TUTICORIN

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Location : Tuticorin District, Tamil Nadu
Famous For : It's Port
Popular Festival : Kodai Vizha
Previously Called: Thoothukudi

TUTICORIN -A PORT CITY OF INDIA

The district of Tuticorin (previously Thoothukudi) is situated in the extreme southeastern corner of Tamil Nadu state. It is bounded on the north by the districts of Tirunelveli, Virudunagar and Ramanathapuram, on the east and southeast by Gulf of Mannar and on the west and southwest by the district of Tirunelveli. Tuticorin is the district headquarters of the district of the same name.

One of the major ports in the country, Tuticorin was at one time known for its pearls and was one of the most prosperous cities on the Fisheries Coast (It is a major pearl fishing centre with Hyderabad now taking over as the centre of the artificial pearl industry in the south). Tuticorin, now better known for its fertilizer and heavy water plants, as well as its thermal power station is also a major salt production centre.

THE HISTORY OF TUTICORIN

The district of Thoothukudi (presently Tuticorin) was carved out as a separate district in the year 1986 as a result of bifurcation of Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu State. It was under different rulers like the Pandyas and Cholas. Then fell into the hands of the Portuguese and Dutch. It finally came under the administration of the British. The early years of the 19th century saw the commercial rise of Tuticorin. The natural harbour and the rich hinterland of the Tuticorin Port prompted the East India Company to plan the development of the harbour. A lighthouse was built in 1842.

Tuticorin became the citadel of freedom struggle in the early 20th century. In 1906 the great freedom fighter of India, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai launched the first Swadeshi ship in British India.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS

Tuticorin Port

Tuticorin Port is situated on the East Coast of India about 540-km southwest of Chennai. Located in the Gulf of Mannar with Sri Lanka on the South East and the large landmass of India on the West, Tuticorin Port is well sheltered from the fury of storms and cyclonic winds. It is strategically located very close to the major International sea routes. The minor Port of Tuticorin has a flourishing trade handling a variety of cargoes meant for the neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka, Maldives etc. and the coastal regions of India.

Tiruchendur Temple

The Tiruchendur temple is an impressive shore temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya. It is one of the six Aarupadai veedu shrines of Murugan while the other five 'Padaiveedu' shrines are situated on hills or mounds. There are several literary works singing the glory of Tiruchendur.

Panchalankurichi

Panchalankurichi is a tiny village located 3-km from Ottapidaram and 18-km from Tuticorin. This village is of great historical importance as the great warrior Katta Bomman known as "Veerapandiya Kattabomman" raised his voice against the British regime in the 17th Century AD here.

Kattabomman Memorial Fort

The Government of Tamil Nadu in 1974 constructed the Kattabomman Memorial Fort. The Archaeological Survey of India protects the remnants of the old fort. The hereditary Goddess of Kattabomman was Sri Devi Jakkammal. A temple dedicated to Sri Devi Jakkammal is located near the fort. Nearby there is a cemetery of British soldiers.

Ettaiyapuram Palace

Ettaiyapuram Palace located in the town of Ettaiyapuram in Tuticorin district is a famous tourist spot. During the region of Pandyas at Madurai, people from Chadragiri near Chittoor of Andhra Pradesh were brought and posted as "watch keepers (DhisaiKavalars) of Ilasanadu". This was latter called Ettayapuram. When the local chiefs refused to pay the taxes to the Pandya kingdom, Ettappar at Ilasanadu collected the taxes with the help of his army. Later Pandya king appointed Ettappar as a ruler of the place. After the rule of 150 years Ettayapuram was formed in 1565 in this place.

Bharathi Mani Mandapam

In memory of the National poet Subramania Bharati a memorial was built by Kalki Krishna Murthi in Tuticorin in the year 1945 and Mahatma Gandhi showered his blessings on the occasion of opening.

The Basilica Of A Lady Of Snows

This Church at Tuticorin is the first one ever raised in the honour of Mother Mary on the South East Coast with its existence over 400 years (1582). Considering its antiquity and popularity, Pope John Paul II raised this Church to the status of "Basilica" in 1982 in memory of its fourth centenary celebrations. Devotees of all creeds and communities from Tamil Nadu and even from Sri Lanka visit this church.

EXCURSIONS

Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctury, Tamil naduKalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary - Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary

Kalakadu wildlife sanctuary is situated in an area of 223-sq-kms in the Tirunelveli district, including the foothills of the Western Ghats and the adjoining area. It is very popular with botanists and ornithologists as it has a great variety of fauna and bird life.

The Mundanthurai wildlife sanctuary also situated in Tirunelveli district boasts of dry deciduous to tropical wet evergreen forest patches of pure reeds. The sanctuary covers an area of 567-sq-kms. There is nothing to differentiate this sanctuary from that of Kalakadu, except the absence of Elephant and the Gaur.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air: Madurai airport is the nearest airport to Tuticorin.

Rail: Tuticorin has a railway station, but trains used for goods handling are more than passenger trains.

Road: Tuticorin has two bus stands. Old Bus stand caters the needs of both local people and outsiders. While the new Bus stand caters the need of tourists only. Tamil Nadu State transport buses help in connecting Tuticorin to cities in Tamil Nadu. Taxis and auto rickshaws are available for local transportation.

WHERE TO STAY

There are only few hotels in Tuticorin that provide good accommodation. All the hotels are situated around the bus stand. Most of the hotels provide both Restaurant and Bar facilities.

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

'Kodai Vizha' popularly known as 'Kodal', is the famous festival celebrated in the district of Tuticorin. The festival is observed for the propitiation of village deities. It usually commences from the month of 'Thai' i.e. after 15th January and is celebrated throughout the district. 'Visakam' and 'Skanda Shastri-Surasamhara' festivals of Tiruchendur attract large number of people.

RESTAURANTS

Alwyn Restaurant
Anika Pure Vegetarian Restaurant
Le Prashan Non - Vegetarian Restaurant
Thanam International
Visaka Restaurant
Sugam Restaurant

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area: 13-sq-kms
Population: 20,6,000 (1991 Census)
Latitude: N 8° 4' to 9° 27'
Longitude: E 77° 45' to 78° 20'
Clothing: Light Cottons
Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
STD Code: 0461
Climate: Tropical
Temperature Range (deg C)
Summer- Max 35.4ºC, Min 25.2ºC
Winter- Max 21.6ºC, Min 19.2ºC
Rainfall: 811mm

NEARBY CITIES

Nagercoil -122-km
Kovilpatti -101-km
Ramanathapuram-126-km
Tirunelveli - 119-km
Sattankulam- 26-km
Tiruchendur-3-km
Virudanagar-108-km



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