The legends say the kanya (virgin) goddess Kumari, a manifestation of the Great Goddess Devi, single-handedly conquered demons and secured freedom for the world. At this temple at the tip of the subcontinent, pilgrims give her thanks in an intimately spaced, beautifully decorated temple, where the crash of waves from three seas can be heard behind the twilight glow of oil fires clutched in vulva-shaped votive candles (referencing the sacred femininity of the goddess).

It's believed that the sea-facing door of the temple stays locked to prevent the shimmer of the goddess's diamond nose-stud leading ships astray. You'll probably be asked for a ₹10-donation to enter the inner precinct, where men must remove their shirts, and cameras are forbidden.

The shoreline around the temple has a couple of tiny beaches, and bathing ghats where some worshippers immerse themselves before visiting the temple. The mandapa south of the temple is popular for sunset-watching and daytime shade. A small souvenir-shop bazaar leads back from here to the main road.