Devi Kanyakumari in Kumari Amman Temple is Shree Bhagavathy in the form of an adolescent girl child. She is “Devi” or “Bhagavathy” that refers to “Durga” or “Parvati”. Devotees also worship Devi as Bhadrakali. According to popular beliefs, the Goddess is removes the rigidity of our mind. Devotees actually feel the emotions in their mind when they pray to the goddess in devotion and contemplation.
The Kumari Amman temple is 3000 years old and is for Devi Kanyakumari. She is the virgin goddess who stands strong protecting her devotees. The temple is on the seashore of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
History of Kumari Amman Temple
The worship of Devi goes back to the Vedic times. And the monotheism worship goes back to Advaita times. Devi Kanyakumari finds mention in Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Sangam works Manimekalai.
Devi Kanyakumari has a mysterious story that once Banusura, the demon king got power over Devas and gave cruel punishment to them. The Devas performed a Yagna seaking to punish and remove the evils. So Devi Parasakthi came to Kumari in the form of a virgin girl and began her penance. Meanwhile Lord Shiva fell in love with her and made arrangements for the marriage in the midnight on a particular day.
Now the Narada realised that their marriage would destroy the chances of castrating Banusura because only a virgin could kill him. When Lord Shiva was on his way to Kanyakumari, Sage Narada assumed the form of a cock and crowed falsely heralding the break of dawn. Thinking that the auspicious time for the marriage was past, Lord Shiva returned disappointed. The Goddess too decided to remain virgin after that. Then, when Banusura attempted to win the Goddess by force, she killed him with her Chakragudha, and relieved the sufferings of Devas. Then she resumed her penance and remained virgin.
Significance of Kumari Amman Temple
Kumari Amman Temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeethams – or divine abode of Goddess Shakti.
One of the hundred and eight “Durga Alayas”, this Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
The nose ring of Devi Kanyakumari is designed with rubies. They are so bright that it could be seen even from the far at night.
It is said that some ships sailing in the sea, mistook the brightness of the rubies as the light from the Lighthouse and got wrecked, hitting against the rocks nearby. Due to this reason, the eastern side gate of the Kumari Amman Temple is kept closed.
The eastern door of the Temple is opened on new moon days in the months of Edavam, Karkkidakam (Capricorn and Cancer), during Navaratri and in the month of Vrischikam.
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 and the well “Patal Ganga Teerth” which provides water for the Devi’s Abhisegham. After this is the Dhwajastambha (flag mast).
Swami Vivekananda, the great reformist visited this Temple to get the blessings of Devi on December 1892, as told by his Guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Timings of Kumari Amman Temple – Rituals and Poojas
The rituals take place here in the Keralite way. The mantra is “Amme Narayanaa! Devi Narayanaa! Lakshmi Narayanaa! Bhadre Narayanaa!”
Darshan starts in the early morning from 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m in the afternoon.
Later again the Darshan starts from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The devotees offer red sarees and ghee wick lamps.
Festivals celebrated at Kumari Amman Temple
The Chaitry Purnima Festival occurs on the Full moon day in May.
The Navarathri festival occurs in the month of September–October. On the 10th day of the Navarathri, the Vijaya Dasami, devotees celebrate the destruction of Banasura.
The Vaisakha festival which is a 10 day festival in the Tamil Month of Vaikasi (May–June). Devotees take the image of the Devi around the town in procession, both in the morning and evening.
The Kalabham festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aadi (Karkkidakam) that is in July – August. The priest covers the idold with Sandal paste on the last Friday of the Tamil month (Aadi).
How to reach Kumari Amman Temple
By road: visitors can reach the temple by taking taxis and auto-rickshaws that are easily available. City buses also are regularly accessible. The temple is 1km away from Kanyakumari bus stop.
By rail: the temple is 1km away from the rail station where regular based trains are available.
By air: the temple also connects well to major cities like Chennai, Madurai, and Thiruvanathapuram. Domestic flights are regularly available.
Hotels nearby Kumari Amman Temple
Hotel Sangam is at Beach road, provides guests with a peaceful retreat that feels like a home away from home.
Singaar International Hotel at Main road, Kanyakumari is famous for it’s multi cuisine restaurant and well suited rooms.
Hotel Shivas Residency located 1 km away from the Kanyakumari Rail station is a good place to relax and enjoy the locale around.
Places nearby Kumari Amman Temple
You should definitely visit the Olakaruvi Falls once you have visited the temple. It has magnificent beauty and its surroundings are splendid to look at.
The Lord Subhramanya Temple is 34 km away from Kanyakumari and is for Lord Murugan who is the God of warfare and victory.
The Thanumaayan Temple is another temple famous for its architectural splendour. It is a 17th century Hindu shrine in the Suchindrum town of Kanyakumari. It is also famous as the Suchindrum Temple and Sthanumalayan Temple.