Kanyakumari, also known as Kanniyakumari, formerly known as Cape Comorin, is a town in Kanyakumari District in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The name comes from the Devi Kanya Kumari Temple in the region. It is the southernmost tip of peninsular India. Kanyakumari town is the southern tip of the Cardamom Hills, an extension of the Western Ghats range. The nearest town is Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District, 22 km (14 mi) away. Kanyakumari has been a town since Sangam period and is a popular tourist destination.
Ptolemy's geography describes commercial relations between western India and Alexandria, the chief eastern emporium of the Roman Empire. He identified Kanyakumari along with the Gulf of Mannar as a center for pearl fishery. He also identifies Korkai (assumed to be the present day's Tuticorin), a place to the east of Kanyakumari, as an emporium of pearl trade.
Another ancient Greek book, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, contains sailing directions for merchants from the Red Sea to the Indus and Malabar, and even indicates that the coast from Barygaza (Baroch) had a general southward direction down to and far beyond Cape Komari.
Kanyakumari District consists of those parts known locally as Nanjil Nadu and Idai Nadu. The names of the villages of the district such as Azhagiapaandipuram, Bhoothapandy, Cholapuram and Kulasekaram reveal that these places were governed by several rulers at different periods of time.[clarification needed] Nanjilnadu was under the rule of Pandiyas till the early 10th century and then under Cheras.