Thoothukudi became the centre of the Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, with such leaders as the poet Subramanya Bharathy, Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Venni Kalady, Vellaya Thevan, and V.O. Chidambaram Pillai. In 1906, the freedom fighter V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, with the help of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, launched the first Swadeshi ship S.S. Gaelia from this port town in British India.
Tuticorin was the seaport of the Pandyan kingdom after Korkai and later was taken over by the Portuguese in 1548, captured by the Dutch in 1658, and ceded to the British in 1825. The lighthouse built in 1842 marked the beginning of the history of Thoothukudi harbour development. Tuticorin was established as a Municipality in 1866 with Roche Victoria as its first chairman. It attained the status of Corporation on August 5 2008 after 142 years.
The economy of Thoothukudi is based on shipping, fishing, salt pan, mineral and agricultural industries. Thoothukudi has a host of other industries including power, chemicals, copper smelting etc.
Origin of the name
The town was originally called as Thirumandhira Nagar. There are three theories as to the origin of the name: Thoothu (Dig) and Kudi (Drink) - The town had no rivers and the only source of drinking water was from wells. "Thoortha" means land "reclaimed" from sea while "Kudi" also stands for "settlement" or "colony". Hence "Thoortha Kudi" or "Thoothukudi" could mean a settlement built on land reclaimed from sea.Finally, the name "Tuticorin" was used by Portugese people who came here. Today the city is referred to as Thoothukudi in Tamil and Tuticorin in English.
The city is also been Known as Muthu Nagaram (Pearl City), the city of pearls. This is due to its once thriving natural pearl diving industry. The city now has a number of major industries centering on other natural resources such as salt and copper. Additionally, it has one of India's fastest growing ports. Tuticorin became the citadel of the freedom struggle in the early 20th century. In 1906, one of the greatest freedom fighters of India, Mr. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, launched the first swadeshi ship "S.S. Gaelia" in British India.
During World War II, when India was still under British dominance, the economic and stragetic importance of Tuticorin Port made the town vulnerable to enemy bombings. Sirens and bomb shelters were installed in the town.
After Independence, the Port of Tuticorin witnessed a flourishing trade and handled a variety of cargo meant for the neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka, Maldives etc. and the coastal regions of India. As of 2011 the city has a population of 320.466
Films with Tuticorin Background
Currently a daily Spice Jet Airline Flight service between Chennai and Tuticorin is active. There are two flights from Chennai to Tuticorin one in the morning Flight and afternoon flight arrives at 2:10PM and leaves after half an hour.The flight is quick and easy. Tuticorin Airport is at Vagaikulam, 15 km from the heart of the city. There are enough Taxi options to get there. The State Government has planned to extend the runway(Over 700 acres of land is under approval) and modernize the airport to handle to more traffic and bigger aircrafts. The Airport runway is being extended to facilitate landing of large airplanes and the night landing facility will be established soon.
A popular way of getting here is by train, most useful is the daily Pearl City Express service from Chennai which departs 7:35PM every evening, arriving the next morning at 7:30AM. Both Bangalore and Mysore have night trains bound for Tuticorin, with a depature time from Mysore at 6PM and from Bangalore 9:20PM, arriving 10:45AM the next day. Regional destinations with direct trains includes Coimbatore and Tirunelveli.
Tuticorin City is well connected by road with rest of the country. The Major Highways are:
Currently the Tuticorin - Madurai (NH 45B) and Tuticorin - Tirunelveli (NH 7A) are being converted into 4-lane Expressway.
Tuticorin port is the gateway to India when it comes to shipping with cargo ships arriving daily, some of these accepts paying passangers. It's also the only port in the country with a weekly direct cargo service from USA, taking 22 days. Both Europe, China and several ports along the Red Sea have direct routes too.
Also, after many years of being cut off there is now a direct passenger ferry from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka with Flemingo Liners . Sailing dates changes every week but departure time from Colombo is 6PM, arriving in Tuticorin next morning at 8AM.
Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) has two main bus stations namely New bus Stand and Old Bus stand. Town buses connect both of them with other parts of the town. A network of mini-buses makes getting around Tuticorin easier.
Auto-Rickshaws are also preferrable. If you want to travel by the auto, consult local friends or relatives beforehand to find out reasonable prices for the distance you intend to go and negotiate a rate with the driver before the journey.
Palayamkottai road (stretching westward from the old Bus stand), Areas surrounding the Lord Bhagam Priyal temple, Lord Shiva and Lord Perumal temples, WGC (West Great Cotton) road, its parrallel V.E (Victoria Extension) road and the streets adjacent to WGC road forms the main area of Tuticorin. One should be careful and aware of the one-way traffic along the WGC road.
There are many famous temples in and around Tuticorin
Churches And Cathedrals
And Many More Mosques in Kayalpattinam (Tuticorin District)
Tuticorin is famous for Our Lady of Snows Shrine Basilica festival which takes place during August every year. To show their love and gratitude, devotees presented a golden car which is used to carry the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Snows around the town during her feast day. The Golden Car first appeared in procession on 2nd February 1806 and since then on 5th August of every year. A big star rests over the royal crown on the top of the car, signifying the name of Our Lady as the Star of the Sea (Stella Maris). The statue is one of three works of religious art originally brought by explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the Philippines, the others being the Santo Niño de Cebu and the Manapad altar crucifix. The flag Hoisting of the Festival happens on July 26 and festival fever sets in.Special prayers happens during these days. Devotees from all over the world flock it during this season.
If you planning to visit Tuticorin during this season, Make prior reservation of Stay.
The other famous festivals are
Besides these, there are two Maha Utsavams called,in Tamil, as Aavanipperunthirunaal and Maasipperunthirunaal being conducted and celebrated in a grand fashion during Simharavi ie.,Tamil month of Aavani(August-September)and Kumbharavi ie., Tamil month of Maasi(January-February) respectively. These are 12 day festivals which happen twice every year,during the above said periods.
There are many restaurants in Tuticorin. They serve everything from typical tuticorin cuisine to all cuisines.
Tuticorin is famous for a wide variety of sweets, snacks, and the famous "Parotta Salna Set". Tuticorin even has its own version of the "macaroon", this version differs from the French version since its made with egg whites, cashew, sugar, and yeast. Alagu Vilas, Lala Mithai Kadai (near new bus stop), Namachivaya are all famous sweet meat shops that sell delicious traditional sweets and savories.
Ganesh Bakery on VOC Road sells the famous macaroon and while you are stocking up on their macaroons, you could also pick up their delicious cakes and cookies. Another sweet worthy of mention is thenkuzhal made of molasses, a sinful combination of flour and molasses in a unique floral-ring shape. You can find this in Alagu Vilas. You need to specifically ask for "karupatti thenkuzhal". Palayamkottai Rd as well as WGC Road have a slew of bakeries along their stretch.
If you are in South Tuticorin near Beach Road, you must try the local delicacies - vazhapazha innipu (banana halwa), dodol (yes, a local version of the Indonesian sweet), paaghu (made with brinjal and palm jaggery), puttu karupatti (cute molasses candies). These are all made in the houses that line the Beach Road and Lady of Snows Church. It would be a good idea to ask the locals to find these houses. If you are near the old bus stand, do pick up "Nut Bars" from Gnanam Bakery - a delicious nut candy made with oodles of ghee.Arya Sweets & Bakery is famous for the Traditional sweets & other bakery items with goood quality.. This is the must eat place in tuticorin.
Well, Thoothukudi is not famous just for the sweets, this is a town famous for its hot, spicy meat fare made right on the streets. Alwar Night Club (near new bus stop) is where the locals go berserk over deep fried parotta pieces coated with chicken/mutton gravies. For vegetarians, Brindavan Hotel offers traditional chettinad delicacies like hot and sweet paniyarams. There is something in Tuticorin for every palate - two things you shouldn't leave without sampling are the macaroons and the salna set from Alwar.
there are a lot of Tea and Coffee bars, Snacks Stalls, Fruit Juice corners, Bakeries, Sweet stalls, etc. which could be found at any main area.
The Hospitality Industry of Tuticorin have tremendous over the last few years.Hotels and Lodges could be found at areas around Old Bus Stand and along V.E road. Once you get into Tuticorin, Any Auto-Rickshaw driver or Taxi Driver can suggest a place to stay according to your convenience. One can also google and make online booking in prior
Tuticorin is generally a very safe place to stay and the people are very friendly. Incase you need any help
For Police, Dial 100;
For Ambulance/Fire Service, Dial 101.
Medical stores and Pharmacies could be found along the main roads and main streets. But if you regularly take a medicine, it is better you bring that along with you.Some of the Pharmacy are
If you need to get to a hospital or clinic, you can enquire with your hotel receptionist or Auto-Rickshaw driver or Taxi Driver or any local friends or relatives. AVM Hospitals located in the centre of the city has 24 * 7 medical help. Other than that may smaller hospitals and clinics are there
• Pincode - 628001 to 628008
• Telephone - +91 461
• UN/LOCODE - INTUT
• Vehicle - TN 69