Coordinates: 8°22′45″N 76°59′29″E / 8.37917°N 76.99139°E / 8.37917; 76.99139
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Vizhinjam is located in Kerala
Location in Kerala, India
Vizhinjam is located in India
Vizhinjam (India)
Coordinates: 8°22′45″N 76°59′29″E / 8.37917°N 76.99139°E / 8.37917; 76.99139
Country India
 • TypeCorporation
 • BodyThiruvananthapuram Corporation
 • OfficialMalayalam, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code0471
Vehicle registrationKL-20

Vizhinjam is an area located in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala in India. Vizhinjam is the only village in Neyyattinkara Taluk[1] which belongs to Thiruvananthapuram Corporation . It is located 16 km south west from the city centre and 17 km south of Trivandrum International Airport along NH66. Adani Ports (APSEZ), India’s biggest private port operator, is currently developing India's first deep water Transshipment Terminal Vizhinjam International Seaport Thiruvananthapuram in this area.[2]


The region around Vizhinjam has been known for maritime trade since ancient times. Pottery finds from the area indicates that Vizhinjam has been a part of Indian Ocean trade at least since the second century BCE.[3] It has been suggested that the coastal town named as Balita in the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea is likely Vizhinjam.[4]

Ay kingdom[edit]

The region was controlled by the Ay dynasty between 7th to 11th century CE with Vizhinjam as their capital.[5][6] The Ay kingdom extended between Nagercoil and Thiruvalla. Several temples dating to this period can be found in and around Vizhinjam.[7] When the kings of the Ay dynasty shifted their capital to Vizhinjam, they built a fort which is now considered to be the oldest fort in Kerala dating to the eighth or ninth century.[8]

During the second Sangam period (circa 850–1400 CE), the region was the scene of many battles between the Kulashekhara and the Cholas and Vizhinjam, the capital, was sacked by the Cholas.[citation needed] A preliminary investigation[9] by University of Kerala lead by archaeologist Ajit Kumar has revealed the fort might have originally been 800 m2 (8,600 sq ft) in area. The fort's wall can be found on the northern and western (seaside) parts and has been constructed using large boulders set in mud mortar. The wide base of the wall tapers on its way up. Even now this part of Vizhinjam is known as Kottapuram, 'Kotta' Malayalam means Fort. The team was also able to trace literary and epigraphical references - of 9th to 12th century CE. Sangam era texts such as Pandikkovai,[10] Iraiyanar Akapporul Kalingattuparani of Jayamkondar, and Vikrama Chola are said to have numerous references to the existence of a fort, port and a mansion at Vizhinjam.

Srivaramangalam copper plates[11] of Pandyan King Nedum Chadayan (8th century CE) have reference to Vizhinjam and its fort.[12]

The Dutch had commercial establishments here. The Dutch have built a church in Vizhinjam near to the sea shore, which is still functional and is referred as the Old Vizhinjam Church (Old St. Mary's Church). It is located in the Vizhinjam fishing harbour area.[13]

As per historians, Vizhinjam, located at the extreme south-western tip of South Asia, served as an important port throughout the history of the region. The location is economically and geopolitically significant as a key point connecting the shipping between Southeast Asia and the Middle East.[citation needed]

Vizhinjam International Seaport Thiruvananthapuram[edit]

An international port at Vizhinjam was conceived as early as 1991.[2] In August 2015, the Kerala government and Adani Vizhinjam Port (AVPL), representing the Adani Group, signed the agreement for the Adani Vizhinjam project.[2][14] AVPL was the only bidder for the project.[15]

As per the details of the agreement, Adani Group is free to operate the Vizhinjam port for 40 years (extendable by 20 more years). The Kerala state government will start getting a portion of the revenue from the port after 15 years.[15] The project also includes 360 acres of land (of which around 36% are reclaimed from the sea) and a railway line (around 10 km long).[15] The deadline for the commission of Phase I, Adani Vizhinjam Port was fixed on 4 December 2019 in the 2015 agreement.[16][14]

The entire Vizhinjam project was valued at around Rs. 75.25 billion.[16] The AVPL had requested a Rs 16.35 billion grant for the project from the Kerala state government.[15]

The project commenced on 5 December 2015.[16] AVPL had announced that the "first ship will berth at Vizhinjam" on 1 September 2018 (the 1,000 days target).[16] The AVPL is currently seeking an extension of the Phase I commission deadline to October 2020 from the Kerala government.[16]

As per a Reuters report, China had also wanted to partner with an un-named Indian company to build the port, but its overture was rejected by New Delhi on grounds of national security.[17] It is speculated that the port will have berths for India's navy and coastguard.[17]

Public protests[edit]

There were large scale public protests against the controversial Adani controlled port and the abuse of their human rights in November 2022.[18] Christian Priests led the protestors,[19] who primarily belong to the dispossessed fishermen community. [20]


Nearest Name Distance
Airport Trivandrum International Airport 15 kilometres (9.3 mi)
Railway station Neyyattinkara 8 kilometres (5.0 mi)
Seaport Vizhinjam International Seaport 0 kilometres (0 mi)

Regular buses operate in Vizhinjam from the City Bus Stand at East Fort, Trivandrum and as well as from the Central Bus Stand at Thampanoor, Trivandrum. Cabs can be also hired at the bus stations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Revenue Portal".
  2. ^ a b c Manoj, P. (19 August 2019). Adani to buy 70% stake in Krishnapatnam Port for over ₹ 5,500 crore. The Hindu BusinessLine, Retrieved from [1] [2]
  3. ^ "Archaeological artifacts from Vizhinjam | Department of Archaeology, University of Kerala". Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  4. ^ Kumar, Ajit; S. V., Rajesh; G. S., Abhayan; V., Vinod; Stephen, Sujana (24 November 2023). "International Maritime Trade: Evidences from Vizhinjam Excavations, South Kerala". In Mathew, K.S. (ed.). Imperial Rome, Indian Ocean Regions and Muziris. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9781315276823. ISBN 9781315276823.
  5. ^ Jayadevan, Podmaja (1986). "Land Rights of Ay Kingdom Based on Inscriptions". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 47: 187–191. ISSN 2249-1937. JSTOR 44141540.
  6. ^ "Vizhinjam in historical perspective". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  7. ^ Kramrisch, Stella (1953). Drāvida and Kerala in the Art of Travancore. Artibus Asiae.
  8. ^ "Excavations at Vizhinjam | Department of Archaeology, University of Kerala". Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Digging up the past". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  10. ^ "பாண்டிக்கோவை" [Pandikkovai] (PDF).
  11. ^ "Shedding light on Vizhinjam's golden past". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  12. ^ பாண்டியர் செப்பேடுகள் பத்து. உலகத் தமிழாராய்ச்சி நிறுவனம் (சென்னை). 1999.
  13. ^ PTI. "Kerala celebrates Christmas with pomp and enthusiasm". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  14. ^ a b Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (17 September 2019). "Another extension for Vizhinjam port project?". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d "Adani seeks help from Kerala govt on Vizhinjam Port". Mathrubhumi. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Adani Port seeks time till October, 2020". Deccan Chronicle. 15 September 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  17. ^ a b Verma, Nidhi and Das, Krishna N. (28 July 2016). With eye on China, India doubles down on container hub ports. Reuters, Retrieved from [3] [4]
  18. ^ "Adani Port protest in Kerala: 3,000 booked for attack on Vizhinjam police station". The Times of India. 28 November 2022. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  19. ^ "Booking priests unjustifiable, says KCBC". The Times of India. 28 November 2022.
  20. ^ "At least 36 police personnel hurt in clashes with Adani port protesters". The Times of India. 28 November 2022.

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