The name Kanyakumari came from Kumari Amman (Kanya + Kumari). Kaniyakumari district is also called as Kumari district, and broadly consists of two parts known as “Nanjil Nadu” and “Idai Nadu”. The place Nanjilnadu was under the rule of Pandiya Mannan till the early 10th century and then under Cheran Mannan. The Idai Nadu was under the rule of Cheran mannan including the places Kalkulam and Vilanvancodu. Venad Chief took advantage when the power of Chola declined due to the rise of Hoysalas and western Chalukyas.
Kanyakumari was under the control of great rulers Chera, Chola, Pandia mannan. At the time of 1609, Viswanatha Nayak from Madurai ruled Kanyakumari and Venad had all the other parts of Nanjilnadu. Over the period of time, Venad expanded its region towards the Northern region of Kerala, and this region is later known as Travancore. The capital of Travancore was Padmanabapuram situated near Nagercoil. Because of southern border issues of Venad, the king Marthanda Varma expanded the kingdom of Travancore northwards to Aluva. As a result, the Kanyakumarii District was called as Southern Travancore. Later in 1745, the capital Padmanabhapuram was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram.
After Marthanda varma, Venad had very weak rulers, the British whose control was completely established over Venad and continued till 1947. During 1947-1956, Kanyakumari was under the personal rule of Maharaja of Travancore. In 1956, Indian States Reorganisation Act was passed and according to this act on 1st November 1956, Kanyakumari District was formed. Initially Kanyakumari district had four Taluks, namely, Thovalai, Agasteeswarem, Kalkulam and Vilavancode. These four taluks were from Travancore and merged with Tamil Nadu state.
Ancient History of Kanyakumari:
Kanyakumari is the last available sight of Kumari Kandam. As narrated in ancient Tamil literature, there was a land mass named Kumari Kandam, south to the present kanyakumari. There was scattered reference in sangam literature that the sea took the land of Pandian kings for which they conquered new lands (most regions of present Tamil nadu) to replace those they had lost.
There are also references to the rivers Pahruli and Kumari, that are said to have flowed in a now-submerged land. The Silapathikaram, one of the great five Epics of Tamil writtern in first few centuries states the cruel sea that took the land of Pandiyas that lay between the rivers Pahruli and the mountainous banks of the Kumari. Adiyarkunallar an twelth century commentator on Epic says that once there was a large mass of land to the south of present Kanyakumari, which stretched for 700 kavatam.
As the exact modern conversion of Kavatam is unknown, it is estimated the size of lost land may vary from 2,300 kms to 11,000 kms in length. This large mass of land was divided into 49 territories. The first two Tamil Sangams were present in this lost regions. The city of Southern Madurai (then madurai) and Kumari ware some of the known important cities of this lost region.
In late 19th and begins of 20th century the tamil nationalists claimed that the Lemuria, "a lost continent" is the Kumari kandam. It is said that the Kumari Kandam was the "cradle of civilization" where there was the origin of human languages in general and Tamil language in particular. The beginnings of Tamil language is estimated during ca. 200,000 to 100,000 B.C. Kumari kandam civilization at 50,000 BC. and the Lemuria or Kumari kandam was submerged inside the sea around 16,000 BC. due to natural disasters like tsunami. Tholkapiam is the earliest known extant of Tamil grammer which dates back to 7th century BC.
Now the name Kanyakumari is the only place which is available to remember about the lost continent of Kumari Kandam.
Kanyakumari is famous location for pilgrim location & its presence of its place at the tip of peninsula make it more attractive of tourist.
It is the point where three seas meet together. (Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal & Indian Ocean). Its called Mukkadal Sangamam.