The charming city of Trivandrum (or Thiruvananthapuram) has plenty of heritage sites to offer visitors. But after you are done exploring this capital of Kerala, you could travel to the famous southernmost tip of India – Kanyakumari.
A day trip to the coastal town of Kanyakumari from Trivandrum in a private car will give you enough time to visit a couple of temples, a fort, a couple of islands, a museum and a gorgeous sunset from the country’s most famous sunset viewpoint.
During the British era, Kanyakumari was called “Cape Comorin”. Apart from being the southernmost point of the Indian peninsular, this town is also where one can see the union of three bodies of water – the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
The ferry ride from the mainland to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and onwards to the Thiruvalluvar Statue is another experience to look forward to. Book a one day cab trip from Trivandrum to Kanyakumari so you don’t have to stress about driving while enjoying your holiday.
Door-step pickup from your Home / Hotel in Trivandrum at 6:00 AM
|Kanyakumari Bhagavathi Amman Temple||40 mins||more..|
|Vivekananda Rock Memorial||30 mins||more..|
|Thiruvalluvar Statue||20 mins||more..|
|Government Museum||20 mins||more..|
|Gandhi Memorial||20 mins||more..|
|Vattakottai Fort||30 mins||more..|
|Vattakottai Beach||40 mins||more..|
|Padmanabhapuram Palace||1 hour||more..|
|Thanumalayan Temple||20 mins||more..|
|Kanyakumari Sunset View Point||30 mins||more..|
Drop back at your Home / Hotel in Trivandrum by 9:00 PM
What to expect
It is advisable to start early in the morning from Trivandrum to have sufficient time for all the sightseeing spots on the way to Kanyakumari. Here’s a broad overview of what you’ll be seeing:
From Trivandrum, it will take approximately 3 hours to reach Kanyakumari. The distance is almost a hundred kilometres, best covered via National Highway 66.
After having breakfast, your first stop will be the Kanyakumari Bagavathiamman Temple, also known as Arulmigu Bhagavathy Amman Temple or simply, Kanyakumari Temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess, Kumari.
Next, you will hop on to a ferry that will take you to the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial on the Lakshadweep Sea. It is here that Swami Vivekananda meditated for 3 days and decided to dedicate the rest of his life to humanity.
Another short ferry ride away is one of the tallest statues in India – the Thiruvalluvar Statue. This was erected in the millennial year of 2000 to honour the Tamil philosopher and poet – Valluvar.
You will then take the ferry back to the mainland and head towards the Government Museum. Glance through the galleries that exhibit articles on archaeology, geology, flora, fauna, and may other genres.
Only a minute’s worth of walk will bring you to the Gandhi Memorial (or Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam) which is dedicated to Gandhiji. Apart from being the spot where the freedom fighter’s ashes were once kept, the memorial displays certain artefacts from the era before Independence.
You will break for lunch before gearing up for your drive to Vattakottai Fort (or Circular Fort). This 18th century fort is about 7 km from Kanyakumari, and provides a nice vantage point to look at the Western Ghats and the sea.
Relax by the Vattakottai Beach (or Circular Beach) on which the Vattakottai Fort stands. The colour of the sand here is black, unlike the beaches nearby.
Sit back in your hired car as you are taken to the Padmanabhapuram Palace in the afternoon. Also called the Kalkulam Palace, this 17th century palace has plenty of rooms to be explored.
Take a tea break before moving on to Thanumalayan Temple (or Suchindram temple) which is almost an hour’s drive away. Marvel at the 7-storey high white shrine which has a few legends associated with it.
Next, the car will take you back to Kanyakumari for the glorious sunset at the tip of the coast. From the Sunset Viewpoint, you can see how three different seas meet and glow in the blazing sun.
Post sunset, you will be driven back to Trivandrum, with a halt somewhere for dinner.
Package Cost of 1 Day Trivandrum to Kanyakumari Sightseeing Trip by Cab
4 Seater / Hatchback
4 Seater / Sedan
Innova / Xylo
7 Seater / SUV
Tempo Traveller (A/C)
12 Seater / Mini Bus
Book this Kanyakumari 1 Day Tour Package from Thiruvananthapuram!
Following are the car rental companies that are organizing this private tour, select your preferred vendor from the list, check availability and book your tour!
Places to Visit on this One Day Road Trip From Trivandrum to Kanyakumari
This one-day cab ride will help you understand the cultural and mythological ethos of southern India better. Here is more information on what you will see:
Estimated to be between 2500 and 3000 years old, the Kanyakumari Bagavathiamman Temple was built to worship the girl child form (kanya) of the Hindu goddess Parvati. Don’t miss the sparkling ruby nose-ring on the idol when you enter.
They follow the dress code quite strictly. Men are not allowed to keep their shirt or kurta on. They must enter bare-chested. Also, jeans are not allowed inside. Men can either wear pants or dhoti (traditional Indian unstitched apparel for the lower body which needs to be draped). Women are also advised to be modestly dressed, preferably in a saree and blouse.
This memorial on the rock was built in 1970 to honour Swami Vivekananda, a monk who helped spread Hindu philosophies to the Western countries. It is said that he attained enlightenment while meditating on this rock, off the shore of Kanyakumari mainland.
There are three prominent structures on this rock – Vivekananda Mandapam, Shripada Mandapam and a shrine named Sri Padaparai Mandapam. People claim to have seen footprints of Kumari – the virgin goddess on the rock here. There are multiple halls within the mandapams which let you meditate and look at the statues. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial also appeared on one of the stamps issued by the Government of India in 1996.
Measuring 133 feet (or 40.6 metres), this statue sculpted by V. Ganapati Sthapati aims to remember the famous Tamil poet Valluvar. The stone sculpture is also a tribute Valluvar’s literary work – Thirukkural which has 133 chapters, each foot of the height of the statue denoting a chapter. The face itself is 19 feet long and this statue weighs a whopping 7000 tons!
An interesting fact about its construction is that the sculptors carved the features of Valluvar by hand. The quantum of work required that about 50 chisels be used by each craftsman on a daily basis. Most of the outer stone is granite, and hence, quite durable in the sea which would otherwise corrode metal.
4. Government Museum
Opened in 1991, the Kanyakumari Government Museum preserves a wide variety of outdoor and indoor exhibits. To better understand the heritage of the ancient kings who ruled southern India, the galleries display coins, weights and measures, artillery, dolls, musical instruments, kitchenware, idols of Hindu gods, paintings and sculptures.
However, the main attraction remains a temple chariot made of whale bone. The museum is open on all days except Fridays, 2nd Saturdays and national holidays. Entry is between 9:30 AM and 5 PM. School children enter free, and Indian adults pay INR 5 per head. Foreigners are charged INR 100 or USD 2.
5. Gandhi Memorial (or Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam)
Even though Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari only twice, a portion of his ashes (which were distributed in 12 urns to various parts of India) arrived here. His memorial has been erected where one of the urns containing his ashes was kept before it was eventually immersed in the Indian Ocean.
The height of the main spire of the mandapam bears symbolic significance as it is 79 feet high, denoting the 79 years Gandhiji spent on earth. Open from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening, the Gandhi Memorial is free for all to enter. You will have to remove your shoes before stepping in, though. A token amount of INR 1 is levied for the storage of your shoe. If you wish to enter the library inside the building, visit on a Friday or a Saturday.
6. Vattakottai Fort (or Circular Fort)
A 15-minute drive from Kanyakumari’s southern tip will bring you to the 18th century fort of Vattakottai. The word literally means ‘circular’. Built in the times of the Travancore Kingdom, the fort was revamped by a former Dutch naval officer. The sturdy barracks and the entire defence fortification is made of granite, making it durable despite its location by the coast.
The fort is open to visitors on all days between 9 AM and 5 PM. Entry is free for children and costs only INR 25 for adults. To make the most of your visit to this fort, climb to the top and watch the expansive views on offer on each side. You will see the hills of the Western Ghats on one end, and the Vattakottai Beach on the other.
7. Vattakottai Beach (or Circular Beach)
Right next to the Vattakottai Fort is the Vattakottai Beach. Also known as the Circular Beach, the sand here is peculiarly black. This is usually due to the deposit of heavy minerals, a result of the waves bringing ashore particles from the deep sea. The colour also signifies that the underlying soil is volcanic.
It is generally not advisable to swim in seas that wash black sand as the water tends to be slightly acidic. You can take great pictures here, though! The view of the fort in the background makes for a magnificent prop for perspective photography.
About 35 kilometres from Kanyakumari, the town of Padmanabhapuram was once the capital of Travancore Kingdom. Built at the foothills of the Veli Hills, the Padmanabhapuram Palace is fortified on all sides by a 4 kilometre long granite fortress.
The palace dates back to 1601 A.D. It was built by the king Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal. It was rebuilt in 1750 by King Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma. Although this palace is physically located in the state of Tamil Nadu, it belongs to the Government of Kerala. The palace also features typical traditional Kerala architecture, with its sloped brick roofs and a clock tower in the premises.
Also known as the Suchindram Temple, the Thanumalayan Temple is located in the Suchindram area of Kanyakumari district. The temple pays homage to the Hindu gods of Shiva (Stanu), Vishnu (Mal) and Brahma (Ayan). Hence, it’s also called the Sthanumalayan Temple.
A striking attribute of this temple is the 7-storey gopuram which is white in colour and 40 metres in height. The surface is embellished with idols of deities from Hindu mythology. There are a number of interesting features in the construction of the temple. For instance, four of its 18-feet tall monolithic pillars play music when struck. The dancing hall in the temple has 1035 pillars, making it a sight worth seeing.
10. Kanyakumari Sunset Viewpoint
Perhaps the most scenic of all the attractions in Kanyakumari is the only natural one – its beautiful sunset. The Sunset Viewpoint attracts a lot of sightseers just before the sun is about to set. It is worth waiting for the sunset as you get to see the sky change colours – from light blue to yellow to orange to deep red to an ethereal purple to midnight blue to finally, black.
Your car can be parked just inside on the pavement as you enjoy the handiwork of God. Note that this viewpoint is different from the regular beach. You will have to pay INR 30 to enter here, whereas the beach does not have any entry charge.
What to Eat in Kanyakumari
Enjoying its perfect position between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Kanyakumari offers the perfect place to taste the best of both the cuisines. After rice, cassava is an important source of carbohydrates for the locals of Kanyakumari.
Tapioca extracted from this root plant is used in a dish called ‘maravazhi kilangu’ which is served with fish curry. The Coromandel Coast happens to be a great place to taste the fresh catch from the sea.
When it comes to chips, banana, tapioca and jackfruit are available at almost every snack shop here. It is a good idea to taste before you buy a big pack to gift your family and friends. Apart from chips, jackfruit is also eaten in its raw fruit form.
If you are worried about an aching stomach after eating too much jackfruit, consider trying their spicy jackfruit curries. If you crave for some deep-fried comfort food, sample a plate of pazha bhaji. These are basically batter-fried bananas.
South Indian breakfast items are so much more than dosas, idlis and uttapams. While you will easily find these in Kanyakumari, grab the opportunity to gorge on some freshly made appam with coconut broth on the side. Appams are bowl-shaped rice pancakes which are fluffy at the centre and crispy at the edges.
One speciality from the neighbouring country of Sri Lanka is the kotthu roti or kotthu parotta. Usually made to utilize leftovers, this meal is made with rotis or parottas torn into small pieces and stir-fried with mixed vegetables or meat. They’re quite spicy because of the sauce which is added to the dish.
Tamil Nadu’s famous pongal is not just a dish but also a festival. Pongal is made of rice and pulses, and cooked to a porridge-like consistency.
Vegetarians should try their valakkai porial which is a dish made mainly with coconut and banana, among other vegetables. This is deliciously flavoured with curry leaves and tempered with black gram and chickpea pulses.
For the non-vegetarians, meen kolambu is a local favourite. It is a preparation of freshly caught sea fish which is marinated in tamarind and lime, among other spices. It is best enjoyed with the simple, unpretentious steamed rice.
Rice is undoubtedly the most eaten staple in this part of India. You will not only be able to enjoy regular varieties of cooked rice (plain rice, cumin-rice, tamarind-rice, etc.), but also dishes made of flattened rice (commonly known as poha).
Sweet aval is a popular pick-me-up made with jiggery, hence the dark brown colour. For desserts, rice, milk, coconut and vermicelli are freely used. Indulge in a bowl of rice kheer or vermicelli payasam to finish your spicy meals.
If you are bored of coconut water, palm juice and banana mixed fruit juice are alternative thirst-quenchers.
Traditionally, the food here is served on banana leaves to minimize the use of water for washing utensils and also to ensure that the waste can be decomposed ethically. Also, people prefer to eat with their hands, believing that it adds to the taste of the dish and helps them connect with their food better.
What to Shop for in Kanyakumari
They say that a true traveller takes nothing from a place but memories. However, there are a few things you can buy from Kanyakumari to remember this place by. A unique souvenir you can take back with you is palm leaves with hand-drawn motifs on them.
Being near the sea, an obvious memento is seashells. You can buy various seashell-based items from the stalls at Kanyakumari Beach. Other show-piece items made of brass, wood or bamboo are also quite popular here.
For the ladies who love their nine long yards, you will find numerous shops to buy silk sarees from. South India has a lovely array of silk varieties that range from paper thin to very heavy with zari work on them.
Good to know
- Hotel pick-up/drop-off
- Round-trip transportation in private air-conditioned car
What’s not included
- English-speaking guide
- Entry ticket fee for tourist attractions
- Breakfast / lunch / dinner