|Sri Vaikundapathy Temple||Located approximately 30 kilometers from Tirunelveli on Tiruchendur road|
|Tiruchendur Temple||Located in Thiruchendur against the backdrop of the sapphire Blue Ocean,|
|Panchalankurichi||Located just 18 kilometers from Tuticorin|
|Paniya Matha Church (Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Snow)||1Km from Tuticorin railway station|
|Korkai||2 k.m south from the village 'Kollangudi'|
|Manapad||Located about 60 kilometers towards the south of Tuticorin|
|Ottapidaram||Located quite close to Tuticorin|
|Ettaiyapuram||Located about 42 kilometers to the north of Tuticorin on NH 45B|
|Kalugumalai||81 Km from Tuticorin|
|Athichanallur||Situated nearby Tirunelveli|
|Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary||Stationed near Tuticorin in Tirunelveli district|
|Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary||Near Tuticorin in Tirunelveli district|
Sri Vaikundapathy Temple
Sri Vaikundapathy Temple, popularly known as Sri Vaikuntam (Vaikuntanathan) Temple is regarded to be one of the most blessed places of worship in Tuticorin. Esteemed as one of the 108 Divyadesams established by the Azhvaars, Sri Vaikundapathy Temple is also acclaimed as one of the Navatirupathi. Set up on the banks of the holy river Tamiraibarani, Sri Vaikundapathy Temple dedicated to Lord Vaikuntanathan or Kallarpiran is Located approximately 30 kilometers from Tirunelveli on Tiruchendur road. The terms Vaikundapathy or Vaikuntanathan mean the ‘Lord or the owner of the Vaikuntha’.
Vaikuntha is the name of the divine abode of Lord Vishnu. In this light, Sri Vaikundapathy Temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu. The sanctum of this sacred temple houses a standing idol of Lord. The deity is flanked by the heavenly serpent Lord Adishesha who shelters the head of Lord Vishnu with the canopy of his spread out hood. Unique for its unequalled idol of the deity, this temple of Lord Vaikundapathy is considered to be the only one of its kinds. There is no match to this temple amongst the 108 Divyadesams. This shrine of Lord Vaikundapathy, erected by the great Pandyan emperor Maharaja Sankara Pandyan is remarkable for its architecture that depicts the traditional South Indian order of engineering. A noteworthy feature of this temple is that, the building is structured in such a manner that twice a year the rays of the sun directly fall on the idol of Lord Vaikundapathy.
Tiruchendur Temple, also honored by the name Thiruchendur Murugan Kovil is amongst the chief pilgrim destinations of Tuticorin. Located in Thiruchendur against the backdrop of the sapphire Blue Ocean, this Thiruchendur Murugan Kovil worships Lord Murugan or Lord Subramanya i.e. the elder son of Lord Shiva (Lord Kartik). Venerated as the second of the six Arupadai Vedu (abodes) of Lord Murugan, this shrine of Tiruchendur is exalted as one of the most important pilgrim hubs of Ayyavazhi. The ancient temple of Lord Murugan dated back to the Vedic Period is appraised in every corner of the region for the peerless architectural splendor it possesses. 100 meters to the south of the temple establishment a holy well named ‘Naazhi Kinaru’ is positioned.
It is said that the water in this Naazhi Kinaru doesn’t dry up ever and regardless of its nearness with the sea, the water of this sacred well is not salty. Devotees make it a point to bathe with the water of this well and receive great fortune. The chief festivals celebrated at the famous Tiruchendur Temple include Skandha Sashti, Oonjal Sevai, Aavanipperunthirunaal, Brahmothsavam, Vasanthothsavam, Visaka Visakam and Maasipperunthirunaal. During this period of festivity, the temple is crowded by the pilgrims who wish to get the auspicious Darshana of the majestic deity Lord Murugan and offer homage at his lotus feet.
Panchalankurichi, a must visit destination carrying the baggage of immeasurable historical eminence is located just 18 kilometers from Tuticorin. This small town is the birth place of ‘Veerapandiya Kattabomman’, a 17th century freedom fighter (Palayakarrar) who made a great contribution in the freedom struggle against British Raj in India. He had stood against the colonial rule in our country and also opposed the tax collecting methods of the British administration. Government of Tamil Nadu constructed the Kattabomman Memorial Fort in the year 1974 in the memory of the great ‘Palayakarrars’ who played vital roles in getting us the free air that we are breathing today. Kattabomman Memorial Fort is the major attraction of Panchalankurichi town. In the fort premises is situated a small shrine dedicated to Goddess Jakkammal. Presently, this edifice of tremendous historical prestige is taken care of by the Archaeological Survey of the Government of India.
Paniya Matha Church (Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Snow)
Paniya Matha Church, widely known as the ‘Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Snow’ is dated back to more than 4 centuries. This ancient church dedicated to Mother Mary was established by Portuguese in 1711 AD atop a cliff overlooking the entire region. Considered to be one of the must visit destinations of Tuticorin, this holy church bears profound religious importance. As the legend goes, St. Francis, the patron saint of Christianity had paid a visit to this locale in the year 1542 where the church of Paniya Matha today stands. Recognizing its antiquity and acknowledging the popularity this church had achieved, Pope John Paul II raised this church of Mother Mary to the status of ‘Basilica’ in the year 1982. This was also the year of the 4th centenary celebration of the existence of this church. Paniya Matha Church or ‘Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Snow’ celebrates its annual feast on 5th of August every year when countless devotees throng the church just to get a glimpse of the idol of Mother Mary holding the baby Jesus.
Korkai is a primordial port city in the territory of Tuticorin which is dated back to the Sangam Period. This sea port once belonged to the domain of Pandyan kings. The most remarkable component of this vicinity is its large artificial water tank that covers the total area of approximately 250 acres. Moreover, Korkai is also popular for its ancient Vettrivelamman Temple.
Manapad, also called ‘Manappadu’ is located about 60 kilometers towards the south of Tuticorin. This religious hamlet is recognized as one of the most prestigious pilgrim points nestled around Tuticorin, the city of pearls. The littoral village named Manapad is particularly exalted for the Holy Cross Church situated there. The Holy Cross Church was built at Manapad in the year 1581 and it has reverend St. Francis Xavier as its Patron Saint. This aggrandized church of Tamil Nadu is thronged by multitudinous pilgrims who assemble here to celebrate the annual feast of the church. This celebration commences on 1st of September and extends over next 14 days.
Ottapidaram, a much sought after tourist destination in the state of Tamil Nadu is hailed for its extraordinary historical endowment. This biggest Taluk of the state located quite close to Tuticorin is treasured as the birth place of Mr. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, a reputed freedom fighter from Southern India. Mr. V.O. Chidambaram had played a vital role in the struggle of independence and put all his strengths together in order to free India from the shackles of bondage. He is also remembered for one more of his accomplishments. Mr. V.O. Chidambaram with the support and adherence of Bal Gangadhar Tilak propelled the first Swadeshi ship ‘S.S. Gaelia’ in 1906, which was followed by another such vessel ‘S.S.Lawoe’. S.S. Gaelia was the first Indian domestic shipping service which was provided by a Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company. S.S. Gaelia plied on the rout connecting Tuticorin with Colombo and competed with the prevalent British sea traffic. The resident of Mr. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai at Ottapidaram is now converted to a commemorative memorial.
Ettaiyapuram, located about 42 kilometers to the north of Tuticorin on NH 45B, that connects Tuticorin with Madurai is the celebrated birth place of a great Tamil Poet ‘Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiar’. Adding to this, ‘Muthuswami Dikshitar’ a member of the famous trinity of Carnatic music was patronized and supported in his final years by the king of Ettaiyapuram. And to top all this, ‘Umaru Pulavar Dhansha’ a Tamil Islamic Poet was also the citizen of Ettaiyapuram. Thus we can confirm that Ettaiyapuram is a place endowed with affluent cultural and historical legacy. The building where Mahakavi Bharathiar, the revolutionary Tamil versifier stayed is now made a memorial called ‘Bharathiar House’. Bharathiar House is a much sought after place in Ettaiyapuram. The rich heritage of Ettaiyapuram is bequeathed by another monument, the famous ‘Ettaiyapuram Palace’, which used to serve as the pedestal for collecting taxes from the local masters at the time of the domain of the Pandyan rulers from Madurai.
Kalugumalai, celebrated for its Jain rock cut cave temples is a must visit tourist attraction of Tuticorin. Various rock cut images of a number of Tirthankaras of Jainism, mainly Lord Adinath, Lord Neminath, Lord Parshvanath, Lord Bahubali and Lord Mahaveer can be seen at Kalugumalai. This tiny hamlet also boasts of its renowned Vattuvan Koil which is a temple devoted to Lord Murugan. The exceptional feature of this shrine is that, it is an unfinished monolithic cave temple that dates back to 8th century AD. Estimated to be constructed during the reign of Pandyan Kings, this ancient temple is the only monolithic temple built during the Pandyan Rule that has survived till today.
‘Athichanallur’, popularly known by the name ‘Adichanallur’ is a well known archaeological site of Tuticorin. Stationed beside Tirunelveli, Athichanallur is reputed for its archaic burial urns. Archaeological evidences excavated from this place suggest that Athichanallur was inhabited by a well developed and civilized human populace since the pre-historic ages.
Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary
Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary, beheld as a prime attraction of this port city is a paradise for ornithologists and botanists as well as for nature lovers. Spread over the total area of about 223 sq km, this reserve shelters diverse wildlife species in their natural habitat. Stationed near Tuticorin in Tirunelveli district, Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary is a home to numerous varieties of flora and fauna. This sanctuary is a part of the ‘Project Tiger’ that offers a secured and safe habitat to various wild animals like tiger, panther, elephant, wild dog, langur, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, sloth bear, pangolin, flying squirrel, nilgiri tahr, nilgiri langur, gaur, sambhar, etc. Adventure enthusiasts also get the best opportunities for trekking in the Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary. They just need to obtain prior permission from the forest department and then enjoy unraveling the puzzling paths of the endless wilderness. September to March is the best season to visit Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary when the mezzanines of the dense forest are adorned with opulent flora and exceptional fauna.
Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary
Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary, famed both for its enchanting landscapes ornamented with verdant green vegetation and rich wildlife is a not to miss destination near Tuticorin in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The jungle of this sanctuary is dry ephemeral at certain places and at other places it is evergreen tropical wet forest. Rainfall also ranges from less than 1000 mm to over 4000 mm. A Utopia for animal lovers and nature admirers, Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary is remarkable for housing large variety both of flora and fauna. Wild creatures can be spotted dwelling in their natural habitats here.
This sanctuary provides a safe home to wild animals of various species such as tiger, leopard, brown palm civet, rusty spotted cat, mouse deer, sambhar, spotted deer, Malabar giant squirrel, bonnet macaque, nilgiri langur, sloth bear, brown mongoose, Indian pangolin, nilgiri martin, python, king cobra, monitor lizard, flying lizard, pit viper and many more. Birds like great Indian hornbill, great pied hornbill, Malabar grey hornbill, Ceylon mouth frog, oriental bay owl, grey headed bulbul, broad tailed grass warbler and many more can be sighted here. Other than that, adventure lovers can also enjoy trekking in Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary with prior permission. October to January is the best season to pay a visit to Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary. A comfortable bed and breakfast are provided to the tourists by the Forest Rest House placed at Mundanthurai and PWD Rest House at Ambasamudram.