for meditation before leaving for his famous Chicago speech. A place below this was perfectly arranged for meditation for those whoever interested which is quite dark, always silent even from the sound of waves hilting the rock. Spending some time inside this room listening to the of “Ohm” that sounds like coming from infinity was definitely a soul searching moment for few minutes.
Apart from these, a Shripada mandapam where the foot marks of Devi Kanyakumari is preserved safely which is another attraction. The statue of Thiruvalluvar also can be seen very closely from the boundary of this memorial. Two book stalls and rainwater harvesting reservoirs were also arranged within this structure. There is no time limit for anyone to return back and there may be long line before getting into the return boat. That’s all about a place where the long beach will provide some rare and unforgettable experience comparing with the other famous ones where a stroll on the sea shore and bath on the waves would probably remain the only activities.