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Thoothukudi (தூத்துக்குடி in Tamil) also known as Tuticorin, is a city and is now a corporation.
The city is also known as "Pearl City". It is a sea port city which serves southern Tamil Nadu including the inland cities of Coimbatore, Madurai and Tirunelveli. It is one of the oldest cities in India with the history dating back to the 6th century BCE. Thoothukudi is the headquarters of Thoothukudi District.
Tuticorin name was used by Dutch people who were here, and now its called "Tuticorin" in English and "Thoothukudi" in Tamil.
Thoothukudi is traditionally known for its pearl fishery and shipbuilding. It was the sea port of the Pandyan kingdom. Thoothukudi was the stronghold of the Paravas, a community from the lineage of Pandyan kingdom that still continues to be a strong base of this community. This community also claims the status of uncrowned kings of the land holding a sway over power. But recently, there is a decline in the community's stonghold since most of its youth are employed abroad.The Paravas community have a unique way of living; their cultural demarcations are stronger than that of the other communities in that region.The traditional old houses of the Paravas in the city are unique; they are built out of Burmese teak wood in both Victorian style and Chettinad style. Another community in this region is the Nadars, the southern trading community.Thoothukudi became the center of the Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, with such leaders as the poet Subramanya Bharathy, Kattabomman, and V.O. Chidambaram Pillai.
In 1906, one of the greatest freedom fighters of India, Mr. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, launched the first swadeshi ship "S.S. Gaelia".
The major harbour of Thoothukudi is well known as a pearl diving and fishing center. Thoothukudi was founded by the Portuguese in 1548, captured by the Dutch in 1658, and ceded to the British in 1825. (Courtesy - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001) The lighthouse built in 1842 marked the beginning of the history of Thoothukudi harbour development.
Thoothukudi is in South India about 540 km south west of Madras(Chennai) and is geographically located in the Gulf of Mannar.
It is in south and southwest by the district of Tirunelveli, west and northwest by the district of Virudhunagar and north by the district of Ramanathapuram. The total area of this district is 4621 km². The administrative headquarters is an urban agglomeration and also one of the taluk headquarters within the district.
Tropical climate. Hot and humid
After Independence, the minor Port of Tuticorin witnessed a flourishing trade and handled a variety of cargo meant for the neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka, Maldives etc. and the coastal regions of India.
To cope with the increasing trade through Tuticorin, the Government of India sanctioned the construction of an all-weather Port at Tuticorin. On July 11,1974, the newly constructed Tuticorin Port was declared as the 10th major port. In 1st April 1979, the former Tuticorin minor Port and the newly constructed Tuticorin major Port were merged and the Tuticorin Port Trust was constituted under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963