Following Shiva's lovers south, we took a train from Madurai to the southernmost tip of mainland India, Kanniyakumari, or Cape Comorin.

Named after a young girl sent to kill a demon and foiled from marrying Shiva by a cruel trick, the cape is also well-known as being an important meditation spot for the 'wandering monk' Swami Vivekananda.

Vivekananda lived in the late 1800s, and became an ascetic as a teenager, later in life wandering all over India searching for knowledge. He was, like Gandhi, a believer in Indian independence.

At Kanniyakumari, Vivekananda went to a rock a few hundred yards offshore and meditated for three days. After the meditation he decided to travel to the United States and other countries to try to get support for India's freedom.

Today an extremely crowded ferry reaches the rock and the one next to it which holds a 133-meter high statue of the Tamil poet Thiruvallavar.

The poet is best known for his 133-verse poem Thirukkural. The poem, which reads in English more like a set of rules to live by, is carved into the walls inside the monument's base.

Sightseeing aside, Kanniyakumari was a health stop. I came down with a dreadful case of Delhi Belly--and we hadn't even reached New Delhi yet! Two courses of antibiotics and several days flat-out rest later, I recovered and we continued on our journey through India.

**Click here to see  photos of Kanniyakumari**




Leave a Reply.