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Clockwise from top: Nagercoil Aerial View , Nagercoil Clock Tower , St. Xavier's Church, Kottar , Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil
Clockwise from top: Nagercoil Aerial View , Nagercoil Clock Tower , St. Xavier's Church, Kottar , Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil
Nickname(s): Greenest City in Tamil Nadu, Granary of Travancore[1]
Nagercoil is located in Tamil Nadu
Nagercoil in Kanyakumari
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
StateTamil Nadu
 • TypeSpecial Grade Municipality
 • BodyNagercoil Municipality
 • Total49.371 km2 (19.062 sq mi)
Elevation40 m (130 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total224,849
 • Density9,813/km2 (25,420/sq mi)
 • OfficialTamil
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code91-4652 & 91-4651
Vehicle registrationTN-74 Nagercoil & TN-75 Marthandam
ClimateAm (Köppen)
Precipitation2,128.3 millimetres (83.79 in)
WebsiteOfficial Site

Nagercoil ("Temple of the Nāgas" Nagaraja Temple) is a town in the southernmost Indian district of Kanyakumari and a municipality and administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District in Tamilnadu. The town is situated close to the tip of the Indian peninsula, locked with the Western Ghats on three sides.[3][4] For 735 years it was a central part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom and later Kerala State, till almost a decade after India's Independence from Britain in 1947. In 1956, it was partitioned from Kerala and merged with Tamil Nadu.


Called the Granary of Travancore, Nagercoil not only served as the food basket of Kerala, but was also one among the important spice trading centers in the erstwhile kingdom of Travancore from the 14th century onward, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era. Various Tamil and Kerala kings fought over this land for its rich agriculture and climate, which boasted of six rivers. Various historians cite that the lands climate and various luxuriant vegetations had no comparison anywhere else in the State of Tamil Nadu.[5]

Paddy fields in Nagercoil in the backdrop of Western Ghats


Nagercoil is situated in the Kanyakumari district of the Indian state Tamil Nadu, which is located on the southernmost tip of India and is surrounded by Tirunelveli on its east and north and by Kerala on its west and northwest. One of the best thing about the climate of Nagercoil is that it is the only Indian town to receive both the south-west and north-east monsoons. Summers are quite hot here with winters being gentle. It receives more rain than any other part of Tamil Nadu.


Summers are pretty humid and temperature reaches 33 °C easily at that time. Summer months start from March and end in May. Monsoon months are from June till September with an average temperature of about 25 °C during the same time. Winters start from November and ends in February with an average temperature of 22 °C. Although, Nagercoil is located at a distance of only 20  km from Kanyakumari, the temperature difference in the day stands at around 3 -4 degrees always.

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Climate data for Nagercoil
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 29.4
Average high °C (°F) 28.8
Average low °C (°F) 22.4
Record low °C (°F) 16.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 117.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 6 4 5 7 12 21 22 20 13 20 21 6 157
Source: India Meteorological Department[6][7]


According to 2011 census, Nagercoil had a population of 224,849 with a sex-ratio of 1,050 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.[8][9] 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 town was 95.35%.[9] The town had a total of 59,997 households. There were a total of 76,345 workers, comprising 244 cultivators, 1,155 main agricultural laborers, 2,271 in household industries, 67,050 other workers, 5,625 marginal workers, 110 marginal cultivators, 361 marginal agricultural laborers, 447 marginal workers in household industries and 4,707 other marginal workers.[10]


Campus of Software company Hinduja Global Solutions
People shopping at a mall in Nagercoil

The major Software companies present in Nagercoil are Hinduja Global Solutions, Navigant Consulting and American stock exchange NASDAQ.[11][12] The town also has small aerospace manufacturing plants and satellite fabricating firms serving the Indian Space Research Organisations facility in ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri.[13][14] The Regional Academic Centre for Space by Indian Space Research Organisation one among the only six incubation centers for Space Startups in India is under construction in Nagercoil.[15][16] The Integral Coach Factory has small scale windmill unit.[17] The export of 95 tons of fruits and vegetables to Gulf Countries through the Thiruvananthapuram airports is a major source of revenue for the cities Food processing companies generating a daily revenue of 16.7 lakh rupees and an annual forex revenue of Rs.610 crore.[18] The flower market of Thovalai exports 350 tons of Flowers to Kerala, Europe and Middle Eastern countries generating an annual revenue of Rs.250 crores.[19][20][21] The major Cottage Industries like Fish-net manufacturing, Rubber industries, Jewellery manufacturing are industries serving the domestic and export markets.[22][23] The minor Cottage industries include Surgical Gloves, Coir-making, floral trade, handloom-weaving, cashew nut, spices, food-processing units, and lace-making (export-oriented).[24] The town has the highest per capita income of Rs.276,454 (US$3,800), making it among The richest towns in India.


Wind farm in Muppandal and Aralvaimozhi region near Nagercoil

The city has an installed windmill capacity of 1500 MW catering to 20% of the states renewable electricity needs. Muppandhal has emerged as the wind power hub, with plant owners eager to cash in on the Rs 2.90 per unit purchase price being offered by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.[25]


The Nagercoil Palace built in 1719, now houses the RDO office in the campus of Collectorate.
The 14th-century Saint Xaviers Church in Kottar.
The Scott School was established in 1819.
The Thanumalayan Temple Pond and its adjoining streets are inhabited from the 16th century.
The Home Church was built by William Tobias Ringeltaube in 1816.
The Catherine Booth Hospital was built in 1834
The streets along the Nagaraja Temple are being inhabited from the 15th Century.

The architecture of Nagercoil, consists of an eclectic combination of architectural styles, ranging from those that predate the creation of the town, from the early Dravidian architecture and Kerala Architecture, to the English Gothic style, to the 21st century contemporary. Although there are prehistoric and classical structures in the town, the architectural history of Nagercoil effectively begins with the first small settlements from 3 A.D. The Roman naturalist and writer, Pliny the Elder (who lived in between 23 – 79 A.D.) mentions Nagercoil as a commercial metropolis, having trade links with his contemporaneous Roman merchants, who traded and stayed in unique rock-walled clay roofed structure. This legacy can be found in some of the towns old heritage structure like the Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil. The name of the town originated from this temple. The temple has innumerable statues of serpents. The temple has two main deities, Krishna (reverred as Ananda Krishna) and Nagaraja. The upadevathas are Shiva, Subrahmanya Swami, Ganesha, Devi, and Dwarapalaka. As an ancient tradition the priests are Namboothiri Brahmins who are referred by the Pambumekkat mana in Thrissur, Kerala. The 14th century St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Kottar serves as a testimony to the mix of Roman architecture and native architecture. While Saint Xavier was doing missionary work at Kottar and its neighborhood, he averted an invasion of Padagas with the help of his cross alone and thus protected the people of Venad kingdom from that attack which was appreciated by the king, Unni Kerala Varma, who became closer to the priest and befriended him from then on. In recognition of Xavier's services, the king allotted him a piece of land to construct a Catholic church, as a gesture of goodwill, as per the church records. There was already a small church, in the same place where St. Xavier's church stands at present, dedicated to Mary the Mother of God, since AD 1544. Later on, Dravidian architectural and Kerala architectural styles of the building began to appear. This can be attributed to the construction of the Thanumalayan Temple in the 16th Century.[26]

The brilliant artistic influence of Kerala and British architecture marvels are seen in the Nagercoil Palace, Nagercoil Clock Tower, Home Church, Scott Christian College, Scott School, Carmel School, ST. Joseph Convent, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi School, Nagercoil Court, The Concordia Seminary, Filter House, Catherine Booth Hospital and many more heritage structures in and around the town. Among these, the Nagercoil Clock Tower is the most visible to the outside world, situated in the heart of the town, it was built to commemorate the visit of Sri Moolam Thirunal, the ruler of Travancore, in 1893, and was designed by Hogeorf and S. Horesly of England. The Maharajah himself inaugurated it on February 15 of that year. The pendulum of the clock was made in Derbyshire by Smith of Derby Group, London. The clock is attached to a 60-foot-long chain with a weight, operated with pulleys through gravitational force. The clock in the Nagercoil Clock Tower was presented to the Maharajah by the European LMS Missionary, Rev. Duthie.[27] The total cost for constructing the Nagercoil Clock Tower was Rs.3258, 9 Chakrams and 12 Kasu. The Maharajah of Travancore donated Rs.1017/- and the balance was donated by the public.[27] However, the decline in the interest by the government to uphold and preserve the heritage monuments are a cause of concern to heritage enthusiasts and the citizens of the town. The fear, that with time, the extinction of this heritage will be imminent is growing with the demolition of a few structures.[28]


Municipal officials
K. Saravana kumar
District Collector
Prashanth M. Wadnere
Superintendent of Police
Sh. Srinath I.P.S

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).[29] Later on K. Kamaraj, the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, won from Kanyakumari constituency without even canvassing.[30] This happens to be the strongest support base for the Indian National Congress in South India and is Nicknamed "The Fort of Congress".[31][32][33] The Nagercoil (Lok Sabha constituency) is perhaps the only Constituency in Tamil nadu to not have elected an Dravidian parties in the states History.[34] 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 political competition from the congress candidate H.Vasanthakumar.

Subi the social activist, national sportsman, and leader of The Future India Party, a youth-based political party representing young people in India, is from Nagercoil. He is also the founder of the World Youth Organization (India)|World Youth Organization a non-profit organization for youth welfare primarily concerns on youth affairs. A.K. Chellaiya, was a politician and MLA of Colachel constituency on 1952. He resigned his post for merging Kanyakumari with Tamilnadu.[35]

A. Samraj, was an MLA of Thovalai constituency on 1952. He resigned his post for merging Kanyakumari with Tamil Nadu.


Womens Christian College, Nagercoil which served as the campus for Scott College till 1971
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi School, Nagercoil was built in 1924.

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. There are many schools and colleges in Nagercoil that are more than 150 years old like Scott Christian College (est 1809 as a village-church school and later in 1893 as a college[36]), Scott Christian Higher Secondary School (est 1819), Carmel Higher Secondary School (est 1920[37]), DVD Higher Secondary School (est 1933[38]), as well as a more recent South Travancore Hindu College (est 1952[39]), Excel group of Schools[ICSE, ISC, State Board, and IGCSE Boards]. 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 and 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, Nagercoil), and many polytechnic colleges and arts and science colleges. As in neighboring Kerala, women's education and career-development are given importance.

European missionaries, in the, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries played a major role in imparting education to the people of the town and district. As a result, the town enjoyed a good social progress compared to the rest of the country, as indicated by a more normal male female sex ratio of 1045 females per 1000 males[40] compared to the national average of 940 females[41] and state average of 996 females[40] per 1000 males. Literacy rate is also high at 94.99%[40] compared to the national average of 74.04%[42] and state average of 80.09%.[43]

Culture and traditional cuisine[edit]

Nagercoil traditional Cuisine.

Diwali is the most celebrated festival followed by pongal. Christmas is also celebrated in Nagercoil as the town has a higher percentage of Christians. Onam is another festival widely celebrated among the Malayalam-speaking population by drawing the `atha poo' (flower decoration) in the floor,[44][45]


Nagercoil has the distinction of housing one of the two Sports Authority of India Centers in the state, the other being in Chennai.[46][47] There are plans to make the city hub for sports in South india by merging it with the Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi Centers with Headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram .[48]


  1. ^ "River Disputes in India: Kerala Rivers Under Siege by S. N. Sadasivan"
  2. ^ "Census2011". Tamil Nadu Population Census data 2011. Tamil Nadu Government. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  3. ^ Nagercoil
  4. ^ "Nagercoil".
  5. ^ "River Disputes in India: Kerala Rivers Under Siege"
  6. ^ "Climatological Services". Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Ever Recorded Maximum Temperature, Minimum Temperature and 24 Hours Heaviest Rainfall up to 2010" (PDF). Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Time to ensure scientific disposal of garbage"
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Nagercoil". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Hinduja Global Solutions opens centre at Nagercoil in TN - Business Standard"
  12. ^ "Nasdaq to work with Indian fintech cos to build next gen local products - Economic Times"
  13. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 set for bungee jump test in Mahendragiri hills of Tamil Nadu - The New Indian Express"
  14. ^ "Noorul Islam University hands over nano satellite to ISRO - Deccan Chronicle"
  15. ^ "ISRO to fund research in twelve cities - The New Indian Express"
  16. ^ "ISRO opens first of its six planned incubation centres - Deccan Herald"
  17. ^ "ICF to install windmills"
  18. ^ "Export of perishables hit"
  19. ^ "Thovalai flowers gearing up for Onam: മാതൃഭൂമി"
  20. ^ "Traders stare at losses as Kerala floods hit business - The Hindu"
  21. ^ "Worst Onam for Thovalai flower market in recent times - Times of India"
  22. ^ "Nagercoil temple jewelry made with peculiar stones gets GI Tag - Times of India"
  23. ^ "Fishermen thirst for scientific solutions"
  24. ^ "Form casteless society, youth told". The Hindu. 3 October 2004. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
  25. ^ "State betters its record in windmill energy production"
  26. ^ "History of Suchindram temples - The Hindu"
  27. ^ a b "Nagercoil Clock Tower - Nagercoil Mani Medai". OnlineKanyakumari.Com. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Conserve heritage building in Nagercoil: INTACH"
  29. ^ Joy Gnanadason,`A Forgotten History`,1994, Gurukul L.T. College and Research Institute, Chennai. Page:151.
  30. ^ "Kamaraj birth anniversary"
  31. ^ "Sangh power BJP's southern comfort"
  32. ^ "Chidambaram distributes welfare aid in Nagercoil"
  33. ^ "Will BJP make history by winning Nagercoil?"
  34. ^ "Dravidians don't wind up in Nagercoil"
  35. ^ [1]
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
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  40. ^ a b c
  41. ^
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  43. ^
  44. ^ "Onam - day of flowers, feast, fun and frolic"
  45. ^ "Onam festivities begin in Kanyakumari"
  46. ^ "Sports Authority of India sub-centre coming up near Nagercoil"
  47. ^ "Regional Centres"
  48. ^ "City may lose SAI sub-centre to Nagercoil"

External links[edit]