Tiruchendur is situated in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu state and is the most important tourist attraction of the district. It is 56 kms from Tirunelveli and can be reached by train and by buses. This place is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga called Arupadai Veedu. This is the only one standing on level ground among the others. Lord Muruga offered his thanksgiving prayers to his father Lord Siva here for obtaining victory over the demon Surapadman by killing him.
The temple is situated on the edge of the sea and the main deity has been cut on a rock lying on the shores. The idol of the Urchavar or festival-deity is kept in a separate shrine facing the opposite direction. A local chief called Vadamalai recovered this idol from the sea and installed it there. The silver vessels of this shrine were presented by the erstwhile collector of this district, Lushington.
It is said that the famous saint and poet Kumarakuruparar of the 17th century A.D got back his power of speech in this temple and sung hymns on the deity.
Srivaikuntam and Alwarthiru-nagari
These are two Vaishnavaite shrines, which lies on the way to Tiruchendur from Tirunelveli. It is also known as Kailasapuram and has the Nataraja shrine and 8 artistically carved pillars. The most well known among them is the Kallapiran. Vaikuntanatha is the festival deity and the presiding deity of here.
The sun rays fall on the main deity as token of worship on the 6th day of the Tamil month Chitthirai (April). The idol of the deity is most gracefully carved with club in hand. The pillars of the mandapam contain the carvings of lions, Yalis and elephants. During the patriotic war of Kattabomman with the British, the temple acted as a fort. There is a mud enclosure of 10 ft high running round with a gate in the middle in the north of the town. The women of this fort never mix with people beyond the wall. The outside world is sealed for them. They are called Kattai pillaimars as they never marry outside their tribe.
Navathiruppathis are the nine holy shrines of Vishnu of the district Thoothukudi. These are Thiruvaikundam, Thiruvaraguna-mangai, Thiruppulingudi, Thirukkulandai, Thirutholaivilli Mangalam, South Thirupperai, Thirukkolur and Alwar Thirunagari. The Sri Aravinda Lochana sanctum in Thiruvaikuntam is also considered as one Thiruppathi. The Nava Thiruppathis are near one another in this district.
This place is situated 54 kms from Tirunelveli and 3 kms from Ottappidaram. This is the home town of a 17th century freedom fighter named Kattabomman. Kattabomman's original fort is damaged now and under the custody of Archaeological Survey of India. The Government of Tamil Nadu constructed the Kattabomman memorial fort in Panchalamkurichi in 1974.
The temple of Jakkamma, the family deity of Kattabomman is situated near the fort.
A cemetery of British soldiers too is found near the fort.
The national poet Bharathiar was born here. It is situated 71 kms from Tirunelveli. Manimandapam was constructed here for Bharathiyar. A memorial for Bharathiyar can also be seen here.
It is situated 71 kms from Tirunelveli on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. A 400-year-old Holy Cross Church is seen here. Some fragments of the True Cross from Jerusalem are enshrined here. It is one of the churches connected with St. Francis Xavier.
(Last Updated on : 19-04-2014)