Popularly known as Thoothukudi, Tuticorin is a port city in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu. The city lies 40km east of Tirunelveli on the gulf of Mannar of the Bay of Bengal. Tuticorin is known as the pearl city due to the pearl fishing carried out in the town.
Tuticorin is a busy port town hidden away in Tamil Nadu. But it is much more than just that. From mouth watering desserts to enthralling temples and stunning beaches, Tuticorin is your entire vacation wishlist wrapped into one. Spending a few days here will not just disconnect you from the world but also bring those skyrocketing stress levels to zero. And don’t forget, it also has the beach!
Places to Visit
Kalakkad Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kalakkad Wildlife sanctuary is one of the few national parks in South India that house the Tiger. Lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, bonnet macaque, langur, Nilgiri tahr, sambar, sloth bear, gaur, elephant, flying squirrel, panther, wild dog and pangolin are some of the other animals found here.
Trekking and safari are some of the activities you can do over here.
A tiny tranquil town in the district of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, Kalugumalai or Kazhugumalai is famous for its ancient rock-cut temples and monolithic Jain beds. The city got its name from the hills surrounding it with the same name, which translates to “Hill of Vultures”. The hills that surround the town gives a unique physical beauty to the whole place. They were earlier known as Araimalai or Thirumalai.
The town is divided into two parts Kazhugumalai and South Kazhugumalai or Kottai Kalugumalai and also served as a trade route during the ancient times. According to epigraphies, once upon a time, there was also a palace of the Pandya king Ettimannan, here. It is also believed that Kalugumalai was once an important Jain settlement where Lord Mahavir used to preach and worship. At the foot of the hills, an urn-burial cemetery was also discovered. This place was also a witness to the Kalugumalai riots of 1895. Apart from the three major temples, it also has a huge church making it a religious place in a nutshell.
Tuticorin Port, one of the major trading ports in India, is located in Tuticorin in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Today, the port is known as the V.O.Chidambaranar Port. It is an artificial port and hence is one of the best engineering marvels ever created in India. With its massive size, it takes the second place in the list of the largest ports in India. This port also is the fourth largest container terminal in the country. The operations and the management of the port make it the Nation’s Premier Port after the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project. It is most often compared with the Port of Singapore which is the second-busiest port in the world.
V.O.Chidambaranar Port was declared to be a major port in India on 11 July 1974. The port functions all through the year. In Tamil Nadu, it is the third International Port and the second All-Weather Port. Tuticorin is famously known as the City of Pearls and is also famously known for its Ports. The location of the port is strategically planned on the south-eastern coast of India and lies close to the east-west International sea route in Gulf of Mannar. With India to its west and Sri Lanka to its south-east, the Tuticorin Port is quite well protected from cyclonic winds and storms. It is the only port in South India that provides weekly direct container services to the United States of America and Europe.
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is one of the most esteemed religious places of south India. Located right on the beach of Tuticorin District, it attracts millions of devotees over the year paying respect to the in-house deity of Lord Murugan, the Tamil version of Lord Kartikeya. The temple has a very interesting history rooted in the legend of Lord Murugan’s first battle, which was also the purpose of his birth. The temple hosts a number of festivals throughout the year when devotees can make offerings to the god, the most important and popular one being Skanda festival during October-November marking the victory in the battle of Thiruchendur. It is one of the few temples in India which has various forms and avatars of both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva together. Being located within 200 metres of the sea, it is a miracle that the temple premise is never flooded – not even during the Tsunami.
The mighty temple also does social services like running an orphanage, sponsoring education for the needy and conducting marriages for the poor at minimal cost. People who belong to any other religion other than Hinduism are also allowed to enter with a donation of INR 20.
Our Lady Of Snows Basilica
Our Lady of Snows Basilica is one of the most popular places of worship in Tamil Nadu. It is a shrine dedicated to St. Mary and is inspired from the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
It is a stunning church and one of the biggest in all of Tamil Nadu. Tales of numerous miracles have been associated with this Church. Made in European Architecture, it takes influences from Rome and Italian styles. One of the most celebrated festivals, Our Lady of Snows Festival is celebrated in Tuticorin when devotees offer prayers and thanks to the Saint. The Saint idol is taken in a golden car all over the city in a procession on August 5, every year. The Basilica itself is a spectacle at that time.
Although Tuticorin has so much more to offer than just the beach, it still is a beach town and not going to the beach might make you miss out on the fun.
The beach, especially post sunset, is buzzing with people, both tourists and local residents. A lot of small vendors are selling different kinds of snacks, coconut water etc. The sunset at the Tuticorin beach is as mesmerizing as any other.
Kattabomman Memorial Fort
The Tamil Nadu Government built the Kattabomman Memorial Fort in memory of the Freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman Karuthayya Nayakkar (also known as Kattabomman). He was an 18th-century chieftain who didn’t accept the predominance of the British East India Company and waged war against them. He was awarded a death penalty after he was captured. The memorial stands at the site where he was hanged to death and is considered a shrine by the locals. The fort is a few kms off the city but is frequented by tourists who come to this region. It is beautifully made and well maintained.
The Ettaiyapuram Palace is located about 35 km from the main city. The region has various tourist spots but the Palace is the most popular among them.
The fascinating part of the palace is that there is a lot of confusion as to the ruler who actually lived in the palace. Today the palace has worn out considerably, but continues to attract a lot of tourism.
Ottapidaram is a small Region inside of Tuticorin. It houses numerous places of historical importance. The house of the freedom fighter V.O Chidambaram being the most important among them. The Ulagamman Temple is another one of them.
Sri Vaikuntam Temple
The stunning temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Srivaikuntam Temple is one of the nine sacred Vishnu Temples in India. The temple is covered with inscriptions of idols and elephants.
Being one of the prime religious spots, the temple has numerous buses running to it from all over the city.
Must Try Food in Tuticorin
1. DSF Grand Plaza
2. Samudra Family Restaurant
3. Alwar Night Club
4. Arabian Restaurant
5. Prema Mess
6. Hotel Birunthavan
7. Hotel Aandavar
8. Juice Lounge
9. The Aardvark Cafe
How To Get Here
Tuticorin has its own airport which is close to the heart of the city. All the major cities of India are connected to it. The city also has a railway station which is well connected and developed. Regular buses connect Tuticorin to other towns and cities in the south. You can easily get one and travel by road. Alternatively, taxis are also available.
The Tuticorin Airport is located at a distance of around 15 km from the main city in Vagaikulam. From there, you can comfortably find a taxi or a bus. The domestic airport is quite developed and connected to prominent cities of India.
Regular buses and taxis are also available in the southern states. However, it is difficult to find a taxi or a direct bus from northern states to reach Tuticorin because of the huge distance. It is also not advisable to choose this mode of transportation if you are in the north since it is costly and time consuming.
Tuticorin has a railway station located close to the city. It is well-connected to major cities. However, direct trains from northern states might not be available to Tuticorin. So, you will have to check. From the station, you will easily get a taxi to reach the city.