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Tuticorin (Thoothukudi), is a city and a Municipal corporation in Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tuticorin is the headquarters of Tuticorin or Thoothukudi district which is located at southeastern part of Tamil Nadu. It is almost 580 km away from Chennai, about 261 km away from Trichy and about 133 km away from Madurai.



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[edit]

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[edit]

  • Kappalottiya Thamizhan, a 1961 tamil film which depicts the life of the great freedom fighter V. O. Chidambaram Pillai. V. O. Chidambaram Pillai character was played by the legendary Tamil film actor Sivaji Ganesan.
  • Attakasam or Attagasam, a tamil film with Ajith Kumar playing dual roles.
  • Thamirabarani, a tamil film starring Prabhu, Nadiya, Vishal, Bhanu, Kanja Karuppu.
  • Thoothukudi, a tamil film starring Harikumar, Kartika. The film has a famous song "Karuva Payyaa".
  • Easaa", a tamil file starring Vignesh, Lakshana is a good one!!
  • Singam, a tamil film starring Surya, Anushka, Vivek.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Currently daily Spice Jet and Indigo Airlines Flight services between Chennai and Tuticorin is active. There are five flights from Chennai to Tuticorin .The flights are 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 more traffic and bigger aircrafts on international routes. The Airport runway is being extended to facilitate landing of large airplanes and the night landing facility will be established soon.

By train[edit]

A popular way of getting here is by train, most useful is the daily Pearl City Express service from Chennai which departs every evening, and reaches the next morning. One more day train link express starts morning from Chennai and reaches Tuticorin at night. Daily evening trains are from Both Bangalore and Mysore bound for Tuticorin. Weekly train to Okha via Mumbai ( Vashi) is operated.

By road[edit]

Tuticorin City is well connected by road with rest of the country. The Major Highways are:

  • Tuticorin - Madurai (NH 45B);
  • Tuticorin - Palayamkottai(NH 7A);
  • Tuticorin - Tiruchendur (State Highway);
  • Tuticorin - Ramanathapuram (State Highway);

With Madurai and Tirunelveli roads already 4 lanes, Currently the Tuticorin - Tiruchendur and Tuticorin - Rameshwaram are being converted into 4-lane Expressway. Whereas Madurai road is being converted to 6 lane.

By Taxi[edit]

  • (Tuticorin Car Rental), +91 888 023 4455 (), [1]. Inquiry: 7am to 11pm. Tuticorin Car Rental services on - a Chauffeur Driven Car Rental service in 75 Cities in India. Fares start from Rs.2300 for full day local & Rs.14.5/km for Outstation.  edit

By sea[edit]

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 [2]. Sailing dates changes every week but departure time from Colombo is 6PM, arriving in Tuticorin next morning at 8AM.

Get around[edit]

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.

See[edit][add listing]

Holy Places[edit]


There are many famous temples in and around Tuticorin

  • Lord Bhagam Priyal Temple
  • Lord Shankararameswarar (Shiva) Temple
  • Lord Vaigundaperumal Temple
  • Vembati Essaki Amman Kovil, near VOC College
  • Sri Santhanamari Amman kovil,near Mattakadai *
  • Sri Mariamman Kovil, near Levengipuram
  • Nava Thirupathi-Nine Divya Dhesam, Abode of Lord Vishnu along the Banks of Thamiraparani river in Tuticorin District;
  • Arulmigu Subramanya Swami Temple
  • Sri Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam (Padai Veedu for Lord Muruga), Tiruchendur
  • Lord Mutharamman Temple,Kulasekarapattinam. It is the only temple in South Asia where God and Goddess are in the same shrine. Kulasekarapattinam is very famous for Dasara Festival which is celebrated during October. This Festival is the Second Famous in India next to Mysore.
  • Pillayar Temple,Muthammal Colony
  • Vanathirupathi in Punnai nagar built by Hotel Saravana Bhavan chain of hotels

Churches And Cathedrals[edit]

  • Sacred Heart Cathedral, Tuticorin Town
  • Our Lady of Snows Basilica, Beach Road, Tuticorin Town
  • Trinity Church, Near Old Harbour (Built in 1750)
  • St.James church, Tooveypuram,(Built in 1972)
  • Holy Cross Church, Manapad, Tuticorin District
  • St. Antonys Church, VE Road, Tuticorin
  • St.John's Cathedral ,Nazareth
  • St. Jude's Church, Tuticorin


  • Mohiyadeen Jumma Mosque, WGC Road
  • Mosque at P&T Colony
  • Mosque at Jailani Street
  • Mosque at Braiyant Nagar 1st Street
  • Mosque at Annanagar 6th Street
  • Mosque at Rahamathullah Puram near Old Bustand
  • Mosque at Crescent School near VVD Junction
  • Mosque at Thirespuram
  • Mosque at Puthukkottai (Kootampuli Road)
  • Mosque at Jahir Husain Nagar
  • Mosque at Rahmath Nagar (Near SETC Depo)
  • Mosque at Statebank Colony
  • Mosque at Selvanayaga Puram (Near 3rd Gate)
  • Mosque at KMA Complex (Near Arulraj Hospital)
  • Mosque at Collector Nagar (Near Collectorate)
  • Mosque at Muthaiahpuram
  • Mosque at SPIC Nagar
  • Mosque at Thermal Nagar
  • Mosque at Hourbour Estate

And Many More Mosques in Kayalpattinam (Tuticorin District)


  • Manappadu - The Holy Cross Church at Manapad was built in 1581. Thousands of worshippers congregate during the festival season from 1 to 14 September every year. The church is associated with St. Francis Xavier. Manappadu is about 52 km south of Tuticorin and about 18 km south of Tiruchendur.
  • Lord Nellaiappar - Kanthimathi Amman Temple is a vast temple with many unique features such as the Manimandapam near the Nandi mandapam that has two huge pillars carved out of a single stone. Each giant pillar has 48 small pillars which produce musical sounds when struck.
  • Tirunelveli is famous for the Halwa sweet. Lala snacks are also popular here.
  • Courtallam - Courtallam (Kutrallam), the 'Spa of the south', which is famous for its waterfalls is about 112 km west from Tuticorin and 61 km west from Tirunelveli.
  • Uvari - a coastal village few kilometres further south of Manappadu. It is 75km from Tirunelveli and 45km from Kanyakumari. The Kappal Matha Church (our lady of health), with the form of a ship carrying an airplane, is located here. The original church of St. Mary was damaged by sea erosion, and replaced by this one built in 1974. There are three shrines and many grottos. The sister town of this village is known as Keezha Uvari which is famous for an ancient Shiva temple, Sri Suyambulingaswamy Thirukovil. Today little is left except the remnants of gate arches carved out of rock and an abandoned temple, a little away from the newly constructed main temple.

Do[edit][add listing]


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

  • Soorasamharam is performed here.
  • Brahmothsavam in the month of Magha (February – March)
  • Vasanthothsavam for 10 days in Chaitra (April – May)
  • Visaka Visakam for 12 days in Vaisakha (May – June)
  • Skandha Sashti in Asvini (October – November)

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.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

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.

Drink[edit][add listing]

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.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

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

  • SRM HOTEL.  edit
  • Sathya Park and Resorts.  edit
  • Hotel DSF Grand Plaza.
  • GRT Regency, 3/187 Periyanayagapuram Main Road, Korampallam, Tuticorin 628101, 0461 234 0777. Short drive from the airport in the direction of the town, which is another 4 km away. Excellent service, high level of accommodation at a reasonable price... including hot showers! 2500.  edit
  • Hotel Visaka.  edit
  • Hotel Sugam.  edit
  • SRM Hotel.  edit
  • Hotel Jony International.  edit
  • Hotel Geetha International.  edit
  • Hotel Alwin, 147, Devarpuram Road, 461-2327780.  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

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

  • Apollo Pharmacy
  • SDR Medicals
  • D A Medicals
  • Thilak Medicals

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

Tuticorin Vitals[edit]

• Pincode - 628001 to 628008

• Telephone - +91 461


• Vehicle - TN 69

Get out[edit]

  • Ettaiyapuram - the birth place of the great Tamil Poet Mahakavi Bharathiar. Muthuswami Dikshitar, one of the triad of Carnatic music also was patronised in his final years by the ruler of Ettaiyapuram.Umaru Pulavar a Tamil Islamic poet also lived here. Ettaiyapuram is about 42 km north of Tuticorin, located on the Tuticorin - Madurai national highway (NH 45B).
  • Ottapidaram - the birth Place of V.O. Chidambaram, a great Freedom Fighter who launched the first indigenous Indian shipping service between Tuticorin and Colombo with the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company, competing against British ships.. Ottapidaram is the biggest taluk in Tamil Nadu state. Ottapidaram is only a few kilometres north-west of Tuticorin.
  • Panchalankurichi - the birth place of the brave Veerapandiya Kattabomman, a 17th century Palayakarrar (or Polygar), who opposed the British colonial rule in India and their Tax collecting methods. Today Panchalankurichi is a historically important place and tourist center with Kattabomman Memorial Fort being the major attraction. Panchalankurichi is also only a few kilometres north-west of Tuticorin.
  • Thiruchendur - Lord Muruga Temple in Thiruchendur is the second of the Arupadai Vedu(six abodes) of Lord Muruga. It is a holy place to the Ayyavazhi. The Avatharappathi here is one of the most important pilgrim centers of Ayyavazhi.
  • Naazhi Kinaru (sacred well), is outside the temple at a distance of 100 m south of the temple. Devotees are allowed to bathe by scooping out the water with a vessel and the water in the well never dries up. Despite the temple being on the seashore, the water is not salty
  • Kanyakumari - Kanyakumari is 133 km south-west of Tuticorin. Kanyakumari which is also called Cape Comorin is located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula. Kanyakumari has the temple for Kanya Devi, an avatar of Goddess Parvati. Kanyakumari is popular in India for its spectacular and unique sunrise and sunset. The confluence of three ocean bodies - the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea - makes the sunrise and sunset even more special. On balmy, full-moon evenings, (locally called Chitra Pournami) one can also see the moon-rise and sunset at the same time - on either side of the horizon. On two rocky islets just off the shore are the Vivekanda Rock Memorial, built in 1970, and the gigantic 133 feet statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar. Swami Vivekananda is said to have seated on a rock in deep meditation. That rock is now called Vivekanda Rock Memorial. Also on this rock, there is a Dhyana mandapam, an area for meditation. Boat services are available to reach the Vivekanda Rock Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar Statue.
  • Tirunelveli - about 51 km west from Tuticorin. Lord Nellaiappar - Kanthimathi Amman Temple is located in the city of Tirunelveli. It is one of the famous Tamil Nadu temples, deep in tradition and history and also known for its musical pillars and brilliant sculptural splendours. It is the largest Shiva Temple in TamilNadu. Nellaiappar Car is the third largest car in Tamil Nadu. temple is a complex of two huge temples covering an area of 14 acres and linked by the Mandapam (pillared hall) which has pillars with beautiful life-sized sculptures carved into them, as do many of the Mandapams there. The thousand-pillared hall is of great beauty. The musical pillars in the Mani Mandapam produce sound in various pitches when struck and are from the 7th century AD.

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