Situated on the seashore of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, overlooking the sea, this Kumari Amman Temple is dedicated to the virgin Goddess Devi Kanyakumari. Kumari Amman Temple is said to be over 3000 years old. The Devi stands as a charming young girl in her penance, with a rosary in her right hand. A sparkling nose jewel sheds lustrous radiance. The image, made of blue stone, is believed to have been installed by sage Parasurama. The deity is facing the east. The deity is also called as Devi Kanya Kumari / Kanya Devi / Devi Kumari / Kumari Amman / Shree Bhagavathy / Shree Baala Bhadra / Shree Baala. The name Kanyakumari stands for Kanya meaning Virgin and Kumari meaning Girl.Kumari Amman Temple has been mentioned in the ancient scriptures Ramayana, Mahabharata, Yajurveda and also in the Sangam age works Manimekalai and Puranaanooru.
Kumari Amman Temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeethams – or divine abode of Goddess Shakti (divine feminine). According to Legend, the corpse of Goddess Sati was scattered into 51 parts throughout the Indian subcontinent. The places where the parts fell are now a sacred place of worship for Shakti worshippers. The goddess’s back is said to have fallen in Kanyakumari.Kumari Amman Temple is also said to be one of the hundred and eight “Durga Alayas” – Temple dedicated to Goddess Durga.
The entrance to the Kumari Amman Temple is through the northern gate, while the eastern gate always remains closed except on some festivals, when the deity is taken out for the ceremonial bath. The eastern door is opened also on new moon days in the months of Edavam, Karkkidakam (Capricorn and Cancer), during Navaratri and in the month of Vrischikam.
After walking around the outer corridor and crossing the Navaratri Mandapam, the pathway leads to the second corridor encircling the shrine. At the entrance here, is the Kala Bhairava Shrine (Kalabhairava is the ferrous form of Lord Shiva who annihilates everything) and the well known as “Patal Ganga Teerth” which provides water for the Devi’s Abhisegham. After this is the Dhwajastambha (flag mast). From here one can have a clear view of the Devi before going in front of the sanctum sanctorum.
Festivals of the Kumari Amman Temple
Chitra Pournima Festival:
Full moon day in May
Opening of Temple & Worship Time
Morning: 6.00 A.M. to 11.00 A.M.
Evening: 4.00 P.M. to 8.00 P.M.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
The memorial was constructed in the year 1970 and is located on a mammoth rock around 500 metres away from the main shore. Swami Vivekananda is said to have meditated upon this rock when he came to visit the Kumari Amman temple in the year 1892. According to some legends, it is on this rock that even the goddess is said to have meditated.
The statue of the Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, which measures to 133 feet, was dedicated to the nation on January 1st in the year 2000. The statue is located beside the Vivekananda Memorial and was constructed by the then chief of Tamil Nadu, K. Karunanidhi. The statue suffered damages in the tsunami, and in contrast, the Vivekananda memorial and the Sripada Parai did not suffer any damage.
Since all through the year the weather of the city remains pleasurable, the travelers can visit Kanyakumari anytime. The weather of the place experiences very small deviations. However, the best season to visit the city is from October to March. Summer The summer time in Kanyakumari starts in March and is over by the end of May. The weather is pleasant during this season. The atmospheric temperature is from 20 degree Celsius to 35 degree Celsius. The visitors can take pleasure in beach activities during this time. Monsoon The monsoon season starts in June and lasts until the end of September. During this time, the city experiences medium to heavy rain along with thunderstorms. People who enjoy rainfall can pay a visit to Kanyakumari during the monsoon season. The city becomes quite picturesque during this season. Winter Winter time in Kanyakumari is between December to February. The weather during this season is quite pleasant and the temperature is from 17 degree Celsius to 32 degree Celsius. This season is perfect for the visitors to enjoy beach activities and sightseeing.