|• Type||Special Grade Metro Municipality|
|• Body||Rajapalayam Special grade municipality|
|• MLA||Thangappandian.S (2019-Current)|
|• Total||68.008 km2 (26.258 sq mi)|
|Area rank||1 in district|
|Elevation||175 m (574 ft)|
|• Density||1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Vehicle registration||TN 67,TN 84|
Rajapalayam (Tamil: [ɾaːdʑabaːɭaɪjam]) is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the largest municipality in the Virudhunagar district. Rajapalayam is located in the Madurai to Quilon National Highway at a distance of 571 kilometres (355 mi) south to the state capital Chennai. The economy is based on textile manufacture: the town has several mills for spinning and weaving cotton, as well as a large cotton market. The town is also famed for Rajapalayam mango and the Rajapalayam breed of dogs.
Rajapalayam is defined as a 'place of Rajas' in the Tamil Language. The Kshatriya Rajus of Rajapalayam is a group of royal administrators and commanders from the Vijayanagara Empire settling at Rajapalayam, Tamilnadu. Historical evidence reveals that Raju's royal clan belonged to the Kshatriya Community. The Rajus migrated to Tamil Nadu from Vijayanagar Empire during the reign of Sri Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529). Rajus are originally Rajputs who migrated to Andhra Pradesh from Rajasthan. Historians believe this Royal clan would have migrated to Andhra during the 7th and 8th Century A.D. Evidence corroborates the advent of Rajus to Tamil land.
Kalinga kingdom was invaded and captured and (later called Vijayanagaram) by the Vijayanagar King Krishnadeva Raya. Krishnadeva Raya helped in 1515 helped to expel the local chieftains, created amicable situations among Cholas and Pandyas and Muslim warlords, to maintain proper law and order in the Madurai area. Viswanatha Nayak and his soldiers were also sent by King Krishnadeva Raya to control the war between his feudatories, old Cholas and Pandyas, and to remove the injustice done to the Pandyas by the Cholas.
When we trace out the Rajus who migrated during the 16th century A.D, their ancestors were the inhabitants of the East and West Godavari District, Krishna, Guntur Districts, and Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagara Districts.
The Rajus of Rajapalayam were versatile in various fields and professions. They were able to adapt quickly to the changing political, social, and economic conditions while maintaining their leadership and trust among the local people. Though Kshatriya Rajus belonged to warriors and soldiers, they were successful in agriculture, trade, and business. The growth of Rajapalayam and the surrounding places are notable since Rajus arrived, developed the unattended land, and built businesses and infrastructure to form a city. Kshatriya Rajus also served in leadership roles and as Municipal Chairmen from the year 1941 to 1964. This shows the trust, loyalty, and support of all Rajapalayam inhabitants. Many members of the Rajapalayam Kshatriya Rajus are still landlords, entrepreneurs, and industrialists. Rajapalayam Kshatriya Rajus are well known to provide job opportunities, treat people with respect, uplift the cultural and traditional values of India and Tamil land. Most of the Educational institutions and spiritual places at Rajapalayam are skillfully managed by Rajus. The Palayapalayam Rajus’ Mahumai Fund has made a liberal contribution towards Rajapalayam Rajus’ College started on 22nd June 1973. Now the college is known for its academic excellence and it is affiliated to the Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, the college has 13 UG and six PG courses and reaccredited B++ by NAAC in the 3rd Cycle.
According to the 2011 census, Rajapalayam had a population of 130,442 with 1,014 females for every 1,000 males, far above the national average of 929. A total of 11,604 individuals (5,927 males and 5,677 females) were under the age of six. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 13.51% and 0.09% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 77.87%; the national average was 72.99%. The city had a total of 37,797 households. There were 53,913 workers, comprising 380 cultivators, 3,676 main agricultural labourers, 1,375 in household industries, 45,223 other workers, 3,259 marginal workers, 34 marginal cultivators, 326 marginal agricultural labourers, 286 marginal workers in household industries and 2,613 other marginal workers. According to the religious census of 2011, the population was 94.53% Hindu, 3.48% Muslim, 1.75% Christian, 0.02% Sikh and 0.21% other.
The mountains of the Western ghats are to the west of the city (12 km from the city), and the Sanjeevi hills are to the east. These moderate the climate, and several water catchment areas in the hills provide water for the city. Water is stored in the 6th-mile water reservoir. There are several major lakes around the city, including Kondaneri, Karungulam, Pirandaikulam, and Singular. The soil in the area is classified by the government as red loam.
The principal industry was initially agriculture. In 1936, Thiru P. A. C. Ramasamy Raja started the first cotton spinning mill, called Rajapalayam Mills Ltd. Later, more textile mills were started including Sree Karpagambal Mills Ltd. Today, Rajapalayam is a major hub of the textile industry, famous for bandages, woven fabric, nightwear, and other products. The neighboring town of Chatrapatti (Virudhunagar Dist) is a large player in producing surgical cotton gauze, and nearby Dhalavaipuram and Muhavoor produce women's nightwear.
The National Highway NH-744 from Tirumangalam to Kollam passes through the city. State highway SH-41 (Rajapalayam-Sankarankovil-Tirunelveli) links the major parts of the extreme south of Tamil Nadu, including Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari. The road also offers good freight connectivity to Tamil Nadu's second-largest seaport, Tuticorin. State highway SH-186 (Rajapalayam-Vembakottai) connects the town to the east part of Virudhunagar district and passes through the fast-growing industrial towns of Chatrapatti and Alangulam.
Rajapalayam's long-distance bus station, located on Sankarankovil Road, is served by buses from the government of Tamil Nadu's TNSTC (Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation) and private transport companies. Buses run to Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Trichy, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Mettupalayam, Sathyamangalam, Oddanchatram, Pondicherry, and Sengottai. Several Private bus services run to Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore from Rajapalayam. Rajapalayam old bus station is currently serving buses to nearby villages Seithur, Muhavoor, Chatrapatti, Dhalavaipuram,devathanam and often called as Old bus stand or Town bus stand.
The Pothigai Express connects Rajapalayam to Chennai and runs daily. A Tri-weekly express train, the "Silambu Express" runs to Chennai via Aruppukottai, Manamadurai, Karaikudi and on to Sengottai. Kollam Express runs between Chennai Egmore and Kollam Jn daily via Trichy, Madurai, Rajapalayam, Tenkasi. Passenger trains also run to Madurai. There are two temporary services runs between Velakkani & Ernakulam Jn and between Chennai Egmore and Tirunelveli (via Tenkasi).
The nearest International airport is Madurai Airport (~100 km).
Ayyanar Kovil Forest Area (Ayyanar Falls)
Ayyanar Kovil forest area is 10 km west of Rajapalayam on the eastern slope of the Western Ghats. The forest area has many streams, waterfalls, springs, and a temple. Hiking in this forest area is one of the main recreations for Rajapalayam residents. Rajapalayam Water Reservoir, which provides water to the entire city, is situated en route to Ayyanar Falls. Rajapalayam Dam and Rajapalayam Water Treatment Plant are also situated adjacent to the Rajapalayam Water Reservoir.
Shri Raakatchiamman Temple & Falls
It is also located in the foothills of the Western Ghats which is around 10 km from the city. It is also a well-known attraction for the falls. Comparing to the Ayyanar falls water flows here almost throughout the year.
Sri Vallakattu Karuppasamy kovil
Vallakattu Karuppasamy temple is situated en route to Ayyanar Kovil, in the middle of the forest next to the 6th Mile Dam that supplies water to Rajapalayam. Karuppu Sami is one of the 21 associate folk-deities of Ayyanar. This temple is one of the most famous in the area.
Sanjeevi Hills lies to the east of Rajapalayam. The Murugan Temple is at the top of the hill. Tradition recounts that Hanuman, the monkey god, carried the entire mountain of Sanjeevi, complete with its herbal plants, to Sri Lanka to save the unconscious Lakshmana. A small portion of the mountain fell off en route, and this portion is said to be the Sanjeevi Hills.
- P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja (Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (1949-52) and Governor of Orissa (1954-56)
- Dr. Laxminarayan Raja (Professor of Aerospace Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin; Founder Esgee Technologies Inc.)
- "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.
- "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Rajapalayam". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Population By Religious Community - Tamil Nadu" (XLS). Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- "Soil in Rajapalayam" (PDF). Virudhunagar district.
- P, Arpit. "Rajapalayam Station - 16 Train Departures SR/Southern Zone - Railway Enquiry". indiarailinfo.com. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- "16101/Chennai Egmore - Kollam Jn Express (PT) - Chennai Egmore to Quilon SR/Southern Zone - Railway Enquiry".
- "06016/Velankanni - Ernakulam Jn (Via Kollam Jn) Summer Special (PT) - Rajapalayam to South SR/Southern Zone - Railway Enquiry".
- "06035/Tambaram - Tirunelveli Special (via Tenkasi) (PT) - Rajapalayam to Tirunelveli SR/Southern Zone - Railway Enquiry".