Kanyakumari (Kanniyakumari)

the islands off kanyakumari

the islands off Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari is at the southernmost tip of India. That is where three bodies of water meet: the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean.  I stared out, trying to see some differential in the water, like lines drawn on a map, but, of course saw nothing.  Water doesn’t concern itself with human restrictions like names.

We headed down to a small building, where a sign guided us to the queue.

getting ready for ferry ride

in the queue

view of the fisherman working

view of the fisherman working

fisherman and their boats

fisherman and their boats

Kanayakumari is another pilgrimage site, and many Hindus make the trip to come see the giant statue of the Indian philosopher Tiruvalluvar out on the water. A ferry brings travelers to the Vivekananda Memorial, and then the nearby Thiruvalluvar Rock, and then back inland.

the ferry that takes you to the island

the ferry that takes you to the island

With glee Kevin pointed out at the island statue sitting on its island rock, “See there! That’s where I went swimming last time I was here.”  I groaned. I had heard this story before and approved of it less every time I heard it.  He continued, “I just jumped in and all these people were on the rocks waving at me and telling me to get out but I ignored them. Turns out there were sharks in the water.”  I mentally thanked god that nothing had happened to Kevin in those waters and prayed he did not get the urge to repeat his adventure.

Vivekananda's statue on its island

Thiruvalluvar’s statue on its island

I knew nothing about Tiruvalluvar or what he had done to warrant a statue, but it must have been big, because the line was long. (Turns out he was a philosopher and a poet.  Vivekananda was a respected guru and hero of India, who swam out to the rock and meditated on it.)

waiting for the ferry, the men's queue

waiting for the ferry, the men’s queue

As the line moved up, the queues split: one for men and one for females.  After a wait, we finally boarded the ferry. Of course, instead of getting on in an orderly line, the whole crowd mobbed the entrances at once.

looking back on the shore

view of the shore from the ferry

kanyakumari statue

on the island

looking back on the mainland

looking back on the mainland

sundial

sundial

view of the sea

view of the sea

The kids decided they didn’t care about the second stop on the ferry and we took the first ferry back to land.  Next we would be heading back to Madurai.

wind turbines in the distance, yay!

wind turbines in the distance, yay!

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