Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
latd = 8.81 |longd = 78.14
state_name=Tamil Nadu
district= Thoothukudi
leader_title=District Collector
leader_name=Dr. R.Palaniyandi I.A.S.
population_as_of = 2001 | population_total = [ 4,05,363] | population_density = 46.75
area_magnitude = 9
area_total = 353.07
area_telephone = 91 461
postal_code = 628xxx
vehicle_code_range= TN 69
unlocode = INTUT
footnotes = |

Thoothukudi ( _ta. தூத்துக்குடி) also known as Tuticorin, is a city and a Municipal corporation in Thoothukudi district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the tenth largest city in Tamil Nadu (after Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy,Salem,Tirunelveli, Tiruppur, Erode and Vellore ). Tuticorin is the headquarters of Thoothukudi District.

The Tuticorin is also known as "Pearl City". It is a Seaport which serves Southern Tamil Nadu including the inland cities of Coimbatore, Madurai and Tirunelveli. It is one of the major seaports in India with its history dating back to the 6th century.

Origin of name

There are three theories as to the origin of the name:
*"Thoorthu" (Dig) and "Kudi" (Drink)- The town had no rivers and the only source of drinking water was from wells.
*"Thoortha" means land "reclaimed" from sea while "Kudi" also stands for "settlement" or "colony". Hence "Thoortha Kudi" or Thoothukudi could mean a settlement built on land reclaimed from sea.
*Finally, the Tuticorin name was used by Dutch people who were here. Today the city is called "Tuticorin" in English and "Thoothukudi" in Tamil.

History of Tuticorin

Tuticorin is traditionally known for its pearl fishery and shipbuilding. Thoothukudi became the centre of the Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, with such leaders as the Maveeran Sundaralinga Kudumbanar World First Human Suicide Bomber ,poet Subramanya Bharathy, Veerapandia Kattabomman, Vadivu World First Women Suicide Bomber , Venni Kalady, Vellaya Thevan, and V.O. Chidambaram Pillai. In 1906, the freedom fighter V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, with the help of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, launched the first Swadeshi ship "S.S. Gaelia" from this port town in British India.

The major harbour of Tuticorin is well known as a pearl diving and fishing centre. Tuticorin, one of the oldest sea ports in the world, was the seaport of the Pandyan kingdom after Korkai and later was taken over by the Portuguese in 1548, captured by the Dutch in 1658, and ceded to the British in 1825. (Courtesy - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001). The lighthouse built in 1842 marked the beginning of the history of Thoothukudi harbour development. Tuticorin was established as a Municipality in 1866 with Roche Victoria as its first chairman, is to attained the status of Corporation on August 5th 2008 after 142 years.


Thoothukudi is in South India about 540 km south west of Madras (Chennai) and is geographically located in the Gulf of Mannar.

The district of Mannar (Bay of Bengal) lies south and southwest of the district of Tirunelveli, west and northwest of the district of Virudhunagar and north of 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.

The district of Thoothukudi was carved out as a separate district in the year 1986 as a result of bifurcation of the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu State.

Holy Places in Tuticorin

* Arulmigu Subramanya Swami Temple - Tiruchendur; Padai Veedu for Lord Murugan. [ Sri Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam]
* Nava Thirupathi; Nine Divya Dhesam, Abode of Lord Vishnu - Banks of Thamiraparani river [ Divya Dhesam]
* Bhagam Priyal samaetha Sankara Parameshwarar Temple - Tuticorin
* Vaigundaperumal Sannathi - Tuticorin Churches
* Our Lady of Snows Basilica, Beach Road, Tuticorin [ Snows Church]
* Sacred Heart Cathedral, Tuticorin , seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tuticorin
* St.Antony's Church - PulliyamPatti Village
* St.Antony's Church - Uvari [ Uvari]
* St.Antony's Church, Shanmugapuram, Tuticorin
* St.Peter's Chrurch, Mattakadai, Tuticorin
* St.Patrick's Church,Mattakadai, Tuticorin
* St.Peter's Church,Shunmugapuram,Tuticorin
* St.Xavier's Cave and Church - Manapadu Village; Cave Near sea shore
* Trinity Church, Near Old Harbour, Tuticorin; Built in 1750. Mosques
* Mohiyadeen Jumma Mosque, WGC Road, Tuticorin
* Mosque at P&T Colony, Tuticorin
* Many Mosques in Kayalpattinam.


There are no big reservoirs in this district so the Papanasam and Manimuthar dams located in the Tirunelveli district under Tamirabarani system are the main sources of irrigation. Other than the Tamirabarani river, the river "Vaipar" in Vilathikulam taluk, the river "Karumeni" which traverses through Sathankulam, and Tiruchendur taluks are all sources. In Ottapidaram taluk there is one small reservoir at Eppodumvendran village.

Civic administration


The economy of Thoothukudi is based on industries, port, fishing, salt pans, and agriculture.

Tuticorin second largest producer of salt in India after Gujarat.

Tuticorin is famous for Macroon ( Cookie made of Cashew, Egg and Yeast)

Industry in Tuticorin

Thoothukudi has a host of industries including power, chemicals, fisheries and IT .

Tata Steel to set up titanium dioxide project in Tuticorin. The project outlay is about Rs.2,500 crore The availability of skilled labour, an electricity generating plant, a container facility and it being a major port has made Tuticorin a major centre for industry and business. The Sethusamudram project, the airport at Vagaikulam, Koodankulam Nuclear Power plant, improved road and rail infrastructure and Nanguneri SEZ is expected to make Tuticorin an attractive choice for business investment.


On 11th July 1974, the newly-constructed Thoothukudi port was declared to be the tenth major port in India, second-largest port in Tamil Nadu and third-largest container terminal in India after JN Port (Mumbai) and Chennai. Thoothukudi is an artificial port [ [ Official website of Tuticorin Port(Construction Details) ] ] . This is the third international port in Tamil Nadu and its second all-weather port. [ Official website of Tuticorin Port] ] Due to its strategic location in the southern peninsula and assured round-the-clock operations, the port has been the nerve centre of economic activity in south Tamil Nadu. The Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, a project to create a shipping channel through the shallow Palk Strait to allow pasage of larger ships, is headquartered at the Port of Thoothukudi [ Sethusamudram Project in Tuticorin] ] . The port currently handles seven per cent of the total container traffic in India and is an important reason for investment in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

The port is badly in need of expansion to handle the increase in traffic. The two container berths in the port are of dimension 370 m length and 10.9 m depth. This limits the port in competing against Colombo port, which has 15 m depth. The Tuticorin Port Trust is investing $1 billion for expansion. This will be done in two phases; the first will deepen the harbour to a depth of 12.8 m and the second will increase it to 14.5 m. In addition to expansion of the outer harbour, proposed upgrades include construction of breakwaters and lengthening the approach channel. [ Tuticorin Port Expansion] ] The port has been upgraded to handle vessels longer than 245 m. The advantages of deploying bigger vessels are that the existing restriction on booking can be eliminated and the transshipment at Colombo port can be reduced. The Tuticorin port has the potential to be an international container transhipment hub given its unique geographical location. [ Potential for Tuticorin Port] ] Activity at the port has grown at a rate of 17 per cent per year over the last five years. A large portion of the operations in the port has been privatized, including handling at the first container terminal by PSA Sical. [ Tuticorin Port Improvements] ] A second container terminal has been approved for this port. [ Tuticorin Port Trust Approved] ] Tuticorin port is becoming a gateway for South India to the US, Europe and the Mediterranean following direct sailings to these regions. Of the total exports from the port, 25 per cent were to Europe, 20 per cent to the US, 20 per cent to East Asia including China, 15 per cent to Colombo, 10 per cent to West Asia and the remainder to the Mediterranean.

The port is also helping increase the tourism in the region. A new ferry has been commenced between Tuticorin and Colombo.

alt Production

The district constitutes 70 per cent of the total salt production of Tamil Nadu and 30 per cent of that of India. Tuticorin is the Second largest producer of Salt in India next to Gujarat.


Paddy is cultivated in the Srivaikundam, Sattankulam and Tiruchendur taluks. Cumbu, Cholam, Kuthiraivali and other pulses are raised in the dry tracts of Kovilpatti, Vilathikulam, Ottapidaram, and Thoothukudi taluks. Cotton is cultivated in Kovilpatti, Ottapidaram and Thoothukudi taluks. Groundnut cultivation is undertaken in Kovilpatti, Tiruchendur, and Sattankulam taluks. Groundnut cake is being used as manure and cattle feed.

With 35% share, the district is the top producer of Cumbu in Tamil Nadu. []

Palmyrah trees are grown mostly in Tiruchendur, Srivaikundam, Sattankulam and Vilathikulam taluks. Jaggery is produced from palmyrah juice; the production of jaggery is the main occupation of the people of Tiruchendur and Sattankulam taluks. Banana and other vegetables are raised in Srivaikundam and Tiruchendur taluks. The road going towards kulayankarisal from Thiruchendur has banana farms on one side and a salt farm on the other; each farm needs a different type of water.Thoothukudi is the largest exporter of Banana in Tamilnadu.


There is a tradition that the Tamil language originated from the "Pothigai Malai", a hill situated in western Ghats near Papanasam, a small village in the Tirunelveli district.As per Brahminical legend, Lord Shiva sent the two saints Vyasa and Agatyar (in Sanskrit Agastya) to create the divine languages Sanskrit and Tamil. Agatyar came to Papanasam and established the Tamil culture from the Pothigai Malai.

Today the Tamil language as spoken in the Tirunelveli district is called as Nellai Tamil.Since Tamil is born in Pothigai Malai,Nellai Tamil is the first from of Tamil and pure form also.It is very sweetest from of Tamil. Fact|date=May 2008Nellai Tamil is very fast compared to other type of Tamil.Fact|date=January 2007 The version spoken here is considerably different than.


Tuticorin is known to produce some of the best sailors and Marine Officers of the world.Sailors from Tuticorin are highly recognised by all Crewing Companies.



Tuticorin City is well connected by road. The Major Highways are,

* Tuticorin - Madurai (NH 45B)
* Tuticorin - Tirunelveli (NH 7A)
* Tuticorin - Tiruchendur (State Highway)
* Tuticorin - Ramanathapuram (State Highway)

Currently the Tuticorin - Madurai (NH 45B) and Tuticorin - Tirunelveli (NH 7A) are being converted into 4-lane Expressway.

* The Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project with funding from World Bank is laying an ECR(East Coast Road) from Arcot to Tuticorin (742KM) at an outlay of Rs.2,160 Crore (Rs.21.6 Billion). The project, which started in February 2004, is expected to be completed by March 2009. [] ]


* Tuticorin is one of the oldest [ [ Railway Map of India - 1893] ] railway stations in India.
* South Indian Railway began Madras - Tuticorin service connecting with the boat to Ceylon in 1899. [ [] ]
* Tuticorin City Railway Station is declared as a Model StationFact|date=December 2007 and several infrastructure developments are in process.
* Tuticorin City has two Railway Stations Tuticorin Melur (Station Code:TME) and Tuticorin (Station Code:TN). [ [] ]
* Currently the proposals for Electrification of the track up to Tuticorin and double line conversion from Dindugul to Tuticorin are approved by the Ministry of Railways.
* A proposal for connecting Karakudi - Tiruchendhur through Ramand and Tuticorin is under survey.
* A proposal for connecting Tuticorin - Tiruchendur - Kanyakumari in under consideration by the Ministry of Railways.

The major trains From Tuticorin:
# Tuticorin - Chennai : Pearl City Express
# Tuticorin - Mysore Express
# Tuticorin - Tirunelveli Passenger
# Tuticorin - Madurai Passenger
# Tuticorin - Tirunelveli - Tiruchendur Passenger


* Tuticorin Airport is at Vagaikulam, 14 km from the heart of the city.
* After several years Tuticorin Airport was opened for operation on April 1, 2006.
* Currently a daily Air Deccan Flight service between Chennai and Tuticorin is active.
* The State Government has planned to extend the runway(Over 700acres of land is under approval) and modernize the airport to handle to more traffic and bigger aircrafts.
* Air Dravida is starting operations from Tuticorin to Chennai from January 2009.
* Paramount Airways is planning to start their air services to Tuticorin from various cities in South India.
* Chennai based Rs.14.85-billion Consolidated Construction Consortium (CCC) is bidding for the construction and operation of greenfield airport in Tuticorin [ [] ] .


* Tuticorin Port is one of the Twelve Major Ports in India.
* Tuticorin Port is the Third largest container terminal and one of the best Ports in India.
* Mr. G J Rao is the Chairman of Tuticorin Port Trust.
* Tuticorin is the only Port in South India to provide a direct weekly container service to U.S.A. The transit time to US is 22 days.
* There are regular weekly direct services to Europe (transit time 17 days), China (transit time 10 days) and Red Sea Ports (transit time 8 days).
* The Tuticorin Port is ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001 : 2004 certified.


* Tuticorin has been a centre for maritime trade and pearl fishery for more than a century.
* The natural harbour with a rich hinterland, activated the development of the Tuticorin Port.
* Tuticorin was declared as a minor anchorage port in 1868.
* In 1906, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai launched the first swadeshi ship "S.S. Gaelia" in British India from Tuticorin Port.
* After Independence, the minor Port of Tuticorin witnessed a flourishing trade and handled a variety of cargo.
* To cope with the increasing trade through Tuticorin, the Government of India sanctioned the construction of an all-weather Port at Tuticorin.
* On July 11,1974, the newly constructed Tuticorin Port was declared as the 10th major port of India.


* Tuticorin Port is an artificial deep-sea harbour formed with rubble mound type parallel breakwaters projecting into the sea for about 4 km.
* The harbour basin extends to about 400 hectares of protected water area and is served by an approach channel of 2400 metres length and 183 metres width.
* Tuticorin Port boasts of 9 Cargo Berths, 1 Shallow Water Berth, 1 Passenger Jetty, 1 Oil Jetty and 2 Coal Jetties in Tuticorin Port.
* Works are being carried out to increase the depth of the canal and basin to handle vessels of up to 12.8m draft.
* The present capacity of the Tuticorin Port is 20.55 million tonnes.


;Schools in Thoothukudi
# APC Veerabahu Matric Higher Secondary School
# Bharathiyar Vidhyalayam Higher Secondary School
# BMC Matriculation Higher Secondary School
# Caldwell Higher Secondary School
# Charles Matriculation School
# C.M. Middle School
# C.M. Higher Secondary School
# C.V. High School
# Das Navis Matha Girls Higher Secondary School
# Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Memorial Harbour Matriculation School
# Geetha Matriculation Higher Secondary School
# Harbour Higher Secondary School
# Holy Cross Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School
# Holy Cross Girls Higher Secondary School
# Johnson Nursery & Primary School
# Eben Marticulation School
# Kamak Matriculation Higher Secondary School
# Karapettai Nadar Girls Higher Secondary School
# Karapettai Nadar Boys Higher Secondary School
# K.V.S Matriculation School
# Leo Matriculation School
# M.M. Matriculation School
# St.Lasalle Higher Secondary School
# Rosammal Memorial Higher Secondary School
# S.A.V Higher Secondary School
# Sakthi Vinayakar Hindu Vidyalaya
# S.D.A Matriculation High School
# Spic Nagar Higher Secondary School
# Star Matriculation Higher Secondary School
# St.Aloysious Girls Higher Secondary School
# St.Francis Xavier Higher Secondary School
# St.Joseph Girls Higher Secondary School
# St.Mary's Boys Higher Secondary School
# St.Marys Industrial School
# St.Thomas Matriculation Higher Secondary School
# Subbiah Vidyalayam Girls Higher Secondary School
# Victoria Girls Higher Secondary School
# Vikasa Hr. Sec. School
# Virudhunagar Nadar Kamarajar Matriculation High School
# X'n matriculation School

and 13 Tuticorin Corporation Schools

;Colleges in Thoothukudi:

Arts & Science
# A.P.C. Mahalakshmi College
# Bishop Caldwell Arts and Science College
# Kamaraj College
# St.Mary's College for Women
# V.O.C. Arts & Science College

# Annammal College of Education for Women
# V.O.C. College of Education
# Holy Cross Home Science College

# Government Medical College

# Government Polytechnic College
# Samuel Polytechnic College
# Chandy Polytechnic college
# Devendrar I.T.I
# Government Industrial Training Institute
# A.C.Muthiah Vocational Training Centre

# Government Fisheries Institute
# Government Music College
# Tamilnadu Maritime Academy


* The Tuticorin City has seven local TV Channels.
* Tuticorin has All India Radio Station which Carries AIR External Services for South Asia in English, Sinhala and Tamil (1053 kHz).
* FM Radio Stations in Tuticorin City include Suryan FM(93.5 MHz), Hello FM(106.4 MHz).
* [ CCL] got the FM Radio License for Tuticorin under Phase II of FM Radio Licenses by Government of India.

* Tuticorin City is the landing point for the first undersea cable of BSNL, Ltd. Connecting Tuticorin with Colombo. [ BSNL picks Tuticorin to be landing station] ] The optical fibre cable runs between Mt.Lavinia (Sri Lanka) and Tuticorin (325 km) with bandwidth of 20 gigabits per second, will be upgraded to 160 gigabits per second. This will promote the IT investment in South India by improved Telecom infrastructure.


Tuticorin and its surroundings is called the nursery of volleyball.
* Kamaraj, former student of St. Xaviers Higher Secondary School, represented India in volleyball.

* Moses Jeevanandam, former student of Caldwell Higher Secondary School, represented India in basketball.
* Shalini, former student of St. Mary's College, represented India in beach volleyball.
* In the 1980s, Tuticorin basketball coach Renga Chari, or "Chari", trained many basketball players in this region. Moses Jeevanandam is among them.
* Piramanayagam, former student of St.Marys Boys hr sec school, reprensented India in kabbadi


See also

* Ports in India

External links

* [ Muthunagar]
* [ Tuticorin News]
* [ Tuticorin: Pearl of the south]

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