Tirunelveli is a city in Tamil Nadu state of southern India. It is the headquarters of Tirunelveli District.
It is located on the banks of the perennial Thamirabarani River, 75 km from Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India. The Thamirabarani contains traces of copper, hence its name (Thamiram means copper in Tamil). Tirunelveli can be easily reached from Madurai (4 hours) or Nagercoil (1 1/2 hrs).
The city also goes by the name Nellai. The district is known for its paddy fields. The name 'Tiru-Nel-Veli' owes to a Hindu mythological story where Lord Shiva protected the paddy ('nel') by creating a fence ('veli').
The other famous town is Palaymkottai, known for its educational institutions and sometimes referred to as South Indian Oxford. The Church of South India Diocese is located here. Palaymkottai is also knows for its famous 'Central Prison' which has housed lot of freedom fighters during the Indian independence fights.Tirunelveli has an area of 6,838 km². It is bounded by Virudhunagar District to the north, Thoothukudi District to the east, the Indian Ocean to the south, Kanyakumari District to the southwest, and Kerala to the west. The chief towns are Kuttalam, Sankarankoil, Tenkasi, and Tirunelveli.
The famous Courtallam Waterfalls are located in Tirunelveli District. A refreshing dip in any of the nine water falls rejuevenates the body and the mind. The water is supposed to have healing properties due to the herbs in the hilly regions. The waterfalls are often dry, and August is supposed to be the best time to go. 'Thamira Sabhai' is located in Courtallam. Special fruits like 'Mongostaan', 'Ramtaan' are available only in Courtallam.
The great Tamil Poet Subramanya Bharathy is from Ettayapuram in the
erstwhile Tirunelveli district before the Thoothukudi district was carved
out. He composed poems foreseeing India's freedom. He wrote many articles
on many subjects. He also wrote about the unity of India in spite of
its variety in languages, religion and cultures.
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