- 1 Kumari Amman Temple Kanyakumari
Kumari Amman Temple Kanyakumari
Devi Kanyakumari in Kumari Amman Temple is worshipped as Shree Bhagavathy in the form of an adolescent girl child. She is known as “Devi” or as mentioned earlier, “Bhagavathy” that refers to “Durga” or “Parvati”. The Devi is also worshipped as Bhadrakali. The Goddess is known to be the one who 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 dedicated to Devi Kanyakumari. She is the virgin goddess who stands strong protecting her devotees. The temple is located on the seashore of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. It is a renowned temple that speaks of ardent worship and devotion.
History of Kumari Amman Temple
“I am Manifest Divinity, Unmanifest Divinity, and Transcendent Divinity. I am Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, as well as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. I am the Sun and I am the Stars, and I am also the Moon. I am all animals and birds, and I am the outcaste as well, and the thief. I am the low person of dreadful deeds, and the great person of excellent deeds. I am Female, I am Male”.
The worship of Devi goes back to the Vedic times. And the monotheism worship goes back to Advaita times. Devi Kanyakumari has been mentioned 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 punishand 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 arrangements for the marriage were made in the midnight a particular day. Now the Narada realised that their marriage would destroy the chances of castrating Banusura because he could be killed only by a virgin. 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 known as “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 are performed 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 is celebrated on the Full moon day in May.
- The Navarathri festival is celebrated in the month of September–October. On the 10th day of the Navarathri, called as the Vijaya Dasami, the destruction of Banasura is celebrated.
- The Vaisakha festival which is a 10 day festival is celebrated in the Tamil Month of Vaikasi (May–June). The image of the Devi is taken 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 idol is covered 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 is well connected to major cities like Chennai, Madurai, and Thiruvanathapuram. Domestic flights are regularly available.
Hotels nearby Kumari Amman Temple
- Hotel Sangam is located at Beach road, provides guests with a peaceful retreat that feels like a home away from home.
- Hotel Singaar International located at Main road, Kanyakumari is well known 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 located 34 km away from Kanyakumari and is dedicated to Lord Murugan who is the God of warfare and victory.
- The Thanumaayan Temple known for its architectural splendour is a 17th century Hindu shrine in the Suchindrum town of Kanyakumari. It is also known as the Suchindrum Temple and Sthanumalayan Temple by locals.