Nagercoil ("Temple of the Nāgas", Nagaraja- Hindu Temple) is a city and the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District in Tamil Nadu state, India. Situated close to the tip of the Indian peninsula, it lies on an undulating terrain between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Nagercoil Corporation is the 12th biggest city of Tamil Nadu.[3][4]

Nagercoil
City
Clockwise from top: Nagercoil Clock Tower, Nagaraja Temple, Home church, St. Xavier's Cathedral, Nagercoil Junction railway station
Nicknames: 
Granary of South Travancore, Greenest City of Tamilnadu, City of Temple Jewels, Southernmost City of India.
Nagercoil is located in Tamil Nadu
Nagercoil
Nagercoil
Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu
Coordinates: 8°11′00″N 77°24′43″E / 8.183300°N 77.411900°E / 8.183300; 77.411900Coordinates: 8°11′00″N 77°24′43″E / 8.183300°N 77.411900°E / 8.183300; 77.411900
CountryIndia
StateTamil Nadu
DistrictKanyakumari
Named for"Temple of the Nāgas"
Government
 • TypeMayor–Council
 • BodyNagercoil Municipal Corporation
 • Member of Legislative AssemblyM. R. Gandhi
 • MayorMr. Magesh BA BL
 • Deputy MayorMrs. Mary princy MA
 • Corporation CommissionerMr. Anand Mohan IAS
 • Member of ParliamentVijay Vasanth
Area
 • Total61.36 km2 (23.69 sq mi)
Elevation
82 m (269 ft)
Population
 (2021)
 • Total422,759 (approx.)
 • Density9,813/km2 (25,420/sq mi)
Languages
 • OfficialTamil
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
629001,629002,629003,629004
Telephone code91-4652 & 91-4651
Vehicle registrationTN-74
Literacy96.99%[1]
ClimateAw[2] (Köppen)
Precipitation2,477.7 millimetres (97.55 in)
Nagaraja Temple at Nagercoil

The present city of Nagercoil grew around Kottar, a mercantile town that dates back to the Sangam period.[5] Kottar is now a locality within the city limits. For 735 years it was a central part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom and later Kerala State – till almost a decade after India's independence from Britain in 1947. In 1956, Kanyakumari District, along with the town, was merged with Tamil Nadu.

Nagercoil is a centre for a range of economic activities in the small but densely-populated Kanyakumari District. Economic activities in around the city include tourism, wind energy, IT services, marine fish production and exports, rubber and cloves plantations, agro-crops, floral production, manufacture of fishnets, rubber products among other activities.[6]

'Nagercoil Cloves' is a distinct quality of dried cloves in the spices market, noted for its aroma and medicinal value.[7] Cloves, pepper and other spices are grown in estates in the Western Ghats, outside the town.

Nagercoil is also the nearest city to the ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri[8] and the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.[9]

The city, along with the district of Kanyakumari, stands at the top in many HDI parameters in Tamil Nadu state, including education, per capita income, health indices, etc.[10]

The municipality of Nagercoil was upgraded as a Municipal corporation on the eve of its 100th year as a city on February 14, 2019.[11]

HistoryEdit

Nagercoil derives from the Tamil expression Nagaraja koyil, meaning "temple of Nagas".

Robert Caldwell describes the extent of Malayalam in the mid 19th century as extending from the vicinity of Mangalore in the north where it supersedes with Tulu and Kannada to Kottar beyond Pahrali River near Kanyakumari in the south where it begins to supersede with the Tamil and from Malabar Coast in the west to Western Ghats in the east besides the inhabited islands of Lakshadweep in the Arabian Sea.[note 1] It was from the ancient trade centre of Kottar from where the city of Nagercoil began to expand.

Known as the Granary of Travancore, Nagercoil not only served as the food basket of Kerala, but was also one among the important spice-trading centers in the kingdom of Travancore from the 14th century onward, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era. Various Tamil and Kerala kings fought over this rich agricultural land, which boasted six rivers. Various historians cite that the land's climate and diverse, luxuriant vegetation had no comparison anywhere else in Tamil Nadu.[13]

The naturalist Jivanayakam Cyril Daniel (1927–2011) was born in Nagercoil.

DemographicsEdit

According to the 2011 census, Nagercoil had a population of 2,24,849 with a female-male sex ratio of 1.05, well above the national average of 0.929 females/male.[14][15] A total of 20,241 were under the age of six, constituting 10,119 males and 10,122 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 4.19% and 0.17% of the population respectively. The literacy rate of the city was 96.99%.[15] The city had a total of 59,997 households. There were a total of 76,345 workers, comprising 244 cultivators, 1,155 main agricultural laborers, 2,271 in household industries, 67,050 other workers, 5,625 marginal workers, 110 marginal cultivators, 361 marginal agricultural laborers, 447 marginal workers in household industries and 4,707 other marginal workers.[16]

EconomyEdit

The city is one among the 50 Indian cities to be ranked in the World Startup Index of 1,000 cities.[17] The major software companies present in Nagercoil are CapeStart Inc., Hinduja Global Solutions, Navigant Consulting and American stock exchange NASDAQ.[18][19] The city also has small aerospace manufacturing plants and satellite fabricating firms serving the Indian Space Research Organisations facility in ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri.[20][21] The Regional Academic Centre for Space by Indian Space Research Organisation, one among the only six incubation centers for Space Startups in India, is under construction in Nagercoil.[22][23] The Integral Coach Factory has a small scale windmill unit.[24] The export of 95 tons of fruits and vegetables to the Gulf Countries through the Thiruvananthapuram airports is a major source of revenue for the city, with food processing companies generating a daily revenue of ₹16.7 lakh and an annual revenue of ₹6.1 billion.[25] The flower market of Thovalai exports 350 tons of Flowers to Kerala, Europe and Middle Eastern countries generating an annual revenue of ₹250 crore.[26][27][28] The major cottage industries like Fish-net manufacturing, Rubber industries, Jewellery manufacturing are industries serving the domestic and export markets.[29][30] The minor cottage industries include Surgical Gloves, Coir-making, floral trade, handloom-weaving, cashew nut, spices, food-processing units, and lace-making (export-oriented).[31] Nagercoil has the highest per capita income of ₹2,76,454 (US$3,800), making it among the richest small cities in India.

EnergyEdit

 
Wind farm in Muppandal and Aralvaimozhi region near Nagercoil

The city has an installed windmill capacity of 1500 MW catering to 20% of the state's renewable electricity needs. Muppandhal has emerged as the wind power hub, with plant owners eager to cash in on the ₹2.90 per unit purchase price being offered by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.[32]

ArchitectureEdit

 
The Thanumalayan Temple Pond and its adjoining streets inhabited since the 16th century.

The architecture of Nagercoil consists of an eclectic combination of architectural styles, ranging from those that predate the creation of the town, from the early Dravidian architecture and Kerala Architecture, to English Gothic Revival, to the 21st century contemporary. Although there are prehistoric and classical structures in the city, the architectural history of Nagercoil effectively begins with the first small settlements from 3 A.D. The Roman naturalist and writer Pliny the Elder mentions Nagercoil as a commercial metropolis, having trade links with his contemporaneous Roman merchants, who traded and stayed in unique rock-walled, clay-roofed structures. This legacy can be found in some of the town's old heritage structures like the Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil. The temple has two main deities, Krishna (revered as Ananda Krishna) and Nagaraja. The upadevathas are Shiva, Subrahmanya Swami, Ganesha, Devi, and Dwarapalaka. As an ancient tradition, the priests are Namboothiri Brahmins who are referred by the Pambumekkat mana in Thrissur, Kerala. The 14th century St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Kottar serves as a testimony to the mix of Roman and native architecture. While Saint Xavier was doing missionary work at Kottar and its neighborhood, he averted an invasion of Padagas with the help of his cross alone and thus protected the people of the Venad kingdom from that attack which was appreciated by the king, Unni Kerala Varma, who became closer to the priest and befriended him from then on. In recognition of Xavier's services, the king allotted him a piece of land to construct a Catholic church, as a gesture of goodwill, as per the church records. There was already a small church, in the same place where St. Xavier's church stands at present, dedicated to Mary the Mother of God, since AD 1544. Later on, Dravidian and Kerala architectural styles began to appear in the area. This can be attributed to the construction of the Thanumalayan Temple in the 16th Century.[33]

The brilliant artistic influence of Kerala and British architecture marvels are seen in the Nagercoil Palace, Nagercoil Clock Tower, Home Church, Scott Christian College, Scott School, Carmel Higher Secondary School, St. Joseph Convent, Sethu Lakshmi Bai School, Nagercoil Court, The Concordia Seminary, Filter House, The Salvation Army Catherine Booth Hospital and many more heritage structures in and around the town. Among these, the Nagercoil Clock Tower is the most visible to the outside world, situated in the heart of the town, which was built to commemorate the visit of Sri Moolam Thirunal, the ruler of Travancore, in 1893, and was designed by Hogeorf and S. Horesly of England. The Maharajah himself inaugurated it on 15 February of that year. The pendulum of the clock was made in Derbyshire by Smith of Derby Group, London. The clock is attached to a 60-foot-long chain with a weight, operated with pulleys through gravitational force. The clock in the Nagercoil Clock Tower was presented to the Maharajah by Rev. James Duthie. of the London Missionary Society.[34] The total cost for constructing the Nagercoil Clock Tower was ₹ 3,258, 9 Chakrams and 12 Kasu. The Maharajah of Travancore donated ₹ 1017, and the balance was donated by the public.[34] However, the declining interest by the government to uphold and preserve the heritage monuments is a cause of concern to heritage enthusiasts and the citizens of the town. The fear, that with time, the extinction of this heritage will be imminent is growing with the demolition of a few structures.[35]

PoliticsEdit

Municipal officials
Commissioner
Anand Mohan' 'I.A.S
District Collector
M ARVIND I.A.S
Superintendent of Police
Hari Kiran Prasad I.P.S

Marshal Nesamony, one of the leading lawyers of the Nagercoil Bar, was elected as the Chairman of the Nagercoil Municipal Council in 1943. He enlarged the town boundary, improved the town's water supply system, established a home for destitutes and increased the income of the Nagercoil Municipality. In the same year, he was elected to the Travancore State Assembly and was also nominated to the Senate of the Kerala University, then known as the Travancore University.[36] Later on K. Kamaraj, the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, won from the Kanyakumari constituency without even canvassing.[37][38][39][40] The Nagercoil (Lok Sabha constituency) is perhaps the only constituency in Tamil Nadu to not have elected any Dravidian parties in the state's history.[40]

A.K. Chellaiya, was a politician and an MLA of Colachel constituency in 1952. He resigned his post for merging Kanyakumari with Tamil Nadu.[41]

A. Samraj, was an MLA of Thovalai constituency in 1952. He resigned from his post for merging Kanyakumari with Tamil Nadu.

EducationEdit

Tamil is the official language in Nagercoil and is spoken by the majority of the population here. In addition to Tamil, English and Malayalam are widely spoken. There are many schools and colleges in Nagercoil that are known for their national reputation and were established more than 150 years ago; colleges such as Scott Christian College (est. 1809),[42] South Travancore Hindu College (est. 1952), Holy Cross College (est. 1965), Women Christian College and schools such as Scott Christian Higher Secondary School (est. 1819), Duthie Girls School (est. 1819), St. Joseph's Convent Higher Secondary School (est. 1910), Carmel Higher Secondary School (est. 1922), S.L.B. Government Higher Secondary School (est. 1924), S.M.R.V. Higher Secondary School (est. 1919).

The literacy rate is at 96.99%[43] higher than the national average of 74.04%[44] and state average of 80.09%.[45]

CultureEdit

At Vadasery, a locality in Nagercoil, a unique Temple jewellery is made.[46] The Vadasery Temple jewellery has Geographical Indications (GI) registry of the Government of India.[47] These jewels are used by classical dancers in India.[47]

Onam is a festival which is widely celebrated among the Malayalam-speaking population by drawing the 'athapoo' on the floor.[48][49]

Navaratri is uniquely celebrated here with an inter-state tradition [50] in which the idols of Goddess Munuthithanankai Amman from Suchindrum, Goddess Saraswati from Padmanabhapuram Palace and Lord Kumaraswamy from Kumarakovil travel to Thiruvananthapuram. A ceremonial welcome is given to the idols of the Gods by the officials and representatives of the Government of Kerala. After the ten days of Navratri festival, they return to the respective temples with great celebrations.[51][52]

SportsEdit

Nagercoil has the distinction of housing one of the two Sports Authority of India Centers in the state, the other being in Chennai.[53][54] There are plans to make the city hub for sports in South India by merging it with the Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi Centers with headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram.[55]

Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) is maintaining Aringar Anna Outdoor Stadium in Vadasery and SDAT indoor Stadium in Konam, Nagercoil. It also has an excellent Swimming pool for sports players.[56]

Nagercoil also has various sports clubs that promote various sports activities. Nagercoil Fencing Club [57] promotes fencing sports in nagercoil. Also there are various Non govt sports clubs like The District Club, The Nagercoil Club, Ramavarmapuram club, etc.[58]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Census2011". Tamil Nadu Population Census data 2011. Tamil Nadu Government. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Nagercoil climate: Average Temperature, weather by month, Nagercoil weather averages - Climate-Data.org". en.climate-data.org.
  3. ^ "Nagercoil Tourism, Nagercoil Travel Guide - Cleartrip". Cleartrip Tourism.
  4. ^ "Nagercoil".
  5. ^ "Nagercoil" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Kanyakumari District Statistical Handbook" (PDF).
  7. ^ Cultivation of Spices. 11 February 2003. ISBN 9788178330648.
  8. ^ "Swadeshi success". Frontline.
  9. ^ https://www.npcil.nic.in/WriteReadData/userfiles/file/SER_KKNPP_3_6_21jun2012.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  10. ^ Ramakrishnan, T. (17 May 2017). "Kanniyakumari tops HDI rankings". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  11. ^ "Tamil Nadu's Hosur, Nagercoil to become corporations - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  12. ^ Caldwell, Robert (1856). A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Or South-Indian Family of Languages. Harrison and sons. pp. 7, 62–63.
  13. ^ Sadasivan, S. N. (9 March 2019). River Disputes in India: Kerala Rivers Under Siege. Mittal Publications. ISBN 9788170999133 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ Kumar, P. s Suresh (4 February 2012). "Time to ensure scientific disposal of garbage". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  15. ^ a b "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.
  16. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Nagercoil". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Global Map of Startups & Ecosystem Rankings | StartupBlink". www.startupblink.com.
  18. ^ "Hinduja Global Solutions opens centre at Nagercoil in TN". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 6 May 2010 – via Business Standard.
  19. ^ www.ETtech.com. "Nasdaq to work with Indian fintech cos to build next gen local products - ETtech". The Economic Times.
  20. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 set for bungee jump test in Mahendragiri hills of Tamil Nadu". The New Indian Express.
  21. ^ "Noorul Islam University hands over nano satellite to ISRO". Deccan Chronicle. 9 October 2016.
  22. ^ "ISRO to fund research in twelve cities". The New Indian Express.
  23. ^ "ISRO opens first of its six planned incubation centres". Deccan Herald. 18 September 2018.
  24. ^ "ICF to install windmills - Times of India". The Times of India.
  25. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (18 August 2017). "Export of perishables hit". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  26. ^ "Thovalai flowers gearing up for Onam". Mathrubhumi.
  27. ^ Sudhakar, P. (17 August 2018). "Traders stare at losses as Kerala floods hit business". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  28. ^ "Worst Onam for Thovalai flower market in recent times - Times of India". The Times of India.
  29. ^ "Nagercoil temple jewellery made with peculiar stones gets Geographical Indications tag - Times of India". The Times of India.
  30. ^ "Fishermen thirst for scientific solutions". The Hindu. 2 October 2007 – via www.thehindu.com.
  31. ^ "Form casteless society, youth told". The Hindu. 3 October 2004. Archived from the original on 14 October 2004. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  32. ^ "State betters its record in windmill energy production". The Hindu. 3 August 2007 – via www.thehindu.com.
  33. ^ "The Hindu : History of Suchindram temples". www.thehindu.com.
  34. ^ a b "Nagercoil Clock Tower - Nagercoil Mani Medai". OnlineKanyakumari.Com. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  35. ^ Arivanantham, R. (13 April 2015). "Conserve heritage building in Nagercoil: INTACH". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  36. ^ Joy Gnanadason,`A Forgotten History`,1994, Gurukul L.T. College and Research Institute, Chennai. Page:151.
  37. ^ "Archive News". The Hindu.
  38. ^ "Sangh power BJP's southern comfort - Times of India". The Times of India.
  39. ^ Staff Reporter (24 December 2012). "Chidambaram distributes welfare aid in Nagercoil". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  40. ^ a b "Business News Today: Read Latest Business news, India Business News Live, Share Market & Economy News". The Economic Times.
  41. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). www.kerala.gov.in. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  42. ^ "About Us". www.scottchristian.org. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  43. ^ "Nagercoil Municipality City Population Census 2011-2019 - Tamil Nadu". www.census2011.co.in.
  44. ^ "Literacy Rate of India - Population Census 2011". www.census2011.co.in.
  45. ^ "Tamil Nadu Population Sex Ratio in Tamil Nadu Literacy rate data 2011-2019". www.census2011.co.in.
  46. ^ Santhanam, Kausalya (7 April 2012). "A dazzle in the dark". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  47. ^ a b "temple jewellery: Nagercoil temple jewellery made with peculiar stones gets Geographical Indications tag | Trichy News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  48. ^ "Tamil Nadu / Nagercoil News : Onam - day of flowers, feast, fun and frolic". The Hindu. 15 September 2005.[dead link]
  49. ^ "Onam festivities begin in Kanyakumari". The Hindu. 24 August 2007 – via www.thehindu.com.
  50. ^ "South India's unique Navaratri tradition: when gods travel to Kerala". www.onmanorama.com.
  51. ^ "The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Nagercoil News : Navaratri : Suchindram temple deity taken to Padmanabhapuram Palace". The Hindu. 11 October 2015.
  52. ^ "Thiruvananthapuram ready to welcome Navratri idols from Tamil Nadu". www.onmanorama.com.
  53. ^ "Sports Authority of India sub-centre coming up near Nagercoil". The Hindu. 13 February 2004.[dead link]
  54. ^ "Regional Centres".
  55. ^ "City may lose SAI sub-centre to Nagercoil". The New Indian Express.
  56. ^ "SDAT Nagercoil". SDAT.
  57. ^ "NFC FENCING". nagercoilfencingclub.
  58. ^ web|url=http://www.districtclubnagercoil.com/

NotesEdit

  1. ^ “The Malayalam , or 'Malayârma', ranks next in order. This language is spoken along the Malabar coast, on the western side of the Ghats, or Malaya range of mountains, from the vicinity of Mangalore, where it supersedes the Canarese and the Tuļu, to Trivandrum , where it begins to be superseded by the Tamil. The people by whom this language is spoken in the native states of Travancore and Cochin, and in the East India Company's districts of Malabar and Canara, may be estimated at two and a half millions.” (Page 7) "Kottara: This is the name of a place in the country of the 'Aii', or ' Paralia ' (identical with South Travancore), which is called ‘Kottiara Metropolis' by Ptolemy, ' Cottora' by Pliny. Undoubtedly the town referred to is ‘Kôțţâra' or, as it is ordinarily spelled by Europeans, ‘ Kotaur,' the principal town in South Travancore, and now , as in the time of the Greeks, distinguished for its commerce. The name of the place is derived from ‘ Kôd-u, ' Tam., a line of circumvallation, a fortification , and “ ârú, ' a river. It is a rule in the Tamil and the Malayalam , that when a word like ‘Kôd is the first member of a compound, the final ' ' must be doubled for the purpose of giving the word the force of an adjective : it is another rule that sonants when doubled become surds. Consequently the compound ‘kôd- ara' becomes by rule 'kôţt-âra' . It is interesting to perceive that in the time of the Greeks the same peculiar phonetic rules existed which are now in operation . It is also worth noticing that the Greek writers represent the last syllable of the name of the town, not as ' âru ,' but as 'âra . The Tamil has ' âru, ' the Malayalam 'ara ' At Kotaur, the dialectic peculiarities of the Malayalam language begin to supersede those of the Tamil ; and this appears to have been the case even in the time of the Greeks." (Page 62-63)[12]

External linksEdit