Kumari Amman Temple or Kanyakumari Temple is located in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu. Many people from India come here to seek blessings from the goddess. This magnificent temple is situated along the coastline and is one of the most sacred temples in the world. The temple is home to Goddess Kanya Kumari.
Legends and Mythologies
Kanyakumari Temple is more than 3000-years-old, this temple has not only religious but also historical significance. Kanyakumari is known for being the incarnation of Parvati, the goddess who committed self-immolation to marry Lord Shiva. According to the legends, Lord Shiva and Goddess Kanyakumari were not married, so Kanyakumari decided to remain a virgin. It is also said that the grain that was collected for the wedding was left uncooked and turned into stones. In the present day, tourists can buy stones that look like grains. The Kanyakumari Temple was established by the Pandya emperors in the eighth century and was later rebuilt by the Vijayanagara, Chola and Nayaka kings.
Goddess Kanya Kumari is Goddess Sri Bhagwati in the form of a teenage girl. The Goddess is also known as Shri Bala Bhadra or Shri Bala. She is popularly known as "Shakti" (Durga or Parvati) "Devi". Kanyakumari Temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeethas.
Stories related to the Idol
The attractive idol of Goddess Kanya Kumari is characterized by the diamond nose-ring of the goddess. There are many popular stories related to the glow of the nose ring. According to legend, the nose ring was obtained from the nose of King Cobra. It is also said that some ships sailing in the sea perceived the glow of ruby as light and were wrecked as they hit nearby rocks. For this reason, the gates on the eastern side of the Kumari Amman Temple are kept closed. The history of the Kanyakumari Temple has been mentioned in many ancient scriptures. In the great Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, Kanyakumari Temple is mentioned. Even in Sangam works like Manimakkalai and Purananuru, this temple is mentioned.
The goddess Kanyakumari Temple presents an impressive architecture. This ancient temple is part of the Travancore Empire. The main deity of the temple is Devi Kanyakumari who is facing east. The idol shows the goddess as a young girl with a garland.
Kanyakumari Temple is surrounded by strong stone walls. The main gate of the temple goes through the northern gate. The eastern gate of the temple is closed on most days. It is opened only on special occasions and days, such as the Amavasya days during the month of Vrischikam, Edavam, and Karkidam. The temple complex has various temples dedicated to Lord Suryadev, Lord Ganesha, Lord Ayyappa Swamy, Goddess Balasundari and Goddess Vijaya Sundari. There is a well inside the temple from where water is used for the consecration of the goddess. It is known as Moola Ganga Teertham.
Pooja in the Kanyakumari Temple is performed according to the Tantrasamuchayam like the temples of Kerala. Even though the temple is located in Tamil Nadu, the Kanyakumari Temple is considered as Kerala temple as it was once part of the Travancore state. Like most of the Bhagwati Temples in Kerala, the western gate of the temple opens. Priests are still elected from Kerala Brahmin families and they still follow the five types of worship daily in Kerala.
How to reach Kanyakumari Temple
The nearest airport is the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport which is about 102 km from the temple. The airport has good connectivity with all major cities of India and some Gulf countries.
Kanyakumari Road Transport Corporation provides regular buses to almost all major cities of South India. The temple is just 1 km from the Kanyakumari bus stop. You can either walk or take an auto-rickshaw to the temple. Trains from Mumbai and Bangalore go daily to Kanyakumari. The nearest railway station of the temple is Kanyakumari railway station which is 1 km away. One can walk or avail of the taxi.
Best time to visit Kanyakumari Temple
Although tourists can visit the Kanyakumari Temple at any time of the year, visiting the Kanyakumari Temple during the annual festivities can be a different experience.
Places to visit near Kanyakumari Temple
Kanyakumari Temple of Kumari Amman Temple is one of the most revered places of Kanyakumari and is situated in the proximity of various other famous tourist places namely Vattakottai Fort, Tiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari Beach, etc.
Kanyakumari Temple Timings: 4.30 A.M to 12.30 P.M and 4:00 P.M to 8:00 P.M
Kanyakumari Temple Entry Fees: Nil