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Tirunelveli

TTDC / Tirunelveli

This is an ancient city that’s more than 2000 years old. The district was formed on 1st September 1790 by the East India Company who called it Tinnevelly district. In the olden times it used to be the second capital of the Pandya kings of Madurai.

The Nellaiappar Temple here, dedicated to Lord Shiva, was the royal shrine of the Pandyas and is greatly revered in ancient texts. It has a 1000 pillared hall with musical pillars and outstanding sculptures, which is the special architectural trait of this divine place.

Tirunelveli is said to have earned its name due to a deluge that happened when Vedasarma, a devotee of Lord Shiva, had sown paddy. And in spite of the downpour and spate in the river, his paddy did not submerge in the waters. Hence this place is called Tiru-nel-veli [Divinely protected paddy].

It is famous for the Tirunelveli Halwa.

Kanthimathi – Nellaiappar Temple

This is a twin temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This is one of the Five Celestial Dance Sabhas [Divine Dance Stages] of Lord Shiva. This temple is called as ThamaraSabhai [Copper].

In the early years these temples were two independent structures. In 1647 they were connected by a structure called ‘Sangili Mandapam’. This temple has musical pillars which were made in the 7th Century.

Within the temple complex, there is a shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Vishnu descended down to this holy place to solemnize the celestial wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Saint Agastya and Lord Rama are believed to have worshipped in this temple.

Sankaran Kovil
Arulmigu Sankaranarayanaswamy Thirukkovil is located in this town. Build by Ukkira Pandiyan, it houses the deity Sankara Narayanan – half Lord Shiva and half Lord Vishnu. The general belief is that the Puttruman [Holy sand from the ant hill] that one gets in this temple is capable of curing all diseases. Devotees also believe that Paduman and Sangam were serpent kings who dug the temple’s sacred tank, and hence those who bathe here get healed.

Courtallam
It is called as the “Spa of the South” and hasnine main waterfalls and numerous little streams. The gush of the falls is said to tone the body and wash away toxins.

Papanasam
The Palavainathar Temple is considered to be the 19th in the series of ThevaraStalams, dates back to the 12th Century. Legend has it that Lord Rama, who visited and performed pooja at 108 Shivalingam temples, worshipped here and thus the name “Rama Lingam” was given to the main deity of this temple.

Tiruchendur
Lord Murugan is worshipped by several names and is the Hindu God of War who incarnated to cleanse the world from the atrocities of demons. According to Skanda Purana, Lord Murugan took birth from the third eye of Lord Shiva as 6 flames. Known as Murugan, Skandan, Karthikeyan, Subramanian, Sengalvarayan, and Swaminathan, he is deified at Six Special Abodes – Thiruparankundram, Tiruchendur, Palani, Swamimalai, Tiruttani and Pazhamudircholai. These six sacred temples are known as the Arupadaiveedu or “the six encampments” and reflect outstanding sculptural skills and architectural grandeur.

Manapad
In 1540, a Portuguese vessel was in high distress in a violent storm and was at the risk of sinking. The Captain of the vessel made a vow to Jesus that he would construct a cross from the mast and plant it wherever they landed, and the vessel drifted into Manapad safely. The Holy Cross was planted on a hillock.

Thoothukudi
Tuticorin as it was called earlier was also known as Muthu Kuzhithurai, and is 48 kms away. It was called Pearl City because it is known for pearl fishing and ship building. It is also called the Sea Gateway of India. This town has a natural harbor.

Panchalankuruchi
The memorial was constructed here by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1974 in honor of Veerapandiya Kattabomman, the brave chieftain who stood up against the British in the early years of the freedom struggle. A temple dedicated to Sri Devi Jakkamma, the family deity of Kattabomman, is located in the fort.

A cemetery of British Soldiers is seen near the fort. The remnants of the old fort are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Mundanthurai Sanctuary
The Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, located in the southern part of the Western Ghats, is around 567 sq. kms. of wet evergreen forests. There are several small estates here, and five Kani Tribal habitations. Having a catchment area for 14 rivers and streams, it has abundant animal life which includes tigers, bonnet macaques, langurs, slender loris, sloth bear, sambhar, chital and the wild dog. It has at least 150 endemic plants, 33 fish species, 37 amphibian species, 81 reptile species, 273 bird species and 77 mammal species. Trekking trips along trekking trails can be taken up here with prior permission from the Forest Department.

Kalyanatheertham
This is a holy water body located at an elevation of 125 feet near the Agasthiyar Falls. The Kodilingeswarar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located here.

Baanatheertham Falls
These falls are located by the Karaiyar dam inside the Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. It is believed that the water has medicinal properties, and Sage Agastya is said to have wandered here in search of herbs.

Agasthiyar Temple and Falls
To get here you need to travel 4 kms from the Papanasam Sivan Temple. A 3 km trek can lead you to this temple.

Upper Kodayar Dam and Manjolai
The Upper Kodayar Dam is up in the hills and is known for its wild scenic beauty. There is a winch to take you to the upper part of the dam, but permission is required as it is surrounded by dense forests and there are wild animals around.

Kalakkadu Sanctuary

This is the 17th Tiger Reserve in India and actually includes the two contiguous sanctuaries of Kalakkadu and Mundanthurai. It was declared the forest preserve of the rare lion-tailed macaque and is home to tigers, panthers, jackals, wild dogs, king cobras, pythons and a variety of other reptiles.

Trekking is allowed in this sanctuary with prior permission of the forest department.

Shengaltheri
Shengaltheri, which comes under Kalakkad sanctuary zone has a perennial waterfall and the lush green landscape. There is a rest house and a watch tower here for tourists.

Pathamadai
This hamlet is popular for its cottage industry manufacturing Korai Pai [mat made out of Cyperus Pangorei]. This also happens to be the birth place of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh.

Thirukurungudi
This is one of the 108 Vaishnavite Divya Desams. Thirukurungudi Alwar attained eternal bliss here. Four of the Twelve Alwars [Vaishnavite saints] have sung hymns in praise of Lord Vishnu in this Thirukurungudi temple.

Koothattukulam Bird Sanctuary

Situated in a sparsely populated village, around 43 species of birds visit this sanctuary and have been doing so for around 5 generations. The birds are protected by the locals, and chicks which fall off their nests are taken care of at a rescue center till they can fly on their own. Attracting over 1 lakh birds, it is one of the largest breeding water bird reserves. Birds come in from as far as Siberia to escape its harsh winters and breed here. This is one of the most popular bird sanctuaries in India.

Ovari
A popular Swayambulingaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at Nadar Ovari.

Athankarai Pallivasal
Two Domes dedicated to Sufi saints Syed Ali Fathima and Hazrath Sheik Mohammed are located in this Pallivasal. It is believed that they bless the devotees who come here on pilgrimage.

Tenkasi
Revered as the Varanasi of the south, it is at the foot of a convergence of 3 mountains. The Kasiviswanathar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, with its 400-year-old flag mast, is an important landmark in this region.

Thirumalai at Panpozhil
Thirumalai Kovil is a hilltop shrine dedicated to Lord Thirumalai Kumaraswamy at Panpozhil near Tenkasi.

Ettaiyapuram
Subramanian Bharati, also called Mahakavi Bharati, was a Tamil writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist and social reformer, all rolled into one. Though it is believed that he was well versed in as many as 14 languages, Bharati’s influence on Tamil literature was truly astounding. Considered as one of the greatest literary figures of all time, his fiery songs kindling patriotism were inspiring and revolutionary.
In memory of his literary skills and commitment to the country, this memorial was built in the year 1945 by Kalki Krishna Moorthy with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi. It exhibits a variety of his personal belonging, photographs and other memorabilia of this unforgettable Tamilian.
In 1981, during his Centenary Year Celebrations, the Public Relations Department took over the administration of this memorial which is 72 kms away from Tirunelveli.

Kazhugumalai
This town near Kovilpatti has three historic landmarks – the rock cut Kazugasalamoorthy Temple, a monolithic Vettuvan Kovil and Kazugumalai Jain Beds. It is 76 kms from Tirunelveli.
This place used to be earlier known as Aramalai or Thirumalai. The main deity of the hill was called Aramalai Alwar.
The Jaina Abode is a series of rock sculptures that date back the 8th & 9th Centuries. One of them is a fine rock cut image of Bhagwan Pashwanatha flanked by two yaksha. There are around 150 such rock relief sculptures. This area is known for its Jain cave temple.
Vettuvan Kovil is an ancient Hindu temple built around the 8th or 9th Century.
Kazugumalai is an unfinished cave temple from the Pandya era, and dates back to the 18th Century. Only the upper portion is complete. The Ganesha was installed here much later.

Ayyanar Sunai
Ayyanar is worshipped as a God protecting the village. But the beauty out here is that there’s a natural spring that supplies fresh water throughout the year. And since the spring is located next to the temple, it is called Ayyanar Sunai.

Krishnapuram
The KrishnapuramVenkatachalapathi temple located here is considered as an equivalent to the temple in Tirupati. So those who are unable to visit Tirupati can fulfil their prayer or vows in this temple.

Murugan Temple
The Kurukkuthurai Murugan Temple on the banks of the Tamaraibarani river is beautifully carved out of a rock known as Thiru Uruva Malai. It is said that the same rock was used for carving the temple of Lord Murugan at Tiruchendur in 1653.

Holy Trinity Cathedral
There is an elegant and beautiful church, built in 1826 by Rev. Rhenius. This church is under Tirunelveli Diocese and an important land mark too.

Srivaikundam
Srivaikundam is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu known as Srivaikuntapathi Swami. It is one of the Nava Tirupatis.

Ottapidaram
VallinayaganUlaganathan Chidambaram, popularly known as VOC, fought the British monopoly and launched the first Indian shipping service between Tuticorin and Colombo. The house that he was born in has been converted into a memorial in his honor.

Kattabomman Memorial Fort, Panchalankuruchi:

The memorial was constructed here by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1974 in honor of Veerapandiya Kattabomman, the brave chieftain who stood up against the British in the early years of the freedom struggle. A temple dedicated to Sri Devi Jakkamma, the family deity of Kattabomman, is located in the fort.

A cemetery of British Soldiers is seen near the fort. The remnants of the old fort are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Important Festivals in Thoothukudi & Tirunelveli District

January: Pongal Tourist Festival

February: R.C. Church Car Festival at Uvari

April: Papanasam ChitiraiVishu Festival.

May: Veerapandia Kattabomman Vizha - Panchalankurichi

June: Lord Murugan Temple Car Festival at Tiruchendur,

Kalugumalai and Panpozhil
August: 1. Saral Thiruvizha, Kutrallam
2. NellaiappanGanthimathi Car Festival - Tirunelveli.
3. Adi Thabasu Festival - Sankarankoil.
4. Govt. Exhibition at Tirunelveli.
August: Adi Ammavasai Festival at Papanasam
September: 1. World Tourism Day at Thirunelveli
2. PottalPudur - Sandanakoodu Festival.

October: 1.Lord Murugan Temples - Skanda Sashti Festival 2.Athangarai Pallivasal - Sandhanakoodu Festival

November: Kulasekarapatinam Dasara Vizha.

December: Kurukkuthurai - Tirunelveli Junction 'Karthigai Deepa Thiru Vizha

Festivals Month
Pongal Tourist Festival January
R.C. Church Car Festival at Uvari February
Papanasam Chitirai Vishu Festival. April
Veerapandia Kattabomman Vizha - Panchalankurichi May
Lord Murugan Temple Car Festival at Tiruchendur,
Kalugumalai and Panpozhil
June
1. Saral Thiruvizha, Kutrallam
2. Nellaiappan Ganthimathi Car Festival - Tirunelveli.
3. Adi Thabasu Festival - Sankarankoil.
4. Govt. Exhibition at Tirunelveli.
July
Adi Ammavasai Festival at Papanasam August
1. World Tourism Day at Thirunelveli
2. Pottal Pudur - Sandanakoodu Festival.
September
1.Lord Murugan Temples - Skanda Sashti Fesstival 2.Athangarai Pallivasal - Sandhanakoodu Festival November
Kulasekarapatinam Dasara Vizha. October
Kurukkuthurai - Tirunelveli Junction 'Karthigai Deepa Thiru Vizha December

How to get there

Road: Tirunelveli is well connected by road with all the cities of Tamil Nadu.

Rail: A major railway junction at Tirunelveli connects other towns and cities.

Air: The closest airport is in Tuticorin, 37 kms away.

Tirunelveli is well connected by road from and to all the cities of Tamil Nadu. It is also a major railway junction of Southern Railway connecting to various destinations of Tamil Nadu and other places

THE IMPORTANT SILK EMPORIUMS
1. R.M.K.V. Cloth Merchants North Car Street, Tirunelveli Town.
2. Pothy's Cloth Merchants North Car Street, Tirunelveli Town.
3. Nalli Silk house S.N. High Road, Tirunelveli Town.
4. Ganthimathi Co-optex Raja Building, Near Bus Stand, Tirunelveli Junction.
5. D. Arumugampillai Cloth Merchants East Great Cotton Road, Thoothukudi.
6. Abirami Textiles East Great cotton Road, Near Sivankoil, Thuthukudi.
7. Seemati Textiles East Great Cotton Road, Thoothukudi
JEWELLERS PARK
1. M.K.M. Jewellers S.N. High Road, Tirunelveli Junction.
2. M.H. Jewellers West Car Street, Kuzhakadai Bazar, Thirunelveli Town.
3. Ameer Jewellers West Car Street, Kuzhakadai Bazaar, Tirunelveli Town.
4. V.R.C. Jwellers Hotel Aryaas Complex, Madurai Road, Tirunelveli Junction.
5. A.V.R.M. Jewellers Thoothukudi
6. Alagiri Chettiar Jewellers Thoothukudi
7. Somasundaram Chettiar Jewellers Thoothukudi
IMPORTANT HOSPITALS
Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, High Ground, Palayamkottai.
Get Well Hospital, Raja Buildings Compound, Bus stand Road, Tirunelveli Junction.
Annai Velankanni Hospital, Tiruchendur Road, Murugankurichi, Palayamkottai.
Indirani Chelladurai Hospital, Thoothukudi Road, Samathanapuram, Palayamkottai.
Dr. Agnas Hospital, Murugankurichi, Palayamkottai.
Lakshmi Nursing Home, Madurai Road, Tirunelveli.
Ganthimathi Hospital, East Car Street, Tirunelveli Town
Krishna Hospital, High Ground Road, Palayamkottai..

 

CLUBS
Address Phone No
1. Rotary Club High Ground Road, Palayamkottai
2. Lions Club S.N. High Road, Tirunelveli Junction
3. Innerwheel [Ladies Club] Ganapathi mills Compound, Vannarapettai, Palayamkottai.
4. District Club High Ground Road, Palayamkottai.
IMPORTANT MONEY CHANGERS
Public and Private Sector banks handle FOREX counters. It is mandatory for foreign nationals to get their Currency Forms endorsed.
IMPORTANT BANKS
1. State Bank of India S.N. High Road, Tirunelveli Junction.
2. Canara Bank Raja Buildings, New Bus Stand, Tirunelveli Junction.
3. Indian Bank Near Bus Stand, Madurai Road, Tirunelveli Junction.
4. State Bank of Trivancore S.N. High Road, Tirunelveli Junction.
5. Union Bank of India S.N. High Road, Tirunelveli Junction.
6. Indian Overseas Bank Near Super Market Building, Madurai Road, Tirunelveli Junction.
7. Central Co-operative Bank Vannarapettai, Palayamkottai.

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