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Tuticorin, also reckoned by the pseudonym ‘Thoothukudi’ is a municipal corporation and a port city of Thoothukudi District in the state of Tamil Nadu. Commissioning as the district headquarters, Tuticorin is also a commercial harborage and the sea toran of the state. Positioned on the south – east coast of Indian peninsula alongside the Gulf of Mannar, Tuticorin is one of the oldest and most important dockyards of India. Serving the inland southern cities of the country, this portal is also nicknamed ‘Pearl City’ (Muthu Nagaram in Tamil) owing to its prospering natural pearl fishing industry. Asserted as one of the fastest expanding sea ports of the country and proclaimed as the 10th major port of India, Tuticorin is honored to be the first Indian harbor to receive the ISO 9002 Certification. Tuticorin is an all weather port and it records about 1, 03,000 TEU of throughput per annum.
Originally denominated as ‘Thirumandhira Nagar’, the name of this city was transformed to Tuticorin by the Portuguese who could not pronounce the actual name. Tuticorin is called ‘Thoothukudi’ in Tamil. This term finds its origin from two Tamil words, Thoothu and Kudi. Thoothu means to dig and Kudi means to drink. As this interurban doesn’t have rivers, the people living there have to dig wells and fetch their drinking water. As the other interpretation goes, Thoortha means ‘the land recovered from the sea’ and Kudi stands for a colony or a human settlement. So, the combination of these two terms means a colony that is established on the land which is recovered from the sea. If you talk with the natives, they will provide you with an interesting mythological perception of the name. Lord Hanuman on his way to Lanka in the search of Devi Sita has halted at this place for a while. Hanuman was the messenger of Lord Ram. The Tamil word for messenger is ‘Thoothan’. So this location came to be known by the name ‘Thoothuvankudi’ which was later shortened to Thoothukudi.