Sivakasi is a city and municipality in Virudhunagar District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The town is known for its fire cracker, match and printing industries. The industries in Sivakasi employ over 25,000 people with an estimated turn over of ?20 billion (US$300 million). Sivakasi was established in the 15th century during the reign of the Pandya king Harikesari Parakkirama Pandian. The town was a part of Madurai empire and has been ruled at various times by the Later Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Chanda Sahib, Carnatic kingdom and the British. A major riot during the British Raj took place in 1899. Sivakasi has a dry weather, making it suitable for dry crops like cotton, chillies and millets. Badhrkali Amman temple is one of the most prominent landmarks of the town. Sivakasi is a part of Sivakasi constituency and elects its member of legislative assembly every five years, and a part of the Virudhunagar constituency that elects its member of parliament. Sivakasi is locally administered by a special-grade municipality which covers an area of 6.8 km2 (2.6 sq mi). Roadways is the major mode of transport to the town, while there is also railroad connectivity. In 2011, Sivakasi had a population of 71,040. Sivakasi was established during the early 15th century AD. Between 1428 and 1460, a Pandya king Harikesari Parakkirama Pandian ruled the southern part of Madurai region (comprising modern day Sivakasi and it surroundings). As per Hindu legend, he wanted to construct a temple for Hindu god Shiva at Tenkasi and went to Kasi to bring a lingam (an iconic representation of Shiva). While returning to his palace with the prized lingam, he rested under the grove of a vilva tree, the favourite tree of Shiva. When a cow carrying the lingam refused to move from the point, the king realised that the wishes of Shiva were different from his own, and he placed the lingam in the place where the cow halted. The place where the "shivalingam brought from Kasi" was installed came to be known as Sivakasi. Sivakasi was a part of Madurai region during the 16th century. Madurai became independent from Vijayanagar Empire in 1559 under the Nayaks. Nayak rule ended in 1736 and Madurai was repeatedly captured several times by Chanda Sahib (1740 – 1754), Arcot Nawab and Muhammed Yusuf Khan (1725 – 1764) in the middle of 18th century. In 1801, Madurai came under the direct control of the British East India Company and was annexed to the Madras Presidency. During the 1800s, Nadars, then aspiring business community, established their commercial base in the town. The mutual confrontation between the Maravars and Nadars reached its peak in 1899, leading to a series of riots which became to be known as the Sivakasi riots. A total of 22 people were killed, as many as 800 houses and Big chariot in center of the city(used by temple during festival) were burnt during the riots. Eventually the riots came to an end after the intervention of the military in mid-July 1899. The Sivakasi municipality was established in 1920. After India's independence from the British in 1947, Sivakasi continued to be a municipality under the Madras state and later a part of Tamil Nadu, when the state was split on linguistic lines during 1953, 1956 and 1960 and renamed in 1968. It was promoted to a second-grade municipality in 1978, first-grade in 1978, selection-grade in 1998 and special-grade in 2013. a Over the decades after independence, Sivakasi grew as an industrial town specialising in firecracker, match and printing industries. Several incidents of fire and blasts have occurred in the firework factories. Badhrakali Amman temple is the most prominent landmark of Sivakasi. The tower or Rajagopuram of this temple has a breadth of 66 ft (20 m), width of 44 ft (13 m) and a height of 110 ft (34 m). "Panguni Pongal" and "Chithirai Pongal" are the annual festivals celebrated for the deities Mariamman and Badrakali Amman in April and May respectively, both of which are celebrated for ten days. Thiruthangal, located in the Virudhunagar-Sivakasi road has the Nindra Narayana Perumal Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu on the hillock, attracting lot of pilgrims. Ayyanar Falls located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats is a popular picnic spot for the residents of Sivakasi. The Venkatachalapathy temple located 25 km (16 mi) away from the town attracts pilgrims from southern Tamil Nadu. Periya Palli Vasal mosque and Chinna Palli Vasal mosque are two of the most prominent mosques in the town. The CSI Regland Memorial Church is the most prominent church in the town. AJ Indoor Stadium on Velayutham Road, a coaching center for badminton, table tennis and basketball. This is a major sporting venue in Sivakasi. Many district, state and national level badminton championship matches are held in this stadium.




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