Saturday, May 7, 2011


Tirunelveli is about 2000 years old and is a town of hoary tradition. Next to  Madurai it was an important city of the Pandya Kingdom as it served their capital for some time. Situated on the banks of the River Thamiraparani, it is on the way to Kanniyakumari from Madurai. The Headquarters of the District of the same name, it is  a twin town Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai. Tirunelveli District as well as the town in known for Pathamadai coral mats, palm leaf utility articles.


        This is twin temple dedicated to Kanthimathi (Parvathi) and Nellaiyappar (Siva). Rare jewels, the golden lily tank, musical pillars, the hall of thousand pillars and abundance of sculptures in stone and in mortar are worth seeing.


        This is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The presiding deity is Thiruvenkatanathar. There are a number of life-size sculptures in this temple with intricate workmanship. It is about 13 Kms. From Tirunelveli on the way to Tiruchendur.


        The temple located here on the shore of the Bay of Bengal is one of the  six Abodes of Lord SUBRAMANYA. It is 48 Kms. East of Tirunelveli and on the way to Alwarthirunagri and Srivaikuntam Temples.


        Holy Cross Church at Manapad is an ancient one. It was built in the year 1581. Fragments of the True Cross, brought from Jerusalem is placed in the Church. Throughout the year pilgrims visit the church and thousands congregate during the festival season from first to fourteenth, September every year. On the sea shore edge of the church, there are tanks where  drinking water available. It is 70 Kms from Kanniyakumari and 18 Kms from Tiruchendur. The Church is associated with St.Francis Xavier.


        Situated at a distance of 56 Kms. From Tirunelveli. It  was one of the important centres of the Jains. The bas-relief found here are the contributions of Jains and are among the earliest of such works. The Vettuvan Koil ( Siva Temple) the rock-cut cave temple is worth visiting.


        This town is a major industrial and commercial centre and also a harbor. SPIC’s Fertilizer plant, a heavy water plant, a thermal power station etc. are located here. It  is a major pearl fishing and salt production centre as well. It is 48 Kms. From Tirunelveli.


        Known for its beautiful coral mats, it is about 30 kms. From Tirunelveli on the way to Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary.


        Situated 132 kms. And 56 kms away from Madurai and Tirunelvei respectively, the Arulmigu Sankaranarayan Temple  here is famous. Twice in a year sun-rays fall on the pedestal.


        The name itself implies that this town is KASI (Varanasi) of the South. The flagstaff of the temple is noteworthy for its sculptural beauty and is 400 years old. To go to Courtallam one has to alight here. It has a railway station and is 637 Kms from Chennai and 135 Kms from Kanniyakumari.

        This is the birthplace of the revolutionary Poet BHARATHIYAR. His home has become a memorial. Umaru Pulavar Durga is also located here.


        Birth Place of V.O.CHIDAMBARAM, freedom fighter. His maiden venture in navigation against the East Indian Company caused his imprisonment. That is way he is popularly called as “KAPPALOTTIYA TAMIZHAN”. His home has also now become a memorial.


       Papanasam Dam is located 49 Kms away from Tirunelveli. This s a beautiful picnic spot. Another  dam in Tirunelveli District is Manimuthar Dam. This is 47 Kms from Tirunelveli. Having salubrious climate and gorgeous gardens, it serves as an excursion centre.


        Panchalankurichi, a small but historic village , is 3 kms from ottapidaram. From here the great warrior KATTABOMMAN know as “Veerapandiya Kattabomman” had raised  his voice  against the British Regime in the 17th century A.D.


        The existing memorial fort was constructed by the Government of Tamilnadu in 1974. Sri Devi Jakkammal Temple, the hereditary Goddess of Kattabomman, is located near the fort. The cemetery of British soldiers is seen near the fort. The remnants of the old fort is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.


        Courtallam, the ‘Spa of the South”, is  situated at an elevation of  about  167 mts. On the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District. It is  an excellent health resort. During the season (June to September) thousands of tourists from far and near visit this place.

        Courtallam has nine waterfalls: 1.Peraruvi ( Main Falls), 2.Chitraruvi (Small Falls), 3.Shenbagadevi Falls, 4.Thenarvui (Honey Falls), 5.Aintharuvi (Five Falls), 6. Puli Aruvi (Tiger Falls), 7.Pazhaya Courtallam Aruvi (Old Falls), 8. Puthu Aruvi (New Falls), 9.Pazhathotta Aruvi (Fruit Garden Falls).

        Courtallam is visted by the young and old alike. The waters of Courtallam have medicinal properties as they run through forests of herbs before their descent and  hence have soothing effect. It  has a miraculous effect on the old and convalescing as it helps them recoup their health at a rapid pace.

        Courtallam is 160 kms from Madurai, 59 kms from Tirunelveli, 137 kms. From Kanniyakumari, and 112 kms. From Trivandrum (Kerala).


        It is dedicated to Lord Thirukutralanathar (Siva). This temple contains many inscriptions about Chola and Pandya Kings. Less than a furlong from  here is a small temple called Chitra Sabha (Hall of pictures)  dedicated to Lord Nataraja and decorated with paintings of rural deities and devotees, puranic stories and religious events. The sabha is one of the five sabhas where Lord Nataraja performed the cosmic-dance.



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