Kuzhithura (also known as Kuzhithurai) is a city and a municipality in Kanyakumari District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the administrative headquarters of the Vilavancode Taluk. It is located 26 km (16 mi) north of the Nagercoil city and 42 km (26 mi) south of Kerala's capital city Trivandrum along NH66. It has a historical seaport (thura or thurai) where ancient merchants came from across the Arabian sea in ancient times. It is mentioned in ancient Indian maps. As of 2011, the town had a population of 21,307.
|• Type||Second Grade Municipality|
|• Body||Kuzhithura Municipality|
|• Total||5 km2 (2 sq mi)|
|• Density||4,300/km2 (11,000/sq mi)|
|• Official||Tamil, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
According to 2011 census, Kuzhithura had a population of 21,307 with a sex-ratio of 1,022 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 1,829 were under the age of six, constituting 922 males and 907 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 1.45% and .02% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the town was 85.99%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The town had a total of : 5519 households. There were a total of 7,861 workers, comprising 171 cultivators, 615 main agricultural labourers, 238 in household industries, 5,573 other workers, 1,264 marginal workers, 27 marginal cultivators, 99 marginal agricultural labourers, 136 marginal workers in household industries, and 1,002 other marginal workers.
Kuzhithura municipality spreads over an area of 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi). The Thamiraparani river flows through Kuzhithura.
This town is famous for the annual Karkida Vavu Bali (Shradham for the ancestors held during the Mahalaya Amavasi) ceremony that is held here during July/Aug (Malayalam month Karkidakam). Along with the religious ceremony during this time, the famous annual exhibition fair - Vavubali Mela / Exhibition - was started by Shri. T.C Kesava Pillai, MLC from Kuzhithura in the 1900s. Today this is continued by the Kuzhithura Town Municipality.
The annual temple procession from Padmanapuram to Trivandrum stays overnight at Kuzhithurai per tradition started by the kings of Travancore. The famous Mahadevar temple is ancient built on rock foundation.
The Chitharal Jain Monuments; also known as Chitharal Malai Kovil (literally Temple on the Hill), Chitharal Cave Temple or Bhagwathi Temple, Chitral; are situated on the Thiruchanattu Malai (Thiruchanattu hillocks) nearby Chitharal village. Chitharal hills are locally known as Chokkanthoongi Hills. The rocks show inscriptions of Vattezhuthu an extinct ancient Malayalam Tamil script.
The Government Higher Secondary School Vilavancode is situated at Kuzhithura junction. It was founded by HRH Sir Sree Chithira Thirunal, Maharajah of Travancore GCSI, GCIE (7 November 1912 – 19 July 1991) who was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Travancore. Its other name is Malayalam palli in older days. Still, now the GHSS Vilavancode has Tamil, Malayalam along with English medium of teaching. Sree Devi Kumari Women's College, Kuzhithura, Nesamony Memorial Christian College, Marthandam (from 1964 to present) run by the Kanyakumari Diocese of the Church of South India, Annai Velankanni College, Tholayavattam and Annammal Nursing college
Chitharal Jain Monuments : The Chitharal Jain Monuments are the ruins of a Jain training center from the 9th century CE, on a small hill. It has the famous Lord Shiva Temple and the hillock has a cave containing rock-cut sculptures of Thirthankaras and attendant deities carved inside and outside dating back to the 9th century. Among the rock-cut relief sculptures is a figure of the goddess Dharmadevi. Jain influence in this region was due to the King Mahendravarman I (610-640).
Mathur Aqueduct : one of the largest Aqueducts in Asia. It is one of the longest and highest aqueducts in South Asia and is also a popular tourist spot in Kanyakumari District. The Aqueduct is built across the Pahrali river, a small river that originates in the Mahendragiri Hills of the Western Ghats. Mathur Aqueduct itself carries water of the Pattanamkal canal for irrigation over the Pahrali river, from one hill to another, for a distance of close to one kilometer. This Aqueduct is necessitated due to the undulating land terrain of the area, which is also adjacent to the hills of the Western Ghats.
Mathur Aqueduct is a concrete structure held up by 28 huge pillars, the maximum height of the pillars reaching 115 ft. The trough structure is 7 ft in height, with a width of 7.5 ft. The trough is partly covered on top with concrete slabs, allowing people to walk on the bridge and also see the water going through the trough. Some of the pillars are set in rocks of the Pahrali river, though some of the pillars are set in hills on either side.
Road access allows one to drive into one side of the Aqueduct (up to one end), while it is also possible to drive into the foot of the Aqueduct (the level where the Pahrali flows) on the opposite side. There is also a huge flight of stairs (made in recent times) that allows one to climb from the level of the Pahrali river to the trough.
Kuzhithura is close to the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. It lies on Kochi-Trivandrum-Kanyakumari National highway 47.
Tamil and Malayalam is the local and official language in Kuzhithura. People in this region are capable of speaking both Tamil and Malayalam. Christianity is the major religion, where one can find many churches around Kuzhiturai. Lord Shiva Temple near to post office is the old Temple in Kuzhitura. On Monday, 22 December 2014, Pope Francis erected the new Roman Catholic Diocese of Kuzhithurai, with 264,222 Catholics and a total population of 855,485, out of territory taken from the neighboring Roman Catholic Diocese of Kottar, and named the Rev. Fr. Jerome Dhas Varuvel, S.D.B., 63, until then a novice master for the Salesians of Don Bosco in the Vellore diocese, as its first Bishop. Its headquarters will be at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Thirithuvapuram, and it will be a suffragan see of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madurai.
- C. Sylendra Babu, Indian Police Service officer
- "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.
- "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Kuzhithura". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Population By Religious Community - Tamil Nadu" (XLS). Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2015.