NAGERCOIL ("Temple of the Nāgas ") is a town in the southernmost
Indian state of
Tamil Nadu and a municipality and administrative
Kanyakumari District . The city is situated close to
the tip of the Indian peninsula, locked with the
Western Ghats on all
sides. It was briefly part of the erstwhile
Travancore state, till
almost a decade after India's Independence from Britain in 1947. In
1956, it was merged with Tamil Nadu. In its earlier days, the town and
its surroundings were known as NANJILNADU.
Nagercoil holds a number of
educational institutions, hospitals, offices and industries. It is
also the hub of industrial and commercial activity in the district,
and a fertile agricultural area that produces paddy. The minerals
ilmenite and monazite are mined there. The land is surrounded by hills
and lush green paddy fields. It is also known for different varieties
Nagercoil is a land of great traditional and cultural
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Early history
* 2.2 Modern history
* 3 Demographics
* 4 Geography
* 4.1 Climate
* 5 Economy
* 6 Transport
* 6.1 Road
* 6.2 Rail
* 6.3 Air
* 7 Architecture
* 7.1 Nagaraja Temple
Nagercoil Clock Tower
* 7.3 St. Xavier\'s Church
* 7.4 CSI Home Church
* 8 Politics
* 9 Education
* 10 Culture and traditional cuisine
* 11 Sports
* 12 Places of interest
* 13 Places near
* 14 References
* 15 External links
Nagercoil derives its name from a famous old temple called the
Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil (temple of the serpent king) which still
exists in the central part of the city. It has been an important
temple for Hindus, for centuries and is also a tourist attraction.
According to certain accounts, it may once have been a
Jain temple as
icons of the Tirthankaras
Parshvanatha are found on the
pillars of the temple.
Nagercoil came under the rule of various kingdoms, notably the Chera
Pandya kingdoms, at various points in time; historical
records reveal that these kingdoms fought over the control of the
fertile area of Nanjilnadu and
Kottar , a town mentioned in old Tamil
writings and maps of ancient India. Archaeological records also show
Jain influences in ancient times.
The modern history of the town is interwoven with the history of
Travancore state. The modern town of
Nagercoil grew around Kottar, now
a locality within the municipal limits. The town came to prominence
during and after the reign of Maharaja
Marthanda Varma , the king of
Travancore, the capital of which was
Padmanabhapuram , about 20 km to
the north of Nagercoil. The capital was later shifted to Trivandrum,
Thiruvananthapuram , the capital of
Kerala state. In the erstwhile
Nagercoil was the second most important town in the
state, after the capital Trivandrum.His successors continued the
reforms he instituted. Although
Travancore was considered by many to
be a "
Hindu " administration, the rulers generally showed religious
tolerance, and were not hostile to European educators, missionaries
and traders. Until the 19th century, the coffers of
greatly helped by revenues from the trade of pepper and other spices,
with the European powers. Irrigation systems (an excellent system is
still found around Nagercoil), dams, roads, schools etc. developed
under the able administration of the
Travancore regents and their
Dewan . The British in
Travancore a "model native
state". At the time,
Travancore was the most socially developed, and
one of the most economically developed states under the
British Raj .
During the British Raj,
Travancore was essentially a vassal-state to
the British , but the British never interfered in the general
administration of the state.
At the time of India's independence from Britain , the then
C. P. Ramaswami Iyer , preferred
Travancore to be a
sovereign country, but eventually gave up after a tough stand by
Vallabhbhai Patel , India's federal minister in charge of home
affairs, as also the
Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress . The late Sir C. P.
Ramaswami Iyer is still held in high esteem in Nagercoil, for the many
developmental projects he undertook in the then South Travancore, of
which the town was a part. After a political fight in the 1950s led by
Marshal Nesamony , the Government of Travancore-
Cochin gave part of
Tamil Nadu and on November 1, 1956
Kanyakumari district was
established because the majority of the population spoke Tamil in the
district. This was enacted in the Indian States Reorganisation Act,
Political map of South
India , 210 B.C. Showing
Nagercoil as Nanjil.
A view of
Padmanabhapuram Palace. This place is native of
According to 2011 census ,
Nagercoil had a population of 224,849 with
a sex-ratio of 1,050 females for every 1,000 males, much above the
national average of 929. 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 .17% of the population
respectively. The average literacy of the city was 95.35%. 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
As per the religious census of 2011,
Nagercoil had 61.06%
Muslims , 29.94%
Christians , 0.01%
Sikhs , 0.02%
0.02% Jains and 0.06% following other religions or not stating their
The largest concentration of the population of the town and the
District is along the coastal belt, on the eastern side, while the
largely forested areas on the western side of the district (along the
Western Ghats) are sparsely populated.
CLIMATE CHART (EXPLANATION )
17 30 23
19 31 23
36 33 24
83 33 26
91 33 26
148 31 25
92 31 25
55 31 25
61 31 25
187 31 24
192 30 23
64 29 23
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
0.7 85 73
0.7 88 73
1.4 91 76
3.3 91 78
3.6 91 79
5.8 88 77
3.6 87 77
2.2 88 77
2.4 88 76
7.4 87 76
7.6 85 74
2.5 85 73
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Nagercoil with its Scenic Beauty is cradeled between the Western
Ghats Derik mart a popular Super market
Nagercoil is situated in the
Kanyakumari district of the Indian state
Tamil Nadu, which is located on the southernmost tip of
India and is
Tirunelveli on its east and north and by
Kerala on its
west and northwest.One of the best thing about the climate of
Nagercoil is that, it is the only Indian town to receive both the
south-west and north-east monsoons. Summers are quite hot here with
winters being gentle. It receives more rain than other parts of Tamil
Summers are pretty humid and temperature reaches at 34 °C easily at
that time. Summer months start from March and end in May. Monsoon
months are from June till September with an average temperature of
about 25 °C during the same time. Winters start from November and
ends in February with an average temperature of 22 °C. Although,
Nagercoil is located at a distance of only 20 km from Kanyakumari,
temperature difference in the day stands at around 3 -4 degrees
CLIMATE DATA FOR NAGERCOIL
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
India Meteorological Department
The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre of the Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) is a major testing facility for cryogenic and
liquid propulsion rocket engines sited in the Mahendragiri hills, on
Western Ghats near Nagercoil.
The public sector
Indian Rare Earths (IREL) also has its largest
facility at Manavalakurichy, near the town, which pioneers in the
mining, processing and production of thorium . The plant is situated
25 km north of
Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin), the southernmost tip of the
Indian sub-continent. All-weather major seaport
Tuticorin and the
nearest airport at
Thiruvananthapuram are equidistant, about 65 km
from the plant site.
Nagercoil at a distance of about 18 km from the
plant, is the closest major railway station. MK plant annually
produces about 90,000t ilmenite of 55%. TiO2 grade, 3500t rutile and
10,000t of zircon in addition to 3000t monazite and 10,000t garnet ,
based primarily on beach-washing by fishermen of the surrounding five
villages. IREL has also mining lease of mineral rich areas wherein raw
sand can be made available in large quantities through dredging
operations. In addition to mining and minerals separation, the unit
has a chemical plant to add value to zircon in the form of zircon frit
and other zirconium based chemicals in limited quantities.
Fish-net manufacturing is a growing business in and around the town;
nets for commercial fishing are supplied to the domestic and export
Cottage industries include coir -making, floral trade,
handloom-weaving, rubber products, food-processing units, and
Being the closest major city of
Tamil Nadu to the
Thiruvananthapuram (65 km away and the closest international airport
to Nagercoil), trading and sending supplies to
Thiruvananthapuram is a major activity for the markets at
Kottar . Greater availability and lower prices for many items compared
to Kareala assists this business. Supply of marine and agricultural
produce to the overseas export-markets are also important economic
activities, though primarily done through exporters or agents in
Kerala. Remittances to
Nagercoil from overseas, from Non-Resident
Indians (NRIs) hailing from the town, is a major contributor to the
Cement, software, logistics, and BPO are among the rapidly developing
industries growing in Nagercoil.
Anna Bus Stand
The road network in
Nagercoil consists of National highways, State
highways, District roads and Rural roads. Total length of roads in
Nagercoil municipality is 198.58 km.NH 47, which extends from
Kanyakumari to Salem, passes through the town. An extension of this
road viz NH 47B connects the town with NH 7 at kavalkinaru providing
Madurai and the northern parts of the state. There are 2 bus
Nagercoil viz. Anna Bus Stand and
Vadasery Bus stand.
While the long route buses ply from
Vadasery bus stand and only the
buses close to
Nagercoil run from Anna Bus stand. There are several
means of transport easily available to get around the town of
Nagercoil. Government and private buses frequent between various
cities and have a wide network.
Nagercoil Junction railway
Nagercoil Junction railway station
Nagercoil Junction railway station (Station code NCJ) is an important
Kanyakumari district. Many express trains to major cities
India start at
Nagercoil and passenger trains also run from this
junction to the nearby cities. The station has four platforms
connecting the west-coast lines with the east-coast lines. The
junction has lines connecting Chennai,
Karaikudi . The route from
Nagercoil Town (NJT) runs through tunnels and hilly terrain.
While most of the trains are connected to
trains also run to
Trivandrum for Nagercoil. Journey times are around
4–5 hours from
Madurai to Nagercoil, and 1 hour 40 minutes from
Trivandrum to Nagercoil.
Nagercoil Railway Junction is one of the most
profit generating station making an annual profit of around 20 crores
Nagercoil Town railway station (NJT) is becoming increasingly
important. There are plans for trains to bypass
station and instead pass through
Nagercoil Town station, saving about
Trivandrum International Airport
The nearest international airport is
Trivandrum airport which is 70
km north west of the town.
Trivandrum connects the city further to
other major cities like
Chennai by air. Also
TNSTC buses take you directly to the
Nagercoil town in about 2 hours.
Tuticorin Airport is the next nearest
Nagercoil at 113 km located at southern part of Tamil
Nadu state.There is a proposal to build an Airport in
Airports Authority of India.
Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil
It is difficult to ascertain the exact age of the Nagaraja temple.
There is no authentic epigraph to aid the historian with its
chronology. The mountain Mahendragiri in the
Kanyakumari district is
referred to as the abode of Nagas in the Ramayana of Valmiki. From
this, it can be presumed that the origin of Naga influence in the area
goes back to legendary times.From the five-headed-serpent deity of the
temple, the name of this place (city)
Nagercoil is derived; gradually
its old name, Kottar, has mostly faded. There is a part of town called
Kottar, so the old name remains. Within a five kilometer radius of the
temple, there has been no recorded human death from snake bite.
NAGERCOIL CLOCK TOWER
Nagercoil Clock Tower was built to commemorate the visit of Sri
Moolam Thirunal, then ruler of
Travancore , in 1893, and was designed
by Hogeorf and S. Horesly of
England . The Maharajah himself
inaugurated it on February 15 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 the European LMS Missionary, Rev. Duthie. The total cost for
Nagercoil Clock Tower was Rs.3258, 9 Chakrams and 12
Kasu. The Maharajah of
Travancore donated Rs.1017/- and the balance
was donated by the public.
The clock tower was handed over to experts for repair by the
Municipality in 2009. The sponsor renovated the tower twice
in 2010 and 2012 by spending around Rs. 4 lakh. A technician from
Thiruvananthapuram , Richard, used to repair the clock, which stopped
ticking after his death.
ST. XAVIER\'S CHURCH
St. Xavier\'s Church,
St. Xavier Church is a
Roman Catholic Latin Rite shrine located at
Kanyakumari district of
Tamil Nadu state,
While Saint Xavier was doing missionary work at
Kottar and its
neighbourhood, he averted an invasion of Padagas with the help of his
cross alone and thus protected the people of 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.Church records indicate that
St.Xavier Church was built in 1600. In 1865, the Shrine of Mary was
renovated and enlarged. In 1930, the church was raised to the status
of a cathedral.
CSI HOME CHURCH
CSI Home Church, Nagercoil is one of the largest and oldest churches
in Asia. It is having a rich history of close to 200 years. It was
the first Major church in the state of Travancore. It was built in the
year 1819 under the supervision of Rev.
William Tobias Ringeltaube , a
Prussian who had come to
Nagercoil via Madras, and Rev Charles Mead.
The land on which the church was built was donated by the then British
Travancore Resident, General
John Munro, 9th of Teaninich , who had
acted as a catalyst between the Missionary and the government of
Madras and the Kingdom of Travancore. This helped in theological
education for about two centuries. The church hosted the wedding of
Robert Caldwell , one of the best known linguistics scholars in
the world in the year 1830. The building's imposing Greek style is 140
ft long and 70 ft wide. This is one of the oldest and biggest of the
Protestant churches in South India.
SAJJANSINGH R. CHAVAN
Superintendent of Police
Marshal Nesamony , one of the leading lawyers of the
was elected as the Chairman of the
Nagercoil Municipal Council in
1943. He enlarged the town boundary, improved water supply system for
the town, established a home for the destitutes and increased the
income of the
Nagercoil Municipality. In the same year, he was elected
Travancore State Assembly and was also nominated to the Senate
of the then
Travancore University (today's
Kerala University ). Later
K. Kamaraj , the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, won from
Kanyakumari constituency without even canvassing. This happens to be
the strongest support base for the
Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress in South
India and is Nicknamed "The Fort of Congress". The
Sabha constituency) is perhaps the only Constituency in
Tamil nadu do
not have elected an
Dravidian parties in the states History. However,
in the past decade, this constituency has been electing either BJP or
Communist party. 2014 Elections saw support for BJP in this
Pon Radhakrishnan was elected to the center, in spite
of strong stiff competition and massive influence of the congress
Subi the social activist, national sportsman and leader of The Future
India Party, a youth based political party representing young people
in India, is from Nagercoil. He is also the founder of the World Youth
Organization a non-profit organization for youth welfare primarily
concerne on youth affairs. A.K. Chellaiya , was a politician and MLA
Colachel constituency on 1952. He resigned his post for merging
Kanyakumari with Tamilnad.
A. Samraj , was a politician and MLA of
Thovalai constituency on 1952. He resigned his post for merging
Kanyakumari with Tamil Nadu.
Tamil is the official language in
Nagercoil and is spoken by the
majority of the population here. Tamil along with English is used as a
medium of teaching in all major schools. There are many schools and
Nagercoil that are more than 150 years old like Scott
Christian College (est 1809 as a village-church school and later in
1893 as a college ),
Scott Christian Higher Secondary School (est
Carmel Higher Secondary School (est 1920 ), DVD Higher
Secondary School (est 1933 ), as well as a more recent South
Hindu College (est 1952 ), Excel group of Schools. Sethu
Lakshmi Bai Higher Secondary School, is situated in the heart of town.
It was established under the supervision of the Travancore
administrators and named after a
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi , the Queen of
Travancore between 1924 and 1931. Another school which was named after
Travancore ruler is Sri Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma Higher Secondary
School. Educational institutions include privately funded engineering
colleges, the state-run
Kanyakumari Government Medical College (at
Asaripallam near Nagercoil), and many polytechnic colleges and arts
and science colleges. As in neighbouring Kerala, women's education and
career-development are given importance.
European missionaries, in the, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries
played a major role in imparting education to the people of the town
and district. As a result, the town enjoyed a good social progress
compared to the rest of the country, as indicated by a more normal
male female sex ratio of 1045 females per 1000 males compared to the
national average of 940 females and state average of 996 females per
1000 males. Literacy rate is also high at 94.99% compared to the
national average of 74.04% and state average of 80.09%.
CULTURE AND TRADITIONAL CUISINE
Diwali is the most celebrated festival followed by pongal. Christmas
is also celebrated in
Nagercoil as the town has a higher percentage of
Onam is another festival widely celebrated among the
Malayalam -speaking population by drawing the `atha poo' (flower
decoration) in the floor,
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Nagercoil is home to the Nanjilnadu cuisine , which is one of the
famous cuisine in the state. This cuisine is known for its unique
appetizing, savory and delicious Spiced Local Touch. These food
traditions are believed to have been passed on through the Chera,
Pandya kings, which was found in literary works like Bhojana
Kudhoogalam (Ecstasy of Food), Baga Saastram (Art of Cooking),
Tamizhar Uravu (Tamil Kinship), and Marattiar Seppedugal (Maratta
Copper Plate Inscriptions). The Nanjinadu seafood cuisine also has its
unique flavour followed widely in the states of
Tamil nadu and Kerala
. Food prepared here is also a mix of Kerala/
Tamil Nadu traditions.
Puttu, Appam, Idiappam are popular food items and so are rice murukku,
and achu-murukku. Curries here are made with coconut and coconut oil
which is now considered Nanjil or
Nagercoil style cooking. The
modernisation and sophistication that has crept into the present
lifestyle has not erased out most of the traditional food culture of
the city. But a unique feature is that some traditional rare dishes
are becoming endangered or are going extinct, due to the negligence of
learning by the future generation. It enjoys a blend of Tamil and
Keralite cuisine. Rice is the staple food. Fish is popular and forms a
part of everyday meal for many. People generally prefer marine fish to
The food is generally spicy with coconut an important ingredient in
almost all side dishes and curry, very much like that of neighbouring
Kerala. Seafood, chicken, mutton and beef are widely available and
popular among the people, though there are also some vegetarians in
and around the town. Banana ">
Bus Station at
Sunrise with Vivekananda Rock Memorial and
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