About District

Origin Of the District

On acquisition from the Nawab of Arcot in1801, the British named it as Tinnevelly district though their headquarters was first located in Palayamkottai the adjacent town, where they had their military headquarters during their operations against the Palayakars. Two reasons may be attributed for naming it after Tirunelveli. One is because, it was and is the chief town of the district and the other is that it was already called as Tirunelveli Seemai under the Nayaks and Nawabs. Both Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai grew as the twin towns of the district.

Puranic Association

The Tirunelveli Sthalapurana prescribes a tradition for the origin of the name Tirunelveli. The puranic version goes that one Vedasarma, a staunch devotee of Shiva, on his pilgrimage from the North to the South was invited by Lord Shiva in his dream to his abode on the banks of the sacred river Tamiraparani. The delighted devotee came to ‘Sindupoondhurai on the banks of the river and stayed there with his family. Once there was a famine which forced Vedasarma to collect paddy by way of begging and continuing his daily prayers. One day he spread out the paddy to dry under the Sun before the Lord, and went for his ablutions in Tamiraparani. He prayed to the Lord for rain which he thought could be a remedy for the famine. His prayer was answered and when he was bathing, a thunder storm broke-out and it rained heavily. Vedasarma rushed to the place where he had spread the paddy. He witnessed a miracle. Despite rain around the area, the paddy that he had spread did not get even a single drop of rain and did not get soaked. Since then according to the purana the Town is called as “Tiru-nel-veli” (Sacred hedged paddy).

Geographical Data

The Tirunelveli District is located in the world map, between 08o 8’ and 09o 23’ latitude and 77o 09’ and 77o 54’ longitude. The total geographical area of the district is 6,823 sq. km.

Boundaries

The district is surrounded by the State of Kerala, Gulf of Mannar and the districts of Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari.

Land Category and Area in Hectares
Land Category Area In Hectares
Wet 79,668
Dry 3,58,151
Assessed Waste 39,274
UnAssessed Waste Dry 57,696
Poramboke 25,456
Forest lands 1,22,055
Total 6,82,300