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Kanyakumari district,Tamilnadu

Kanyakumari district is the southernmost district in Tamil Nadu state and mainland India. It is the second largest district in the state in terms of population density and the second most urbanized, next only to Chennai district.The district stands first in terms of literacy rate in the state. The district headquarters is Nagercoil.

Kanyakumari district has a varied topography with sea on three sides and the mountains of the Western Ghats bordering the northern side. Geologically, the landmass of the district is much younger when compared to the rest of state – faulted as late as 2.5 millon years during the Miocene, after which numerous transgression as well as regression of sea had shaped the western coast of the district.

Historically, Nanjinad and Eda Nadu which comprise the present Kanyakumari district, were ruled by various Tamil and Malayalam dynasties: the Venad Kingdom, Pandyans, the Cheras, the Cholas, the Ays and the Nayaks. A few artifacts unearthed by archeological excavations in there.It was part of the princely state of Travancore during the colonial times prior to India’s independence; four of the eight tehsils of Thiruvananthapuram district were separated to form the new district of Kanyakumari during the formation of the new state of Kerala, and they were made a part of the Madras Presidency under recommendations from the States Reorganisation Commission in 1956. The Presidency was later renamed Tamil Nadu and Kanyakumari, today, is one of the 32 districts of Tamil Nadu state.

Many historical assumptions persist in the district and state, which associate sages such as Vyasa, Agastya, Tolkappiyar, Avvaiyar and Thiruvalluvar to the district. The district is also the birthplace of Ayyavazhi.

History

The area that comprises the current Kanyakumari district was a part of the old Ay kingdom of the first and second Sangham ages. Following the decline of the Ay kingdoms, the area became Venad, with its capital Padmanabhapuram located north of Nagercoil. The wealth of the Nanjalnadu beckoned many invaded including the Nayaks and later an Islamist army during the reign of Umayamma Rani. The Venad region was in anarchy before Marthanda Varma ascended the throne in 1729 AD. Before his reign the Samanthan Nairs ruled the province. Under their rule anarchy was dominant in Kanyakumari region. However, Marthanda Varma brought a sense of disorder under control by annexing the nearby territories, putting down the feudal lords and establishing the strong state of Travancore. He had also bought some portions of Kanyakumari from the then viceroy making it the southern boundary. Under his rule the district improved in a social context as well as economically. The famous battle of Colachel took place in the district. Later, the maharajahs of Travancore built the forts at Aramboly to prevent any invasion from the Carnatic. Key elements of Velu Thampi Dalawa’s revolt occurred in the area and the English East India company’s army under Col. Leger broke through the fortifications and entered Travancore in 1810. In the year 1949, the area became a part of the reestablished Travancore Cochin state. The people of Agasteeswarem, Thovalai, Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks, which formed the southern divisions of the former district of Trivandrum, were predominantly Tamil speaking people. , an extreme agitation by Tamil speaking residents took place for including Kanyakumari within Tamil Nadu. Eventually the merger happened in 1956 based on language reorganization of states.

Tourist attractions

Kanyakumari district has various eco-systems, including beaches, mountain valleys and evergreen forests, as well as rubber and clove plantations

  • The Padmanabhapuram Palace complex is located in the granite Padmanabhapuram Fort, close to Thuckalay and at the foot of the Veli Hills, which form a part of the Western Ghats. The river Valli flows nearby.
  • Vattakottai Fort (literally, “circular fort”) is an 18th-century fort overlooking the sea, located six kilometres from Kanyakumari.
  • St. Xavier’s Church, Kottar, Cathedral of the Roman Catholic diocese of Kottar, where St. Francis Xavier celebrated Mass in the 16th century.
  • Bawa Kassim Valiyullah Masjid, Elankadai, This is one of the famous Mosques of Kanyakumari District. Located in Elankadai (Edalakudy), Nagercoil.
  • Suchindram has the Sthanumalayan temple with a repository of art treasures belonging to several kingdoms. The temple is famous for its ninth-century inscriptions, musical columns, and 6-meter-tall statue of Hanuman. The main deity in the form of a shivlinga represents Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, the trinity of the Hindu pantheon.
  • The Panchappathi, five primary sacred places of Ayyavazhi are all situated within a fifteen-kilometre radius of Kanyakumari. It also includes the Swamithope Pathi (headquarters of Ayyavazhi), a famous temple in Tamil Nadu, situated ten kilometres to the northwest. It is not structurally massive temple, but is known for its non-idolatry system of worship.
  • Thiruvithamcode Arappally or Thomaiyar Kovil as named by the then Chera king Udayancheral, is located at Thiruvithancode in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, India. It is now declared an international St. Thomas pilgrim center.The world’s oldest existing church structure, which was believed to be built by Thomas the Apostle in 57 AD
  • Udayagiri Fort, built by King Marthanda Varma, has a foundry for casting guns. It is also the tomb-site of the king’s trusted European general Captain De Lennoy. Udayagiri Fort is now a bio-diversity park, administered by the Department of Forests, Kanyakumari Division.
  • Mathur Hanging Trough, near Thiruvattar in the District, is an aqueduct that carries irrigation water through a canal between two hills. The canal itself goes above a small river. Built on very high pillars, is one of the biggest aqueducts, both in height and length, in Asia. The view from the middle of the aqueduct of the surrounding hills and vegetation, and the small river flowing down below, is breathtaking.
  • The Chitharal Jain Monuments, situated about 35 km (22 mi) from Marthandam, are rock shelters and idols dating from the 9th- to 11th-centuries.
    Olakaruvi waterfalls, about 20 km (12 mi) from Nagercoil is on the middle of a hill and requires an hour’s trek by foot from the base of the hill (better to go in a group, as it is a forested area)
  • Pechiparai Reservoir, about 30 km (19 mi) from the town, and also Perunchani and Chittar dams.
  • Thiruparrapu Falls, is a waterfall near Thiruparrapu. There is an ancient temple near the falls, which is popular among the locals and Keralites.
  • Sanguthurai Beach, about 8 km (5.0 mi) from Nagercoil is a palm-fringed and sandy beach. Sothavilai Beach is another good beach, about 7 km (4.3 mi)from the heart of town. Both beaches were hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami, but authorities have taken steps to improve facilities again. There is a lagoon at Manakudy – 10 km (6 mi) from the town.
  • Old Eraniel Palace it is believed that it was built during the reign of king Vanchi Marthanda Varma of the Venad dynasty about 500 years ago. The palace functioned as an administrative hub of the Venad kings until king Ravi Varma Kulashekhara shifted the seat of power to Padmanabhapuram after constructing a palace there in 1601.
  • Mukkudal reservoir : Fresh water supply to Nagercoil is from the Mukkadal Reservoir, about 8 km (5.0 mi) from the town, in the interior – itself a scenic place, with a small bushy island in the middle of the dam. The dam is surrounded by hills of the Western Ghats.
  • Kalikesam,- is a scenic picnic spot. The Kali temple situated here attracts many pilgrims.
  • Kollencode Thooka mudupera Temple:-It is very famous for “thookam nercha”. During march-April season, Thousands of people comes to worship here.
    Neerodi to Erayumanthurai also known as “The Eight Villages”is famous for fishing. People of these villages live very peacefully with unity.