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Nagercoil surrounded by Western Ghats
Nagercoil surrounded by Western Ghats
Nagercoil is located in Tamil Nadu
Coordinates: 8°10′N 77°26′E / 8.17°N 77.43°E / 8.17; 77.43Coordinates: 8°10′N 77°26′E / 8.17°N 77.43°E / 8.17; 77.43
Country India India
State Tamil Nadu
District Kanyakumari
 • Total 49.371 km2 (19.062 sq mi)
Elevation 40 m (130 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 224,849
 • Density 9,813/km2 (25,420/sq mi)
 • Official Tamil, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 629 xxx
Telephone code 91-4652 & 91-4651
Vehicle registration TN-74 & TN-75
Literacy 100%

Nagercoil (Tamil: நாகர்கோயில், Nākarkōyil "Temple of the Nāgas"[1]) is a City in the southernmost Indian state of Tamil Nadu and a municipal Corporation and administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District. The city is situated close to the tip of the Indian peninsula, locked with the Western Ghats on all sides.


The City was a part of the erstwhile Travancore state, or later Travancore-Cochin state, until almost a decade after independence in 1947. It is the best-managed municipal corporation in the state with a functional e-governance system and the best city planned and citizen oriented corporarion in the state, given its large population of Non-Resident Indians.[2] In 1956, the city and the District were merged with Tamil Nadu. In its earlier days, the town and its surroundings were known as "Nanjilnadu".

Nagercoil also serves as the Headquarters for Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre,[3] an Space research arm of The Government of India. The public sector Indian Rare Earths (IREL) also has its largest facility at Manavaalakurichy, near the town, which pioneers in the mining, processing and production of thorium.[4] As of 2011, the town had a population of 224,849.


According to 2011 census, Nagercoil had a population of 224,849 with a sex-ratio of 1,045 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.[5][6] 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 86.44%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.[6] The city had a total of 59997 households. There were a total of 76,345 workers, comprising 244 cultivators, 1,155 main agricultural labourers, 2,271 in house hold industries, 67,050 other workers, 5,625 marginal workers, 110 marginal cultivators, 361 marginal agricultural labourers, 447 marginal workers in household industries and 4,707 other marginal workers.[7]

Tamil is the most spoken language. English is also widely understood and spoken in the city.There is also a substantial malayalee population in the town and Malayalam and Tamil are understood by all irrespective of whether their mother tongue is Tamil or Malayalam.

The city was a Hindu centre, but mass conversion was conducted by missionaries in the regions of Tirunelveli, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari and Travancore. A set of villages in the community of Shanars (now elevated to nadars) were converted to Christianity, and the temples were converted into religious schools. The first conversion took place in 1784. Despite stiff resistance from landlords in the region, mass conversions continued until the 19th century.

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.

Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are the major religions in the town.


The Indian Space Research Organisation- ISRO has its Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre facility in the Mahendragiri hills (on the Western Ghats) off Nagercoil.[8][9]

Fish-net manufacturing is a growing business in and around the town; nets for commercial fishing are supplied to the domestic and export markets.[10] Cottage industries include coir-making, floral trade, handloom-weaving, rubber products, food-processing units, and lace-making (export-oriented).[11]

Being the major Tamil Nadu City closest to the Kerala capital, Thiruvananthapuram (65 km away and the closest international airport to Nagercoil), trading and sending supplies to Kerala and Thiruvananthapuram is a major activity for the bustling markets at Vadasery and Kottar - availability and many items being cheaper in Tamil Nadu than in Kerala adds to the thriving 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 local economy.


Nagercoil with its Scenic Beauty is cradeled between the Western Ghats

The maximum temperature during the summer hovers around 100 °F or 34 °C with moderate humidity at times. Nagercoil is the only Indian City to receive both the north-east monsoon and the south-west monsoon. It rains more often in Kanyakumari district than in any other part of Tamil Nadu with the exception of the Nilgiri mountains. Due to geographical conditions, the southern tip of Kanyakumari is generally 3 °C to 4 °C hotter than Nagercoil during the daytime, though Kanyakumari is only 20 km away.

Climate data for Kanyakumari
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 25
Average low °C (°F) 18


Nagercoil has the distinction of housing one of the two Sports Authority of India Centers in the state, the other being in Chennai.[13][14] There are plans to make the city hub for sports in South india by merging the Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi Center with Headquarters in Nagercoil.[15]


Marshal Nesamony, one of the leading lawyers of the Nagercoil Bar, 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 to the Travancore State Assembly and was also nominated to the Senate of the then Travancore University (today's Kerala University).[16] Later on K. Kamaraj, the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, won from Kanyakumari constituency without even canvassing.[17] This happens to be the strongest support base for the Indian National Congress in South India and is Nicknamed "The Fort of Congress".[18][19][20] The Nagercoil (Lok Sabha constituency) is perhaps the only Constituency in Tamil nadu do not have elected an Dravidian parties in the states History.[21] However in the past decade, this constituency has been electing either BJP or Communist party. 2014 Elections saw support for BJP in this constituency and Pon Radhakrishnan was elected to the center, in spite of strong stiff competition and massive influence of the congress candidate H.Vasanthakumar.


Some schools and colleges in Nagercoil are more than 150 years old, like the DVD Higher Secondary School, Hindu College, Scott Christian College, Scott Christian Higher Secondary School,MET engineering college, Carmel High School (Nagercoil), built with free land and support from the Travancore Royal Family. European missionaries, in the 19th century and early 20th century played a major role in imparting education to the people of the town and district. One of the oldest regular schools in South India, 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 to 1931. Another school which was named after a 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.


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.

Some of the widely celebrated festivals here are Pongal,which is celebrated for three days,[22][23] Onam is another Festival widely celebrated among the Malayalam speaking population by drawing the `atha poo' (flower decoration) in the floor,[24][25]

Nagercoil is home to the famous Nanjilnadu cuisine, which is one of the two famous Tamil cuisines, the other being the Chettinad Cuisine.[26] This cuisine is known for its unique appetizing, savory and delicious Spiced Local Touch.[27] The Nanjinadu seafood cuisine is also having its unique flavour followed widely in the states of Tamil nadu and Kerala.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] The food is generally spicy, with coconut in almost all side dishes and curry, very much like that of neighbouring Kerala. Seafood is popular among the people, though there are many vegetarians in and around the town.[31]

Places of interest[edit]

Nagaraja Temple, Suchindrum Temple, Kanyakumari, Desiga Vinayagar temple (Chetty street, Kottar), Poigai Dam, Udaygiri fort, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Beach. Krishnancoil, situated on the way to Trivandrum on NH-47, is named after a temple where the presiding deity is Lord Krishna in his childhood avatar. This temple is 1.5 km from the center of Nagercoil.[citation needed]

Thirparappu falls, Mathur water canal bridge, Ulakkai water falls, Muttom Beach are some of the other major attractions.


  1. ^ "Nagercoil". 
  2. ^ "Nagercoil Best Corporation in Tamil Nadu"
  3. ^ "Successful ignition of indigenous cryogenic engine"
  4. ^ "Indian Rare Earth Ltd., a pioneer in titanium products"
  5. ^ "Time to ensure scientific disposal of garbage"
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Nagercoil". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Test-firing of GSLV core stage halted at 150 seconds"
  9. ^ "ISRO’s most powerful rocket motor successfully tested"
  10. ^ "Fishermen thirst for scientific solutions"
  11. ^ "Form casteless society, youth told". The Hindu. 3 October 2004. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Climate of Nagercoil". 
  13. ^ "Sports Authority of India sub-centre coming up near Nagercoil"
  14. ^ "Regional Centres"
  15. ^ "City may lose SAI sub-centre to Nagercoil"
  16. ^ Joy Gnanadason,`A Forgotten History`,1994, Gurukul L.T. College and Research Institute, Chennai. Page:151.
  17. ^ "Kamaraj birth anniversary"
  18. ^ "Sangh power BJP's southern comfort"
  19. ^ "Chidambaram distributes welfare aid in Nagercoil"
  20. ^ "Will BJP make history by winning Nagercoil?"
  21. ^ "Dravidians don't wind up in Nagercoil"
  22. ^ " Pongal festival celebrated"
  23. ^ "Crowds on beach"
  24. ^ "Onam - day of flowers, feast, fun and frolic"
  25. ^ "Onam festivities begin in Kanyakumari"
  26. ^ "Food from Nanjil Nadu"
  27. ^ "All Spiced Up"
  28. ^ "How to make...Keluthi Meen Kozhambu"
  29. ^ "A taste of rich food culture"
  30. ^ "Where are the steamed rice recipes?"
  31. ^ "Sea food festival begins"

External links[edit]

Template:Municipal Corporation of Tamil Nadu