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Kanyakumari district is the southernmost district in Tamil Nadu state and mainland India. It stands second in terms of population density among the districts of Tamil Nadu and next only to Chennai district.[1] It is the richest district in Tamil Nadu in terms of per capita income,[2] and also tops the state in Human Development Index (HDI), literacy and education.[3][4] The district headquarters is Nagercoil.

Kanyakumari District
Cape Comorin district
Statue of ancient Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar who wrote the Thirukkural, in Kanyakumari
Statue of ancient Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar who wrote the Thirukkural, in Kanyakumari
Location in Tamil Nadu, India
Location in Tamil Nadu, India
Coordinates: 8°04′41″N 77°32′28″E / 8.078°N 77.541°E / 8.078; 77.541Coordinates: 8°04′41″N 77°32′28″E / 8.078°N 77.541°E / 8.078; 77.541
CountryIndia India
StateTamil Nadu
RegionIdai Nadu (northern part of the district)) and Nanjinadu(southern most part of district)
 • District CollectorPrashant M Wadnere, IAS
 • Superintendent of PoliceMr. Srikhanth, IPS
 • Total1,672 km2 (646 sq mi)
 • Total1,870,374
 • Density1,110.7/km2 (2,877/sq mi)
 • OfficialTamil, Malayalam
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
629 xxx
Telephone code04651 & 04652
Vehicle registrationTN-74 & TN-75
Coastline72 kilometres (45 mi)
Sex ratioM-1000/F-1014 /
Legislature typeElected
Legislature Strength6
Lok Sabha constituencyKanyakumari
Vidhan Sabha constituency6
Precipitation1,865 millimetres (73.4 in)
Avg. summer temperature30 °C (86 °F)
Avg. winter temperature21 °C (70 °F)
Central location:8°03′N 77°15′E / 8.050°N 77.250°E / 8.050; 77.250

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.

Historically, Nanjinad (Agasteeshwaram and Thovala taluks) and Eda Nadu (Vilavancode and Kalkulam taluks) which rise the present Kanyakumari district, were ruled by various Tamil dynasties: the Venad Kingdom, Travancore Kingdom, the Cheras, the Cholas, the Ays and the Nayaks. A few artifacts were unearthed by archeological excavations in there. 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 to form the new district of Kanyakumari during the formation of the new state of Kerala, and they were made a part of the 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 33 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 of Nagercoil. The wealth of the Nanjalnadu beckoned many invaded 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 AD. Before his reign the Samanthan Nairs ruled the province. 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 maharajahs of Travancore built the forts at Aramboly to prevent any invasion from the Carnatic. 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.


The district of Kanyakumari is the southernmost districts in the state of Tamil Nadu. It 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, the Gulf of Mannar, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Thiruvananthapuram District (Kerala). Kanyakumari includes the special grade village of Chinnamuttom, located at the southernmost point of the Indian Subcontinent.

Kanyakumari District is divided into two regions: Edanad and Nanjinadu. Vilavancode and Kalkulam present in Edanadu region consisting of full stretched Western ghats. Thovalai and Agastheeswaram present in the Nanjinadu region. Aravalmozhi gap separates this two regions. Also the boundary of these regions is Velli hills.

Administrative divisionsEdit

For administrative purposes, the district comprises four taluks: Thovalai, Agastheeswaram, Kalkulam, and Vilavancode. It has nine blocks — Agastheeswaram, Rajakkamangalam, Thovalai, Kurunthancode, Thuckalay, Eraniel, Thiruvattar, Killiyur, Munchirai and Melpuram — and four municipalities: Nagercoil, Padmanabhapuram, Colachel and Kuzhithurai.

At the lower levels of administration, there are 99 village panchayats and a further 56 special category village panchayats.

The major towns of the district include:


Tamil is the most widely spoken language in the district, though there are significant numbers of native Malayalam speakers. Tamil in Kanyakumari influences the mixture of Malayalam.


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.[5] 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 .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.[6]

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.

Urban populationEdit

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.

Rural populationEdit

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, 88,590 (4.2%) are Muslims, 438(2.3%) are Buddhists, 160 (0.01%) are Sikhs, 156 (0.01%) are Jains, 10 (0.001%) are Others and 4,849 (0.26%) are none of the above.[7]

Religion in Kanyakumari District (2011)[8]

  Hinduism (48.6%)
  Christianity (46.9%)
  Islam (4.2%)
  Other (0.3%)


An octo-circular Ayyavazhi Nizhal Thangal near Thiruvattar on the Martandam-Kulasekaram road.

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, is widely celebrated throughout the district.[9][10] The Kodiyettru Thirunal is celebrated in the religious headquarters of Swamithope pathi and attracts large crowds[11] from Tamil Nadu and across India.[12][13][14]Onam is also celebrate by all over places in Kanyakumari district

Transport and highwaysEdit

There are two major National Highways (NH) roads emanating from Kanyakumari town. One is the National Highway 44 that starts from the town and runs through Madurai and the other is the NH 66.


Colleges of higher education are found throughout the district, 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. Kanniyakumari Government Medical College was established at Asaripallam, Nagercoil in 2001.


View from the Mathur Hanging Trough bridge with the Pahrali river flowing below.

The major river in the district is Thamirabarani locally known as Kuzhithuraiar. This river has two major tributaries, Kodayar and Paralayar, 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 Western Ghats at Pechiparai, Kanyakumari District

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.[15] 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.

Animals on the hills of the district include Bengal tiger, elephant, sambar deer, porcupines, hedgehogs and wild boar, while pied kingfisher, painted stork and cranes are commonly found in the water bodies and wetlands. Reptiles include monitor lizards, pythons, blood viper and other snakes.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

The district also has a wildlife sanctuary and a bird sanctuary[16]


  1. ^ Kumari second most urbanised TN district - South India - Tamil Nadu - ibnlive
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Kanniyakumari district". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Population by religion community – 2011". Census of India, 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015.
  9. ^ The Daily Thanthi, Nagercoil Edition, 5/4/2006.
  10. ^ "Dina Malar". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
  11. ^ ""Thousands of people witnessed the Vaikasi car festival at Vaikundar temple at Swamithoppu..."". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
  12. ^ The Daily Thanthi (Nagercoil Edition), 29-1-2007, Page 12, "Devotees from the districts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukkudi, Theni, Chennai, Coimbatore and also from the State of Kerala participated in the Car festival."
  13. ^ The Daily Thanthi (Coimbatore Edition), 3-6-2008, Page 4, "Thousands of devotees from the districts of Madurai, Tirunelveli, Thoothukkudi, Theni, Coimbatore and also from the State of Kerala participated in the Car festival."
  14. ^ Dinakaran (Tirunelveli Edition), 3-6-2008, Page 6, "Thousands of devotees from the districts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukkudi, Theni, and also from the State of Kerala participated in the Car festival."
  15. ^ Tamil Nadu Forest Department. Retrieved on 2013-07-28.
  16. ^ GRUBH, SHAILAJA ROBERT (1 February 2003). "Sanctuary in the lowland plains". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 8 January 2009.

External linksEdit