'Thoortha' means land reclaimed from sea while 'Kudi' stands for settlement in Tamil language. Hence Thoothukudi means 'A settlement built on land reclaimed from sea'. 'Tuticorin name was given by Dutch during their rule in this city. Today this city is called Tuticorin in English and Thoothukudi in Tamil.
Thoothukudi is traditionally known for its pearl fishery and shipbuilding. It is one of the oldest seaports in the world. This seaport came under Pandyan Kingdom then followed by Karkoi, Portuguese, Dutch and at last in the hands of British Government in the year 1825. Thoothukudi became the centre of Indian Independence movement in the early 20th century. The lighthouse built in the year 1842 marked the beginning the history of Thoothukudi harbour development.
Thoothukudi is in south India about 540 km south west of Chennai and geographically located in the Gulf of Mannar. City climate is tropical, humid and hot throughout the year. Maximum temperature is 40.5°C and minimum temperature is 18.4°C.
The economy of Thoothukudi is based on industries, ports, and saltpans agriculture. The main industries of the Thoothukudi are Power, Chemicals, Fisheries, Sterlite Copper Smelter, Fertilizer Plant, Thermal Power Plant, Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals, Heavy Water Plant, Flowers, Sea Food, and Salt Industries etc.
Paddy, Cumbu, Cholam, Kuthiravali, Pulses, Groundnut, Banana cultivation and the production of Jaggery are the main occupation or source of living of the Thoothukudi people.
A Collector belongs to an officer of Indian Administrative Service, is the head of the Thoothukudi.Different Government official staffs assist him.
The Superintendent of police, an officer belonging to the Indian Police Service, is responsible for maintaining law and order in the district.
By Air:VagaiKulam is the nearest airport to Thoothukudi.
By Rail:Thoothukudi is well connected by broad Gauge Rail. Tuticorin City railway Station is declared as a Model station and several infrastructure developments are in process.
By Road:The city is well connected by National Highways with Madurai and Tirunelveli.
By Port: It is one among the 12 ports of India. It has one of the best container terminals in India and operated by the port of Singapore.
As per 2001 Census, Thoothukudi had a population of 216,058. Current population is about 600,000. Males constitute 50% and females constitute 50% of the total population.11% of the population is under six year of age. Thoothukudi has av average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the National literacy rate of 59.5%. Male literacy rate is 85% and female literacy rate is 79%.
Tamil is the most common spoken language used in Thoothukudi, followed by English, Kannada and Malayalam and Hindi by few people.
There are 42 permanent cinema theatres, 18 touring theatres and 3 open theatres are available for the entertainment of the Thoothukudi people.
Visiting places of Thoothukudi
As a port city in Thoothukudi, the port is the most exciting place to visit.
Thoothukudi temple is dedicated to Lord Subramanya; it offers a spectacular sight with mystical aura having the sea at the backdrop.
Panchalankurchi, 18 km distance from Thoothukudi is the place where the great warrior Katta Bomman known as 'Veerapandiya Kattabomman' put up resistance against the British regime in the 17th century AD. There is also a fort in his name as 'Kattabomman Memorial Fort', maintained by Archeological Survey of India.
Ettaiyapuram palace is now became a visiting place. It was built in the reign of Pandyas of Madurai.
The Basilica of a lady of snows is a famous church, which was built some 400 years ago. The church is known for its antiquity and sacred among all communities.
Kalakudu Wildlife Sanctuary is a home to a myriad of flora and fauna adding fun and adventure for the visitors .
Tuticorin has many primary and secondary schools, four UG, PG degree colleges in the city. And other institutions are one college of Education, one Govt. Medical College, government and private Polytechnic, ITI colleges. There is also one Government Fisheries Institute for teaching and conducting research in marine life.
There are seven local channels in Thoothukudi. Among them the most popular channel is SATHYA TV.
All India radio service of Thoothukudi provides an international broadcasting service. Some of new FM stations are Hello FM by Dina, Kal FM and Big FM.