||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2011)|
|— Town —|
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||91 4567|
|Vehicle registration||TN 65|
|Distance from Chennai||558 kilometres (347 mi) S|
|Distance from Madurai||132 kilometres (82 mi) E|
|Distance from Ramanathapuram||18 kilometres (11 mi) S|
|Precipitation||909 millimetres (35.8 in)|
|Avg. summer temperature||30 °C (86 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||25 °C (77 °F)|
Kilakarai is an ancient coastal town and a port, located in the southern Tamil Nadu. It was a flourishing sea port and a gateway to places as far as Madurai until the early 20th century . The famous pearl belt known as the Gulf of Mannar in the Bay of Bengal is dotted with small islands Appa Tivu, Nallatanni Tivu, Shuli Tivu,Uppu Tanni Tivu, Talari Tivu and Musal Tivu. The coastal line of Kilakarai is formed by series of small bays and finest coral reefs sheltering the town from the perils of the ocean. It was also called as "kelikkarai", "Ninathaan mudithaan pattinam", "Sembi Nadu".
The prime occupations of the people were pearl, conch, Sea trade and transport. Mid-20th century saw a decline in the occupations of the people of Kilakarai, with the advent of the surface transport the Merchant Navies faded away and Kilakarai aka Killikare ceased to be a harbour and port. The cultured pearl industry choked the once robust pearl trade or Muthu Salabam. The Conch and Coral industries declined due to new regulations and restrictions.
Kilakarai is renowned for its Communal Harmony. The majority of the population here is Muslim with people of other faith Hindu, Christians living together. The communal harmony that always existed is best exemplified by the famous 1 Rameswaram and Jumma Masjid (Vallal Seethakathi is interred here) at Kilakarai, while the architecture is the same the workforce was provided by the erstwhile ruler of Ramnad and most of the materials for both the edifice were supplied by the Kilakarai merchant navies. The town is reminiscent of Spanish Moorish architecture is close to the temple town of Rameswaram.
It has one of the oldest Mosque in Tamil Nadu and has unique Islamic heritage more than 1,000 year old.Some legends say that people from Arab countries like Syria migrated to kilakarai and some other villages in south India
The migration of the people after the decline of the marine trade and industry resulted in people exploring the other parts of the globe. Kilakarai has a large expatriate population and a very highest literary rate. This enable the people of Kilakarai now span the globe and are active merchants in the Gulf, far east, Us and European markets. The younger generation is now gainfully employed a departure from its predominant merchant/trader mindset.
Hameedia High School founded in 1940s besides the 300 year old Arabic Madrasa Aroosiya Thaika, was a catalyst to more graduates from Kilakarai. With the arrival of Mohamed Sathak Engineering College and then the TBAK Women's College the number of graduates from this traditional town has seen a steady rise.
As of 2001 India census, Kilakarai had a population of 30,472. Males constitute 46% of the population and females 54%. Kilakarai has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 75%. In Kilakarai, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Khyrathun Jalaliya Elementary School, which celebrated its 129th Annual Day on 7 March 2013 is the oldest school in Kilakarai. Other schools include Islamiah Higher Secondary School, Hyrathun Jalalia Higher Secondary School East Street, Mohaitheenia Matriculation School, Sathakathun Jaria Middle School, Dheeniyah Matriculation School, HAmeediah Group of Schools, Mahthumia High School, and Nadar Matriculation School.
The main collages are Mohamed Sathak Engineering College and the Thassim Beevi Abdul Kader College for women. Other colleges include Arusiyyah Madrasah, Syed Hameedha Arts & Science College, Syed Hameedha Arabic College, Mohamed Sathak Polytechnic College, Mohamed Sathak I.T.I (Industrial Training Institute), and Kilakarai Bukhari Aalim Arabic College. An IAS coaching centre is going to be established in Kilakarai.
- mohammad suhaib, on August 17, 2012, said: (2012-08-17). "Photo of Kilakarai in an ancient map". Panoramio. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Ramanathapuram District Population Census 2011, Tamil Nadu literacy sex ratio and density". Census2011.co.in. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Thassim Beevi Abdul Kader College For Women". Thassim.in. 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Kilakarai : Educational Institutions/". Servinghistory.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Tamil Nadu's Kilakarai - the birth place of world famous Indian conches". onlypunjab.com.
- "An oasis in a desert A district bridging the gulf". The Hindu. 08/07/2005.
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