Tirunelveli and Madurai was an important city of the Pandya Kingdom as it served as their capital for sometime “If the boundary of the town is made with stone, it will not be of aesthetic beauty and therefore boundary is fenced with paddy field”, says a Tamil Poet about Tiru-nel-veli The town has been surrounded on all sides by paddy fields. As such the town was called as ‘Nelveli’ i.e., Paddy-Hedge. Since the temple in the town is dedicated to Lord Siva’, the town around the temple was called Tiru-nel-veli. Around 1560, the town was rebuilt by Viswanatha the founder of Nayak dynasty who also erected many temples in it. Tirunelveli was the earliest Pandiya’s Capital. The Nayaks ruled Tirunelveli from Madurai during the 16th, 17th and early years of 18th Century.
Birds Sanctuary at Koonthankulam
38 km from Tirunelveli. A small village in the far south, Koonthankulam in Nanguneri Taluk of Tirunelveli District is emerging as a new favorite of the migratory birds. It may soon be catapulted into the list of popular water bird sanctuaries in the country.
Courtallam 59 km from Tirunelveli. The “spa of the south”, is situated at an elevation of about 167 meters on the Western Ghats, Season starts in the month of July and ends in September. There are nine falls viz. Main falls. Chitraruvi, Shenbagadevi falls, Honey tails, Five falls, Tiger falls, Old falls, Fruit Farm falls, New falls.
District Science Centre
The District Science Centre is a unique institution situated on the banks of Tamiraparani. Popularizing Science, calculating the spirit of enquiry, fostering creative talents and infusing scientific temper in life, are its objectives. This autonomous body is a unit of the National Council of Science Museums, attached to the Department (HRD) Government of India. This is one among the 124 centers in the country.
Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary
Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary 47 Km from Tirunelveli. This is a “Project Tiger” Reserve. The flora ranges from forests of tropical wet evergreen to tropical dry deciduous and thorn forest. Lion-tailed Macaque and common Langur are plenty. Trekking is allowed with the prior permission from the officials of Forest (wild life) Department.
Manjolai - Hill Station Manjolai
Manjolai - Hill Station Manjolai is 57 km away from Tirunelveli and is at an elevation of 1162 sq. meter. There are ninny tea plantations in and around this place.
Manimuthar Dam 47 Km from Tirunelveli. Gorgeous garden of Dam, pleasure boating. Water falls is 5 Km from dam through Zig Zag Ghat road.
Mundanthurai 56 km from Tirunelveli Situated in the Tirunelveli District, this 567 Sq. km sanctuary boasts of dry deciduous to tropical wet evergreen forests with patches of pre reeds. Animal wealth includes Tiger. Bonnet macaque, Langurs, Glender Loris, Sloth Bear, Sembhar, chital, Wild Dog. Trekking trails are here. Trek with prior permission from the Forest (wildlife) Department.
Papanasam 42 km from Tirunelveli This holy place is on the western ghats of’ Pothigai Hill. It is close to the Papanasam Falls, on the banks of the Thamiraparani River where Siva and Parvathi appeared before the great saint Agasthiya. Hence the falls is popularly called the “Agasthiya Falls”.
At the foot of the Mahendragiri hills on the western ghats and on the banks of the river Nambiyaru lies the large and prosperous village of Tirukkurungudi.
Vallanadu Black Buck Sancturay
A Scrub forest area spread over to 16.41 Square km, situated near Tuticorin, Blackbuck, spotted deer, Macaques, Jungle cat, Mangoose and hares are found plenty.
Vallanadu 18 Km. from Tirunelveli. A small hillock of Vallanadu has numerous populations of spotted deer. This place always normal cool climate because surrounding there is lot of trees arid Plan are situated naturally. It is declared as Deer Sanctuary by Forest Department. Police Shooting Station (Arms Firing Training) here is one of the best in India.
Thiruvalluvar Two Tiger Bridge
The two tiger over bridge, namely Thiruvalluvar Bridge at Tirunelveli. Junction was constructed to avoid the railway line crossing. The total length of bridge is 800 meters. This type of two Tier Bridge constructed in Tirunelveli is the first of its kind in India.
46 km. from Tirunelveli. There are two domes, one for Syed Ali Fathima and tile other for Sheik Mohammed. They are considered as holy sufi saints.
Kappal Matha Church
Uvari 72 Km from Tirunelveli. A small church for St. Mary which was under the control of pastors of Goa mission existed here. In course of time, in 1903, this church was converted into a school. On important occasions as per the wishes of the people, festivals were con ducted and prayers were offered to her. There was a custom among the young maidens to go to the nunnery in the night and sleep there. On one such occasion they saw a bright light surrounding this Selvamatha statue even though nobody lit a candle.
The centre of attraction of this place is the oldest dargha built around the year 1674. This dargha attracts not only the Muslims hut Hindus and Christians also in equal numbers. I his has been built adopting Hindu temple pattern. If the prayers of the pilgrims are answered, they pay their offerings, through the dargha in large numbers during Kanthuri festival with great reverence.
Veerar’ Pulithevan Memorial
Born in 1715. His was the first war cry against the British He refused to pay tax to the British as it was more of protection money’. This hurt his self respect and in 1755 he was the first to herald the freedom movement defying the demand of Col Aron.
V.O.C. Mani Mandapam OR V.0.Chitambaram
The Towering personality of Freedom movement of Tamil Nadu who pulled cooking oil extractor (Chekku) in Coimbatore Jail. where he was imprisoned lot lighting against British imperialism. V.O.C. also started Navigation Company against British. He was not only a patriot hut a labor union leader also. Once the workers of Harvey mill going on strike, they were starving. At that time VOC sell his land, and provide loud to all the workers and thus continuing the strike. His colleagues are Mahakavi Bharathi and Subramania SIVA. V.O.C. Born at Ottapidaram now in Tutucorin District. Before that the village came under Tirunelveli District. So the Tamil Nadu Government Built a Manimandapam and opened by the chief Minister of Tamil nadu at Tirunelvel. Situated at the lower side of Trade fair Ground.
Ambasamudram 40 Km from Tirunelveli. Like Kanchipuram, it is also a temple town. Because many more temple are located here. Kasi Vishvanathar temple, Thirumulanthaswamy temple, Veerama thandeswarar temple, Ammaiappan temple, Krishnaswamy temple, Purushotama Perumal temple and Lakshmi Narayana Perumal temple are situated here.
Located Courtallam near main falls, it is dedicated to Lord Siva, which contains many inscriptions about Chola and Pandya Kings.
Kurukuthurai Murugan Temple
Lord Muruga temple here in the midst of Tamiraparani River on both the sides is beautifully carved out of a rock known as Thiruvuruvamalai.
There are two temples to Lord Muruga, one is in the heart of Tirunelveli junction and is 300 years old. The other is situated on an island in the river Tamiraparani and is carved out of a rock.
Nanguneri is 30 km from Tirunelveli, Nanguneri is surrounded by lush green fertile, big water tank and acres of fertile land. The western part of Nanguneri is dotted with a chain of mountains called Western Ghats. People in the town live a simple life.
42 km from Tirunelveli This holy place is on the western ghats of’ Pothigai Hill. It is close to the Papanasam Falls, on the banks of the Thamiraparani River where Siva and Parvathi appeared before the great saint Agasthiya. Hence the falls is popularly called the “Agasthiya Falls”.
37 km from Tirunelveli Srivaikuntam is famous for the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu known as Sri Vaikuntapathi Swami with a lofty gopuram. The Thiruvengada Mudaliyar Mandapam is rich with sculptures of Yallis, Elephants and Warriors. The Ekadasi Mandapam which is opened on Vaikunta Ekadasi days contains exquisite sculptures.
Tenkasi-Kasi Vishwanathar Temple
53 Km from Tirunelveli and 5 km from Tenkasi. The name itself implies that this town is ‘Kasi (Varanasi) of the South’. The temple is, 554 feet in length and 318 feet width. 172 feet temple tower was built in 1456 by King Parakirama Pandian.
40 km from Tirunelveli. Athalanathar temple and Narumpoonathar temple on the banks of river Tamiraparani river attracts tourists mainly because of scenic beauty. The stone sculptures are legend of the temples is interesting.