Minerva Memories – Tuticorin


We nearly didnt make it ashore at Tuticorin as we had business visa not tourist visas. This problem was solved when we had our photo taken with the head of immigration Mr Ganeshmurthi.


Thoothukudi also known as Tuticorin, is a city and is now a corporation.
The city is also known as “Pearl City”. It is a sea port city which serves southern Tamil Nadu including the inland cities of Coimbatore, Madurai and Tirunelveli.


It is one of the oldest cities in India with the history dating back to the 6th century BCE. Thoothukudi is the headquarters of Thoothukudi District.
Tuticorin name was used by Dutch people who were here, and now its called “Tuticorin” in English and “Thoothukudi” in Tamil.
Thoothukudi is traditionally known for its pearl fishery and shipbuilding. It was the sea port of the Pandyan kingdom. Thoothukudi was the stronghold of the Paravas, a community from the lineage of Pandyan kingdom that still continues to be a strong base of this community. This community also claims the status of uncrowned kings of the land holding a sway over power. But recently, there is a decline in the community’s stonghold since most of its youth are employed abroad.


The Paravas community have a unique way of living; their cultural demarcations are stronger than that of the other communities in that region.The traditional old houses of the Paravas in the city are unique; they are built out of Burmese teak wood in both Victorian style and Chettinad style. Another community in this region is the Nadars, the southern trading community.Thoothukudi became the center of the Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, with such leaders as the poet Subramanya Bharathy, Kattabomman, and V.O. Chidambaram Pillai.


In 1906, one of the greatest freedom fighters of India, Mr. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, launched the first swadeshi ship “S.S. Gaelia” in direct compitition to the British & P&O.
The major harbour of Thoothukudi is well known as a pearl diving and fishing center. Thoothukudi was founded by the Portuguese in 1548, captured by the Dutch in 1658, and ceded to the British in 1825.  The lighthouse built in 1842 marked the beginning of the history of Thoothukudi harbour development.
Thoothukudi is in South India about 540 km south west of Madras(Chennai) and is geographically located in the Gulf of Mannar. It is in south and southwest by the district of Tirunelveli, west and northwest by the district of Virudhunagar and north by the district of Ramanathapuram. The total area of this district is 4621 km². The administrative headquarters is an urban agglomeration and also one of the taluk headquarters within the district.

Tuticorin is a city which is well known as ‘Thoothukudi’ and is located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The pearls in this city are very famous which makes it a city of pearls. The name of Thoothukudi was derived from ‘Thoothu’ and ‘Kudi’ that are Tamil words. ‘Thoothu’ and ‘Kudi’ mean ‘Dig’ and ‘Drink’ respectively.


People also know this city for its ports. You can enjoy your holidays in this city by visiting various sightseeing locations. Roche Park, Harbor Park and Rajaji Park are some of the famous parks in the city where you can go for a picnic.

This city was founded in 1548 by the Portuguese. After the Portuguese, the Dutch had take over the city in the year 1658 and conceded it to the British in 1825. Tiruchendur temple is the most popular place in the city which is visited by many tourists.


The other tourist spots are Thoothukudi Tiruchendur, Manapad Kalugumalai, Ottapidaram Ettayapuram, Panchalankurichi Nava Thiruppathi, Korkai Athichanallur, Vanchi Maniyachi and many more.


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About Basia Zarzycka