In 1986, Tirunelveli district was split into two districts for administrative purpose such as Chidambaranar (present-day Thoothukudi) and Nellai-Kattabomman (later Tirunelveli-Kattabomman, present-day Tirunelveli) districts. This is one of the Ayyavazhi populated districts of Tamil Nadu. The Ayya Vaikunda Avataram was announced as a holiday for the district.
The district is located in the southern part of Tamil Nadu and surrounded by Virudhunagar District in the North, Western Ghats in the West, Kanyakumari District in the south and Thoothukudi District in the East. The district covers an area of 6,823 km2. It lies between 8°.05’ and 9°.30’ of the Northern latitude and 77°.05’ and 78°.25’ of Eastern longitude. The district has diverse geographical and physical features. It has a lofty mountains a stretch of Western Ghats and low plains. It has a perennial river Tamirabarani and various other small seasonal rivers. This district is blessed with beautiful water falls and cascades. Its diverse features include sandy soil and fertile alluvium, a variety of flora, fauna and protected wild life. To add its beauty it has inland and mountainous forests.
The district has peculiar climate and receives rainfall in all the seasons which represent 953.1 mm in 2005-2006. Tirunelveli District benefits from both the North East Monsoon and the South West Monsoon. The maximum precipitation is contributed by the North East Monsoon at 548.7 mm followed by the South West Monsoon at 147.8 mm and the Summer 184.2 mm. The district is irrigated by several rivers originating in Western Ghats, like the Pachaiyar River which soon mergers with the Tambaraparani River. The Tambaraparani River and the Manimuthar River both have many anicuts and dams with reservoirs that provide water for both agriculture irrigation and power generation. The Tamiraparani River provides consistent irrigation to a large agricultural area. The Chittar River also originates in this district. Courtallam and Manimuthar Waterfalls are the two major waterfalls in the district.
The district is criss-crossed by a network of Roadways and Railways. Tirunelveli city is the main transit hub of the district. At present the district is not served by Air transport, for which people have to utilize the nearby airports of Thiruvananthapuram, Madurai and Tuticorin. The district ha a total of 27 Railway stations. Given below are tables listing the length of roads and railways in the district.
|Roads||National Highways||State Highways||Corporation and Municipalities Road||Panchayat Union and Panchayat Road||Town Panchayat and Townships Road||Others (Forest Roads)|
|Length (km.)||174.824||442.839||1,001.54||1,254.10 & 1,658.35||840.399||114.450|
|Railway||Route Length (km.)||Track Length (km.)|
Canals, Wells, Tanks and Reservoirs are the sources of irrigation for the farmers in the state. As of 2005 - 2006, the district has total of 151 Canals with a length of 499 km, 85,701 Wells used for irrigation, 640 Tube Wells, 8 Reservoirs and 2,212 Tanks. Moreover the district has 21,776 Wells used for domestic purposes. Electricity supply is provided by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). The district has Hydro-Electric power plants and Wind Mills with an installed capacity of 1,089.675 MW. The district is one of the major producers of Wind energy in the state. The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant project is being undertaken in Koodankulam, which on completion will not only boost the district's electricity production, but also the state's and country's.
Tirunelveli is known for its education system and prowess. Palayamkottai is also known as 'Oxford of South India', because of the number of educational institutions it has. The district has a literacy rate of 76.97%, higher than the state average. As of 2005 - 2006, the district had a total of 2,494 schools. Tirunelveli has one University in Manonmaniam Sundaranar University. The district has 1 Government College, 11 Aided colleges and 7 Self - Financed Colleges.
Tirunelveli had a poverty ratio of 31.8%, higher than the State's and National figure. The district has a good record in terms of religious harmony. The three main religious groups of Hindus, Christians and Muslims have lived in harmony till now. It has a poor record when it comes to caste discrimination and caste based violence. The 1999 killing of 17 striking dalit tea plantation workers in the river Thamiraparani is one such incident which was condemned by the Human rights watch observers.
Tirunelveli has been an agricultural state right through the ages. The district is a major producer of Paddy (Rice), Coconut, Banana, Spices and forestry based products. The district's Livestock and Poultry data is given in the table below.
|Cattle||Buffalos||Sheep||Goats||Pigs||Horses & Ponies||Donkeys||Rabbits||Total Livestock||Total Poultry|
Tirunelveli, being a coastal district, is also involved in Fisheries development and production. For the period 2005 - 2006, the total inland fish catchment stood at 1,874 tonnes while the total marine fish catchment was 7,014 tonnes. The district is also rich in mineral wealth. It has a total 407 Mining and Quarrying units. Limestone, Granite and Garnet Sand are some of the minerals mined/produced here. The major industries in the district include Textile, Food products and Forestry products. A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was started at Nanguneri in 2001. A pharma park, Windmill spare parts units and a television manufacturing unit has been planned in this SEZ. TIDCO planned to set up a Rs 700-crore Hi-Tech Industrial Park in Nanguneri in association with INFAC Group and Axes Technologies Inc, US. The State Government is planning to have light manufacturing, design and assembly facilities, modern infrastructure facilities and amenities in this SEZ to attract workforce from across the globe.
Courtallam is the most famous tourist spot in the district. The natural water falls, pleasant weather and intermittent drizzling really gives an unusual charm to the visitors. The rapturous scene of the falls gets heightened by cool breeze. Usually, the season is in between May to September. The water falls down in eight places with varying force depends on the height of the cliff.
The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department has arranged facilities for the visitors to take bath at any time. All the falls, except Honey falls, have been properly illuminated. One can bath at anytime in a day and one would not get sneezing or cold as the water is said to possess medicinal qualities of the herbal plants grown in this mountain. Those suffering from rheumatic joints, chronic headache, nerve disorder get cured by a long stay at Courtallam.
Contract Awarded for Supply of Wind Turbines for a Wind-Based Power Project at Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu
Sep 03, 2013; Contract Awarded for supply of wind turbines for a wind-based power project at Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The order has...