In past years Vilathikulam was a larger town in comparison with Tuticorin or Kovilpatti, but over the years, Kovilpatti grew industrially due to its strategic location on the National Highway, and Tuticorin developed into a port city and with that industrialization followed.
Vilathikulam is located in the heart of the Karisal Kaadu region (Karisal meaning "black soiled"). The soil in this area is black and has a clay-like stickiness. The climate of Karisal Kaadu is semi-arid, with hot and dry summers. Both the temperature and humidity are usually high, being close to the equator and barely 25 kilometres from the shore. The clay-like soil retains moisture well; although crops like paddy and sugarcane can never be grown in this area, many 'punsei' (colloquial Tamil: PUNJAI) crops such as green chili and sunflower can be grown. Only a few kinds of tree grow in the Vilathikulam region: palm trees, umbrella-like thorny trees called "Kuda maram" in Tamil (Kudai=Umbrella, Maram=tree), and thorny bushes.
Vilathikulam is a peaceful little town, on the northern bank of the Vaipar river, which has water flowing only 7 days per year. But it is a major attraction as the bridge connecting the Vilathikulam town on the southern side to the Kovilpatti and Tuticorin routes gets submerged completely. It is a single lane bridge constructed during the British Era and is about 1.5 km in length. When there are buses or trucks needing to cross, they flash their lights and the other side, the traffic waits. Since the traffic volume is very low, it does not result in traffic snarls.
As the panacea of water problem a dam has been constructed across Vaipar in 2006.
Vilathikulam owes its name to a temple pond. "Vila" + "Athi" + "Kulam". The Meenakshi Amman temple has a temple pond, which had a "Vila" tree and an "Athi" tree. Hence the name. Every year during Chitrai month, (same day and dates as of Madurai Meenakshi amman Temple), Chitrai Festival is celebrated and ended with a Car Festival crowded by the people from nearby villages.
List of schools:
The panchayat Union School (Tamil Only ) Government higher secondary school (Tamil only) Kaviarasar annamalai reddiyar memorial girls higher secondary school (Tamil & English) Sharon Matriculation Higher Secondary School (English)
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