Situated on the banks of the river Tambraparani, the ancient city tirunelveli was once the capital of the Pandyas, and it has a history that goes back 2000 years. At Present,it is twin city namely Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai. Palayamkottai has been even referred as Oxford of South India. The freedom fighters of 18th to 20th century Veera Pandiaya Kattabomman, Pulithevan Veeran AzhagumuthuKone V.O. Chidambaram Veeran Sundaralingam Subramania Bharathiar and Vanachinathan were born in Tirunelveli District. Hence Tirunelveli District was placed first for freedom struggle to quit the British dynasty. The green paddy fields fed by the Tamirabarani River and the tall palm groves add a verdant dimension to the landscape of Tirunelveli District. This district is famous for palm sugar candy and palm leaf handicrafts.

Places of Interest in Tirunelveli

Swamy Nellaiappar and Kanthimathi Ambal Temple

This temple is situated in the heart of the city. This is a twin temple dedicated to Siva and Parvathi. Rare jewels the Golden lily tank, Musical pillars, the hall of thousand pillars and abundance of sculptures in stone and in mortar are worth seeing. Every year Car Festival will be held in this temple. The district administration announced local holiday for this festival.


The temple at Sankarankoil depicts Hari and Hara as one God. There is a deity named Sankara Narayanan, which is half Lord Shiva and half Lord Vishnu. There is another deity, named Avodai ambal or Gomathi Ambal, after whom the temple is named; it was built by Ukrama Pandiyan in 900 C.E. Sacred sand is available, which is believed curative by some. June is marked by the Adi Thabasu festival.


Nine Lord Siva shrines highlight as Navagraghas which gives health and wealth to the Pilgrims. Among the nine temples four are situated in Tirunelveli district and rest of them in Thothukudii district. The following are referred as Navakailayam shrines: Papanasam, Cheranmahadevi, Kodaganallur, Kunnathur, Murappanadu, Srivaikundam, Thenthirupperai, Rajjapathi, Senthapoomangalam There are also other famous temples in and around the city. Some of the important temples are Uvari Siva Temple, Krishanpuram Vishnu Temple, Kurukkuthurai Murugan Temple, Tenkasi Kasi Vishwanatha Temple, Thurumalai Koil, Thiruvengadanathapuram, Thurupudaimaruthur,, Sri Sorimuthu ayyanar temple among few others.

Holy Trinity Cathedral

The Holy Trinity Cathedral a small, elegant and beautiful Church was built in 1826 by Rev Rhenius and opened to public for worship on 26 June 1826. This church is locally well known as "Oosi Gopuram" as a land mark. This Church plays a vital role not only in spiritual upliftment of its people but also in the material upliftment like providing education, distributing free food and clothing and helping them in the construction of their houses etc.

Kappal madha church or Selva Matha church

A small church for St. Mary which was under the control of pastors of Goa mission existed here. Due to sea erosion the old church got damaged. Therefore the people decided to construct a new church. This church designed as a ship, is called Kappal Matha church after its design. It is beautiful church facing the blue sea. September 18th is celebrated as a festival here, remembering the incident when people witnessed a bright light surrounding the Mary statue.

Athankarai Pallivasal

The pilgrim centre,Athankarai Pallivasal is located in between Thiruchendur and Kanyakumari on the coast road, about 46kms from Thirunelveli. The shrine has two domes of Sufi saints who were believed to grant all desires of devotees. One dome is dedicated to Syed Ali Fathima and another to Hazrath Sheik Mohammed. During the festival held in September, thousands of devotees gather here to pay their homage and seek blessings.

Pottalpudur Dargha

The centre of attraction of this place is the oldest dargha built around the year 1674. This dargha attracts not only the Muslims but Hindus and Christians also in equal numbers. This has been built adopting Hindu temple pattern. If the prayers of the pilgrims are answered, they pay their offerings, through the dargha in large numbers during Kanthuri festival with great reverence. In this dargha where the lebbais act as priest, customs almost similar to that of Hindus are followed in the rituals.


Courtallam - Spa of South

Courtallam is the most famous tourist spot in the district. The natural water falls, pleasant weather and intermittent drizzling really gives an unusual charm to the visitors. The rapturous scene of the falls gets heightened by cool breeze. Usually, the season is in between May to September. The water falls down in eight places with varying force depends on the height of the cliff.

Gundar Reservoir and Falls

It is 70kms from Tirunelveli. The Gundar Reservoir is located at ehe foot of the Western Ghats near the towns of Courtrallam and Senkottai. It is an important tourist place in Thirunelveli District.A large number of domestic tourists on the way to Courtrallam visits this dam and park. This dam site is noted for its salubrious climate and atmosphere. Just 1 km from Gundar Dam to Western Ghats, a beautiful falls is there .To reach this particular falls, only four wheel drive vehicle is suitable.

Papanasam Waterfalls & Dam

Papanasam Falls, 42 km west of Tirunelveli, lies on the Tamiraparani River. The falls, also called Agastya Falls, is believed to be located at the place where Shiva and Parvati appeared before the sage Agastya. Papanasam means absolution of sins. It is an important pilgrim center where people take bath in the waters to relieve themselves from sins. The Papanasam dam is also known as the Tambiraparani River Dam and has a total catchment area of 147 sq km. Boating is possible in the lake but swimming is strictly prohibited as it is populated with crocodiles

Manimuthar Waterfalls& Dam

Manimuthar Falls is natural water falls flowing throughout the year situated above the Manimuthar dam. Driving there by bike will be adventurous. The falls nearby has a pond which has a depth of 90 feet (27 m). It is a picturesque place. It is in 35 km from Tirunelveli city. It is a half mile-long dam and the water is held on three sides by mountains. Above this fall’s the pleasant tourist spot Kothaiyar is there.


Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve Wild Life Sanctuary

The Mundanthurai-Kalakad wildlife sanctuary in Tirunelveli district is developed as a National Tiger Reserve from the year 1988 with a total area of 817 sq. km in the south most western ghat ranges. The mountainous undulating to topography is the characteristic feature leading to tropical dry deciduous forest on the lower slopes and tropical wet evergreen forests on the upper reaches. There are 24 identified nature trails which is spread over the reserve. It gives a thrilling experience to trekkers.

Birds Sanctuary at Koonthankulam

A tiny village in the far south, Koonthankulam in Nanguneri Taluk of Tirunelveli District is emerging as a new favourite of the migratory birds. It is just 38 kilometres (24 mi) away. About 35 species of birds visit this calm but congenial village for breeding. The painted storks are coming from North India and East European Countries to this place. Similarly the flamingoes which flew in mainly from the Rann of Kutch have hatched and reared their young in the village

Manjoli Hills


Located between 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) and 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) of elevation, the Manjolai area is set deep within the Western Ghats within the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in the Tirunelveli District. Located on top of the Manimuthar Dam and the Manimuthar Water Falls, the Manjolai area comprises tea plantations, small settlements, the Upper Kodaiyar Dam and a windy view point called Kuthiravetti. The whole of the Manjolai Estates and the tea plantations are operated by The Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd on forest land leased by the Government of Tamil Nadu. There are three tea estates within the Manjolai area: Manjolai Estate, Manimutharu Estate and Oothu Estate. The Estates are located at elevations ranging from 700 metres (2,300 ft) to 1,300 metres (4,300 ft).

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