Carnival at Cape Comorin

Kanyakumari Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 22 › view all entries
As far south as you can go!

The 230km to KanyaKumari was largely "Four- Laned" already, and took about 4 hours, mainly through a boring flat scrubby landscape. However as we neared our destination, we passed through a vast wind farm, 100s of turbines turning. Somehow surreal.

KanyaKumari is the Indian Land's End, its southernmost point at Cape Comorin. To the east the Bay of Begal, the south the Indian Ocean, the west the Arabian Sea. There's a large fishing fleet of small boats, and the fishing families live in a warren of narrow streets on the Bay of Bengal side. It's an attractive, if scruffy, area - in Europe it would have been prettified by now and full of second-homers or knick-knack shops. Now fishermen tended nets or sat, women played a ludo like board game in the road, some men played cards.

Sunset
It was badly affected by the 2004 tsumani, and there's evidence of reconstruction. It's also dominated by the huge gleaming white RC Church of Our Lady of Ransom, "Paint provided by Berger." Many of the houses here have Sacred Heart or Marian symbols by the door. A few have Salvation Army signs.

High above is the tourist town of concrete hotels, car parks, souvenir shops, travel agents, small restaurants, and stallholders. We joined the crowd to watch the sunset at the Cape. It was a carnival atmosphere. Two white horses provided rides. School parties went to the water's edge, young people played in the waves. Most, a good few hundreds, just watched the red ball sink into the Arabian Sea. Then they left the beach to eat, shop or go.

As it's the thing to do, we also got up to see sunrise over the Bay of Bengal.

Sunrise
Stalls were opening as we walked down past the Devi Kanya Temple (to enter, men must remove shirts and wear a dhoti). We turned a corner to see 100s lining the sea shore peering east. We joined them as the red ball re-appeared. Round the corner at the Cape are the bathing ghats. Again school parties watched, one regimented by a strict nun. Some men bathed, the horses cantered, a small fishing boat was drawn up the beach. Only the teenagers didn't frolic, though the boys posed on rocky outcrops. All the stalls were now open - the 5rp stall, the 20rp stall, the conch stalls, the spice stalls, the plastic cup stall...and doing good business at 6.45am. We headed for a coffee and idli and sambhar breakfast. The restaurant filled with a school party, then a loud group of about 40 elderly ladies. Back at the hotel, we looked down from our balcony on the fishing boats returning and the nets being folded.

KanyaKumari has been a fun place. Indians come to their Land's End as tourists and pilgrims to have a good time.

For us, in 2007 we reached the northernmost point foreigners can go in India, in Ladakh. Now, 2009, its southermost. We've ticked them off. (But still haven't done Land's End or John O' Groat's)

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
As far south as you can go!
As far south as you can go!
Sunset
Sunset
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Our Lady of Ransom
Our Lady of Ransom
The fishermen return
The fishermen return
Morning sales
Morning sales
Kanyakumari
photo by: Stevie_Wes