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|Elevation||75 m (246 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Kallidaikurichi (pronunciation (help·info)) is a town on the right bank of the Thamiraparani river in Ambasamudram Taluk of Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India. Like any Indian rural town, this town too is steeped in tradition and is rich in heritage, but struggling to hold on to its past glories. Here the modern co-exist peacefully with the bullock-carts and rickshaws of yesterday years.
Every street in every gramam (village) in Kallidaikurichi is endowed with a rich heritage and is dotted with many ancient Hindu shrines. These are of ancient temple architecture style, having high-rise gopurams (ornamental gateways of temples) with intricate sculptures, heralding the past glory of this region. Muthuswami Dikshitar, the great carnatic composer, whose songs abound with geographic and iconographic references, sings of the curative properties of the river Thamiraparani. To him, the Goddess at Tirunelveli, is Hima-saila-sutaa (daughter of the mountain snow). The local language is Tamil. Adivaraha Perumal temple represents the principal deity in the present day Kallidaikurichi.
This town is located about 70 km north of Kanyakumari (Cape Comerin). The twin cities of Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai are about 35 km away. Indian Railways serves Kallidaikurichi and is easily reachable by road from Tirunelveli and Nagarcoil. Nearby airports are Tuticorin Domestic Airport in Tamil Nadu, about 90km away; and Trivandrum International Airport in Kerala, about 145 km away.
- 1 History
- 2 Temples
- 3 Irrigation
- 4 Subdivisions
- 5 References
- 6 External links
'Kal + idai + kurichi' meaning exactly, a village in the midst of hills. (In Sanskrit it has been faithfully translated in the 'Bhojanadi' (an astrological treatise) as 'Shilaa - madhya - Hariswam'. In the Thamrabarani Mahatmya of the Matsya Purama, it has been translated as 'Shila - Shalipuram').
Kallidaikurichi existed as a hunting village/place of wild animals for centuries prior to the construction of its famous irrigation canal, the Kannadiyan canal.
Therku Kallidaikurichi/South Kallidaikurichi in the revenue village still remains mostly a forest of palm trees, within which are patches of rain fed dry lands, interspersed with a few, low and rocky hills. /*One testimony to the richness of its economy, culture and traditions, with the customary Nadaswaram Music. This garnered it a new appellation, given by the Sankaracharya of Sringeri Sri Narasimha Bharathi Mahaswamigal, who called it "Kalyanapuri"—Kalyanam, meaning "wedding" in the Tamil language.
Kallidaikurichi and Thiruvananthapuram
Kallidaikurichi is on the border between the Pandya and the Chera countries of the past. The road, either from south via Nagarcoil or from north via Shencottai takes about 164.4 km. A determined and sturdy person can easily climb the bridle paths and move between hills, without undue exertion. The boundary between the Pandya and Chera Kings was subject to frequent changes, this way or that way, depending on who felt the more powerful between the two of them, at any point of time. At times the Pandyas drove deep into Kerala and reaching up to Kanetti near Karunagapally. At other times the Cheras went up to Madurai and beyond. At one point the Cheras held in their hands the entire south India, for a tantalizing brief period of five years. Kallidaikurichi got accustomed to these changes to her fortune, and readily absorbed the characteristics of both streams of culture and language.
Rice is the main crop here. Other crops are groundnut (peanuts), chilies (red pepper) and cotton, though these are seen less frequently nowadays.
Like most parts of Tamil Nadu, the climate here is rather hot, except during the rainy season of the November/December months. During summer strong gusty winds are frequent.
Manenthiappar Temple which was dedicated to Lord Shiva and Aadhivaraga moorthy temple which was dedicated to Lord Vishnu are ancient temples of this place. Muthuswami Dikshitar, the great carnatic composer sung song (Sri Lakshmi Varaham in the ragha Abohi) on the Aadhivaraga moorthy swamy.
Kallidaikurichi-Ambasamudram-Alwarkurichi areas form the upper level of Thamirabarani irrigation system today. After the Pandya conquest, Raja Raja established Brahmin settlements at Manabharanallur (present day Manaramangalam) Kshatriya Shikhamani Puram (Kallidaikurichi) apart from Brahmadesam.It seems Brahmadesam which had tank irrigation at that time as it is now, was a better place for settlement of Brahmins. The irrigation canal (Kannadiyan Canal) at Kallidaikurichi, which made Kallidaikurichi very fertile, must have come into being only after Chola conquest was reversed by the second Pandyan Empire.
Kallidaikurichi seems to have had the following subdivisions - Madakkurichi, Velankurichi, Cherakumaran and Kallidaikurichi.
One of the educational institutions here was established over 160 years ago.[when?] Originally called the George IV English Middle School, it was later renamed the Tilak Vidyalaya after the independence of India.
The perennial river Thamiraparni flows through Kallidaikurichi. Originating from the Pothigai nearby, it flows down to Bay of Bengal after traveling for about 125 kilometers. In the hills are many beautiful waterfalls, such as Courtallam Falls, Banatheertham Falls, Agasthiar Falls, and Manimuthar Falls.
The Manjolai Hills are about 40 km from this village. This place is rich in natural beauty with tea plantations adding to its greenery.
With elevations ranging from 1000 to 1500 metres, the Manjolai area is set deep within the Western Ghats within the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in the Tirunelveli District. Located on top of the Manimutharu Dam and the Manimutharu Water Falls, the Manjolai area comprises tea plantations and small settlements around the tea plantations, the Upper Kodaiyar Dam and a windy view point called Kuthiravetti.
Agasthiar Kootam, a peak nearby, is famous for its medicinal herbs. This southern end of the Western Ghats, is full of flora and fauna. Kalakkad Mundanthurai Range is a wild life park under Project Tiger, protecting all forms of wild life in its fullness.
The tea plantations are operated by the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd on forest lands leased by the government of Tamil Nadu. There are three tea estates within the Manjolai area - Manjolai Estate, Manimutharu Estate, and Oothu Estate.
- Thirukkoilkal vazhikaatti, Tirunelveli District, August 2014; tnhrce publication; page senaithalaivar sudalaimadan swami kovil singampatte road 109,111
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