Coordinates: 10°07′26″N 77°32′51″E / 10.1239°N 77.5475°E / 10.1239; 77.5475
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Varaha Nathi, View from Thenkarai
Varaha Nathi, View from Thenkarai
Mango city
Periyakulam is located in Tamil Nadu
Periyakulam, Tamil Nadu, India
Coordinates: 10°07′26″N 77°32′51″E / 10.1239°N 77.5475°E / 10.1239; 77.5475[1]
Country India
StateTamil Nadu
 • TypeSecond Grade Municipality
 • BodyPeriyakulam Municipality
 • Total12 km2 (5 sq mi)
326 m (1,070 ft)
 • Total42,976
 • OfficialTamil
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code04546
Vehicle registrationTN-60

Periyakulam (Tamil: [peɾijagɯɭam]) is a major town and a municipality in Theni district, in the Madurai Region, South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. As of 2011, the town had a population of 42,976. Periyakulam is the northern gateway of the district.


The name of this town derived from two Tamil words equivalent to "big lake" {in Tamil (Tamil: பெரிய) means "big" and (Tamil: குளம்) is "lake"}. In Tamil literature, the name of this town is Kulainthai Managaram (Tamil: குழந்தை மாநகரம்).


There are three very old temples. The Balasubramaniam Swamy temple is located on the banks of the Varaha nadhi (Varaha river). Periyakovil Temple and Karanamoorthy Swamy temple are located on the Periyakulam pond. South east side Kailasanathar temple located in the hills.[2]


Periyakulam is a city most picturesquely situated on the palm fringed banks of the Varaganathi, a perennial river with the great wall of the Kodaikanal hills.[3] Periyakulam (PKM) is located at 10°04′N 77°20′E / 10.07°N 77.33°E / 10.07; 77.33.[4] It has an average elevation of 282 metres (925 feet). It is located at the foothills of the Western Ghats bordering the neighbouring state of Kerala. It is one of the most fertile places in the state of Tamil Nadu. Agriculture is the primary occupation for the population here. It is also known as the "Mango City", as a major supply of mangoes from this city goes into Tamil Nadu's mango output. It stands on the bank of the 'Varaha' (in Hindu mythology, Lord Maha Vishnu's Boar incarnation) river. It is a fertile area that has an annual supply of surplus rainfall. Periyakulam riverine wetland is situated at latitude 8°10'26"North and longitude 77°18'36"East in Udayar pallam, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu. The average rainfall of that area is 145 cm. The water of the wetland is mainly used for drinking and irrigation purposes.[5] The villages that are included are Keelavadakarai, Kailasapatti, T. Kallipatti, Thamarai kulam, Vadugapatti, Melmangalam and Jeyamangalam villages that also stand on the banks of the Varaha River. The original town was near New ground but later shifted due to plague scare.


Periyakulam City has an area of 21 km2, within an urban area now extending over as much as 55 km2[6] and it is located at 10°04′N 77°20′E / 10.07°N 77.33°E / 10.07; 77.33.[4] It has an average elevation of 356 m above mean sea level.[6]


The climate is salubrious, with northeast monsoon rains during October–December.[6] Temperatures during summer reach a maximum of 40 °C and a minimum of 26.3 °C, though temperatures over 43 °C are not uncommon.[6] Winter temperatures range between 29.6 °C and 18 °C.[6] The average annual rainfall is about 105 cm. The lowest temperature reached in 2019 was 14.1 °C.[6]



According to 2011 census, Periyakulam had a population of 42,976 with a sex-ratio of 1,013 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.[7] A total of 4,095 were under the age of six, constituting 2,081 males and 2,014 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 15.02% and 0.01% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the town was 79.84%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.[7] The town had a total of 11,401 households. There were a total of 14,857 workers, comprising 523 cultivators, 3,051 main agricultural labourers, 272 in house hold industries, 9,492 other workers, 1,519 marginal workers, 25 marginal cultivators, 809 marginal agricultural labourers, 60 marginal workers in household industries and 625 other marginal workers.[8]

The population has been declining since the 1990s. According to World Gazetteer the population as of 2012 is only 39,185 down from 46,744 in 1991 which would mean that Periyakulam has only 8,000 people more than it did in 1951. This would make it one of the few cities in India to have a marginal population increase since 1951.[citation needed]


Tamil is spoken predominantly in and around Periyakulam. Madurai Tamil is the standard dialect spoken.[9]

Government and politics[edit]

Periyakulam was a Lok sabha constituency. Now Periyakulam assembly constituency is a part of Theni (Lok Sabha constituency). Mr. O. Panneerselvam, Periyakulam assembly constituency in 2001 and 2006. He is now elected from Bodinayakkanur constituency.[10] Periyakulam comes under Theni Lok Sabha Constituency and is now represented by Ravindhranath.[11]


Periyakulam is also known as ‘Mango City’ and is known for its sweet Mangoes. Periyakulam is also known for its sweet water which comes from the Berijam Lake kodaikanal. It has nice weather throughout the year.

Periyakulam is an undesigned river-based settlement city which located "Theni district" in India.[2] The city has been divided into two major divisions by the river: Thenkarai (southern part) and Vadakarai (northern part). The streets around the city are based upon communal settlements symbolizing the structure of the cosmos.[2] It owns rich resources with bunch of historical relics such as "archaeological vestiges, inscriptions and ancient temples".[2] It is also regarded as a "holy space" that catches people's attention.[2]

Tourist Attractions[edit]

Periyakulam itself has so many tourist places; also around Periyakulam, you can find a number of tourist locations.[2] To name a few, Sothuparai Dam (9 km), Kumbakarai Falls (8 km), Theertha Thotti (2 km), Vaigai Dam (15 km), Manjalar Dam (18 km), Kodaikanal (49 km via Kumbakarai, Adukkam) (72 km via devathanapatty) Thekkady (80 km), Surulithirtham (60 km), Munnar (103 km) and many more. MaruthaNayagam Masjid located in Vadagarai (legs of Marutha Nayagam was buried in this Masjid).

Kumbakkarai waterfalls are located 8 km away from Periyakulam.[12] This waterfalls was supposed to be a very dangerous waterfalls with lot of pits. Hence people used to be afraid to go near to the falls. In 1942 an affluent business person Thiru K Chellam Iyer Properitor of Bavani Krishna Vilas Hotel - Periyakulam, dredged the entire falls area, closed the dangerous holes, constructed dressing rooms, in the falls and staircases for safe access to the falls.[13] With his efforts Kumbakkarai waterfalls developed to be a tourist spot.


The school at Periyakulam is Victoria Memorial High School which caters to education in the town.

The Horticultural College & Research Institute (HC & RI), one of the constituency colleges of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, is located at Periyakulam. Government Nursing college is located at Periyakulam.


  • Jayaraj Annapakiyan College of arts and Science, Tamarikulam post, government
  • Government college of Horticulture
  • VPV college of engineering, D. Vadipatti post
  • Mary Matha college of arts and Science
  • Government College of Nursing, Theni district head govt hospital
  • Devangar Polytechnic College
  • Thanga muthu Polytechnic College
  • Thiraviyam group of institutions

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ World Gazetteer
  2. ^ a b c d e f Creagh, Dudley; Bradley, David, eds. (2007). Physical Techniques in the Study of Art, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. Vol. 2. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/s1871-1731(07)x8002-3. ISBN 978-0-444-52856-8.[page needed][verification needed]
  3. ^ "History of Municipality and Municipality Place". Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Periyakulam
  5. ^ "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Periyakulam, India". Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Periyakulam. Crypt Publishing. 2012. ISBN 978-613-8-88162-9. OCLC 935255044.[page needed]
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Periyakulam(05843)". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  9. ^ Shanmugalakshmi, S.; Balakrishnan, K.; Manoharan, K.; Pitchappan, R.M. (June 2003). "HLA-DRB1*, -DQB1* in Piramalai Kallars and Yadhavas, two Dravidian-speaking castes of Tamil Nadu, South India". Tissue Antigens. 61 (6): 451–464. doi:10.1034/j.1399-0039.2003.00061.x. PMID 12823769.
  10. ^ "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 May 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  11. ^ "Members : Lok Sabha". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  12. ^ "Tamilnadu waterfalls & dams". 23 September 2009. Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  13. ^ Basu, Soma (3 July 2019). "A day trip to Kumbakarai falls". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 1 November 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]