Kanyakumari district is the southernmost district in Tamil Nadu state and mainland India. It is the second largest district in the state in terms of population density and the second most urbanized, next only to Chennai district.The district stands first in terms of literacy rate in the state. The district headquarters is Nagercoil.
Kanyakumari district has a varied topography with sea on three sides and the mountains of the Western Ghats bordering the northern side. Geologically, the landmass of the district is much younger when compared to the rest of state – faulted as late as 2.5 millon years during the Miocene, after which numerous transgression as well as regression of sea had shaped the western coast of the district.
Historically, Nanjinad and Eda Nadu which comprise the present Kanyakumari district, were ruled by various Tamil and Malayalam dynasties: the Venad Kingdom, Pandyans, the Cheras, the Cholas, the Ays and the Nayaks. A few artifacts unearthed by archeological excavations in there.It was part of the princely state of Travancore during the colonial times prior to India’s independence; four of the eight tehsils of Thiruvananthapuram district were separated to form the new district of Kanyakumari during the formation of the new state of Kerala, and they were made a part of the Madras Presidency under recommendations from the States Reorganisation Commission in 1956. The Presidency was later renamed Tamil Nadu and Kanyakumari, today, is one of the 32 districts of Tamil Nadu state.
Many historical assumptions persist in the district and state, which associate sages such as Vyasa, Agastya, Tolkappiyar, Avvaiyar and Thiruvalluvar to the district. The district is also the birthplace of Ayyavazhi.
The area that comprises the current Kanyakumari district was a part of the old Ay kingdom of the first and second Sangham ages. Following the decline of the Ay kingdoms, the area became Venad, with its capital Padmanabhapuram located north of Nagercoil. The wealth of the Nanjalnadu beckoned many invaded including the Nayaks and later an Islamist army during the reign of Umayamma Rani. The Venad region was in anarchy before Marthanda Varma ascended the throne in 1729 AD. Before his reign the Samanthan Nairs ruled the province. Under their rule anarchy was dominant in Kanyakumari region. However, Marthanda Varma brought a sense of disorder under control by annexing the nearby territories, putting down the feudal lords and establishing the strong state of Travancore. He had also bought some portions of Kanyakumari from the then viceroy making it the southern boundary. Under his rule the district improved in a social context as well as economically. The famous battle of Colachel took place in the district. Later, the maharajahs of Travancore built the forts at Aramboly to prevent any invasion from the Carnatic. Key elements of Velu Thampi Dalawa’s revolt occurred in the area and the English East India company’s army under Col. Leger broke through the fortifications and entered Travancore in 1810. In the year 1949, the area became a part of the reestablished Travancore Cochin state. The people of Agasteeswarem, Thovalai, Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks, which formed the southern divisions of the former district of Trivandrum, were predominantly Tamil speaking people. , an extreme agitation by Tamil speaking residents took place for including Kanyakumari within Tamil Nadu. Eventually the merger happened in 1956 based on language reorganization of states.
Kanyakumari district has various eco-systems, including beaches, mountain valleys and evergreen forests, as well as rubber and clove plantations