On acquisition from the Nawab of Arcot in 1801, the British named it as Tinnevelly district though their headquarters was first located in Palayamkottai the adjacent town, where they had their military headquarters during their operations against the Palayakars. Both Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai grew as the twin towns of the district. The puranic version goes that one Vedasarma, a staunch devotee of Shiva, on his pilgrimage from the North to the South was invited by Lord Shiva in his dream to his abode on the banks of the sacred river Tamiraparani. The delighted devotee came to Sindupoondhurai on the banks of the river and stayed there with his family. Once there was a famine which forced Vedasarma to collect paddy by way of begging and continuing his daily prayers. One day he spread out the paddy to dry under the sun before the Lord and went for his ablutions in Tamiraparani. He prayed to the Lord for rain which he thought could be a remedy for the famine. His prayer was answered and when he was bathing, a thunderstorm broke-out and it rained heavily. Vedasarma rushed to the place where he had spread the paddy. He witnessed a miracle. Despite rain around the area, the paddy that he had spread did not get even a single drop of rain and did not get soaked. Since then according to the Purana, the Town is called as “Tiru-nel-veli” (Sacred hedged paddy).
Sightseeing Points In Tirunelveli
Nellaiappar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in Tirunelveli. Shiva is worshipped as Nellaiappar (also called Venuvananathar) represented by the lingam and his consort Parvati is depicted as Kanthimathi Amman. The temple is located on the northern banks of Thamirabarani River in Tirunelveli district. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The temple complex covers an area of fourteen and a half acres and all its shrines are enclosed with concentric rectangular walls. The temple has a number of shrines, with those of Swamy Nellaiappar and his consort Sri Kanthimathi Ambal being
the most prominent.
The temple has six rituals at various times from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and six yearly festivals on its calendar. Brahmotsavam festival during the Tamil month of Aani (June–July) is the most prominent festival celebrated in the temple. The original complex is believed to have been built by Pandyas, while the present masonry structure was added by Cholas, Pallavas, Cheras, and Madurai Nayaks.
Originally, the Nellaiappar and Kanthimathi temples were two independent structures with spaces in between. It was in 1647 that Thiru Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyan, a great devotee of Siva linked the two temples by building the “Chain mandapam” (In Tamil Sangili Mandapam). In the centre of the Flower Garden is a square Vasantha mandapam with 100 pillars. The Nandi mandapam is said to have been built by Sivanthiappa Nayak in 1654. To the western portion of the chain, mandapam is the flower garden that was set up in 1756 by Thiruvengadakrishna Mudaliar.
There are a number of stone inscriptions in the temple. The most important of them are those Veerapandiyan who reigned around 950 AD and those of Rajendran ‘I’ and Kulothunga Chola ‘I’. The inscriptions of Maravarman Sundara Pandyan refer to the Lord as “Woodayar” and “Wodeyanayanar” and the Goddess as “Nachiar”. From the inscriptions of Kulasekkara Pandiyan, we learn that he defeated the Chera, Chola and Hoysala kings and built the outer walls of the temple with the war booty.
The District Science Centre was opened to the public on 27th February 1987 with a gallery on “Treasures from Ocean” and a Science Park. Soon the Centre became one of the most popular centres in NCSM network with the spontaneous support of the local community. The aim of the Centre is to popularize science and technology among public and to supplement science education in schools and colleges to foster a spirit of scientific enquiry among the students. The outreach programmes of the Centre include Community Training Programmes for various cross-sections of society such as Teachers’ Training Programme, Rural Science Camp, Workshops, Vacation Hobby Courses, Science Fair, Popular Science Lectures in different facets of science &
technology, Science Demonstration Lectures, Commemorative Days, Sky Observation Programmes, Temporary Exhibitions, Science Quizzes, Science Seminars etc. At present, the Centre has four galleries on the topics ‘Fun Science’, ‘Popular Science’, ‘Electronics’ and a ‘New Wing of Electronics’. The Centre also has a 3D Theatre, Television Studio and Prehistoric Park. The Mirror Magic Corner is an added attraction of the Centre. The Digital Planetarium of the Centre attracts visitors to the wonders of Astronomy. The Centre also operates a Mobile Science Exhibition bus since 1988 which tours to the interiors of Tamil Nadu spreading the message of Science.
Kurukkuthurai Murugan Temple is located at about 9 km from Thirunelveli Town. The temple is located on the banks of the river Tamirabarani. Tamirabarani River is also called as Jeeva Nadhi as it never dries up. This is perhaps the only river in Tamilnadu state of India where you can find water for almost the entire year. You can find a lot of devotees taking bath in the Tamirabarani River and proceeding to this beautiful temple of Murugan located on the banks of the river. The temple is located so close to the river that during rainy days the entire temple gets submerged into the river. This is a usual happening occurs every year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga “Subramanya”, the son of Lord Shiva. Apart from Lord Muruga’s idol in the main shrine,
this temple also houses the idol of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha, Utsava Subramanya, and other Gods and Goddesses, You can also find peacocks in this temple.
Holy Trinity Cathedral is a small, elegant and beautiful church in Thirunelveli, it was named by Bishop Daniel Corrie on 30 January 1836. Bishop Stephen Neill raised the status of the Church into a Cathedral. Holy Trinity Cathedral church in this area. This cathedral was constructed in the year 1826 by Rev Rhenius and was opened to the public for worship on the 26th of June 1826. The construction of this cathedral took one hundred and seventy-five days and the expenditure incurred was around rupees two thousand at that time. This small church with an oblong edifice measures sixty-four feet by thirty feet and it still serves as a nucleus for this massive Cathedral which developed in later years. The amount spent in the construction of this cathedral came as
donations not only from Christians but from Hindus and Muslims as well. Venga Mudaliar had donated one hundred and sixty-eight acres of punjai land for the maintenance of this Church. Several renovations and additions were also made to this structure. In the year 1845, a tall stately steeple of one hundred and fifty-eight feet soaring into the skies was added by Rev. Pettilt which made the church a landmark all over the district. This church is locally very famous as ‘Oosi Gopuram’ as a landmark in the Thirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. The resonant bell in this church, which was gifted by friends in England and installed in the year 1850, has unfailingly chimed the hours, calling the faithful to worship over the years and the clock set in the tower is relied upon by the people of the entire area as its beloved Big Ben. Several improvements, extensions and renovation works have taken place subsequently in the years from 1846 to 1998.
At Arulmigu Rajagopalaswamy Temple the priest of the temple and his wife gave birth to only female children. The priest prayed for a male child to succeed him in the service of the Lord. As the next delivery also was of a female child, the irritated priest threw Arti plate on the Lord as He did not respond to his prayer which caused a small injury on the nose of the Lord. When he returned home, he found that the female child was a male one. Trembling with fear, the priest returned to the temple and fell at the feet of the Lord and begged His pardon. The Lord appeared before him as Gopalaswami with His consorts Bama and Rukmini and came to be praised as Azhagia Mannar. The temple is built with Tamil architecture,
The presiding deity is made of Sudha model containing all herbals. Saint Kulasekhara Azhwar attained salvation in this place.
Sahayamatha Church Our Lady of perpetual Succour (Sahaya Matha) of very ancient origin, was first venerated in the island of Crete near Greece from whence it was carried to Rome since 1499 and having been popularised among many cultures and several titles in different languages. Situated on the Eastern bank of the perennial river Thamirabarani while its twin city Tirunelveli on the Western bank.
Sri Salai Kumaraswamy Temple history is that, During the British rule in India, the Dutch army stole the statue of Sri Arumuga Nayinar from the Tiruchendur temple and tossed it into the sea. Vada Malayappa Pillai, an ardent devotee of Lord Muruga was saddened by this incident. He swore to himself that he would make a new statue and install it in the temple of Tiruchendur. Hence he made a new statue of Lord Muruga and proceeded to Tiruchendur. On his way, he decided to take rest for some time in Sinthupoonthurai. All of a sudden he heard a piece of good news that the lost statue of Tiruchendur was found. So he placed the statue made by him in Sinthupoonthurai and developed a new temple.
So Lord Muruga has a temple in Sinthupoonthurai to bless his devotees, It is considered to be a miracle played by Lord Muruga ‘Subrahmanya’ himself. Childless couples and those who wish to remove the obstacles on marriage prospects perform a special Parihara Pooja on Tuesdays and Fridays in this temple. It is believed that if businessmen visit this temple and worship the deity they will prosper in their business.
Sri Rajagopala Swamy Temple is an ancient temple situated in Palayamkottai area of Tirunelveli. It is Also known as Sri Vedanarayana Temple, this is one of the oldest temples in South India and also one of the best places to visit in Tirunelveli. This temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and is worshipped as Rajagopala Swamy and Vedanarayan Perumal. This east facing temple dates back to the Pandiyan period. According to legend, the demons were giving a lot of troubles to Indira, the king of Devas. Once, Arjuna went to Indra’s kingdom, he asked Arjuna to defeat and kill them and free him. Arjuna destroyed them by using his Pasupathastra. Pleased Indra gifted the Gopala Swamy idol which he was worshipping. A few days later, Lord Krishna appeared in the dream of
Arjuna and asked him to leave the idol in Ganga which Arjuna did. The Pandiya king Sripathy got the idol while bathing in Ganga, brought it to this place, installed and built this temple and named the Lord Azhagiya Rajagopalan. The temple of Sri Vedanarayan is huge with spacious inner and outer prakarams. The idol of the Lord is of 15 feet height in a sitting posture with four hands flanked by Vedavalli and Kumudavalli Thayar in the sanctum. The Utsav Murthy of this temple is called as Sri Rajagopala Swamy also known as ‘Mannar’. This shrine is also referred to as Azhagiya Mannar Rajagopala Swami Temple.
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FAQs About Tirunelveli
Being an ancient city famous for its various temples, Tirunelveli is one of the must visit places in Tamil Nadu. The city is home to various perennial rivers and due to its location at the foothills of the Western Ghats Tirunelveli is also famous for its various waterfalls and is also nicknamed the Spa of South India.
Tirunelveli is famous for the Iruttu Kadai halwa because the taste of the halwa will be unique they are prepared by the Wheat, Ghee, and Karuppatti. In many of the states in South Indian prepare halwa but Tirunelveli halwa will differ from that because they have a unique taste.
Tirunelveli meal comprises of boiled rice, sambar, rasam, curd, buttermilk, vatha kuzhambu, kootu, poriyal, varuval, aviyal, appalam and pickle! Vazhakkai Podimas: It’s prepared from raw plantains and its eaten along with rice, sambar or rotis!
About 2000 years old
Tirunelveli is about 2000 years old and is a town of old tradition.
The word Tirunelveli is derived from three Tamil words: thiru, nel and veli, meaning “sacred paddy hedge”.
Being an ancient city famous for its various temples, Tirunelveli is one of the must visit places in Tamilnadu. The city is home to various perennial rivers and due to its location at the foothills of the Western Ghats Tirunelveli is also famous for its various waterfalls and is also nicknamed the Spa of South India.
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