Tuticorin also known as Thoothukudi is a port city and a Municipal Corporation and an industrial city in Thoothukudi district next to Tirunelveli city. Tuticorin Port is one of the Fastest growing Major Ports in India. Tuticorin is an “Emerging Energy and Industrial hub of South India”. Also known as “Pearl City” due to the pearl fishing carried out in the town. It is a commercial seaport which serves the inland cities of Southern India and is one of the sea gateways of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the major seaports in India with a history dating back to the 6th century AD. The city is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by the Early Pandyas, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Later Pandyas, Ma’bar Sultanate, Tirunelveli Sultanate, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Chanda Sahib, Carnatic kingdom, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Thoothukudi was settled by the Portuguese, Dutch and later by the British East India Company. The majority of the people of the city are employed in salt pans, sea-borne trading, fishing, and tourism. A major attraction in the city is Our Lady of Snows Basilica, a 16th-century site. The 21 islands between Thoothukudi and Rameswaram shores in the Gulf of Mannar are noted as the first Marine Biosphere Reserve of India, and have around 36,000 species of flora and fauna. This protected area is called Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. Our Lady of Snows Basilica festival is celebrated annually during August. This and the Shiva temple festivals, e.g., Adi Amavasai, Sasti, and Chittirai chariot festivals – are the major festivals of the area. Roadways are the major mode of transport to Thoothukudi, while the city also has rail, air, and sea transport.
Tiruchendur An epic poem composed in the 17th century, known as Kapadapuram, relates that Muruga killed the demon, Surapadman, after a six-day battle. The name, ‘Tiruchendur’, originated from ‘Thiru’, meaning sacred, because it was a battleground for Lord Muruga, and ‘Senthur’, meaning ‘red place’, because of the bloodiness of the battle. Many towns in Tamil Nadu have the same honorary prefix, including Tiruchirappalli, Tiruppur and Tirunelveli. Tiruchendur Murugan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Muruga at the site of the battle. It is one of the six major abodes, or sacred temples, of the Kaumaram religion.
Nava Tirupati The nine Vishnu Temples are located very close to one another. They are all in Thoothukudi District. The Vaishnava shrines are having an interesting legend. The shrines are notable for nine stone carvings and temple architecture. Most of the Tirupati are located on the main road from Tiruchendur to Tirunelveli. Among the nine, two temples i.e Alwarthirunagari and Srivaikundam are located on the main road between Tiruchendur and Tirunelveli. The other seven temples are located little interior from the main road.
Ottapidaram is the birthplace of Freedom fighter Thiru. V. O Chidambaranar. This place is located at a distance of 25 km’s from Thoothukudi and 2kms from Kattabomman Memorial Fort Panchalankurichi. The house in which he lived has been converted into a Memorial. He was instrumental in the freedom struggle in the district and operated the Swadesi shipping Company during the rule of the British.
Chronologically, Korkai is the oldest port site of Tamil country possibly since the beginning of the first millennium BC. However, its emergence as a significant emporium may have been only around the fourth and fifth century BC is recognised by the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea as Colchis and by Ptolemy as Kolkhoz. Correct identification came in 1838. Early archaeological excavations carried out by Caldwell in the Tamiraparani delta in the 19th century, affirmed its present site almost in ruins close to a place called Eral1. It was a dual centre of the early Pandya rule, identified with Pandya-Kavala by the Ramayana and the Mahabharat, and as Kapatapuram in Kalithogai. Its reputation is spoken of in Akananuru and Ainkurunuru. The entire Gulf of Mannar is recognised by the Periplus as the Colchic Gulf, due to pre-eminent status of Korkai. Excavations by Nagaswamy and others have brought to light the early artefacts of the site at Korkai. Stone inscriptions in the Koil of Vetrivelamman and the Pillayar Kovil at Korkai and at Attur across the river on the opposite bank reaffirm that the site is the old port of Korkai. Alone ‘Vanni’ tree standing in Korkai is about 2000 years old, according to the Tamil Nadu Archaeological Survey.