Kanyakumari district

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For other uses of Kanyakumari, see Kanyakumari (disambiguation).
Kanyakumari district
Kanniyakumari Mavattam, Kumari Mavattam
district
Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue at sunrise, Kanyakumari
Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue at sunrise, Kanyakumari
Location in Tamil Nadu, India
Location in Tamil Nadu, India
Coordinates: 8°04′41″N 77°32′28″E / 8.078°N 77.541°E / 8.078; 77.541Coordinates: 8°04′41″N 77°32′28″E / 8.078°N 77.541°E / 8.078; 77.541
Country India
State Tamil Nadu
District Kanniyakumari
Established 1 November 1956
Headquarters Nagercoil
Talukas Agastheeswaram, Kallkkulam, Thovalai, Vilavancode
Government
 • Collector & District Magistrate S. Nagarajan
Area
 • Total 1,684 km2 (650 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,870,374
 • Density 1,005.7/km2 (2,605/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Tamil,
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 629000
Telephone code 04652 & 04651
Vehicle registration TN-74 & TN-75
Coastline 72 kilometres (45 mi)
Sex ratio M-1000/F-1014 /
Literacy 97.6%
Legislature type Elected
Legislature Strength 6
Lok Sabha constituency Kanyakumari
Vidhan Sabha constituency 6
Precipitation 1,865 millimetres (73.4 in)
Avg. summer temperature 23 °C (73 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 11 °C (52 °F)
Website www.kanyakumari.tn.nic.in

Kanyakumari district (Tamil: கன்னியாகுமரி மாவட்டம்) is the southern-most district in Tamil Nadu. It is the second largest district in the state in terms of population density and the second most urbanized – next only to Chennai district.[1] The district derives its name from the Goddess Kanniya Kumari Amman enshrined in the temple located at the southern-most tip of main-land India, Kanyakumari. The district stand first in terms of literacy rate in the state. The district has a varied topography with sea on three sides and the mountains of the Western Ghats bordering the northern side. Geologically, the landmass of the district is much younger when compared to the rest of state - faulted as late as 2.5 millon years during the Miocene period, after which numerous transgression as well as regression of sea had shaped the western coast of the district. Historically, Nanjinad and Edanadu which comprises of the present Kanyakumari district were, in one time or another, ruled by various Tamil dynasties, the Pandyas, the Cheras, the Cholas, the Ays and the Nayaks. Few of the artifacts unearthed by archeological excavations in the district dates as far back as to Neolithic period.

Despite being an area of a historically Tamil majority populace, it was part of the princely state of Travancore during the colonial times prior to the nation's independence; Four of the eight taluks of Thiruvananthapuram district were separated to form the new district of Kanyakumari during the formation of the new state of Kerala, and they were made a part of the Madras Presidency under recommendations from the States Reorganisation Commission in 1956. The Presidency was later renamed as Tamil Nadu and Kanyakumari is one among the 32 districts of the state of Tamil Nadu.

Almost one-third of the fishermen in Tamil Nadu [2] and roughly a fourth of the total Malayalis in the state resides in Kanyakumari District.[citation needed] Due to the close association of the Malayalam language with the Tamil people of the district[when?], the usage of the Tamil language, accent and the variations in dialect here is unusually peculiar, especially when compared to the rest of the state. Many historical assumptions persists which associates the sages Agathiyar, Tholkappiyar, Avvaiyar, Thiruvalluvar etc with the district. The district is also the birth place of the socio-religious belief system of Ayyavazhi.

Location[edit]

Kanyakumari district is at the southern tip of peninsular India. It is bordered on the west by Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala state and by Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu to the north and east. It is sometimes referred to as "Land's End".[3] The district is bordered by the Laccadive Sea on the southeastern, the southern and the southwestern sides. The district lies at geographical co-ordinates between 77° 15' and 77° 36' east and 8° 03' and 8° 35' north. I

Administrative divisions[edit]

For administrative purposes, the district comprises four taluks: Thovalai, Agastheeswaram, Kalkulam, and Vilavancode. It has nine blocks — Agastheeswaram, Rajakkamangalam, Thovalai, Kurunthancode, Thuckalay, Thiruvattar, Killiyur, Munchirai and Melpuram — and four municipalities: Nagercoil, Padmanabhapuram, Colachel and Kuzhithurai.

At the lower levels of administration, there are 99 village panchayats and a further 56 special category village panchayats.

The major towns of the district include:

Demography[edit]

According to 2011 census, Kanniyakumari district had a population of 1,870,374 with a sex-ratio of 1,019 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.[4] A total of 182,350 were under the age of six, constituting 92,835 males and 89,515 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 3.97% and .39% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the district was 82.8%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.[4] The district had a total of 483,539 households. There were a total of 679,620 workers, comprising 12,229 cultivators, 51,350 main agricultural labourers, 21,078 in house hold industries, 468,001 other workers, 126,962 marginal workers, 3,381 marginal cultivators, 21,517 marginal agricultural labourers, 14,711 marginal workers in household industries and 87,353 other marginal workers.[5]

Religion[edit]

As of 2001, the distribution of population based on religion was 51.27 percent Hindu, 44.47 percent Christian, 4.20 percent Muslim and 0.57 percent professing other beliefs.[6]

Festivals[edit]

An octo-circular Ayyavazhi Nizhal Thangal near Thiruvattar on the Martandam-Kulasekaram road.

The Mandaikadu festival is celebrated in April by people of the district and by those in Kerala. Traditionally, participants would chant while walking and other people would provide them with butter, milk, water, jaggery, and coffee. The festival, which is celebrated for ten days, later became a social function, especially on Sunday.[citation needed] In 1982 there were police shootings to quell a disturbance by anti-social religious radicals.[citation needed] Today, Mandaikadu is more of a departmental festival.[citation needed][clarification needed]

The kootalmoodu festival is celebrated for ten days. In the 10th day festival ends with grand fire works kambam, malayalam "vana vedikai" which starts in mid night and ends at early morning. The great Shivrathiri festival is famous in this district. The devotees will run to 12 shiva temple situated in all around district.

The Ayyavazhi festival, Ayya vaikunda Avataram, is widely celebrated throughout the district.[7][8] The Kodiyettru Thirunal is celebrated in the religious headquarters of Swamithope pathi and attracts large crowds[9] from Tamil Nadu and across India.[10][11][12]

The Christmas is the best and ever festival next to deepavali in kanyakumari. The Christmas festivals starts at the mid of November and ends with newyear celebrations. The most wonderful thing is CHRISTMAS KUDIL which will me made like buildings temporarily with grass it will be made open for public from 24th December evening 5.00 pm to January 1st.

New Year is celebrated with Vana Vediakkai (fireworks) and local games such as Valukku Panai (slippery palm), a game in which a person has to climb an Areca palm that is flooded with oil.

Food[edit]

Rice is the staple food of the people, although for some people in the hilly areas, tapioca is the main food. Though there are some vegetarians among the populace, a majority of the people use agro, meat and fish products. Fish caught in the seas around the district during the night or early morning hours reach the markets in the interior towns and villages in the early morning. Also they prepare a coffee made by karuppatti during the winter season. The food (for example, Chakkoli) is spicy, and the people in the district tend to use more grated coconut in their curries and food-preparations like neighbouring kerala.

Transport and highways[edit]

There are two major National Highways (NH) roads emanating from Kanyakumari town. One is the NH 7 that starts from the town and runs through Madurai and the other is the NH 47 that runs to Salem through Kerala, touching some important cities like Trivandrum, Kochi and Coimbatore.

The state-owned Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation is the major operator[citation needed] of bus services in the district, though licences are issued for specific routes to private operators.

Today, there are 3495.80 km of surfaced roads in the district.[citation needed]

Indian Railway operates train from Kanyakumari District to many important places of India.

There is a proposal to build an airport in Nagercoil by Airports Authority of India.

Education[edit]

Colleges of higher education are found throughout the district, mainly art, science and engineering colleges. The Scott Christian College, founded by William Tobias Ringeltaube in Nagercoil, is more than 100 years old.[13]

The state runs the Kanyakumari Government Medical College at Asaripallam, a Government Engineering College and a Government Polytechnic at Konam, near Nagercoil. Many private Engineering Colleges including a private university were started-functioning in the recent past. No fewer than 30 engineering colleges are functioning in the district which are currently affiliated to the Anna University; arts and science colleges are affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli. The Manonmaniam Sundaranar University runs a research unit — Centre for Marine Sciences and Technology — at Rajakamangalam, Kanyakumari District. Noorul Islam University is the only private university functioning at Thuckalay.[citation needed]Education changed the cultural,economic,social,scenario of the district and dramatically differentiate it from other districts.kanyakumari district people occupy top level state & central Government postings and earned good reputations among colleagues.

Rivers[edit]

View from the Mathur Hanging Trough bridge with the Pahrali river flowing below.

The major river in the district is Thamirabarani locally known as Kuzhithuraiar. This river has two major tributaries, Kodayar and Paralayar, with the Pechiparai Dam and Perunchani Dam, respectively, built across them. There are many tributaries for the Kodayar River of which Chittar I and Chittar II, with their dams, are the major ones. The origin of Tambaraparani River is in the Western Ghats and the river confluences with Laccadive Sea near Thengapattanam, about 56 kilometres (35 mi) west of Kanyakumari town.

Valliar, another small river, along with its tributary Thoovalar, originates from the Velimalai Hills, collects drainage from P.P. Channel[clarification needed] and its branches, ayacuts (irrigated area under a tank) and confluences with the Laccadive Sea in Kadiapattinam.

The Pazhayar River, another small river, starts at Shorlacode, about 18 kilometres (11 mi) north-west of Nagercoil. This is polluted as it collects drainage of Thovalai, Ananthanar and Nanjil nadu puthanar channel passing through Thazhakudi,Vellamadam villages. The Pahrali River also flows through the district. The Mathur Hanging Trough, the highest and longest aqueduct in Asia, was built over it near Mathur.

Forests[edit]

Keeriparai, the district comprises a sizeable area of lush forests

The forests in Kanyakumari District are about 75 million years old. Of the total district area of 1671.3 km², government forests occupy an area of 504.86 km² which comes to about 30.2 percent of the geographical area of the district.[14] The forests of the district are administered through the Kanyakumari Forest Division, with headquarters at Nagercoil, the capital of Kanyakumari District.

There are 14 types of forests from luxuriant tropical wet evergreen to tropical thorn forests. This variety occurs in the district because of diverse locality factors.[15] Rainfall varies from 103 cm to 310 cm elevation from sea level to 1829 m. The forest area is 30.2% of the total district geographical area which is next to Nilgiris district with 59% and Dharmapuri District with 38% in Tamil Nadu State. 52% of the district's forests are classified as dense forests, which is second only to Dharmapuri District with 58%.

The forests contain species such as Mesua ferrea, Bischofia Javanica, Vitex altissima to smaller trees of Dillini a species festooning climber, shrubs, valuable herbs, variety of orchids, two types of canes, many indigenous palms and cycas. The important timbers are teak, rosewood, vengai and aini. Various types of forest products like bamboos, reeds, canes, soft wood, tamarind, lemon grass, rubber, coconut, arecanut, terminalia chebula, cinnamon bark nelli, cardamom, mango and many medicinal plants are harvested in this district. The Maruthuvalmalai, a hill located among green paddy fields and coconut palms, is famous for valuable medicinal plants. This is the only district in Tamil Nadu where rubber and clove plantations have been raised in reserve forests in an area of 47.857 km² and 1.1 km² respectively. The district is rich in wildlife with at least 25 types of mammals, about 60 species of birds including 14 species of migratory birds and many species of fishes, reptiles and amphibians listed.

The following are the reserve forests in Kanyakumari Forest Division:

  1. Therkumalai East and West - 17.4 km²
  2. Thadagaimalai - 7.9 km²
  3. Poigaimalai - 12.4 km²
  4. Mahendragiri - 43.6 km²
  5. Veerapuli - 281.9 km²
  6. Velimalai - 11.2 km²
  7. Old Kulasekaram - 6.9 km²
  8. Kilamalai - 81.06 km²
  9. Asambu - 43.10 km²

Flora and fauna[edit]

Fauna[edit]

The flora and fauna of Kanyakumari District are vast and diverse.

Animals on the hills of the district include Bengal Tiger, Elephant, Sambar Deer, Porcupines, Hedgehogs and wild boar, while pied kingfisher, Painted Stork and cranes are commonly found in the water bodies and wetlands. Reptiles include Monitor Lizards, Pythons,Blood Viper and other snakes.

In Mahendragiri hills (about 4,000 ft (1,200 m) above sea level), one can find Elephant, Tiger, Leopards and deer. Leopard cubs often stray onto the highway near the hills and are sometimes run over by motorists.

The Keeriparai and Maramalai hills are habitats for wild Elephants and Indian Bison. The Kodayar hills are the breeding centers for the Indian rock pythons and Indian Bison. In the Theroor wetlands, one can see several varieties of storks and migratory birds during specific seasons. Trout and other varieties of freshwater fish are found in the Pechiparai reservoir.

The district also has a wildlife sanctuary and a bird sanctuary[16]

Flora[edit]

Kanyakumari district is noted for its medicinal plants and herbs. The district also has a huge forest cover, accommodating a wide variety of plants, trees, and shrubs.

Commercial varieties include various kinds of Plantain (like Nenthiram, Palayamkotan, Thuluvam, Matti), jackfruit (like Varikila and Koolan), mango (varieties like Alphonsa, Bangalora, Neelam and Ottu) and coconut. In addition to fruits, a variety of flowers like roses and jasmine are also produced. Common garden varieties in the district include crotons, lilies, and dahlias.[citation needed]

Areas like Keeriparai are home to varieties of ferns, bamboos and other tropical plants. Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma), a tree with reddish and orange leaves and flowers, is found in the Pechiparai Reservoir. Rubber estates are found in the hilly areas surrounding Arumanai, Kaliyal, and Kadayal.[citation needed]

Maruthuvazhmalai (or medicinal) Hill, near Kanyakumari.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Thiruparappu falls (top view)
Thirparappu Temple, near Thirparappu Waterfalls
Vellimalai Hill
Mathur Aqueduct (Mathur Hanging Trough Bridge) – one of the largest Aqueducts in Asia

Kanyakumari district has various eco-systems, including beaches, mountain valleys and evergreen forests, as well as rubber and clove plantations

Chothavilai Beach, near Nagercoil
  • Vattakottai Fort (literally, "circular fort") is an 18th-century fort overlooking the sea, located six kilometres from Kanyakumari.
  • St. Xavier's Church, Kottar, Cathedral of the Roman Catholic diocese of Kottar, where St. Francis Xavier celebrated Mass in the 16th century.
  • Bawa Kassim Valiyullah Masjid, Elankadai, This is one of the famous Mosques of Kanyakumari District. Located in Elankadai (Edalakudy), Nagercoil.
  • Suchindram has the Sthanumalayan temple with a repository of art treasures belonging to several kingdoms. The temple is famous for its ninth-century inscriptions, musical columns, and 6-meter-tall statue of Hanuman. The main deity in the form of a shivlinga represents Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, the trinity of the Hindu pantheon.
  • The Panchappathi, five primary sacred places of Ayyavazhi are all situated within a fifteen-kilometre radius of Kanyakumari. It also includes the Swamithope Pathi (headquarters of Ayyavazhi), a famous temple in Tamil Nadu, situated ten kilometres to the northwest. It is not structurally massive temple, but is known for its non-idolatry system of worship.
  • Udayagiri Fort, built by King Marthanda Varma, has a foundry for casting guns. It is also the tomb-site of the king's trusted European general Captain De Lennoy. Udayagiri Fort is now a bio-diversity park, administered by the Department of Forests, Kanyakumari Division.
  • Mathur Hanging Trough, near Thiruvattar in the District, is an aqueduct that carries irrigation water through a canal between two hills. The canal itself goes above a small river. Built on very high pillars, is one of the biggest aqueducts, both in height and length, in Asia. The view from the middle of the aqueduct of the surrounding hills and vegetation, and the small river flowing down below, is breathtaking.
  • The Chitharal Jain Monuments, situated about 35 km (22 mi) from Marthandam, are rock shelters and idols dating from the 9th- to 11th-centuries.
  • Olakaruvi waterfalls, about 20 km (12 mi) from Nagercoil is on the middle of a hill and requires an hour's trek by foot from the base of the hill (better to go in a group, as it is a forested area)
  • Pechiparai Reservoir, about 30 km (19 mi) from the town, and also Perunchani and Chittar dams.
  • Thiruparrapu Falls, is a waterfall near Thiruparrapu. There is an ancient temple near the falls, which is popular among the locals and Keralites.
  • Sanguthurai Beach, about 8 km (5.0 mi) from Nagercoil is a palm-fringed and sandy beach. Sothavilai Beach is another good beach, about 7 km (4.3 mi)from the heart of town. Both beaches were hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami, but authorities have taken steps to improve facilities again. There is a lagoon at Manakudy – 10 km (6 mi) from the town.
  • Mukkudal reservoir : Fresh water supply to Nagercoil is from the Mukkadal Reservoir, about 8 km (5.0 mi) from the town, in the interior – itself a scenic place, with a small bushy island in the middle of the dam. The dam is surrounded by hills of the Western Ghats.
  • Kalikesam,- is a scenic picnic spot. The Kali temple situated here attracts many pilgrims.

Indian Ocean tsunami[edit]

Tsunami memorial in Kanyakumari beach

Kanyakumari district was one of the worst affected districts in India in the tsunami that ravaged the coasts of various countries in South and South East Asia, on 26 December 2004. There were nearly 900 deaths and several hundreds missing and injured. Social organizations from several countries and the Government have since been working on rehabilitating the affected people and property.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kumari second most urbanised TN district - South India - Tamil Nadu - ibnlive
  2. ^ Hindu, The (30 March 2014). "Parties' prospects hinge on new equations". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tourism fete to be held in Kanyakumari". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 24 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Kanniyakumari district". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  6. ^ http://censusindia.gov.in/Dist_File/datasheet-3330.pdf
  7. ^ The Daily Thanthi, Nagercoil Edition, 5/4/2006.
  8. ^ "Dina Malar". Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  9. ^ ""Thousands of people witnessed the Vaikasi car festival at Vaikundar temple at Swamithoppu..."". The Hindu. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  10. ^ The Daily Thanthi (Nagercoil Edition), 29-1-2007, Page 12, "Devotees from the districts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukkudi, Theni, Chennai, Coimbatore and also from the State of Kerala participated in the Car festival."
  11. ^ The Daily Thanthi (Coimbatore Edition), 3-6-2008, Page 4, "Thousands of devotees from the districts of Madurai, Tirunelveli, Thoothukkudi, Theni, Coimbatore and also from the State of Kerala participated in the Car festival."
  12. ^ Dinakaran (Tirunelveli Edition), 3-6-2008, Page 6, "Thousands of devotees from the districts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukkudi, Theni, and also from the State of Kerala participated in the Car festival."
  13. ^ "SCC Nagercoil". Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  14. ^ Tamil Nadu Forest Department. Forests.tn.nic.in. Retrieved on 2013-07-28.
  15. ^ (according to Champion and Seth's classification)
  16. ^ GRUBH, SHAILAJA ROBERT (1 February 2003). "Sanctuary in the lowland plains". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  17. ^ Padmanabhapuram Palace - Padmanabhapuram Palace Trivandrum Kerala, Padamanabha Puram Palace Thiruvananthapuram India

External links[edit]