A view of Kasi Vishwanathar Temple Rajagopuram
|Founded by||Parakirama Pandian|
|Elevation||143 m (469 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Tenkasi is one of the municipalities in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, India and it is the second largest town in Tirunelveli district. It is located in the foothills of the Western Ghats near the Courtallam Waterfalls.The translation of 'Tenkasi' means 'Kasi of the south' referring to the Kasiviswanathar temple. Tenkasi is famous for its saaral (சாரல் drizzling). Every year from May–August, people and tourists enjoy the saaral in Tenkasi. The main tourist attraction of Tenkasi is Courtallam, with exotic waterfalls and healing spas.Tenkasi is at the footsteps of Thirikooda Malai (Thiri koodal in Tamil means the convergence of three mountains) - a picturesque place.
Tenkasi is an old historic town as known from the inscriptions found here. It was founded by Pandya kings who were the rulers of South Tamil Nadu at that time. In the 17th century their power declined and they got confined to smaller areas down south.Tenkasi is one of the last bastions of the great kingdom and it even served as the capital city under the reign of king Parakrama Pandya one of the later Pandya kings.Under his rule the Kashi Vishwanathar Temple is built.Even today there are inscriptions in the temple speaking about the glorious days of the Pandya regime.
Tenkasi is located at  It has an average elevation of 143 metres (469 ft).The town is surrounded by the western ghats in three sides and it is a picturesque place. A river called Chittar flows through the city.Tenkasi has a pleasant climate throughout the year and it is famous for its monsoon showers..
Tenkasi has two bus terminus and a railway station. Daily trains include the Pothigai Express (from Chennai to Shencottah) and two passenger trains, one from Madurai to Shencottah and the other runs between Tirunelveli and Shencottah. The broad gauge conversion work is completed on the Shencottah Tiruchendur stretch ( Via Tenkasi Junction, Ambasamudram, Tirunelveli) last year (2012). Shencottah - Punalur - Kollam gauge conversion work is in progress and is expected to be completed by 2014. Long distance buses run by SETC and various private transport corporations are available from Tenkasi bus terminus to Chennai, Bengaluru, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore, Puducherry, Guruvayur, Tirupati and many other places.
According to 2011 census, Tenkasi had a population of 70,545 with a sex-ratio of 1,020 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 7,413 were under the age of six, constituting 3,774 males and 3,639 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 14.16% and .47% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the town was 78.49%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The town had a total of 17887 households. There were a total of 27,885 workers, comprising 279 cultivators, 2,006 main agricultural labourers, 3,332 in house hold industries, 19,903 other workers, 2,365 marginal workers, 28 marginal cultivators, 90 marginal agricultural labourers, 494 marginal workers in household industries and 1,753 other marginal workers.
Tenkasi assembly constituency is part of Tenkasi (Lok Sabha constituency).
- Current MLA of the Tenkasi constituency is famous Actor and politician R. Sarathkumar.
- Current ADMK minister P. Chendur Pandian's native place is Shencottah,which is very near to Tenkasi.
- Former law minister ADMK Mr.E.Subbiah's native village Ayiraperi is located very near to Tenkasi.He has been elected as a MLA from Ambasamudram constituency.
Tenkasi's economy depends mainly on agricultural and related activities but also it has become a bustling commercial center for all its surrounding areas. It is located in one of the major transport route to the state of Kerala. It acts as the gateway of southern Tamil Nadu to towns of Kerala.It is well connected to the major towns of Kerala as well as Tamilnadu through buses and trains. There are many cottage industries in and around Tenkasi. Gingelly oil mills, coconut oil mills, fiber mills,Saw mills and handloom industry are also located here.
It is also commercial hub with a number of theatres, Textile showrooms and restaurants. It is also an entertainment centre for its surrounding villages. Tourism is also a major industry in Tenkasi as it near to Courtallam.The town enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year.It is famous for its drizzling. The town has a large temple with a majestic Rajagopuram which attracts pilgrims from all over the state.It also has many Churches and mosques popular among the pilgrims.It has numerous hotels and lodging facilities in and around the town for the tourists to say.
It is the second largest municipality in Tirunelveli district. It is a growing town that includes many localities.Some of the localities includes as Melagaram, Keezhapuliyur, TNHB colony, Kuthukkalvalasai, Ayikudi, etc.
Tenkasi (South Kasi) is famous for its Ulagamman Temple and its Shiva Temple. The Ulagamman temple was built by Parakrama Pandian, but was shattered by lightning. In the 1990s, the temple was restored with much financial assistance of Sivanthi Adithan and others, and it was given a fresh coat of paint again in 2006 by the same philanthropists. However, the first few feet from the ground has not been painted as that part appears to have survived the lightning. The gopuram or the entry gateway remains among the highest in southern Tamil Nadu.And it is the second highest gopuram in Tamil nadu. The main deity here is Kasi Viswanathar (Shiva). This temple has three Sannidhis [a unique aspect] - Sivan, Amman and Murugan Sannidhis. This temple has beautiful sculptures and also has musical stone pillars, that emit notes of different pitch when tapped with fingers. The entrance is really grand, with heavy steps. One could view the majestic Temple Gopuram even while entering the town. The Gopuram of the temple welcomes pilgrims with a pleasant cool breeze straight from the nearby Thirikooda Malai.
Tenkasi has the other magnificent Kulasekaranathar Temple, which has been in a closed state for ages. There is also a temple pond in middle of the town, adjoining the Kannimaramman Temple. There are a row of houses along the Kannimariamman Temple, famous among them being the Justice and Advocate villas.
Anggalap Parameshwari Temple is in Malayan Street and it is famous for 10 days festival, with Sivarathiri and Alaghu. Esakki Amman Kovil is also located in Malayan street, sri pagavathi amman kovil kalangatha kandi. It is a famous temple One more old temple in tenkasi Chidambareswarar Temple
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Tenkasi
- "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.
- "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Tenkasi". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies". Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
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