Home > General Knowledge, Place > 161/365 – Tirunelveli

161/365 – Tirunelveli

Tirunelveli, also known as Nellai, and historically (during British rule) as Tinnevelly, is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Tirunelveli District and the sixth biggest city in Tamil Nadu. It is situated 700 kilometres southwest of the state capital Chennai.

Tirunelveli is an ancient city and is home to many temples and shrines, including the largest Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu, the Nellaiappar Temple. It is located on the western side of the perennial Thamirabarani river, whereas its twin municipal city Palayamkottai, is located on the eastern side.


The history of Tirunelveli was researched by Robert Caldwell, one of the Christian missionaries who visited the area in the nineteenth century for the purpose of both promoting their religious beliefs and educating the people.

Tirunelveli had been under the prominence of the Pandya kings, serving as their secondary capital while Madurai remained its primary capital. It was an important city of the Chola kingdom (c.900–1200) and of the Vijayanagar empire.

The city was the chief commercial town in the period of Arcot Nawabs and Nayaks. They were among the various ruling dynasties of Tamil Nadu. In fact, they called the city “Nellai Cheemai“, with cheemai meaning a developed foreign town.

It was the Nayaks who, in 1781, granted its revenues and local administration to the British. In 1801, it was annexed by the British, who governed it until India achieved independence in 1947.

On acquisition from the Nawab of Arcot in 1801, the British anglicized its name as Tinnevelly and made it the headquarters of Tirunelveli district.

This happened despite the fact that their administrative and military headquarters was located in Palayamkottai, during their operations against the Palayakars. Post-independence, both towns reverted to their original names.


Tirunelveli has a rich religious heritage and has places of worship for all the major Indian religions – Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Jainism. Some of these are of historical importance, such as the Nellaiappar Temple.
– Nellaiappar Temple
– Sri Alzhiya Mannar Rajagopala Swamy Temple
– Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple
– Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram Temple
– Keezha Thiruvenkatanathapuram, Keezha Thirupathi

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirunelveli

Categories: General Knowledge, Place
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