Tuticorin, also known as Thoothukudi, is a port city and a Municipal Corporation and an industrial city in Thoothukudi district next to tirunelveli city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The city lies in the Coromandel Coast off Bay of Bengal. Thoothukudi is the headquarters of Thoothukudi District. It is located about 590 kilometres (367 miles) south of Chennai and 190 kilometres (118 miles) northeast of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). According to Confederation of Indian Industry, Thoothukudi has the second highest Human Development Index in Tamil Nadu next to Chennai. Tuticorin City serves as the headquarters of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited. Major educational establishments in the city include Thoothukudi Government Medical College, Fisheries College and Research Institute, Marine Training Academy, V.O.C. Arts & Science College, Government Polytechnic College,[6] and Anna University Tuticorin Campus. Tuticorin Port is one of the Fastest growing Major Ports in India. Tuticorin is an "Emerging Energy and Industrial hub of South India". Thoothukudi is known as "Pearl City" due to the pearl fishing carried out in the town. It is a commercial seaport which serves the inland cities of Southern India and is one of the sea gateways of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the major seaports in India with a history dating back to the 6th century AD. The city is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by the Early Pandyas, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Later Pandyas, Ma'bar Sultanate, Tirunelveli Sultanate, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Chanda Sahib, Carnatic kingdom, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Thoothukudi was settled by the Portuguese, Dutch and later by the British East India Company. The city is administered by a Thoothukudi Municipal Corporation covering an area of 353.07 km2 (136.32 sq mi) and had a population of 237,830 in 2011. The urban agglomeration had a population of 410,760 as of 2011. The majority of the people of the city are employed in salt pans, sea-borne trading, fishing, and tourism. A major attraction in the city is Our Lady of Snows Basilica, a 16th-century site. The 21 islands between Thoothukudi and Rameswaram shores in the Gulf of Mannar are noted as the first Marine Biosphere Reserve of India, and have around 36,000 species of flora and fauna. This protected area is called Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. Our Lady of Snows Basilica festival is celebrated annually during August. This and the Shiva temple festivals, e.g., Adi Amavasai, Sasti, and Chittirai chariot festivals – are the major festivals of the area. Roadways are the major mode of transport to Thoothukudi, while the city also has rail, air, and sea transport. Thoothukudi is also known by the name 'Muthu Kuzhithurai'. It is also called as "Sea Gateway of Tamil Nadu".[9] Thoothukudi is part of the Pearl Fishery Coast, and is known for its pearl fishing and shipbuilding industries. The ancient town of Korkai (the modern Tuticorin) has been a centre for maritime trade and pearl fishery for more than 2000 years. Ptolemy's geography refers to Korkai as a centre of pearl fishery while describing commercial relations between western India and Alexandria, the chief eastern emporium of the Roman Empire. The Periplus says that the Pandyan kingdom extended from Comari towards the north, including Korkai, where the pearl fisheries were. Thoothukudi was the seat of Portuguese during the 16th century, and the Dutch occupied in the 17th century as evidenced by Pagoda coins. During the 18th century the British overpowered and occupied the town. Being a port town, the town received attention from the rulers for improving their trade, and so it was brought to Municipal status in 1866. Rao Bahadur Cruz Fernandez and J. L. P. Roche Victoria as the chairmen of municipal corporation made significant contributions, laying the foundations for a modern Tuticorin. On 20 October 1986, a new district, carved out of the erstwhile Tirunelveli district was born in Tamil Nadu and named after V. O. Chidambaranar, a prominent national leader hailing from Ottapidaram who led the Swadeshi Movement in the south. Since 1997, as is the case in other districts of Tamil Nadu, this district has been named after its headquarters town, Thoothukudi. Thoothukudi became the citadel of freedom struggles in the early of the 20th century. It was in Thoothukudi that the illustrious patriot, V. O. Chidambaram established the first swadesi Stream Navigation Company, sailing the first steamer S. S. Gaelia to Thoothukudi on 1 June 1907. History of the ports: The major harbour of Thoothukudi is well known as a pearl diving and fishing centre. It is one of the oldest seaports in the world and was the seaport of the Pandyan kingdom after Korkai, near Palayakayal. It was later taken over by the Portuguese in 1548, captured by the Dutch in 1658, and ceded to the British in 1825. The lighthouse built in 1842 marked the beginning of the history of harbour development in the city. Thoothukudi was established as a Municipality in 1866 with Roche Victoria as its first chairman. It attained the status of Corporation on 5 August 2008 after 142 years of being a municipality. Thoothukudi Corporation is divided into 60 wards after its expansion in the year 2011 and these wards are comprised in four zones—i.e., East, West, North, and South. East zone has 14–16 and 19–33 wards, West zone has 34–47 wards, North zone has 1–13 and 17, 18 wards and South zone has 48–60 wards. The minor port of the Thoothukudi anchorage port with lighter age facilities has had flourishing traffic for over a century. The first wooden jetty of this port was commissioned in 1864. This port was used for export of salt, cotton yarn, senna leaves, palmyrah stalks, palmyrah fibres, dry fish, country drugs, and other goods to neighbouring countries and for import of coal, cotton, copra, pulses and grains. The minor port of the Thoothukudi has the distinction of being the intermediate port handling the highest traffic tonnage of over 1 million per annum.




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