Kanyakumari district is one of the 38 districts in Tamil Nadu state and the southernmost district in mainland India. It stands second in terms of population density among the districts of Tamil Nadu and the second most urbanized, next only to Chennai district. It is also the richest district in Tamil Nadu in terms of per capita income, and also tops the state in Human Development Index (HDI), literacy, and education. The district's headquarters is Nagercoil.
Location in Tamil Nadu
|• District Collector||M. Arvind, I.A.S|
|• Superintendent of Police||V Badri Narayanan, I.P.S|
|• Total||1,672 km2 (646 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,110.7/km2 (2,877/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Telephone code||04652 for Nagercoil & 04651 for Marthandam|
|Vehicle registration||TN-74 for Nagercoil & TN-75 for Marthandam|
|Coastline||72 kilometres (45 mi)|
|Sex ratio||M-1000/F-1014 ♂/♀|
|Current Member of Parliament||H. Vasanthakumar|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Kanyakumari|
|Legislative Assembly Constituencies (6) Current Members||S. Austin (MLA) (Kanyakumari) N. Suresh Rajan (Nagercoil) J. G. Prince (Colachel) T. Mano Thangaraj (Padmanabhapuram) S. Rajesh Kumar (Killiyoor) S. Vijayadharani (Vilavancode)|
|Precipitation||2,382 millimetres (93.8 in)|
|Avg. summer temperature||31 °C (88 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||22 °C (72 °F)|
Kanyakumari district has a varied topography with the sea on three sides and the mountains of the Western Ghats bordering the northern side. Except for a small stretch of land to the west of Kanyakumari town, almost the entire district is sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea – the only district in Tamilnadu state facing the Arabian Sea.
Geologically, the landmass of the district is much younger when compared to the rest of the state – faulted as late as 2.5 million 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 Edai Nadu which comprise the present-day Kanyakumari district was ruled by various Tamil and Malayalam dynasties: the Venad Kingdom, Pandyans, the Cheras, the Cholas, the Ays, and the Nayaks. A few artifacts have been unearthed by archeological excavations. 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 from the erstwhile Travancore Kingdom to form the new district of Kanyakumari, and they were made the part of 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 38 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.
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, North West of Nagercoil. The wealth of the Nanjilnadu beckoned many invaded kings 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 CE. 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 Maharajas of Travancore built the forts at Aramboly (Aralvaimozhy) to prevent any invasion from the Carnatic Kings. 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 under the leadership of Marshal Nesamony took place for including Kanyakumari within Tamil Nadu. Eventually the merger happened in 1956 based on language reorganization of states.
Historically, Nanjilnadu (Agastheeswaram and Thovalai taluks) and Eda Nadu (Vilavancode and Kalkulam taluks) which comprises the present Kanyakumari district. The district were ruled by various dynasties: Venad Kingdom, Travancore Kingdom, the Cheras, the Cholas, the Ays and the Nayaks. A few artifacts were unearthed by archeological excavations in parts of the district. The district 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 in 1956 following the demands of reunion made by the Tamil speaking majority people (about 70% of the population), who feels that their feelings were suppressed by the erstwhile Travancore Kingdom which has Malayalam majority population. The four taluks were made the part of then Madras Presidency under recommendations from the States Reorganisation Commission in 1956. The Presidency was later renamed Tamil Nadu in 1969 and Kanyakumari, today, is one of the 37 districts of Tamil Nadu state.
The district is the birthplace of Ayyavazhi, the henotheistic belief initiated by Hari Gopalan Seedar, one among the 5 prime disciples of Ayya Vaikundar. The social, religious and cultural history of the 19th century Kanyakumari district is intrinsically inter-twined with those of Ayyavazhi. Many historical assumptions persist in the district and state, which associate with sages namely Vyasa, Agastya, Tolkappiyar, Avvaiyar and Thiruvalluvar.
The district is situated between 77°15' and 77°36' east longitude and 8°03' and 8°35' north latitude. The district has borders with Tirunelveli district in the North & North East, the Gulf of Mannar in the East, the Indian Ocean in the South, the Arabian Sea in the West and the Thiruvananthapuram District (Kerala) in the West.
Kanyakumari District is divided into two regions: Edai nadu and Nanjil nadu. Vilavancode and Kalkulam taluks are in the Edai nadu region which consists of full stretched Western ghats. Thovalai and Agastheeswaram taluks are present in the Nanjil nadu region. Aralvaimozhy pass separates these two regions. Also the boundary of these regions is Vaezhimalai (Vaezhi Hills).
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 million years during the Miocene, after which numerous transgression, as well as regression of sea, had shaped the western coast of the district.
Places of interestEdit
Thirparappu Waterfalls is the famous waterfalls in Kanyakumari District. It is also known as 'Courtallam of Kanyakumari'. Almost all the days water falls here. So tourists will always be interested to come here. There is a swimming pool near the waterfalls. At the upper side of the waterfalls, one can ride on boat. There is a children's park near the waterfalls. Famous Mahadevar Temple is very near to the waterfalls. The waterfalls is 7 km (4.3 mi) from Kulasekaram.,Actually the waterfalls is exactly 34 km from city centre,Nagercoil.
Manimedai is the situated in the central part of Nagercoil. Manimedai literally means High Clock. It's the symbol of the Nagercoil Town. A clock is placed in a High Clock gauge, so the place becomes Manimedai. The construction of Clock gauge begins in 1892 in the period of Travancore Maharajas. After construction, it was opened by His Highness Sree Moolam Thirunal Varma, The king of Travancore. The clock placed in the gauge was gifted to the English missionary in Nagercoil. Maharaja got it and placed it in the gauge.
The aqueduct was built to pass the cultivable water between two mountains. Mathur Aqueduct was built between Aruvikkarai and Mudhalaaru in Paraliyaru River. The aqueduct was built by Former Chief Minister of TamilNadu Perunthalaivar Thiru Kamarajar. Mathur aqueduct was South Asia's largest aqueduct. The aqueduct is 1,240 ft (380 m) long, 101 ft (31 m) high with 28 giant pillars. It is 3 km (1.9 mi) from Thiruvattar and 26 km from Nagercoil.
Before centuries, the houses that has all the facilities are known as Palaces. The rulers of states, the Kings resides in such Palaces. Padmanabhapuram palace was once the official residence of Travancore Kings. Padmanabhapuram palace was built in Kerala styled Architecture with woods. The palace was built in 18th century by Travancore King Thiru Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma. The palace was situated in 6 1/2 acres in 186 acres fort. Here one can enjoy seeing things used by Travancore Kings. The palace was under the control of Kerala Government. The palace is situated just 2 km from Thuckalay.
Udayagiri Fort was situated just 10 km from Parvathipuram. The fort was situated in 22½ hectares in a place called Puliyoorkurichi. The fort was used by the erstwhile Travancore Kings as the production unit of Explosives and as Practising Unit for war. The Fort was maintained by the Ministry of Forests, Government of Tamilnadu. In the fort, one can see deer, Peacock, monkeys etc.
The word 'Vattakkottai' means Circle Fort. The Fort is circle in shape and the name came thus. The Fort was constructed along the seashore in East coast. The fort was situated in 3 1/2 acres with compound stones constructed for 25 metres height. The fort was constructed by Travancore Army Chief Dilanai. The fort was built to restrict the invasion by other rulers and also to store war equipments. The fort was under the control of Archaeological Department, Government of India. It is situated just 6;km north from Kanyakumari and just 2 km south from Anjugramam.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a popular tourist monument in Vavathurai in Kanyakumari District. It is located just 500 Meters east in main land of Vavathurai. The rock was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. Vivekanand was a disciple of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa. According to local legends, Goddess Kumari performed Tapas in devotion of lord Shiva in these rocks. The rocks are surrounded by the Laccadive Sea.
For administrative purposes, the district comprises six taluks: Thovalai, Agastheeswaram, Kalkulam, Killiyur, Thiruvattar and Vilavancode. It has nine blocks — Agastheeswaram, Rajakkamangalam, Thovalai, Kurunthancode, Thuckalay, Thiruvattar, Killiyur, Munchirai and Melpuram. There is a municipal corporation in the district which is Nagercoil. There are also three municipalities, they are Padmanabhapuram, Colachel and Kuzhithurai.
At the lower levels of administration, there are 95 village panchayats and a further 55 special category village panchayats.
The major towns of the district include:
- Agastheeswaram taluk: Nagercoil, Kanyakumari, Anjugramam, Agastheeswaram, Suchindram and Rajakkamangalam.
- Thovalai taluk: Boothapandi, Thovalai, Azhagiapandiapuram and Aralvaimozhy.
- Kalkulam taluk: Padmanabhapuram, Thuckalay, Colachel, Kalkulam, Thiruvithamcode, Eraniel, Kurunthancode, and Thingalnagar.
- Thiruvattar taluk: Thiruvattar, and Kulasekaram.
- Killiyur Taluk: Killiyur, and Karungal.
- Vilavancode Taluk: Kuzhithurai, Marthandam, Vilavancode, Kaliyakkavilai, Munchirai, Kollemcode, Manjalumoodu, Arumanai, and Melpuram.
The district has Government Medical College & Hospital at Acharipallam. Government Head hospital is at Thuckalay, which is known as Padmanabhapuram Government hospital. Other Government hospitals are at Colachel, Kulasekaram, Arumanai, Karungal, Boothapandi, and Kanyakumari. The Government Primary Health centres are at Kottaram, Agastheeswaram, Alagappapuram, Aralvaimozhy, Arumanallur, Chenbagaramanputhoor, Ganapathipuram, Marungoor, Rajakkamangalam, Muttom, Thovalai, Vellichanthai, Kurunthancode, Arudesam, Thadikkarankonam, Edaikodu, Kannanoor, Keelkulam, Killiyur, Kollemcode, Kothanallur, Melpuram, Munchirai, Naduvoorkarai, Thirunattalam, Olavilai, Palliyadi, Pathukani, Pechiparai, Singalayerpuri, Surulodu, Thengapattanam, Kuttakuzhi, Thiruvattar, Thiruvithamcode and Thoothoor.
Tamil is the most widely spoken language in Kanyakumari district, though there are considerable numbers of native Malayalam speakers. Kanyakumari District has a Tamil dialect which is completely different from other part of Tamil Nadu, since it has extensive Malayalam influence. English can be understood by two-thirds of the district's population.
According to 2011 census, Kanniyakumari district had a population of 1,870,374 with a sex-ratio of 1,019 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 182,350 were under the age of six, constituting 92,835 males and 89,515 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 3.97% and 0.39% of the population respectively. The district had a total of 483,539 households. There were a total of 679,620 workers, comprising 12,229 cultivators, 51,350 main agricultural labourers, 21,078 in house hold industries, 468,001 other workers, 126,962 marginal workers, 3,381 marginal cultivators, 21,517 marginal agricultural labourers, 14,711 marginal workers in household industries and 87,353 other marginal workers.
Average literacy rate of Kanyakumari in 2011 were 91.75 compared to 87.55 of 2001. If things are looked out at gender wise, male and female literacy were 93.65 and 89.90 respectively. For 2001 census, same figures stood at 90.37 and 84.79 in Kanyakumari District. Total literate in Kanyakumari District were 1,548,738 of which male and female were 780,541 and 768,197 respectively. In 2001, Kanyakumari District had 1,308,322 in its district.
Out of the total Kanyakumari population for 2011 census, 82.33 percent lives in urban regions of district. In total 1,539,802 people lives in urban areas of which males are 761,407 and females are 778,395. Sex ratio in urban region of Kanyakumari district is 1022 as per 2011 census data. Similarly child sex ratio in Kanyakumari district was 966 in 2011 census. Child population (0-6) in urban region was 148,570 of which males and females were 75,573 and 72,997. This child population figure of Kanyakumari district is 9.93% of total urban population. Average literacy rate in Kanyakumari district as per census 2011 is 91.96% of which males and females are 93.92% and 90.06% literates, respectively. In actual number 1,279,358 people are literate in urban region of which males and females are 644,109 and 635,249, respectively.
As per 2011 census, 17.67% population of Kanyakumari districts lives in rural areas of villages. The total Kanyakumari district population living in rural areas is 330,572 of which males and females are 164,938 and 165,634 respectively. In rural areas of Kanyakumari district, sex ratio is 1004 females per 1000 males. If child sex ratio data of Kanyakumari district is considered, figure is 957 girls per 1000 boys. Child population in the age 0-6 is 33,780 in rural areas of which males were 17,262 and females were 16,518. The child population comprises 10.47% of total rural population of Kanyakumari district. Literacy rate in rural areas of Kanyakumari district is 90.76% as per census data 2011. Gender wise, male and female literacy stood at 92.39 and 89.16 percent, respectively. In total, 269,380 people were literate of which males and females were 136,432 and 132,948, respectively.
During 2011, total population of the district is 1,870,374, among them 909,872 (48.65%) are Hindus, 876,299 (46.85%) are Christians, 78,590 (4.2%) are Muslims, 438 (0.02%) are Buddhists, 160 (0.01%) are Sikhs, 156 (0.01%) are Jains, 10 (0.001%) are Others and 4,849 (0.26%) are "not stated".
The Mandaikadu festival is celebrated in March by people of the district and by those in Kerala. Traditionally, participants would chant while walking and other people would provide them with butter, milk, water, jaggery, and coffee. The festival, which is celebrated for ten days, later became a social function, especially on Sunday.
The Ayya vaikunda Avataram of Ayyavazhi is widely celebrated throughout the district. The Kodiyettru Thirunal is celebrated in the religious headquarters of Swamithope pathi and attracts large crowds from Tamil Nadu and across India. Onam is also celebrated in many places throughout Kanyakumari district, especially in the western part of the district.
Christianity is the second major religion in the district. The district's engagement with Christianity dates back to 1st century CE. Traditional followers are seen even now in the coastal belt of the district. St. Francis Xavier made his religious preaching in and around Kottar. Kottar St. Xavier Cathedral is the first church named after him in whole world. The church was dedicated to him even before he was conferred the Sainthood. Every year December 3 is celebrated as St. Xavier's day. The church is also the cathedral church of Kottar diocese.
Transport and highwaysEdit
There are two major National Highways (NH) roads originating from Kanyakumari town. One is the National Highway 44 which connects Kanyakumari with Srinagar of Jammu & Kashmir. NH 44 connects North India with South India. The road passes through Madurai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Jhansi, Delhi and Jalandhar. It covers 3745 kilometres. The other is the National Highway 66 that connects Kanyakumari with Panvel (38 km from Mumbai) in Maharashtra. NH 66 roughly runs north–south parallel to the western ghats. It passes through Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangaluru, Udupi, Margoa and Ratnagiri. Nagercoil, the district capital is well connected with the rest of Tamil Nadu.
The government transport body State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) is operating direct buses to Chennai, Ootacamund, Coimbatore, Vellore, Chidambaram, Thiruchirappalli, Kodaikanal, Tirupur, Erode, Kalpakkam, Velankanni, and Thiruvannamalai. It also operates direct buses to Bengaluru, Pondicherry and Tirupati. Some bus services to the aforesaid destinations are originating from Kanyakumari, Colachel, Marthandam, Kulasekaram, Kaliyakkavilai, and Thiruvananthapuram.
Another government transport body known as the Tamilnadu State Road Transport Corporation (TNSTC) operates direct buses to various destinations inside Tamil Nadu. Some of the terminating stations are Chennai, Tiruppur, Periyakulam, Kodaikanal, Rameswaram, Thiruchirappalli, Dindigul, Thanjavur, Palani, Salem, Coimbatore, Karaikudi, Kumily, Bodinayakkanur, Erode, and Sivakasi. Most of these buses starts their journey from Nagercoil while some buses starts from Kanyakumari, Marthandam, Colachel, Kulasekaram, and Kaliyakkavilai. TNSTC also operates frequent bus services to Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tiruchendur, Tuticorin, and Thiruvananthapuram.
There is a railway station located at Kanyakumari where many trains starts and ends their journey. The Vivek Express starting from Kanyakumari is the longest running train in India. It connects Kanyakumari with Dibrugarh, in Assam. Nagercoil Junction railway station is the primary railway station of the district which is located near Kottar and also commonly known as Kottar Railway station. Kottar is well connected by State Transport buses. There is also another railway station in Nagercoil. It is known as Nagercoil Town railway station. Ministry of Railways is developing the station in high pitch. Rail station and its surroundings are developing in a high manner. There is good rail connectivity from Nagercoil, the district capital to most parts of the country with daily trains running to Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Guruvayur, Coimbatore, Trichy, Mangaluru , Tambaram etc. and weekly trains to New Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Bilaspur, Rameswaram, North East India, Jammu and Kashmir, etc. The other stations in the district are Eraniel, Palliyadi, Kuzhithurai, and Kuzhithurai west. Passenger trains connect Nagercoil with Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Punalur, Kottayam, Tirunelveli, Madurai, and Coimbatore.
The nearest International airport is Trivandrum International Airport which is 76 km from Kanyakumari. The Civil Aviation Ministry is planning to construct an airport near Swamithoppu in Kanyakumari District as the initiative attracts many international tourists to the district.
The district is popular for its educational excellence. Schools and Colleges of higher education are found throughout the district. Government schools are in good numbers comparing private institutions. Government schools compete with private schools in excellence.
The district is home to many age-old educational institutions. Amrita Vidyalayam Kanyakumari, Sethu Lakshmi Bai Higher Secondary school which is situated in Nagercoil is the also important school in the district. Other important schools in Nagercoil are D.V.D Higher secondary school, Kavimani Desiya Vinayagam Pillai Higher secondary school for Girls, St. Joseph Convent for Girls, Duthie Higher Secondary School for Girls, Carmel Higher Secondary School for Boys, and Little Flower Higher Secondary School for Girls. Other reputed institutions in the district are Amala Convent (Thuckalay), V.K.P. Higher Secondary School (Colachel), L.M.S Higher secondary school for Boys and Girls (Marthandam), Bapuji Memorial Higher Secondary school (Manavalakirichy), and Alphonsa Matriculation (Beach Road).
The district constitutes tens of colleges, mainly arts, science and engineering colleges. The Scott Christian College, founded by William Tobias Ringeltaube in Nagercoil, is more than 120 years old and is one of the earliest colleges in India and the oldest college in the Madras Presidency. The South Travancore Hindu College is also an old college in Nagercoil established in 1952. Other main colleges in Nagercoil are Pioneer Kumaraswamy college, Women's Christian College, and Holy Cross College. Other important colleges in the district are Sree Ayyappa College for Women (Chunkankadai), Sivanthi Aditanar College (Pillayarpuram), Arignar Anna College (Aralvaimozhy), Lekshmipuram College of Arts and Science (Lekshmipuram), Muslim Arts College (Thiruvithamcode), Rohini College of Engineering & Technology, Anjugramam and Nesamony Memorial Christian College (Marthandam). Government Polytechnic college and Government Engineering College are situated in Konam, 5 km from Nagercoil. Kanniyakumari Government Medical College was established at Asaripallam, Nagercoil in 2001. Government Colleges for Arts and Science were built in Kanyakumari and Nagercoil. There are some colleges which are built especially for women like Arunachala College of Engineering (Manavilai) and Vins Christian College for Women (Chunkankadai).
The major river in the district is Thamirabarani locally known as Kuzhithurai Aaru (Kuzhithurai River). This river has two major tributaries, Kodhayaru and Paraliyaru, with the Pechiparai Dam and Perunchani Dam, respectively, built across them. There are many tributaries for the Kodayar River of which Chittar I and Chittar II, with their dams, are the major ones. The origin of Tambaraparani River is in the Western Ghats and the river confluences with Laccadive Sea near Thengapattanam, about 56 kilometres (35 mi) west of Kanyakumari town.
The forests in Kanyakumari District are about 75 million years old. Of the total district area of 1671.3 km2, government forests occupy an area of 504.86 km2 which comes to about 30.2 percent of the geographical area of the district. The forests of the district are administered through the Kanyakumari Forest Division, with headquarters at Nagercoil, the capital of Kanyakumari District.
Flora and faunaEdit
The flora and fauna of Kanyakumari District are vast and diverse. Kanyakumari district has 4 types of lands except Desert. In which, Forest has a significant place in the district's landscape. The district's forest areas were surrounded by plenty of rivers and falls. Forests also has significant mountainous landscape. The district has forests of 40239.55 Hectares. The district's forests are situated between Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and Neyyar Forests in Kerala. Kaalikesam, Balamore, Upper Kodayar, Lower Kodayar, Mukkadal are the important places in Forests.
The forests in Kanyakumari District has numerous high trees and large plants. Especially, the Kanyakumari forests has highly grown sandal trees, teak trees, rosewood trees, Wild Jack trees. There are also plenty of herbal plants. These plants, if used properly, can cure many diseases. Several private estates are in the forests. pepper and cloves are grown in large numbers in such estates. Totally the district's forests has some 600 varieties of large trees and another 3500 varieties of small trees.
Animals on the hills of the district include Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Indian elephant, Sambar Deer, Porcupines, Indian Pangolins and Indian Boar, while pied kingfisher and painted stork are commonly found in the water bodies and wetlands. Reptiles include Bengal monitors, pythons, and other snakes.
In Mahendragiri hills (about 4,000 ft (1,200 m) above sea level), one can find elephant, tiger, leopards and deer. Leopard cubs often stray onto the highway near the hills and are sometimes run over by motorists.
The Keeriparai and Maramalai hills are habitats for wild elephants and Indian bison. The Kodayar hills are the breeding centers for the Indian rock pythons and Indian bison. In the Theroor wetlands, one can see several varieties of storks and migratory birds during specific seasons. Trout and other varieties of freshwater fish are found in the Pechiparai reservoir.
The district also has a wildlife sanctuary and a bird sanctuary.
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