Tirunelveli, fondly called as 'Nellai Mavattam' by the Tamil speaking population living all over the world, is an important district located in the southerly corner of the state of Tamil Nadu. The fifth largest territorial dominion in the state in terms of area,
Tirunelveli was originally constituted by the East India Company during the year 1790. The urban centre of Tirunelveli is the central office of the Tirunelveli district. Tirunelveli or Nellai, is a 2000 year old city. It grew into prominence during the Pandyan Regime and served as their capital for some time.
The origins of the temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva are found in the ancient texts of the Puranas. The gopuram ofNellaiappar Temple is said to be built by Muluthukanda Rama Pandiyan and the rest of the Nindraseer Nedumaran. The two temples were linked in 1647 AD by Thiru Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyan by building the chain Mandapam. The Dravidian architecture is well exemplified in this temple and the musical pillars are one of the amazing aspects of the design aesthetics of the temple.
The Sankaranarayanan koil is a temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva and is said to be 900 years old. The main deity here is the Sankaranarayanan which is a combined form of Shiva and Vishnu. The gopuram is a massive dome which is 135 feet high and has 9 tiers.
The small town of Papanasam is one of the most popular picnic spots in Tirunelveli. Large acres of lush green paddy fields surround the town and the town is a home to 108 types of medicinal herbs that are not found anywhere in the world. The various dams, rivers and waterfalls here are considered to be major tourist attractions and are a home to several species of migratory birds.
Known as the Spa of Southern India,Kuttralam is located at the Western Ghats. A number of perennial rivers originate from this area and thus provide the town with a vast array of flora and fauna. The various waterfalls that are located in the area attract a huge number of tourists each year and visiting during the months between January till April is considered the best.
The second largest protected reserve forest in Tamil Nadu, Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve spreads across an area of 895 square kilometers at an elevation of 1,800 meters above sea levels at the Western Ghats. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including several species of endemic plants, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Also the Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve as the name suggests is a major habitat of the Royal Bengal Tiger.