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|• Body||Nagercoil Municipality|
|• Total||4 km2 (2 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,300/km2 (3,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Nearest city||Tirunelveli, Trivandrum|
|Sex ratio||900:1000 ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Kanyakumari|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Nagercoil|
|Civic agency||Nagercoil Municipality|
|Climate||23–37 °C, with 80% humidity (Köppen)|
Maravankudieruppu is a village in the jurisdiction of Nagercoil Municipality, located three kilo metres (2 miles) south of Nagercoil, the capital of Kanyakumari district in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a 100% Catholic village, mostly centered on the church of Our Lady of Snows. The shrine refers to the basilica of Saint Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill in Rome, where legend says that snow fell in the summertime. It is bordered on the west by Vattakarai, Pattakasalian Vilai and Kalaisirakkum Kudieruppu to the north, Keela Maravankudieruppu to the east and on the south by a water canal, which flows from Pechiparai Dam.
Demography and Church
Falling under the Catholic Church's jurisdiction of Kottar Diocese, this is an individual parish. There are about 1200 Catholic families in the parish, with a population of over 5,000. The current church was built in the late 1950s by the local population in a community effort, including women and children, mostly during the weekends.
The whole structure of the Church is supported by seven concrete arches, without any no pillars. The door frames are made from stone.In times where the churches in India were built with donations from Europe, this church was solely built by the contributions from the parishioners.
The town has a very high literacy rate, above 90%. Many of the people choose the teaching profession. The primary industries are timber trading and processing and cultivating rice, coconuts and bananas.
The Angelus bell (Thirikala Mani) rings at noon, and women converge on the fish market. No Sunday lunch is complete without red meat such as mutton, beef, chicken and pork. Consuming alcohol inside the house or at the dining table is a big taboo, even though drinking in a bar is acceptable. Food has a blend of Tamil-Kerala taste and some of the commonly made dishes/snacks at home are Puttu (steamed rice cake), appam, dosai (rice pan cake), idi-appam (rice noodles), phazhaya kanji, ulundan kanchi and pappadam. Acchi murukku (Rose Cookies) and mundiri kotthu find prominence during the Christmas season.
Some dishes served are:
- Fish curry
Lost Cultures & Traditions
Thukka Pattu (துக்க பாட்டு), a tradition by which the parishioners visit to every catholic houses singing requiems in an around 8 sq km, knocking the doors to collect rice,coconuts,grams and money to prepare gruel. In Church premises, The parish people cook gruel (கஞ்சி) and serve to the poor people premises after every palm Sunday Holy Mass. The remaining gruel will be shared and served with the people who are in church premises that time.
Refer http://www.bibleintamil.com/songs/23lent/u_23lent.htm for Thukka Pattu (துக்க பாட்டு)
கூட்டான் சோறு : A tradition by which all the children gather and share all the rice/grams/spices shared from home, and find a common place mostly under the tamarind tree and cook their meal themselves, replicating what their mom does daily in her kitchen. Its mostly organised by the eldest unmarried woman of that locale
New Year, Christmas, Easter and the ten-day Church festival to Our Lady of Snows in August are the most celebrated holidays and festivals. Community Dining (Asanam) is also an important day in the year, when all the parishioners pool their resources, cook in the church ground and enjoy a common meal.
This parish is well known for its contributions to social welfare. The below listed self made establishments support this:
- St. Mary's Primary School (Est. 1909 AD)(Centenary Celebration) and was the first school to cater to the peoples of the southern part of the town, extending till the shores of Indian Ocean.
- Bishop Arockyasamy Hr. Sec. School,
- Matha Mahal, Mini Mandapam - Community Hall
- Vincent De Paul Society.
- Ozanam free Clinic run by Vincent De Paul Society
- Tailoring and Play school run by St. Annes Convent
- In 2004 tsunami, the parishioners not only contributed money but also shared their houses to accommodate in their homes, the displaced tsunami victims
Civil & Govt Organizations
1) Kannyakumar District Armed Reserve Police Headquarters
2) Kannyakumari Dt. Fair Price Shop, Co-Op Bank Society
3) Women's welfare dept office
4) District Regional Transport Office
A proposal was brought in by the church parish council to demolish the existing one and construct the one with a budget of Rs.`0Cr (appx 2Mn USD). Those who oppose this are of the contention that this the existing structure is an engineering marvel, with no pillars, and also of the view to protect the heritage. Their claim to leave the as such, and build the new one nearby.On November 2011, the civil patrons of the church got a stay order from the district court,to stop demolishing the church, citing its architectural values.
The plan is further dropped, when the Parish Priest, who was supposed to bring in a major share of donations from Germany, announced bluntly in a Sunday Mass, about his in inability to find any donors during his visit abroad.
17 February 2012 is observed as a 'Black Day', as on that day of 2012, few vandals and hooligans demolished the altar and removed the statues & shut the church doors permanently, in spite of the court stay order. Now the whole issue is pending before the High Court of Madurai Bench.
On 23 August 2012, 2:00AM, the entire Southern wall & the arch pillars of the church were demolished by a gang of masked hooligans armed with axes/knives by a bulldozer. FIR was registered against 20 persons, all belonging to the parish, mainly consisting of Parish Council members.
On Sept 13, parishioners met Bishop, and the Bishop condemned this activity.
Verhagalum vizuthukalum-Book of Maravankudieruppu
- Maravankudieruppu home page
- Nadar Sangam Page
- Police Station
- Co-operative Banks
- Article of Gracelet Stanely
- Scientist of Maravankudieruppu