Nagercoil, Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli - Part 1

Dairy entry

Nagercoil derives its name from the Nagaraja or Serpent king's temple at the heart of the town. From this temple that gives the town its very identity to every little thing you see around, Nagercoil invariably reminds one of Kerala. Ruled for the most part of history by the Travancore rulers, it still baffles me as to how this town came to be under Tamilnadu. Our purpose of alighting at the Nagercoil railway station early in the morning was to visit another little known temple at Thiruvattar, near Marthandam on the Nagercoil - Trivandrum highway. On the local bus to the Vadachery bus stand, it was interesting to see women of all ages dressed in white, with sandal smeared on their forehead, betraying their Malayali links. At Vadachery bus stand we immediately got a bus going towards Thirparappu and got down midway to change to a bus towards Thiruvattar. Although we passed through the Padmanbhapuram Palace at Thuckalay, we could not visit as it was closed on Mondays.


(Temple at Thiruvattar)

At Thiruvattar one is convinced that this is indeed a keralite territory. If Nagercoil had its own Tamil dialect with a mixed malayalam, the locals in Thiruvattar totally spoke in Malayalam. The alluring sight huge ripe red plantains and 'Nendran' plantains hanging outside every shop was quite welcoming. The temple was a kilometer or two from bus stand, sitting on a tall elevated platform with stairs. There was heavy usage of rosewood around the sanctum area, while the outer corridor had stone pillars with sculptures (belonging to different periods). The deity, Adikesava perumal, was a massive stone idol of Vishu (very similar to Trivandrum) reclining on his serpent bed. After Thiruvattar we decided to visit the waterfalls at Thirparappu and took another bus. The sun by now had begun scorching and when we reached the waterfall at afternoon 1, nothing could stop us from taking the plunge. The backwaters of the waterfall were quite scenic and instantly reminded me of a number of tamil films shot at the location.

(Backwaters at Thirparappu)

From Thiruvattar, we directly proceeded towards Kanyakumari, where we had a reservation at the Vivekananda Kendra for staying that night. After ambling around the beaches, catching some glimpses of the sunset and visiting the temple of Goddess Kanyakumari, we retired for the day.

Although a National highway connects Kanyakumari to Tirunelveli, we could not get a direct bus early in the morning and hence retraced back to Nagercoil to get a bus from there. By the time we reached Tirunelveli in the afternoon heavy rain had started pouring. We hurried into a bus going to Cheranmahadevi and alighted at Kuniyur, a small village in the Ambasamudhram Taluk, to where my grandfather belonged in a way and we still had a few relatives. The houses quite typically were tightly juxtaposed, sharing walls with one another. The maximum width of the house would not exceed twenty feet, although in length they stretched for half a kilometer till the back entrance that led to the canal from Tamraparni river. The canal was the lifeline that sustained a vast expanse of paddy fields and banana groves on its either banks.

                                                       (Kuniyur Agrahaaram)

Second page of this entry



Itinerary & Tips

Day 1

Reached Nagercoil by train early in the morning. After some freshening up, took a local bus to Vadachery bus stand and from there another going towards Thirparappu. Got down after 2 hours at a sort of junction to change bus to Thiruvattar (45 KM).
After visiting Thiruvattar temple took another bus and then an auto to Thirparappu falls (~20 KM). From there a straight bus to Nagercoil and then a bus to Kanyakumari.

Day 2

Started early in the morning and took a bus to Nagercoil (35 KM). From there another bus to Tirunelveli (80 KM), via Valliyur and Nanguneri. At Tirunelveli bus stand boarded a bus towards Cheranmahadevi and got down at Kuniyur.


A better option to reach Thiruvattar from Nagercoil is to take a bus to Marthandam and take another bus/auto from there. This saves time.
Vivekananda Kendra is the best option to lodge in Kanyakumari. Very cheap, clean and centrally located. But needs advance reservation.


(Waterfalls, Thirparappu)

(Sunset, Kanyakumari)

(Ocean front, Kanyakumari)

(Paddy and banana fields, Kuniyur)