After the beautiful not so fat India wedding, I figured out Cape Comorin or as they call it Kanyakumari, is not very far from Trivandrum. I tried to gather information on the place and it didn’t take me long to get convinced on the idea that it’s the only place where you can spot water of three different colours, all with naked eyes.
I luckily had a school friend who worked with Infosys on the Trivandrum office and had a bike. Guess that is all that’s required to go 125 km in a direction. A bike for 2 crazy heads and a surreal mystic road with barely any hindrance. Early morning at 7 we left for Kanyakumari, I have a habit of never carrying a map or GPS, well that’s not for Indians somehow. The fun is asking the locals and still reaching your spot on time.
Most of the road en route is in Kerala; which is distinctly clean and even, with coconut trees running all around the single-lane road. As soon as you enter Tamil Nadu a sense of Uttar Pradesh prevails into you. With potholes, dirty walls and crazy traffic; this feels more like my hometown Kanpur.
For the people who don’t know about Kanyakumari, here are some of the details. The southernmost end of the mainland Indian subcontinent. Kanyakumari is unique in itself for being amongst the very few places in the country where you could watch a sunrise and also a sunset, sitting in the very same spot. This is it, the end of India Like all edges, there’s a sense of the surreal here. At certain times of the year, you can see the sunset and the moon-rise over three seas simultaneously. The Temple of the Virgin Sea Goddess, Swami Vivekananda’s legacy and the ‘Land’s End’ symbolism draw crowds of pilgrims and tourists to Kanyakumari, but it remains a small-scale, refreshing respite from the hectic Indian road.
Kanyakumari District is also sometimes called Kumari District. The town of Kanyakumari is geographically a cape. During the British Raj, Kanyakumari has bestowed the title of Cape Comorin, necessitated perhaps by the Englishman’s inability to pronounce local names. During the early part of the eighth century AD, Islam entered the southern part of India, through the sea route with traders and missionaries. Through St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, Christianity arrived in this area in AD 52. Islam, Christianity and Jainism have greatly contributed to the architectural wealth and literary heritage of this place.
Getting back to the road; For the ones with keen eyes, you can spot at least a dozen variety of banana’s being sold on the roads with coconut and palm fruit (commonly known as tadi in Hindi). Came across a red coloured banana which was unusually thick and hard, struggled almost 15 minutes to peel it but the attempts were futile. The shop owner spoke only Malayalam and my friend could barely comprehend it, while I was even out of question. Thanks to the sign language, he explained it is to be peeled by a knife and is not to be consumed raw, only cooked. The tiny breed very common in eastern India (namely Bengal) more than made up for the time & energy loss, with a hint of sweet and tangy flavor.
On reaching Cape Comorin, the first sight of water would be enough for you to demarcate the 3 different watercolours; one each from the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The sight is mesmerizing and absorbing, the wind that blows here without any obstruction is good enough to blow minds as well as lighter objects away; so beware nature never promised he’d be kind to you.
The Thiruvalluvar Statue is a little ahead of landlocked India and there are regular jetty/boat rides to go there. It is dedicated to Tamil philosopher and poet by the same name. The little island also houses the Vivekananda Rock Memorial which was built in 1970 to honour Swami Vivekanand. It has a meditation room which is a must-visit spot, as its slightly under the sea, yet completely vacuumed by rocks and has pin-drop silence.