Tirunelveli town is the head quarter of the Tirunelveli district. The city was considered as one of the oldest city in Indian continent around 3,000 years old.
The puranic version goes that one Vedasrama, a staunch devotee of Shiva, on his pilgrimage from the north to south was invited by Lord Shiva in his dream to his abode in the banks of the sacred river Tamiraparani.The delighted devotee came to Sindupoondhurai on the banks of the river and stayed with his family. Once there was a famine, which forced Vedasarma to collect paddy by the way of begging. One day he spread out the paddy to dry under the Sun before the Lord. In river he prayed to God for the rain, which he thought, could be the only remedy for the famine. His prayer was answered and it rained heavily during his bath at river. Vedasarma rushed to that place where he had spread his paddy and witnessed a miracle. Despite rain around the area, the paddy he had spread did not soak with a single drop of water. Since according to Purana the place is called as `Tiru-nel-veli`which means Scared hedged paddy.
This culturally old city is also called "Nellai". The city was chief commercial town in the period of Arcot Nawabs and Nayaks. They called the city as "Nellai Chemmai", which means Foreign developed town. In the year1801, British acquired Tirunelveli from the nawabs and named it `Tinnevely city` for easy pronunciation. It is served as military head quarter during British period.
Apart from it, the city is also called `Halwa City`, for its famous wheat based sweet Halwa.
The city become a corporation from 1999 and possesses the title of sixth largest city of Tamil Nadu.
Tirunelveli district is bounded by the state of Kerala, Gulf of Mannar and the districts of Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari. The district is located between 08° 8` and 09°23` latitude and 77° 09` and 77° 54` longitude. The total geographical area of the district is 6,823 sq km.
The maximum temperature of the district is 45°C and minimum temperature is 22°C. The average annual rainfall is 680mm. Tamiraparani is the main river flowing in Tirunelveli. The other rivers are Pachaiyar river, Manimathur river, Chittar river etc.
is predominantly an agricultural district. The district has mainly two croping seasons. Kar the first crop (June to September) and Pishanam, the second crop (October to February). Paddy and Cotton are occupying the largest area of cultivation. The other crops are cumbu, ragi, pulses, groundnut, gingelly, coconut, chillies and indigo.
The city of Tirunelveli has quite numbers of industries like cement factories, cotton textile mills, spinning and weaving mills, beedi companies and steel products. A large number of small scale industries are supported by NELSIA (Nellai Small Scale Industries Association).
The District Collector heads the district administration. The responsibility of District collector includes maintenance of law and order, coordinating various development and welfare activities in the district. The Collector is assisted by the District Revenue officer.
: The nearest Airport is Vagaikulam airport, which is 24 kilometer away from Tirunelveli.The Madurai Airport and the Thiruvananthapuram Airport is also easy to access.
: Tirunelveli Junction Railway Station is connected to major cities in all four directions.
: Tirunelveli is well connected to the roads. The city is located on NH7. It is also accessible by road from Madurai, Nagercoil and connected to the other highways to Kollam, Tiruchendur, Rajapalayam, Sankarankovil.
At the divisional level, the Sub Collector or Revenue Divisional officer assist the collector. Tirnelveli is divided into three Revenue divisions. They are 1. Tirunelveli, 2.Cheranmahadevi, 3. Tenkasi. In Tirunelveli there are 11 Talukas. They are
Tirunelveli, Palayamkottai, Sankarankovil, Ambasamudram, Nanguneri, Radhapuram, Tenkasi, Shenkottai, Alangulam, Veerakeralampudur, Sivagiri.
As per 2001 Census, Tirunelveli had a population of 411,298. Males constitute 49%, females 51% of the total population. 10% of the population is under six year of age. The average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 83%, e\where as female literacy rate is 73%. Tirunelveli has returned the best sex ratio with 1024 females for every 1000 males.
Tamil followed by Telgu are the largely used languages of Tirunelveli. The famous dishes of Tirunelveli are sweet Halwa made of wheat and sugar, Sothi made of coconut milk with vegetables, Kootan Charu is a spicy item of rice, vegetable and dal and Ulunthamparupu Choru with yellu thovayal. Filter coffee is also famous in Tirunelveli. There are several theatre houses for entertainment purposes.
`Kodaivizha` or called as `Kodai`, is the famous festival of Tirunelveli. The festival is intended for the propitiation of village deities. There is no particular day of this festival; it usually commences from the month of `Thai` or after 15th January.
Car festival of Tirunelveli Kanthimathi Nellaiyapper temple is also celebrated in the whole district.
Visiting places of Tirunelveli
A small village in the foothills of Western Ghats is one of the five head quarters of the district. It is 38 kilometer away from Tirunelveli. There is a famous temple called Agasthiyar Kovil. It was named after a true incident.
This small village is 21 kilometer away from Tirunelveli. Rajarajeshwari temple and the Ramar temple are very famous here. A 75-foot statue of Lord Anjaneya in the temple premises is the main attraction. On every full moon day, the temple conducts Annadanam or free food to poor.
This place is 53 kilometer away from Tirunelveli. The name itself signifies that, this is Kasi or Varanasi of South.
It is 70 kilometer away from Tirunelveli. This place is famous for the Holy Church Cross built in 1581. The Church is associated with St.Francis Xavier.
This famous temple is situated 13 kilometer away from Tirunelveli. This temple is dedicated to lord Krishna.
The Mutharamman temple 20 km from Tiruchendur is known for the popular Dussehra festival. At that time folk dance artist are performing from all over the state. The other famous temples are Katchiappar temple and Chidarambeswar temple.
The temple depicts the concept of Hari and Haran being one God. There is a deity by the name Sankara Narayan, which is half Lord Shiva and half Lord Vishnu. Also there is another deity, named Avodai Ambal or Gomati Ambal. People say the sands in Gomati Ambal are the sacred sand, which can cure diseases. There is a famous festival Adi Thabasu celebrated in this temple in the month of June.
The temple town situated 31 km south of Tirunelveli is famous for the large Vishnu temple. The prime deity in the temple is Thotathri Nathan. The temple also has a famous Shiva temple.
The temple village is situated 20 km west of Tirunelveli. It is famous for the large Muthumalai Amman Temple. This village is also famous for its Beedi Industry.
The famous Nellaiappar temple is located in Tirunelveli. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati. This temple is also known for its musical pillars and other splendid sculptured figures.
Built in the year 1674 is one of the oldest darghas of Tirunelveli. The most unique feature of this Dargah is that, it is built according to Hindu temple pattern.
Pulithevar is regarded as the first South Indian ruler, who sowed the seeds of his gallant resistance to expel the foreigners from the soil. His service to the nation is honoured and the Government of Tamil Nadu has erected a memorial for him in Nelkattumsevval where there is a remnant of his palace.
Flora and Fauna
Tirunelveli has diverse geographical and physical features as lofty mountains, low Plains, rivers, cascades, seacoast and thick inland forest, sandy soils and fertile alluvium, a verity of flora, fauna and protective wild life sanctuaries. Among these the famous sanctuaries are as follows
The Mundanthurai-Kalakad -
This wild life Sanctuary in Tirunelveli district is developed as a National Tiger Reserve from the year 1988 with a total area of 817sq.kmin the southern most Western Ghat ranges. Except the tigers the other predators are panther, jungle cats, civets, dholes, jackals, stripes hyenas, lion tailed mocque, slender loris, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri thar, sloth bear, Indian bison, elephant, Malabar gaint squirrel, mouse deer, pangolin, spotted deer etc.
The common seen reptiles and amphibians are king cobra, common krait, russels, viper, dark pit viper, monitor lizard, garden lizard, tortoise, crocodiles and rare species of frogs. Among the 8o kinds of birds the main birds are egrets, herons, jungle fowl, spur fowl, partridge, quails, emerald dove, minivets, bee caters, sparrows, owls, night jars, kites, paradise flay catcher and parakits.
Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary-
It is just 38 km away from Tirunelveli. This place may be soon catapulted into the list of popular water bird sanctuaries in the country. Every year migrated birds are coming by December end and fly away to their northern homes by June or July after lay eggs. About 35 species of birds visit this village for breeding. The birds called Painted strokes are coming from North India and East European countries to this place.
It is a health resort. Here there are eight places where water pours down torrentially with varying velocity and force according to the height of the precipice. They are Main falls, Five falls, the Shenbhaga falls, the Tiger falls, Old Courtallam falls, Honey falls, Orchard falls and Sitraruvi falls.
Except the Schools and general colleges, there are several other government and private colleges in the area of medical, legal, and engineering, arts, pharmacy and physiotherapy fields. Tirunelveli Medical College and Government College of Engineering Tirunelveli are the government colleges and the private colleges are St. Xavier College, St, Johns College, Sarah Tucker College, M.D.T Hindu College and Sadakathula Appa College are well known Art colleges. The Manonmaniam Sundaranar University is located in Nellai.
Dina , Thanathi, Dina Malar, Dinakaran, Dina Mani, Kathiravan, Tamil Murasu, Malai Malar are the prominent tamil news dailies and The Hindu is the widest used English news paper in Tirunelveli.
Air Media Network, Karan TV, Sathya Krishna TV are the local cable television networks.
Tirunelveli is served on the FM dial by Suriyan FM, frequency 93.6 MHz, run by the Sun network and Tirunelveli Vanoli Nilayam by the Government of India. Tirunelveli is identified as one of the 40 cities in India.
For complete business listing of Tirunelveli visit Tirunelveli Yellowpages