The temple of Kanyakumari or Bhagavathi as she is locally known is said to be more than 2000 years old. It was said to be consecrated by Sage Parashurama and finds mentions in almost all ancient scriptures including the Ramayana, Mahabharatha, and the Yajurveda.
Worshipping the amman is said to give a person relief from the rahu dosha and overcome rigidity of the mind. The Goddess here is also the Goddess of Sanyasa or renunciation. Hindus who wish to seek renunciation from worldly pleasures come here to obtain deeksha. Thus, it was here that Swami Vivekananda visited before he embarked on his spiritual mission. Similarly, the Amman is also said to bless girls who pray to her seeking a good and kind husband. Chanting, Sri Lalita Sahasranaman while visiting the temple is believed to be auspicious.
The temple of Devi Kanyakumari is one of the 51 shaktipeethams – or divine abode of Goddess Shakti (divine feminine). Legend has it that the corpse of Goddess Sati scattered into 51 parts throughout the Indian subcontinent. Each of these places are now a sacred place of worship for Shakti worshippers- the goddess’s back is said to have fallen in Kanyakumari.
Highlights of the Temple:
The stone idol of the Goddess in the form of small girl holding a rosary is perhaps the biggest highlight of the temple. The nose ring is another highlight of the temple. Almost everyone who visits the place has heard about the legend of the nose ring. It is believed that the nose ring shines so brilliantly that many a ships have hit the nearby rocks after mistaking the shine from the stone to be a beam from the lighthouse. Thus, the eastern side of the temple gate is always closed except for special occasions.
Although the Amman is worthy of worship throughout the year, there are certain days that hold significance. For instance, on the last Friday of the month of Aadi, the Goddess is covered in sandal paste. Navarathi too, is celebrated with gusto when an image of the main deity is placed on the Navarathiri Mandapam.