Located in the town of Kanyakumari, in the state of Tamil Nadu, is the Kanyakumari Amman Devi Temple. The town actually derives its name from the temple itself. The shrine is devoted to the Virgin Goddess, Kanyakumari. The Goddess is also referred to as 'Devi Kumari' and 'Kanya Devi' by her devotees.
In the December of 1892, Swami Vivekananda arrived here, in order to take the Devi's blessings, as he was told to do so by his mentor, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is here where he resolved to undertake missionary work of an extraordinary level instead of carrying it out at a passive level, like the mendicants did.The Paravar kings ruled Kanyakumari, until the ruin of the Pandya kings, and later by the Travancore kings under the dominance of the British until India became an autonomous country. Travancore became a part of the India in 1947. Afterwards, when Kanyakumari was partitioned, it merged with Tamil Nadu.
It is believed that sage Parshurama, installed the diety, which is made of blue stone.People believe, the king of the demons, by the name of, Bansura, who ruled over the Devas, was very cruel to them and often terrorized them; the Devas performed a yagna in order to rid themselves of all evils. Goddess Parasakthi came to Kumari, transforming herself into a virgin girl and started meditating. Lord Shiva fell for her and preparations for the wedding were made on that midnight itself. However, the renowned sage Narada realised that their wedding would crush the opportunities of destroying Banusura because only a virgin woman could kill him. When Lord Shiva was coming to the wedding venue, Sage Narada transformed into a cock and started crying falsely, announcing that it was morning. Thinking that the marriage mahurat was over, Lord Shiva went back. The Goddess too resolved to forever remain a virgin. Afterwards, when Banusura tried to win the Goddess by force, she destroyed him and ended the plight of Devas. Then she started meditating and remained a virgin.
The temple is 3000 years old and is encompassed by a wall built of stone, can enter the temple through a northern doorway, and whereas the entrance which faces the East is always shut except during festivals, when the idol is taken out for a religious bath.After walking around the outer passageway and surpassing the navaratri pandal, the road points in the direction of the second passageway that encompasses the temple.Here after praying to Kala Bhairava and passing by the well, the followers reach Dhwajastambha, from where they can see the Devi entirely, before actually going to the shrine. The idol of the Goddess is seen standing in a meditating posture, holding a rosary in her right hand and she wears a sparkling nose jewel, the rubies embedded in which are so bright that it can be seen from far at night!
During navratri, devotees can display their musical talents in front of the Goddess. The vaisakha festival and the kalambham festival are the other two festivals celebrated here. The temple is opened for darshan for the devotees every day.