The popular myth about a woman eternally awaiting Lord Rama’s promised return from Sri Lanka after rescuing his wife from Ravana is the reason the southernmost tip of India is called Kanyakumari. There is an island off this tip, where the Vivekananda Memorial is built, where one can hear the philosophers deep recorded voice, extolling Indians to rise to their full potential and repeating the rousing speeches he gave at religious conferences of the West.
Ptolemy’s geography describes commercial relations and the trade routes between western India and Alexandria in Egypt – the furthermost eastern frontiers of the Roman Empire. He identified Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) and the Gulf of Mannar as a centre for pearl fisher, as he did Korkai, east of Kanyakumari, as an emporium of pearl trade.
Kanyakumari lies at the southernmost extremity of the Indian subcontinent on Cape Comorin, adjacent to the southern tip of the Cardamom Hills – an extension of the Western Ghats range along the west coast of India. It was once an important town during the Sangam period in Tamil history and in modern times, is a popular tourist destination and an important Hindu pilgrimage centre.
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The four states that constitute South India are composed of distinctive geographic regions - narrow plains that fringe peninsular South India beside the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal with two mountain ranges running alongside and the rocky hardtop of the Deccan and fertile central plains.