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Uvari is a coastal village with about 3,000 households and a population of 10,000 in the Tirunelveli district in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is 70 km from Tirunelveli and 50 km from Kanyakumari.
[ Lord Shiva graces as a swayambumurthi. Rays of Sun fall on the deity throughout Margazhi month – December-January. There are four springs near the sea shore, all with fine drinking water. It is noteworthy that the water is but the abisheka theertha of Lord. The main occupation is fishing. Many of the men work as sailors, contributing to the local economy. This is a separate Panchayat village, which is beautiful and modern in nature. Uvari has four schools, a Hospital run by Nuns, a Bank, Post-Office and BSNL telecom exchange office.
History and Religion
A milk vendor from Kootapanai was hit at a particular spot on his way through Uvari to sell his milk. He cut the root of the Kadamba tree when it began to bleed. A voice told the milk vendor that He was there and asked him to build a temple. The milk vendor did so with palm leaves and in days that followed, the Shiva temple grew to the present size. Devotees are happy that any illness of any nature is cured by the Lord Shiva. Hindus live near the Shiva Temple and Worship the Lord & Chiristians live near the Church side.
Uvari is famous for its Uvari St. Antony's Church, a church dedicated to St. Antony and the deity is believed to Anthonyar, Uvari is the only place in Tamil Nadu that has a St. Antony's church beside the sea.
According to ancient Tamil history, people were called Bharathar's of the Neithal (ocean) land. Uvari's historical name was Obeer Pattanam which was ruled by the Pandiyan dynasty, before they were been converted by Portuguese. (example: for the same reason fish symbol kept on Pandya's flag. More recently, in the 1530s, Portuguese and Spanish missionaries from Goa had a strong influence when the Bharathars converted to Christianity as a Roman Catholic's. The priests, acting as godfathers, gave surnames such as Fernando to all Roman Catholic Bharathars as they were been converted by the Portuguese.
According to local myths, a crew of a Portuguese ship which sailed near Uvari about 450 years ago contracted cholera. In an attempt to avert death, the ship's carpenter carved an image of Saint Antony of Padua from a block of wood. Soon after, the entire crew regained its health. When the ship docked at Uvari, the sailors set up the statue inside a hut in the village.In the 1940s, the villagers built a church with the original statue of St. Anthony holding the Infant Jesus in his hand, on the altar. St Anthony is said to perform many miracles daily,therefore church was upgraded to shrine. Uvari is visited by pilgrims of one religions from all over South India.
The Kappal Matha Church (Our Lady of good health), with the form of a ship carrying an aeroplane, is also well known and worth a visit. The original church of St. Mary was damaged by sea erosion, and replaced by this one built in 1974. There are four shrines and many grottos.
Present situation of Uvari
Presently Uvari is one of the modest coastal towns among other coastal villages. It has a higher secondary school, a high school, a middle school and an elementary school. It also has a hospital which is run by Nuns.
Hindu Temple : Arulmighu Uvari Suyambulinga Swami Thirukkovil ( Shiva Temple )
Churches : St. Antony's Shrine, St. Andrew's Church, Selvamatha Church [(Our Lady of good wealth)] and Velankanni Matha Church [(Our Lady of good health)].
At least one person from each family works abroad or in shipping line.
How to Reach Uvari
a) By Road
Using Thoothukudi-Tiruchendur-Kanyakumari Road
Thoothukudi to Uvari - 72 km
Tiruchendur to Uvari - 39 km
Nagercoil to Uvari - 60 km Kanyakumari to Uvari - 52 km
( Using NH7 and Nanguneri - Uvari Road )
Tirunelveli to Uvari - 70 km Madurai to Uvari - 230 km
( Using East Coast Road & Thoothukudi-Tiruchendur-Kanyakumari Road )
Rameswaram to Uvari - 260 km
Numerous Trains reach Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari from various cities of Tamil Nadu
Nearest Airport is Tuticorin Airport (100 km)
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