Category Archives: Kanyakumari

Thirukurungudi Temple

Thirukurungudi Temple

• Thirukurungudi is located about 40 kms from Tirunelveli (and about 15 kms from Nanguneri) off the Nagercoil highway at the foot of the Mahendra hill.
• At Badrinath, Lord Narayana instructed Sripada Ramanujacarya. Here, at Thirukurungudi, He took the role of a disciple and obtained Vaisnava initiation from Ramanuja. Hence, the Lord here is called vaisnava-nambi (disciple).
• Thirukurungudi is also known as Kuranga-ksetram. Kuranga is the name of Bhumi Devi (Earth) who performed penance for the Lord in this holy place. This is considered to be amongst 108 divya-desams to be visited by Sri Vaisnavas.
Pastime :
It is said that Ramanujacarya came here and prayed to the Lord. The Supreme Lord in His Deity form asked Ramanujacarya about his secret in successfully preaching Vaishnavism. He also asked about the mantra that he taught which got him such a high success rate. Understanding the Lord’s mood, Sripada Ramanujacarya replied to the Lord that the mantra can only be given to someone when one agrees to become a disciple and subordinates himself. Immediately, the Lord took the form of a young boy and became a disciple of His own devotee. Thus, the Deity here is also called vaisnava-nambi (meaning “disciple” or “small”). The Sri Vaisnava acaryas mention that the mountain ranges behind this temple are the famous Mahendra mountain, mentioned in Ramayana, wherefrom Hanuman leapt across the ocean to search for Sita Devi in Lanka.
Another importance about this temple is about its connection to one of the Alvars. It was here at this temple that a Vaisnava couple, Kari and Udayanangai, got a benediction to have a divine personality as their son. This personality was later famous as Sri Namma Alvar, one of the foremost Alvars. The place of his appearance, Thiru Alvar Nagari, located at Tirunelveli, is about a 1-hour ride from this place.
Ramanuja, during his stay at Thirukurungudi, made trips to other divya-desams such as Thiruvattar (Adikesava temple), Thiruvan Parisaram and also Ananta Padmanabhasvamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
At Thiruvananthapuram, Ramanujacarya got delayed, and the Lord asked Garuda to carry Ramanujacarya back to Thirukurungudi the same night. To Ramanuja’s utter surprise, he was on top of a rock at Thirukurungudi in the blink of an eye. It is said that this is the reason that we do not find Garuda in the Ananta Padmanabhasvamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Thirumangai Alvar, who built the huge walls of Srirangam was directed by the Supreme Lord Ranganatha to visit this place. Thirumangai composed the last of his Pasurams (bhajanas) here at this temple and is believed to have returned to His Lord from here.
Thirukurungudi and Kaisika Ekadasi
Just as Srirangam is known for its celebration of Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Thirukurungudi is famous for its celebration of Kaisika Ekadasi. This occasion is celebrated in the Tamil month of Karthigai (Kartika) and precedes Vaikuntha Ekadasi. It is believed that those who undertake fasting and singing and/or listening to the Kaisika Puranam on the Kaisika Ekadasi day will attain to Vaikuntha to serve their Lord.
THE STORY OF KAISIKA PURANAM Kaisika Puranam is the story of the great devotee Nampaduvan, a low-caste by birth and his love for Thirukurungudi Nambi. Embarrassed to enter the temple during the day as he belonged to a lower caste, he would walk several miles in the night to the Thirukurungudi Nambi temple and would, for hours together, stand before Lord with a vina (stringed instrument) and sing praises of the Lord. To ensure that no one took notice of his presence, Nampaduvan would return to his place before daylight. One night, on his way to the temple, Nampaduvan was stopped by a brahma-raksasa (a ferocious, man-eating demon) who wanted to consume Nampaduvan for dinner.
Unable to convince the demon that he would return after visiting Lord Nambi one last time, Nampaduvan related the essence of satya-sankalpam (power of fulfilling one’s promise) to the Raksasa. He told him, “The world was created through satya-sankalpam of the Lord and continues to exist as a result of the promises.” He mentions that the world experiences peace only because of the Lord’s satya-sankalpam.
Essence Kaisika Puranam
Nampaduvan makes 18 promises that night to the Raksasa and states that if he fails even in one of those 18 promises, he will be a party to 18 sins. The 18th promise of Nampaduvan is the essence of the Kaisika Puranam.
Nampaduvan says that the sin of anyone trying to equate Lord Narayana to anyone else in this world is the greatest and that he will be a party to that sin if he did not come back to the demon after meeting the Lord. If Nampaduvan does that then he will never get liberation from this cycle of birth and death. This promise convinced the Raksasa that Nampaduvan would return and he let him go. Nampaduvan spent the entire night at the Thirukurungudi Nambi temple and then made his way back to the Raksasa as promised.
As Nampaduvan is returning to the Raksasa, the Lord disguised Himself as an old brahmana and stopped Nampaduvan and asked him the reason for rushing back quick, much in contrast to his usually slow and thoughtful walk. Nampaduvan explains his situation to the brahmana, who condemns him as a fool and offers protection from the Raksasa. Nampaduvan rejects this offer stating his promise to return as quickly as possible. He informs the Brahmin that he will not hesitate to give up his own life if he has to but he will never go back on his word. He gave the demon a promise and he has to fulfill it. He has to go back to the Raksasa and become his meal.
By the Lord’s grace, the Raksasa changed his mind by the time Nampaduvan reached the spot and he no longer wanted to feast on Nampaduvan. Sri Vaisnava acaryas mention that the change was due to small fraction of association with the great devotee Nampaduvan. It is said in the scriptures, lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya. With a completely changed mind, the Raksasa now asked for the fruits of all the praise that Nampaduvan had sung in glorification of the Lord Thirukurungudi Nambi during his visits to the temple every night. As an act of mercy, Nampaduvan shared with the Raksasa the Kaisika Puranam—the songs which he had sung that very night in front of Lord Nambi of Thirukurungudi. Thus, Nampaduvan helped secure entry into Vaikuntha for the Raksasa. It is believed that anyone who recites/reads or listens to the Kaisika Puranam will attain Vaikuntha within this very life.
The Lord here is in three separate shrines, standing in one, seated in another and reclining on the third. Bhumi Devi is in a mellow green to depict the greenery of the earth, Sri Devi is in a golden yellow. True to His name of Sundara-paripurnam or Vadivalhagiya Nambi (the One with matchless beauty), the Lord here is of breath-taking beauty. Flanked by other great sages on either side of the Lord are sages like Bhrgu and Markandeya.
Other Details:
Temple Timing: 8 am-12 noon and 5 pm-9 pm

Places Close to Kanyakumari – Suchindram

This place lies close to Knayakumari on the Trivandrum – knyakumari highway.

Trivandrum – knyakumari highway

This unique temple is also called Sthanumalayan. The main Deity here has three personalities viz. Sthanu-Siva, Mal-Visnu, and Ayan-Brahma in the same form. The temple is rich in sculpture and architecture, and a visitor to this temple

is amply rewarded with the sight of such exquisite art which is hundreds of years old. There are many stories associated with this temple. Anasuya, the wife of Atri Maharsi, was famous for her chastity and her devotion to her husband. She could perform miracles by sprinkling the pada-tirtham (water with which she washed her husband’s feet) to bring rain to a parched earth or to transform objects to her desire.

When the three Devis—Goddess Laksmi, Sarasvati and Parvati—heard through Narada Muni the powers of this earthly woman, they wanted to test her chastity. They approached their husbands Lords Visnu, Brahma and Siva to test Anasuya’s devotion to her husband. The three transformed into three old mendicants and went to the hermitage where Anasuya was living and sought alms from her. When Anasuya was about to serve them food they told her that they had taken a vow whereby they could not accept alms from a person wearing clothes. As it was a sin to refuse alms to mendicants she prayed to her Lord and sprinkled a little pada-tirtham on the three old beggars. They were all immediately transformed into babies and throwing off her clothes she offered them food.

The three goddesses learning what had happened to their husbands pleaded with Anasuya to give them back their husbands. Anasuya showed them the three babies. Seeing their sight, Anasuya then restored the three Lords back to their original form. They accepted that Anasuya’s fame as the chaste woman on earth was justified. Thus the trimurti came to be represented by the lingam at Suchindram; the bottom represents Brahma, the middle represents Visnu and the top Siva.

There is another story associated with this temple. Once Indra became infatuated with Ahalya, the wife of Rsi Gautama. One night he came to the hermitage where Gautama was living and cocked like a cock indicating the approach of dawn. Rsi Gautama thinking that dawn was imminent awoke from his sleep and went to the river for his ablutions prior to commencing his prayers. Realizing that it was too dark for dawn and too early for morning to break he returned to his hut. In the meantime Lord Indra took the physical appearance of Rsi Gautama, approached Ahalya and satisfied his desire. Rsi Gautama returning from the river was enraged when he saw his wife in another man´s embrace. He cursed Indra to get an ugly-looking body (his whole body was covered by many female organs) and his wife Ahalya to become a statue of stone. Indra, in order to rid himself of this curse, came to this place Gnanaranya (aranya means forest) and prayed. Here the eyes replaced all the female organs over his body. Thus, even today Indra has many eyes all over his body. At this juncture Indra installed the lingam to represent Siva-Visnu-Brahma in the form of Sthanu-mal-ayan, and the name of the place came to be known as Suchi-Indran (Suchindram), the place where Indra was purified.



Deity of Hanumanji (Anjaneya) in the temple —This is 22 feet in height and created out of single rock piece. Around 260 years ago there was an invasion by Sandha Sahib Khan. The people of Suchindram wanted to protect the 22-feet deity of Hanuman and buried it underground. Hanuman lay buried in this way for 190 years. According to local legends, many miracles started happening at this place and people were forced to dig out the Deity, and then in 1930 it was installed through rituals in the present place. Covering the Deity with butter, vadai (1 kind of vada) garland are the special worships that can be done by devotees to Hanumanji here. There is a grand function with abhiseka on Hanuman Jayanti.


Kanyakumari formerly known as Cape Comorin, is a town in Kanyakumari district in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It lies at the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent

Kumari Amman (Kanyakumari) Temple, Kanyakumari


The 3000-year-old Kumari Amman (Mother) temple at Kanyakumari is dedicated to goddess Kanyakumari. The name Kanyakumari literally means “virgin goddess.” She stands in eternal vigil protecting the land. The temple is surrounded by a stone wall and stands on the edge of the ocean.

goddess Durgä

There is the following legend about goddess Kanyakumari. Once Banasura, the demon king achieved supremacy over the demigods and started punishing them cruelly. The demigods performed a yajna pleading to annihilate the evil Banasura. In answer to their prayers goddess Durga appeared here in the form of a beautiful virgin girl and began her penance. Meanwhile Lord Siva (at nearby Suchindram—11 kms from Kanyakumari) fell in love with her and arrangements for their marriage were made to be conducted on the midnight on a particular day. The divine sage Narada realized that their marriage would destroy the chances of Banasura being killed because he had a boon that he could only be killed by a virgin girl. To reduce the chances of the marriage taking place, Lord Siva was requested to present Himself on the appointed day of his marriage with rare gifts such as coconuts with no eyes, mangoes without seeds, betel without veins, and other similar hard-to-get items. Lord Siva managed to get all of these. The preparations for the marriage were afoot. The time of midnight was fixed as auspicious time for the marriage. Lord Siva started from Suchindram with all pomp and splendor. When Lord Siva was on his way to Kanyakumari from Suchindram, at Valukkamparai (5 kms south of Suchindram), sage Narada playing a trick assumed the form of a cock and cocked falsely, heralding the break of dawn. Thinking that the auspicious time for the marriage was past, Lord Siva returned disappointed.

Meanwhile, goddess Kanyakumari, dressed for the occasion in all her bridal glory, was awaiting the arrival of Lord Siva from Suchindram. The approach of the auspicious hour kept her in great eagerness. The hour fixed for the wedding was nearing its end and yet Her Lord did not arrive. When it was dawn, she gave up hope. In a rage, she cursed the food articles brought for the meals during marriage to be turned into sea-shells and sand. Even today the sea beach at Kanyakumari is filled with shells and sand particle of varied colors.

Asuras are known for their becoming captivated by beauty. Banasura was no exception. When he heard of the beautiful Kanyakumari, he came to see her for himself and was totally captivated by her beauty and begged her to marry him. She said that she had vowed to marry only the one who could defeat her in battle. The demon was delighted to hear this since he was sure that he could overcome her easily. He drew his sword and rushed at her but she took on her terrible form as Kali, holding a trident and slew him easily. The demigods were thus restored to their positions. But the goddess was determined to remain a virgin forever and continued with her penance.

The blue-stone Deity, believed to have been installed by sage Parasurama, stands as a charming, young girl in her penance with beads in her right hand, and a sparkling nose jewel that spreads lustrous radiance. It is believed that the nose ring of Devi Kanyakumari set with rubies is so bright that it could be seen from far at night. It is said that some ships sailing in the sea, mistaking the brilliance of the rubies for the light of a lighthouse, went off-shore and hit some rocks nearby. Thus, the eastern side gate of the temple is always kept closed except on some rare occasions when the Deity is taken out for a ceremonial bath.

During the Mahabharata war, Lord Balarama did not wish to participate in the war and decided to go on a pilgrimage. It is mentioned that this is one of the temples that He had visited. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also visited this temple during His South India tour. This temple is also said to be one of the hundred and eight Durga-alayas, or temples dedicated to goddess Durga.

Map Kanyamumari

sangam place

Kanyakumari also happens to be meeting point of 3 oceans – Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian sea. Many great Vaishnava acharyas have come to take a holy dip at this sangam place.