Our Place

The Blessed Land

Surrounded by Majestic Hills and the plains bordered by colourful sea-shores, fringed with coconut trees and paddy fields, here and there are few elevated patches of red cliffs with undulating valleys and plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea – coast.

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The area comprising the present Kanniakumari district was a part of the erstwhile Travancore state. In 1835, when the state was divided in to Northern and Southern divisions , this area formed part of Southern division and was placed in the charge of Dewan Peishkar, Kottayam. In July 1949, when the United States of Travancore and Cochin was inaugurated, the present Kanniyakumari area continued to be a part of Trivandrum district of Kerala State.
The people are the human resource of the District. Their culture, religion, aptitude, habits, beliefs, talents etc have a bearing on how the district presents itself to others. Tamil and Malayalam are the main languages of this district. Hindus and Christians form a sizeable percentage of the population of the district and there are a number of Muslims dominated belts in the district. .Rice is the staple food of the rich and poor alike in the district.
Many Folk arts and dances are popular in this district. They are played during the time of festivals in temples, celebrations in schools etc.

Bow Song (Villu Pattu)

Bow, the age -old weapon of warriors - paradoxically lends itself to be used as a primary musical instrument for the Villu Pattu artists. There are Udukku , Kudam, Thala - Kattai etc as supplementary instrument in their performances.Udukku mentioned in the ancient Tamil literature as Thudi, is a small drum with a slender middle portion which is held in the left hand and played by the fingers of the right hand . This may be seen in the pictures and statues of Lord Nataraja, - the cosmic Dancer, adoring his left hand.The songs used by the Villu-Pattu artists are mostly traditional folk-songs.

Thiruvathirai Kali occupies the pride of place among the folk dances. It resembles Kummi and is played especially during Onam festival.The necessary number of girls is 8,10,12 or 16 for each dance. They move round and sing in chorus. Each girl strikes the stick (Kole) which she holds in each hand and the striking of the sticks and the steps , which she makes are rhythmical to the tune.

Kalial is a folk dance played by group of men or boys in the country side. A group leader sings songs and keeps time with cymbals.The players stand in a circle with sticks in their hand and dance round a lighted lamp repeating the songs sung by the leader. They turn, twist, lean forward and backward, squat and move round singing to the tune.. This folk dance exhibits the artistic and recreative life of the country side.

Kathakali is a unique form of drama, which has its origin in Travancore. Kathakali (story-dance) is a relatively recent (fifteenth or sixteenth century) development of earlier dances, which, like dances every where, arose out of religious expression through symbolical action. In this art-form, the characters express their ideas not by words, but by significant gestures. costume and make up of the actor are most important aspects in Kathakali.Usually, a Kathakali performance extends from eight to ten hours.Now Kathakali is played in the temples at Thiruvattar, Thirparappu, Ponmana, Kuzhithurai, Neyyoor and Munchira in the Kanyakumari District twice a year during the time of festivals.

Ottam Thullal is a form of story telling. It is a popular form of amusement, staged in the temple premises and Malayalam is the language commonly used. It combines dance, song and acting. The story – teller is aided by two musicians, one, who leads the song and plays on an instrument, and the other, who keeps time by beating cymbal. The actor wears a simple costume consisting of a skirt, some arm and chest decorations and an elaborate head dress.

Karagam Dance is a kind of dance common in the country side. It is played by both men and women during the time of festivals and marriages.

Kalari also known as Adimurai in Kanniyakumari district, is an ancient martial art, still preserved in the villages of this district and also in Kerala. A tradition believed to have been founded by Paraurama is known Vadakkan Kalari : and another credited to Agasthiar is called as which emphasis is on striking at vital points of the body and not on weapons, even through sword, knife, Urumi (rolling sword), Mankombu (horns of a deer), Kandakkodali, (a kind of axe), mazhu (a kind of axe) etc., are also used.

     Udayagiri Fort  
The fort was rebuilt in the reign of Marthandavarma, the Venad King, during 1741-44. Under the supervision of De Lannoy, the Belgian General, who served as the Chief of the Travancore army; East India Company’s troops were stationed there till the middle of the 19th century.It is further said that a brass gun 16 ft. long bored as a 22 ponder, found in the fort could not be removed even for a few yards by a large number of people, even with the help of 16 elephants.. Now, the District Administration, with the help of Forest Department has set up a Biodiversity Park over here. Tourists can see deer, ducks, fountains, birds and over 100 varieties of trees inside the fort.
     Mathoor Thottipalam  
The Mathoor Hanging Trough is the tallest as well as the longest trough bridge in Asia, having a height of 115 feet and a length of one kilometre.The bridge has been constructed in 1966 at Mathoor across the river Parazhiyar at a cost of Rs. 12.90/- lakhs.and the trough canal (Pattanamkal canal) on the bridge carries water for irrigation from one side of a hill to the other side of a hill. The trough has a height of seven feet with a width of seven feet six inches. The canal is being shouldered by 28 huge pillars.By the unrelented efforts of late Thiru. K. Kamaraj, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, this canal was constructed as a drought relief measure and for the development of agriculture in Vilavancode and Kalkulam Taluks.
St.Xavier an outstanding and dedicated priest visited the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu from Goa.While he was at Kottar, he averted the invasion of Padagas on the people of Venad which was appreciated by the king.In recognition of Xavier’s services, the king allotted a land to him for the purpose of constructing a catholic church at Kottar. There was already a church in 1544 in the same place, where the St. Xavier’s church stands now.
The church records show that the church was built in the year 1600 A.D. In the year 1865, the Church was enlarged and the shrine of our lady was also renovated and vaulted over.
In 1930, the church was raised to the status of a Cathedral. In 1942, in commemoration of the fourth centenary of the arrival of St.Xavier in India, a beautiful tower to the saint, a grotto to Out Blessed Mother and a small shrine to St.Ignatius who sent him to India were constructed in the Cathedral premises. In 1955, the church was further extended and the chapel of Our Lady was incorporated into the enlarged church.The Church of St. Xavier enjoys a great fame as a place of miracles from early times. The annual festival is celebrated during the month of November – December lasting for 10 days.
     Padmanabhapuram Palace  
The ancient historical town Padmanabhapuram is one of the four municipalities in the district is 55 Km. south of Trivandrum, about two km. east of Thuckalay and 35 km. from Kanyakumari on the Trivandrum-Cape Comerin road. This town is surrounded by a fort with an area of 187 acres. The ancient capital of Travancore might be constructed before AD 1601. The palace with an area of seven acres, is situated in the very centre on the Padmanabhapuram Fort, amidst hills, dales and rivers.

The fort which was built with mud originally was dismantled and reconstructed with granite by Maharaja Marthanda Varma. The height of the walls varies from 15’ to 24’ according to the inclination of the ground.

     Pechiparai Dam :  
About 43 km from Nagercoil this dam has been constructed. This dam in Kalkulam Taluk, was built during the days of the Maharaja Sri Moolam Thirunal across the river Kodayar.The length of the dam is 425.1 mts. It has a catchment area of 204.8 sq.km. The reservoir is surrounded by dense forests which are famous for their valuable trees and rich would life such as tiger, elephants, deer etc.
     Thiruparappu Falls :  
The Kodayar makes its descend at Tirparappu and the water fall at this place is about 13km. from Pechiparai dam.The river bed is rocky and about 300 feet in length. The water falls from a height of nearly 50 feet and the water flows for about seven months in a year. between the water falls and the weir, there is a temple dedicated to Siva enclosed by strong fortification.
     Maruthuva Malai :  
The Maruthuva Malai also known as the Marunthu Vazhum Malai – the abode of medicinal herbs, forms from part of the western ghats. According to tradition, the Maruthuva Malai is a fragment of the Sanjeevi Mountain, a piece of which fell down here, and it was carried by Hanuman from Mahendragiri to Srilanka for healing the fatal wounds of Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, the epic hero. It stretches for more than a km, reaching a height of 800 feet at the highest point. It is about 11km. from Nagercoil.
     Chitharal :  
Chitharal is a small village situated at a distance of 7 Kms., from Marthandam and 45 Kms, from Kanyakumari. It is famous for the Rock-cut temple. Hillock at Chitharal has a cave containing Rock-cut sculptures of Thirthankaras and attendent deities carved inside and outside dating back to 9th Century A.D. It was converted into Bagavathy Temple in the 13th Century A.D. Cars and Vans can go upto the foot of the hill. One has to walk for about 10 minutes to reach the temple. The Jain images have been preserved Central Archeological Survey of India .
     Muttom Beach :  
The famous beach at Muttom is located about 16 kms from Nagercoil and 32 kms from Kanyakumari. Muttom is famous for its beautiful landscaping and high rocks dipping into the sea at the beach-side. The sun set view point at Muttom is one of the most Panoramic view points in the district. Another attraction of Muttom is the century old light-house built by the British. However so far this beautiful beach has always been unsafe for the tourists since the rocks on which tourists go to see the sea view are slippery and a number of fatal accidents have occurred over the past few years.
The district administration, decided to put protective stainless steel fencing across the entire dangerous areas and also to put up small open huts at the rock tops for the tourists to sit and watch the massive sea waves leisurely with protection from sun and rain.
     Sanguthurai Beach :  
Sanguthurai is a beautiful beach resort and is very convenient for the local population of Nagercoil. It is only about 10 kms from the city. Unfortunately no infrastructure facilities were available in this beach. The district administration has now sanctioned a project for putting up of a children's park, seating facility, open huts (Kudils) with Terracotta roofs and lighting facility at the beach at a cost of Rs.6.00 lakhs.
     Vattakottai (Circular Fort) :
VATTAKOTTAI (Agasteeswaram Taluk): Vattakottai, a granite fort six kilometres north-east of Kanyakumari cape, forms the terminal of a line of ramparts known as the South Tranvancore lines built by Marthanda Varma to serve as defence for Nanjil Nadu. It is rectangular in shape and covers an area of about three and a half acres. The fort is enclosed by walls 25 to 26 feet high, including the parapet, 29 feet thick at the front, 18 feet at the corners and 6 feet at the rear.
The portion running into the area is the most strongly built under the orders of De Lannoy during the reign of Mathandavarma (1729-58). The small river by the side of the fort, and the green vegetation all around add to the scenery of the fort and has now become a holiday resort and picnic centre.

It is said that there is a subway or tunnel about four feet width, supposed to connect the padmanabhapuram palace. Now the tunnel has been closed. On the northern side of the fort is found a slop to being the canon from the lower to the upper part of the parapet of the fort. There is well of about 6’ diameter. The whole wall around the fort is repaired and fresh mortar is being applied.However, from the evidence left by the fort itself, it may be presumed that his fort was the military base to protect the Kumari port which was a rich pearl harbour.

Next to Vattakottai, we can see the traces of a light house in Leepuram being called so after Colonel Lee who has destroyed most of the Kadukkarai Kanyakumari Fort in 1806. This is a picnic spot, the sea is calm and suitable for bathing.

     Chothavilai Beach :  
This beach is about 10 Kms from Kanyakumari, is one of the best natural beaches of the district. The beach has shallow water and High sand dunes on the back ground. The District Administration has through its own funds and through the funds of MPLAD scheme, put up rest shelters, kudils and a view tower over here for the benefit of tourists. The tourists can reach the beach through the newly laid coastal road which is a very beautiful drive along the sea-coast.
Ulakkai Aruvi is a natural waterfall situated in Azhagiapandipuram village of Thovalai Taluk. Water is available in this water fall in the summer season. Many tourists come here for bathing and to enjoy the nature. The pathway to this waterfall lies in the Reserve Forest.

This is a natural dam constructed by T. Chitirai Maharaja. If supplies water to Nagercoil Municipality and it is also proposed to get water from here for Suchindrum and Kanniyakumari. It is very picturesque spot and ideal for picnics by groups.
     BAY WATCH (Water Theme Amusement Park), Kanyakumari :
Baywatch, The water theme amusement parkcomes up with a wholesome family entertainment saga of rapturous experience, which leaves you at a point of nonstop excitement in a thrilling and bewitching water world. Great fun styles equaling international standards keep you on the ecstatic brink of frenzy. Fun loaded rides like Bumping Car, Sky Cab, Crazy Chairs, Hot Tea Cups, Giant Wheel, Columbus, Wave pool, Milky Way, Multiple Splash, Kids Pool are some of our attractions.The search for providing unique and multiple entertainment facilities that match with international standards pave the way for introduction of India’s first Wax Museum, which is line with the Madam Tussauds Wax Museum at London. More details are available in www.baywatchpark.com.

This church is situated on the Kanyakumari - Thiruvananthapuram Highway.

It is firmly believed and traditionally accepted that St.Thomas,one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ had come to India in 52 A. D. Out of the seven and a-half churches established by St. Thomas,the District of Kanyakumari is having the privilege of having the half church at Thiruvithamcode.So it is the oldest church in India and the existing oldest church structure in the world .

The church, known among local people as ‘Thomayar kovil,’ is believed to be one of the oldest in the world.That the place of worship has its origins in antiquity is also attested by its stone walls and door frames and intricately carved wood work.The church’s altar, the baptism basin and incense burner are believed to be the legacies of the Portuguese.

This stone-built church is one of the oldest Christian structures in TamilNadu. The church is under the control of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

The Christian Missionaries, as elsewhere in India, were the pioneers of English Education in the erstwhile Travancore State and more particularly in the then South – Travancore, the area that presently forms the Kanyakumari District.The Portuguese and the Dutch who came to the erstwhile Travancore State even prior to the British, were the Roman Catholics and they did little towards the cause of Education . But, the Protestant Missionaries who arrived later were the first to introduce English Education in the District, which was part and parcel of the then Travancore State. The founder of the English School in the erstwhile Travancore State was Rev. William Tobias RingleTaube a native of Prussia and a man of great force and character. He came to the State in 1806 and then onwards, he devoted his whole energy to evangelistic work and wherever he went, he carried with him the mission of English education. He was incessantly preaching and teaching and he established many schools for poor children, Christians as well as non-Christians.

The progress of education through his instrumentality may be inferred from his reply to a query from Col. Munro, the Dewan Resident of Travancore in 1813. He wrote that,
“There were six schools for the laity; the instructions that are given, consist in lessons of reading, writing, arithmetic and to Christian children the catechism and reading the New Testament or religious books. The natives were not disposed to send their children to school. Books were supplied presented from the Missionaries at Tranquebar but not in sufficient number”. RingleTaube’s noble efforts in the spread of education was aided through the recommendation of the Resident Col. Munro, by a grant of land at a nominal rent made by Rani Laxmi Bai. Rev. Ringle Taub bid farewell to the little church, Mylaudy of south Travancore in January 1816 and left this country. During the short period of ten years (1806 to 1816), he laid the foundation not only for the growth of the Christianity, but also for the popular education in the area.