Kanyakumari and the Healing Waters of Cape Cormorin

A Kovalam day trip to the southern tip of India will wash away your sins.

 The restaurants in Varkala, another day trip from Kovalam, put their fresh catches on display

The restaurants in Varkala, another day trip from Kovalam, put their fresh catches on display

Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to spiritually cleanse themselves with a quick dip?

Our friend Kelly visited the beach town of Kovalam in the state of Kerala, India. Her new friends from a yoga retreat kept talking about a day trip to the southern tip of the county and bathing in the spiritually healing waters found there.

I took one look, and said, “I’m going to get like 15 different flesh-eating bacteria if I go into this water.”

Kanyakumari is where three bodies of water meet: the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. The spot is also referred as Thriveni Sangamam and amongst English speakers as Cape Comorin. It’s about a two-hour and 45-minute drive down from Kovalam. –Wally

Tell us about the day trips you took from Kovalam.

We went to Varkala, which is an hour and a half north of Kovalam. It has a similar vibe, but it skews much younger. Kovalam seems like a place where older people come to retreat.

 Varkala has a similar beachy, hippie vibe as Kovalam but skews younger

Varkala has a similar beachy, hippie vibe as Kovalam but skews younger

We also went to the southern tip of India, Kanyakumari. We visited Suchindram Temple and a couple other touristy things. The temple was white and had seven windows to symbolize the different stages of enlightenment.

 Include Suchindram Temple on a day trip to Kanyakumari

Include Suchindram Temple on a day trip to Kanyakumari

There’s this idea that if you bathe in the waters of Kanyakumari, you’ll be cleansed of your sins. I was with a bunch of super granola, hardcore yogis, and they were so all about getting in this water. I took one look, and said, “I’m going to get like 15 different flesh-eating bacteria if I go into this water.” There were tons of people there, and the water smelled bad.

 The Thiruvalluvar Statue on a small island off of Kanyakumari depicts a famous Tamil poet and philosopher. He is best known for  Thirukkural , a collection of couplets on ethics, politics, economics and love. His statue is 133 feet tall — the same number of chapters in his famous tome

The Thiruvalluvar Statue on a small island off of Kanyakumari depicts a famous Tamil poet and philosopher. He is best known for Thirukkural, a collection of couplets on ethics, politics, economics and love. His statue is 133 feet tall — the same number of chapters in his famous tome

So you didn’t end up getting in the water?

Well…they ended up talking me in. Very reluctantly, I finally got in.

 Three bodies of water converge at Kanyakumari, and local lore has it that you can wash away your sins by swimming here

Three bodies of water converge at Kanyakumari, and local lore has it that you can wash away your sins by swimming here

That’s called hippie peer pressure.

I wouldn’t put my head in. They were like, “No, you have to — otherwise your sins won’t be cleansed!” And I was like, “I’m good.”

We were pretty much the only white tourists there. A large crowd of men gathered around the area where my friends and I were bathing. People were taking videos and photos.

 

Did you find that people were fascinated with you as a white woman?

Everyone wanted to take a selfie with me. I’m on so many random people’s cell phones and Facebook pages.

At one point, I decided that I was sick of everybody looking at us, so I took pictures of them.