Formally known as Nellai, Tirunelveli is a city in Tamil Nadu. It is the sixth largest city of Tamil Nadu and is the head quarters of the Tirunelveli District. Bordered by Kerala in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south-east, this district lies 612 km south-west of Chennai and 140 km east of Thiruvananthapuram. Being close to the southern most tip of India, Tirunelveli is also known for its varied geographical features. It consists of five types of geographical terrain - Kurinji (mountains), Mullai (forests), Marudham (paddy fields), Neithal (coastal) and Palai (deserts) and is situated in the west bank of River Tamiraparani.

History of Tirunelveli:
         Tirunelveli is an ancient city which was formed on 1st September 1790 by the East India Company. But much before that, the history of this place dates back to the 900 BC when the Pandayas ruled this region. The past of Tirunelveli was also researched by one of the Christian missionaries, Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), who was known to have contributed a lot to the Tamil language.
The city was formally named by the Arcot Nawabs and the Nayaks as 'Nellai Cheemai'. The Nayaks, in 1781, granted the local administration and revenue of Tirunelveli to the British and they governed it until India achieved independence in 1947. 

People & Culture of Tirunelveli:
        Tirunelveli has a rich cultural and architectural heritage which is evident from the various temples, mosques and cathedrals located here. Some of the prominent religious structures are Nellaiappar Temple, Holy Trinity Cathedral and the Mela Tiruvenkatanathapuram Temple.

How To Reach Tirunelveli:
Air: Nearest airport is in Tuticorin, 60 km from Tirunelveli and Trivandrum airport is 150 km in Kerala State.

Rail: Tirunelveli Junction railway station is an extremely busy and important railway junction. It connects to all the major cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Trichy, Tanjore and Kanyakumari.

Bus : Tirunelveli is well connected by road. The city is located on the National Highway no. 7. It is well connected to all the major cities of India by National as well as state highways.

Tourist Attractions In Tirunelveli

Nellaiappar Temple:        Nellaiappar Temple is famous as one of the largest Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu, steeped in tradition and also known for its sculptural splendours. The temple is situated in the centre of the city at a distance of two kilometres from the railway station. Both the gopurams were built according to the rules laid down in the agama sastras by Rama Pandyan. It is the largest Shiva Temple in Tamil Nadu. Rare jewels, the Golden Lily Tank, Musical Pillars, and the hall of a Thousand Pillars are worth seeing. The temple dates back to 700 AD and contains inscriptions which can be traced to be made around 950 A.D.
The Nellaiappar temple car weighs approximately 400 tons and is the third largest temple car in Tamil Nadu.

Timings - Opening & Closing: Monday - Friday: 7.00 AM - 8.00 PM, Saturday: 7.00 AM -8.00 PM, Sunday: 7.00 AM - 8.00 PM, Public Holidays: 7.00 AM - 8.00 PM

Nellayappar Gandhimathi Temple
       The Nellaiappar Temple with Ganthimathi is situated in the centre of town at a distance of two km from the railway station. This is a twin temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi and Lord Shiva. The main sanctum sanctorium has a vishnu deity in lying pose as seen in famous srirangam temple. Ph : 0462-2339910

        Nine Lord Siva shrines highlight as Navagraghas which gives health and wealth to the pilgrims. Among the nine temples five are situated in Thoothukudi district and rest of them in Thirunelveli district. The following Temples referred as Navakailayam shrines (Nine Shiva Temples) are situated on the banks of river Thamira Parani in Tirunelveli District are called Nava Kailayangal. Kovil Timings: Morning 6.30 A.M to 11.30 A.M Evening: 4.30 P.M. to 8.30 P.M Location: 45 kms from Tirunelveli

1. Papanasam
         It is 45km from Tirunelveli. Presiding deity of the temple is Pabavinasar @ Kailasanatha and Mother Goddess is Ulagammai Agasthiar waterfalls are 2 kms from here.

2. Cheranmahadevi
         It is 22km from Tirunelveli and is located on THE BANK of river Tamirabarani. presiding deity of the temple is Sri Ammainathar alias Kailasanathar and Goddess Avudinayaki.

3. Kodaganallur
         It is 15km from Tirunelveli on the way to Cheranmahadevi and the temple is located near Nadukallur village. Presiding deity is Kailasanathar and Goddess Sivakamiammai.

4. Kunnathur
         It is 2km from Tirunelveli Town railway station. Presiding deity is Kothai Parameswaran. Goddess Sivakamasundari.

5. Murappanadu
         It is 17km from Tirunelveli and 40km from Thoothukudi on the National Highways. Presiding deity is Kailasanathar Goddess Sivakamiammal.

6. Srivaikundam
         It is 30km from Tirnelveli and 40km from Thoothukudi. Presiding deity is Kailasanathar Goddess Sivakamiammai. The first Navathirupathi temple is located here.

7. Thenthirupperai
         It is 38km from Tirunelveli on the way to Tiruchendur. Presiding deity is Kailasanathar .Goddess Allakiyaponamal One of the Navathrupathi temple also located here.

8. Rajjapathi
         It is 38km from Tirunelveli on the way to Tiruchendur near Thenthirupperai. Presiding deity is Kailasanathar Goddess Alagiya ponnamal and Sivakamiammai.

9. Senthapoomangalam
         It is 20km km from Thoothukudi on the way to Tiruchendur near Athoor and Ponnakayal. Presiding deity is Kailasanathar Goddess Sivakami Ammai.

        The nine Vishnu Temples are located very close to one another. They are all in Thoothukudi District. The Vaishnava shrines are having an interesting legend. The shrines are notable for nine stone carvings and temple architecture Most of the Thirupathi are located on the main road from Tiruchendur to Tirunelveli. 

Ilanji Kumaram Kovil
         Ilanji is a small village in Tirunelveli District. Kumaram Kovil is very famous, is this area lord Muruga with Valli and Deivanai blesses the devotees here. The prime deity here is called Varada Raja Kumarar.

Location : 5 Km from Tenkasi and 3 Km from Courtallam.

Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathi Temple
     Krishnapuram is a small village located at a distance of around 13 kms from Tirunelveli Venkatachalapathi is the name of Lord Vishnu in this temple. This temple was built by Krishnappa Naicker in 16th century AD. This village is named after this ruler. This temple is popular among the tourists not because of its religious importance but due to its life sized beautiful sculptures and images. With respect to the beauty of sculptures, Krishnapuram temple can be considered as one among the best in Tamil Nadu temples.

Sankaran Kovil Gomathi amman Temple:
        56 kms from Tirunelveli. Sankarankoil is a town well connected with Tirunelveli and other parts of the district with good bus facilities. Temple was built by Ukkirapandian who ruled this area in the early part of the 11th century A.D.
Ph : 04636-222265.

Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple :
          Sri Varadharaja Perumal Kovil at Tirunelveli is situated in Tirunelveli Junction. This temple is an ancient and reputed Vishnu temple. It lies on the banks of perennial river Thamirabarani.

SeranMaha Devi :
      The Siva Temple at Seran MahaDevi is the second place among the Nava Kailayams. The Prime diety here is called Sri Amma Natha Swami and the Goddesse is Avadi Nayagi Ambal. Location: 20 km from Tirunelveli on the way to Ambasamudram. 

Tenkasi-Kasi Vishwanathar Temple :
       53 Kms from Tirunelveli and 5 kms from Tenkasi. The name itself implies that this town is ‘Kasi (Varanasi) of the South’. The temple is 554 feet in length and 318 feet width. 172 feet temple tower was built in 1456 by King Parakirama Pandian. Ph: 04633-222373.

Thirumalai Kovil - is a Murugan temple situated at Panpoli, Tenkasi taluk, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The lord murugan in this temple’s shrine is called as ‘Thirumalai Kumarasamy’ or ‘Thirumalai Kumaran’. Location: 12 kms from Tenkasi 7kms from

Thirupudaimarudur :
40 Kms from Tirunelveli. Athalanathar temple and Narumpoonathar temple on the banks of river Tamiraparani river attracts tourists mainly because of scenic beauty. The stone sculptures are legend of the temples are interesting. The four styles of temple architecture viz. Pandiya, Chera, Chola and Vijayanagara beautify the glorious temple.

Sri Kalakodi Dharma Sastha Temple - A famous Ayyappa temple is situated in karakurichi, Sri Kalakodi Dharma Sastha Temple near a river, people call it koovam. Lord Ayyappa is the main deity, sub deities are Ganapathy,Shiva,Navagrahas and Veera Bhadran.

Sri Chekkadi Saasthaa Temple - Between Nellai appar sannadhi and Ghandimathi amman sannadhi there is a small lane near saraswathi ambaal temple. If you go through that lane you will find Chekkadi saastha temple (Lord Ayyappan with poorana, pushkala). It is One of the ancient temple. 

Keezha Thiruvenkatanathapuram Temple - Sri Varadharaja Perumal Kovil is located in "Keezha Thiruvengadanaadhapuram", which is just half a kilometer from the famous "Then Thirupathi Shri Venkataachalapathy temple" and about 6 km from Tirunelveli. 

Azhagiya Kootthar and Sivagami Ambal Temple
Sri Azhagiya Koothar Temple at Rajavallipuram near Tirunelveli is a famous Natarajar temple situated on the banks of Tamirabarani River. Kumbhavisekam was conducted on January 2007. Two important festivals here are Aani Therottam and Margazhi Thiruvadhira.

Vaithya Lingam Temple
Sri Vaithya Lingam Swami Thiru Kovil also known as 'Vaithya lingam temple' is located at Aladipatti which is 30 km from Tirunelveli on the way to Tenkasi. The temple's sanctum has sri vaithya lingam swami and goddess yogambigai.

Chairman Arunachalasamy Temple –Eral: This Temple is dedicated to an ordinary man called Arunachalam who lived in this town and dedicated his life for the welfare of the people. The festival is celebrated in a grand manner for 12 days before Adi Amavasai and Thai Amavasai every year (Tel: 04630-271281)

Karkkuvel Ayyanar Temple – Kuthiraimozhitheri –Therikudiyiruppu: The famous Karkkuvel Ayyanar Temple is situated in the forest in the Kurthiraimozhitheri –

Therikudiyiruppu village near Kayamozhi. Annual “Kallar Vettu” (Killing the thief) festival is held during the Tamil Month of Karthigai (November/December)

COURTALLAM Spa of South India is situated at a mean elevation of 160 m (520 ft) on the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, India. 60 Kms from Tirunelveli. Season begins from June of every year till September.

Peraruvi (main falls) the biggest falls in Courtallam, is about 60m high. In Chitraruvi (small falls) the flow is thin. Here naturally separate places for men and women are there to bath. Chitraruvi leads to other waterfalls such as Shenbagadevi and Thenaruvi and the herbal farm. Aintharuvi (five falls) is one where five separate cascades of water form this waterfalls.

Agasthiyar Falls - Papanasam:
42 Kms from Tirunelveli. This holy place is on the western ghats of Pothigai Hills. It is close to the Papanasam Falls, on the banks of the Thamiraparani river where Siva and Parvathi appeared before the great saint Agasthiya. Hence the falls is popularly called the

“Agasthiyar Falls”. Papanasam Dam is located 49 Kms away from
Tirunelveli. This is a beautiful picnic spot.
Ambasamudram : 40 Kms from Tirunelveli. Like Kancheepuram,

it is also a temple town. Because many more temples are located here. Kasi Vishvanathar temple, Thirumula Nathaswamy temple, Veerama thandeswarar temple, Ammaiappan temple, Krishnaswamy
temple, Purushotama Perumal temple and Lakshmi Narayana Perumal temple are situated here.

Athankarai Pallivasal :

46 Kms. from Tirunelveli. There are two domes, one for Syed Ali Fathima and the other for Sheik Mohammed. They are considered as holy sufi saints. All religious people visit this Muslim shrine and get everything what they want.

District Science Centre :
The District Science Centre is a unique institution situated on the banks of Tamiraparani. This is one among the 124 centres in the country. The centre has 3 permanent galleries on ocean, a semi permanent gallery on popular science and a six acre science park where numerous exhibits help create awareness of scientific development among the people.

Ilanji :
Ilanji is a small village in Tirunelveli District. Kumaram Kovil is very famous, is this area lord Muruga with Valli and Deivanai blesses the devotees here. The prime deity here is called Varada Raja Kumarar. On the bank of Chithra River this temple has been renovated by Mara Varman Kulasekara Pandian in 1409 A.D Location : 5 Km from Tenkasi and 3 Km from Courtallam. 

Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary :
47 Kms from Tirunelveli. This is a “Project Tiger” Reserve. The flora ranges from forests of tropical wet evergreen to tropical dry deciduous and thorn forest. Lion-tailed Macaque and common Langur are plenty. Trekking is allowed with the prior permission from the officials of Forest Dep. Accommodation is available at Forest Rest House at Sengaltheri with catering facilities. Season - Sep. to Mar. Ph : 0462-261100.

‘Kappal Mada’ - Selva Mada Church (Uvari) : 72 Kms from Tirunelveli. A small church for St. Mary which was under the control of pastors of Goa mission existed here. Due to sea erosion the old church got damaged. Therefore the people decided to construct a new church for which the foundation stone was laid down by Fr.Thomas in 1970, 25th January and the work was finished on 1974. This church designed as a ship, is called Kappal Matha church after its design. It is a beautiful church facing the blue sea. The waves rolling near
this church gives us an impression that this ship shaped church is sailing on the sea which is a feast to eyes. Located at Uvari Beach.

Karayar Dam / The Roja falls (Banatheertham) : Situated in the Western Ghats,

Banatheertham is part of the Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and lies above the Karayar dam. A 20-minute boat ride (costing Rs 20) takes one from the dam across the lake. A 10-minute trek takes one to the magnificent waterfalls. Surrounded by dense forest, the waterfalls present a magnificent sight when viewed from the lake. The boat ride also offers a breathtaking view of the adjoining hills. This range is also known for its plant diversity. The legendary Sage Agasthiya, who is called the father of the plant-based Siddha stream of medicine, is believed to have roamed these hills collecting herbs.

Krishnapuram Anjaneyar Temple

The Sincere and faithful servant of Lord Rama Stands like a grant and blesses the devotees at Krishnapurm near Kadyanallur. Location: 150 km from Madurai on the way to Tenkasi; 12 km from Tenkasi; 1 km from Kadayanallur Timing : Morning 8.30 A.M 11.00 AM , Evening 5.00 PM to Night : 7.30 PM Saturdays: 8.30 AM – 9.00 Night Ph:04633-245250, Cell:9842940464

Kodaganallur :
This is the third among the Nava Kailayam Lord Siva Blesses on Lord Guru here. The Presiding deity of this temple is lord Kailasanathar and the Goddess Sivagami Amman. Timings : 7.30 am to 8.30 am to 6.30 pm Festival Days : Sivarathiri and Thiruvathirai Location : Kodaganallur is situated 1 km south of Nadukallur which is on Cheran Mahadevi – Mukudal route in Tirunelveli District

Koonthankulam Birds Sanctuary :
38 Kms from Tirunelveli. A small village in the far south, Koonthan-kulam in Nanguneri Taluk of Tirunelveli District is emerging as a new favourite of the migratory birds. It may soon be catapulted into the list of popular water bird sanctuaries in the country. This village is sparsely populated. Migratory birds start coming by December end and fly away to their northern homes by June or July after they lay eggs, hatch them and the young ones grow old enough to fly with the older ones.

Krishnapuram :
13 km from Tirunelveli The temple in Krishna puram is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Presiding deity is Thiruvenka tanathar. There are number of life-size sculptures in this temple with intricate workmanship.

Kumbarutti Falls :
80 Kms from Tirunelveli, 20 Kms from Courtallam via beautiful falls located at western ghats along with natural swimming pool (Thadagam) 3 km before Achan Kovil.

Kurukuthurai Murugan Temple :
Lord Muruga temple here in the midst of Tamiraparani river on both the sides is beautifully carved out of a rock known as Thiruvuruvamalai. It is said that the same rock was used for carving the temple of Lord Muruga at Tiruchendur in 1653.

Kunnathur Temple :
Kunnathur is the first in Nadu Kailayam and fourth in Nava Kailayam; the ruling deity of this temple is Lord Kailasanathar alias Kotha Parameswarar. The Goddesses is Sivagami Amman Timings : Morning : 7.00 am to 10.00 am evening : 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Location: Kunnathur is 9 km from Tirunelveli Now it is called as upper Thiruvenkata Nathapuram and lower Thiruvenkatanathapuram.

Manimuthar Dam/Falls :
47 Kms from Tirunelveli. Gorgeous garden of Dam, pleasure boating. Water falls is 5 Kms from dam through Zig Zag Ghat road. Manjolai Tea Estate having salubrious climate can be visited. 10 Kms from dam. Rest house is available in the dam.

Manjolai - Hill Station :
Manjolai is 57 km away from Tirunelveli and is at an elevation of 1162 sq. metre. There are many tea plantations in and around this place. Bombay Burma Tea estate is famous one in this area. About 4000 people work in these tea plantations.

Museum :
2 kms from Tirunelveli. It is a multipurpose museum located on Tirunelveli-Thiruvananthapuram Road (NH7) at Palayamkottai. All kinds of Archaeological remainings can be seen. Entrance free. Museum Open 8.30 to a.m. to 5.30 p.m. 

Murappa Nadu :
The Temple Murambesswara is near here. Lord Shiva blesses as Lord Guru here Lord Kailasanathar and the Goddess Sivagami Ambal bless people. Those who visit this temple will get wealth and education. Temple Timings: Morning : 7.00 am to 10.00 am Evening : 5.00 pm to 7.30 pm Location : Murappa Nadu is 17 Kms from Tirunelveli along the Tirunelveli Tuticorin Road.

Nambi Malai :
On the hills close by stands a small temple dedicated to Lord Nambi called Malai Nambi with a panoramic view of the village below. This hill is called Nambi Malai (Nambi Hill).

Nanguneri :
Nanguneri is 30 Kms from Tirunelveli. Nanguneri is surrounded by lush green fertile, big water tank and acres of fertile land. The western part of Nanguneri is dotted with a chain of mountains called western ghats. People in the town live a simple life. Their daily routine may include taking bath in the water tank, visiting Sri Vanamamalai Temple and worshipping the Deity, taking blessings of Jeeyar and partaking prasadam offered in the temple. Nanguneri lies north of Eruvadi.

Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram Temple :
The Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram temple’s sanctum sanctorum has Lord Srinivasa deity.
The temple is located 7 to 10 km south west of Tirunelveli in the banks of perennial river Thamirabarani. This temple/place is also called Thirunankovil.

Pottalpudur Dargha :
The centre of attraction of this place is the oldest dargha built around the year 1674. This dargha attracts not only the Muslims but Hindus and Christians also in equal numbers. This has been built adopting Hindu temple pattern. Here holy ashes obtained from tamarind bark, ghee, and flowers called nerchai are distributed to the devotees. Ph : 04634-240566.

Rajapathy :
It is one of the Nava Kailayam is Tirunelveli District. Lord Siva reigns as lord kethu at Rajapathi. Lord kethu blesses with success to overcome conflicts in an individual’s life; he helps to fight against evil and restores peace. Temple Timings: Morning : 7.00 am to 10.30 am Evening : 5.00 pm to 7.30 pm Location : Raja Pathy is one km south of Manathy near Then Thiruperai in Thoothukudi District Bus facilites available in plenty to Then Thiruperai To Contact : C. Prakash Pattar – 9865143592

Salaikumaran Temple :
The Lord Muruga Temple in the heart of Tirunelveli Junction is a popular temple. This temple received Silver Trophy in 1965 for best maintained temple. Most of the marriages of Hindus are held here. 

Sri Sorimuthu Aiyanar Temple - Karayar :
Situated at karayar near Papanasam in Tirunelveli Dostrict. Presiding deity is Sorimuthu Aiyanar. Bommakka, Thimmakka and Pechiamman are the other deities there. Watching deity is Boodhathar. Location at 60 kms from Tirunelveli. Nearest Railway Station Ambasamudram Ph : 04634-291104.

Tirunelveli - Iruttukkadai ‘Alwa’
The city is very famous for the mouth watering sweet
‘Halwa’ (pronounced Alwa) which is made from wheat and sugar. The peculiar taste of ‘Tirunelveli Alwa’ owes its gratitude to Thamirabarani river water. The ‘Iruttu Kadai’ opposite to the Nellayappar temple is the hot spot when it comes to Alwa. Tourists from all over the country throng
‘Iruttukadai’ to purchase Tirunelveli Alwa.

Sengottai :
Sengottai is a town in the foothills of the Western Ghats. It is located roughly 5 km from the Coutrallam Waterfall. The Harihara and Kuntaaru rivers flow through the village. The economy of Sengottai is chiefly agrarian in nature and people are engaged in the cultivation of rice, groundnut, ginger, coconut. Terra cotta and Pottery industry, Cane furniture are the important economic activities. Large number of Saw mills are present in Shenkottai Piranoor. Tourist places are : Kundaru Dam and Mottai Dam 3 km from Sengottai, Paalaru Falls 15 km from Sengottai.

SeranMaha Devi :
The Siva Temple at Seran MahaDevi is the second place among the Nava Kailayams. The Prime diety here is called Sri Amma Natha Swami and the Goddesse is Avadi Nayagi Ambal.The Location: 20 km from Tirunelveli on the way to Ambasamudram.

Thiruvalluvar Two Tier Bridge :
The two tier over bridge, namely Thiruvalluvar Bridge at Tirunelveli Junction was constructed to avoid the railway line crossing. The total length of bridge is 800 metres. This type of two tier bridge constructed in Tirunelveli is the first of its kind in India. This bridge was opened for traffic in 1972. This two tier over bridge consists of 25 spans of which 13 are of bow string arch, each with a width of 30.30 metres and 12 are single tier R.C.C girder each having a width of 11.72 metres.

‘Parotta’- Special at Piranoor (Sengottai)
Piranoor, very near Sengottai is famous for Parotta with Chicken ‘Kuruma’. We can not get such a tasty Parotta-Chicken Kuruma any where is Tamil Nadu except at Piranoor. Parotta Stall functions only at night. Location : 3kms from Courtallam.7kms from Tenkasi.

Tirukkurungudi :
At the foot of the Mahendragiri hills on the western ghats and on the banks of the river Nambiyaru lies the large and prosperous village of Tirukkurungudi. In the Varaha Purana the Lord speaks of his sojourn in this holy village. Thus this place derives its name Kurungudi the smaller abode of Narayana.

Trinity Cathedral :
2 Kms from Tirunelveli. The location of the place now called as Murugankurichi. There is an elegant and beautiful church here, built in 1826 by Revered Rhenius.

V.O.C. Mani Mandapam :
V.O.Chitambaram the Towering personality of Freedom movement Tamilnadu who pulled cooking oil extractor (Chekku) in Coimbatore Jail, where he was imprisoned for fighting against British imperialism. V.O.C. also started Navigation company against British. He was not only a patriot but a labour union leader also. Once the workers of Harvey mill going on strike, they were starving. At that time VOC sold his land, and provided food to all the workers and thus continuing the strike.

Vallanadu Black Buck Sanctuary :
18 Kms. from Tirunelveli. A small hillock of Vallanadu have numerous population of spotted deers. This place always normal cool climate because surrounding there is lot of trees and plant are situated naturally. It is declared as Deer Sanctuary by Forest Department. Police Shooting Station (Arms Firing Training) here is one of the best in India. Contact : The District Forest Officer, Tirunelveli Division, Kokirakulam, Tirunelveli - 627009.

World Famous Mats of Pattamadai
These beautiful reed mats crafted out of korai grass with cotton or silk in the weft are made in Pattamadai village. The traditional colours used are red, green and black and the weaves range from medium colour to 140 counts in the silk or pattu mat. Designs inputs by modern designers has led to the making of contemporary mats which are greatly in demand both in the international and national markets.