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Kavalkinaru (Tamil: காவல்கிணறு) is a small neighborhood located deep in the red soils of Tamil Nadu in Tirunelveli district. Kavalkinaru has its roots in the early Dravidian Civilization and its history can be traced from the early 17th century (around 1698 A.D). This region was predominantly ruled by the majestic Pandyan Dynasty; as their kingdom was established from the south of Kaveri River till Kanyakumari.
Kavalkinaru is located north of the Equator and within the Tropical Region. It is a small landscape setup, which is mostly roofed by the heat of the Sun and sensing Winds throughout its days. It is majorly covered with dry deciduous landscapes and black rock hills from the other sides.
The Name Kavalkinaru is originated by a Well which provided fresh water for the thirsty soldiers of the Cheras, Cholas and Pandiyas Kingdom as Kavalkinaru was the boundary of these Kingdoms, this Well is still preserved at Kavalkinaru. Kavalkinaru is located at 24 km (15 Miles) from Nagercoil and 69 km (43 Miles) from Tirunelveli. The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport which is at a distance of 99 km. The nearest port is the Tuticorin Port Trust also known as V.O.Chidambaram Port Trust this port is located at 111 km from Kavalkinaru.
There are more than 10,000 people in Kavalkinaru. The people in Kavalkinaru were majorly depended on Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Stone Mining, Flower cultivation and processing Borassus (Palmyra Tree - பனை மரம்) because in Palmyra tree all its parts can be used for various utilities.
Hinduism was the main religion of the people in Kavalkinaru; The first Hindu temple was originated by the family who founded the kavalkinaru village was Known as Shri Vadapathrakali Amman Temple was built by the family around the temple. Later many temples were constructed by the new peoples who migrated to our village. During the British rule the Catholicism slowly started taking its roots by the year (1698 A.D.). Many accepted Christianity as their religion. Around (1749 A.D.) a small Catholic Church was cordially built by the local people to offer their weekly Eucharistic Services. Later in (1843 A.D.) the Sacred Heart Church was built and then it was declared as a separate parish by the Tuticorin Diocese. This was followed by setting up a primary school in 1897; this school helped in educating the children of Kavalkinaru. As days passed, with the dawn of modern education and technological advancements the lifestyle of Kavalkinaru kept increasing and people started practicing several different occupations.
As Kavalkinaru is located in the Tropical region, it received very scanty rainfalls every year. During the early 20th century till the later years of that period, the entire region was badly pushed into severe droughts. This severely affected the annual yield, they wondered with answers for better life. They struggled to meet their day-to-day needs; but remained very gritty and did not gave-up to any such disaster. They suffered a lot and were challenged by a better tomorrow for their children.
Keeping themselves rooted strong; the people started migrating to different parts of the world. They started taking refuge into different regions of India and abroad. Many of them went in search for jobs in Chennai (then called as Madras), Madurai, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Delhi,Goa, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, and elsewhere. They struggled for their existence in the new places, wherever they went. They were faced with varied problems like language difference, cultural difference, shelter problems, and mainly vocational issues. Many started small businesses and worked as laborers in mills, small companies, printing-press; they also started grocery shops, tailored dresses, accounted Banks, taught at schools and learnt handy skills to fulfill their daily needs. They faced them all, with decisive will. By this way they steadily crafted their future and enriched their lives.
In middle of this great effort, they made-sure that they meet during the Church Feast every year. During this time, they started rebuilding their Native, by constructing high-end tanks for water supply and drilled wells for cultivation. Thus agricultural growth showed up, the farmers were pleased by the rise of crops. From then the people enjoyed the surplus yields. Later they also built public libraries, chapels and good roads for proper transportation, which facilitated trade in Kavalkinaru. In the other end, children were too getting educated, and were getting empowered to take-up the task. Kavalkinaru slowly climbed the ladder of prosperity.
The growth factor got reflected in the lifestyle of the people; they started building beautiful houses and lawns, and made Kavalkinaru look a paradise in itself. Today when people visit back Kavalkinaru they are usually reminded about the famous Tamil song சொற்கமெ என்றலும் அது நம்மூரு பொல வருமா! from the Tamil Movie Ooru Vittu Ooru Vanthu. The growth of Kavalkinaru came in as a big surprise to many of the neighboring towns and villages; they were stunned at the complete turnaround of Kavalkinaru. Slowly they also followed into the steps of Kavalkinaru. The other important neighboring landmarks of Kavalkinaru are both Vadakkankulam and Kudankulam.
1. ICA (WMM) Pentecostal Church
2. C.S.I Church
3. R.C Church
4. St. Antony Church
Sacred Heart Church
In midst of all this, people didn’t forget their very own Church. As the Church structure was too getting old, they decided to rebuild a massive structure in place of the old structure. So on 1932, the foundation was laid to construct a majestic church. Therefore, by 1961, a new construction was built and raised, in the very classical Gothic Architecture style. The church’s architecture style became a unique feature of architecture in the entire region of Tirunelveli. Later, the church proved to be an imposing building with inspiring architecture to the Catholics around this region. The environment around the Church was also set to be spic and span, radiating rays of hope and piety. Finally the Church was blessed and incarnated for the first time on 9 June 1961 to the people of Kavalkinaru.
Kavalkinaru has many other churches within its boundaries there is a St. Anthony Church near the Sacred Heart Church; the Our Lady of Fatima Church at Kavalkinaru Junction and an Annai Velankanni chappel to the east of Kavalkinaru Junction, this chappel has a huge Meditation Center where Masses are conducted on special days and a small chappel of St. Michael (archangel) is also built inside Kavalkinaru. There is a C.S.I. Church of South India church and many small Hindu Temples of various deities are instilled in various corners of Kavalkinaru. There is also an Ayyavazhi Temple in Kavalkinaru.
Every year the annual church festival is celebrated with all pomp and gaiety. The people of Kavalkinaru from all around the world make a compulsory attend, to celebrate the annual feast in the month of May. People come here during this festive season in the mood of nostalgia in receiving their lifelong friends and relatives who had been far-away for several years. It becomes an occasion for renewing their old ties and attitude toward each other. Gone are the days when they eagerly waited for each other in solitude. Their hearts are no more vacant now. The darkness in their hearts is replaced by love and affection. There is no place for idle illusions, as the manifestation of love is seen everywhere. The feast attracts people from all faiths who pray to Jesus for thanksgiving or requesting of favors. The church feast is annually celebrated on 15 May with Flag Hoisting and there is a Car-Procession on the 9th Day of the celebration. On the 11th day there is a Common Meal served at the church with the congregation of all the people and to bid their final prayers. During the Fair, the entire area is decorated with festoons and buntings, the church is decorated with electric lights, portraying the majestic view of the grand church. Many pitch up stalls selling sweets, cosmetic items and toys. Many entertainment fixtures like Giant Wheel & Carousel (Merry-Go-Round) are set for entertainment during the feast days, people from all ages enjoy this season with full sensation and make it a memorable moment in their lives.
Kavalkinaru Junction adds to Kavakinaru’s growth in many ways. National Highway 7, which connects Varanasi and Kanyakumari, bypasses through the center of this junction, making it a trade point in the entire region. Almost all basic facilities can be availed from the junction. It is the main stop for almost all the buses running through it. There is a vegetable market, 'Kamaraj Market', situated besides the Junction, which attracts traders from all the regions of Tamil Nadu, making it a prime hub for trade and distribution to the Tirunelveli district and vegetables are loaded to adjacent states of Kerala. Because of growing trade and revenue, banks have set up their branches in Kavalkinaru. There are other businesses like transportation, hotels, bakery, lodges, agencies, Internet cafe and many quick stalls have come up near the junction.
Moreover, there is a modern flower market with state-of-the-art facilities such as cold storage facility and electronic auctioning system on 7.40-acre poramboke land at an estimated cost of Rs. 10 crore, for which then Minister for Local Administration M.K. Stalin laid the foundation stone on May 10, 2008.
The market has an office with Internet and electronic display board to display daily rates of flowers, agriculture support centre to render technical assistance to farmers and sell agriculture inputs to them, garland-making units of self-help groups, toilets, dormitory, etc. But still this market is not fully operational due to various reasons.
As Kavalkinaru is set in the high tunneling-effect region in the Western Ghats it has enabled this entire region to be a huge Wind Power generation region in India. Hence, there are thousands of Windmills deployed in this region to generate safe energy. The Central Government of India has constructed the test facilities for Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, a part of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on the lower slopes of the Mahendragiri mountain near Kavalkinaru. Kavalkinaru has a well constructed Railway Station where the Chennai-Kanyakumari line runs on; passenger trains used to stop at Kavalkinaru Railway Station in its early days. There are two ponds in Kavalkinaru both the ponds usually are full during the Monsoon, these ponds are not used for drinking water but they are used for irrigation and cleaning the Cattle. Many Marriage Halls are also built in and around Kavalkinaru as many household functions/parties are frequently organized in a big way. Dr. S. A. Raja the Founder Chairman of the Rajas Group of Institutions had built 'Rajas Dental College' in the heart of this junction; hence hostel facilities are present in this junction for students coming from nearby states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
Today Kavalkinaru has crossed many leaps and bounds, in development and prosperity. The younger generations of Kavalkinaru are simply doing a remarkable work in pursuing professional courses such as Engineering, Oil Rig Drilling Technology, Oil Platform Technicians, Computer Technology, Medical Sciences, Nursing Science, Mechanical Engineering, Telecommunication Engineering, Aeronautics, Agriculture, Business Administration, Law, etc. In addition, Kavalkinaru is quite famous for its dominance in Volleyball in the Tirunelveli district.
Today the Panchayat of Kavalkinaru is the biggest one, when compared with the other adjacent areas. Kavalkinaru enclaves four hamlets under its Panchayat and treat them equally. There are one High School and six Middle Schools and many Colleges. Kavalkinaru Post-Office is attributed as the Main Post Office with Postal Code as 627105. The people of Kavalkinaru have great admiration for the legendary Indian National Congress leader and the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Bharat Ratna K. Kamaraj, and hence they have unveiled his two statues, one in the centre of their landscape and the other statue at Kavalkinaru Junction. The growth of the village is also supported by local leaders like M. Appavu, who once taught in the schools of Kavalkinaru. The other M.L.A of this region is S. Michael Rayappan a film producer by producing films like "Naadodigal", "Goripalayam" and "Sindhusamaveli" under Global Infotainments banner. Tamil movie Kovil (film) was also shot in Kavalkinaru and in its Sacred Heart Church.