Sunday, February 5, 2017

Nagapattinam – General Information

Nagapattinam – General Information
Nagapattinam district is a coastal district of Tamilnadu state in southern India. Nagapattinam district was carved out by bifurcating the erstwhile composite Thanjavur district on October 19, 1991. The town of Nagapattinam is the district headquarters. As of 2011, the district had a population of 1,616,450 with a sex-ratio of 1,025 females for every 1,000 males. It is the only discontiguous district in Tamilnadu. A majority of the people of Nagapattinam are employed in sea-borne trading, fishing, agriculture and tourism. 

Nagapattinam District was severely damaged by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004. Nagapattinam is 320 Kms from the State Capital Chennai and 145 Kms from Tiruchirapalli. It is the District Head Quarters of Nagapattinam District. Nagapattinam was a part of the Cholamandalam and called as Cholakula Vallippatinam during the Chola period. Nagapattinam was a part of Thanjavur District till it was created as separate District in the year 1991. It has twin importance as a historically and culturally significant area.

Nagapattinam is derived from Nagar, referring to people from Sri Lanka who settled here, and pattinam referring to town. The town was also called Cholakula Vallipattinam during the Chola period, when it was one of the important ports. Ptolemy refers to Nagapattinam as Nikam and mentions it as one of the most important trade centres of the ancient Tamil country. This view is doubtful as there is no contemporary evidence to prove the existence of the town as a metropolis in the name of "Nikama" or "Nikam". 

Nagapattinam was referred to by early writers and the Portuguese as "the city of Coromandel". Appar and Tirugnanasambandar, the 7th-century saint poets refer to the city as Nagai in their verses in Tevaram. The town was originally called "Nagai"; the word Pattinam was attached during the Chola era when the town emerged as an important port.

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The district of Nagapattinam lies on the shores of the Bay of Bengal between latitude 10.7906°N and Longitude 79.8428°E an area of 2,715 square kilometres (1,048 sq. mi). The District capital, Nagapattinam lies on the eastern coast, 350 kilometers down south of the State capital Chennai and of Tiruchirappalli. It has an average elevation of 9 metres (30 ft) above the mean sea level. The district has a coastline of 187 kilometres (116 mi).
2004 Tsunami:
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea mega thrust earthquake that occurred on 26 December 2004, with an epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggering a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean. Nagapattinam district was the most affected part in Tamilnadu, accounting for 6,064 off the 8,009 casualties in the state, predominantly from the fishing community who resided close to the seashore. The damage impacted the fishing industry, as most of the boats were damaged by the inundation. The immediate aftermath created a lull in tourism.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayat Raj named Nagapattinam one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the six districts in Tamilnadu currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). The main occupation of Nagapattinam is fishing in the waters of Bay of Bengal. There are a large number of ice factories for preserving the fish. The industry suffered a setback after the tsunami that struck the coast on 26 December 2004. Tourism is a major economic driver with the presence of heritage and historic points like Nagore, Velankanni, SikkalKodikkarai, Vedaranyam, Mannargudi and Tharangambadi.

There is limited industrial activity — the major industries are household, tailoring, embroidery, plastic wire and metal manufacturing. Cauvery Basin Refinery, a subsidiary of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) is near Nagapattinam. Established in 1993, it is a major contributor to the economy of the town. The development of industries is constrained by the town being linear and by the applicability of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) regulations that prevent large-scale construction and industrial buildings.
According to 2011 census, Nagapattinam district had a population of 1,616,450 with a sex-ratio of 1,025 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 165,245 were under the age of six, constituting 84,335 males and 80,910 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 31.54% and .23% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the district was 75.04%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The district had a total of 413,837 households. There were a total of 671,994 workers, comprising 54,329 cultivators, 216,353 main agricultural labourers, 7,925 in household industries, 207,721 other workers, 185,666 marginal workers, 13,153 marginal cultivators, 128,704 marginal agricultural labourers, 3,630 marginal workers in household industries and 40,179 other marginal workers. The birth rate on a scale of one thousand in rural areas of the district is 19.9, urban is 17.8 and the combined birth rate is 18.85. The death rate on a scale of one thousand in rural areas of the district is 8.2, urban is 6.7 and the combined rate is 7.45.
There are a total of 891 elementary schools, 185 middle schools, 83 high schools and 79 higher secondary schools in the district. St. Joseph's College, opened in Nagapattinam in 1846 and transferred to Tiruchirappalli in 1883, is one of the oldest higher educational institutions in India. Nagapattinam has 12 elementary schools, 8 high schools and 7 higher secondary schools. There are 2 arts and science colleges, one engineering college, 2 polytechnic colleges and one industrial training institute (ITI) in the town.
The Collector is the administrative head of each district and is the principle representative of the government for the district. The Collector's main responsibilities include revenue administration, Executive Magistracy, maintaining law and order, licensing and regulatory functions, disaster management, civil supplies, public distribution, social welfare, excise, transport, mining, labour laws, elections, legal affairs, census, general administration, treasury management and co-ordination with various departments of the state and central governments. The Collector is also the head of various committees formed at the district level for the various central and state government schemes.

The district has seven taluks, eleven administrative blocks, eight town panchayats, and four municipalities. Five of the taluks are located in coastal, and all are named after their main towns, which are their administrative centres. From north to south, they are Sirkazhi, Tharangambadi, Mayiladuthurai (non-coastal), NagapattinamKilvelurThirukkuvalai (non -Coastal), and Vedaranyam. It is bordered on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the south by the Palk Strait. On the coast between Tharangambadi and Nagapattinam lies the small district of Karaikal, an enclave belonging administratively to the Puducherry Union Territory. This is the only district in Tamilnadu to be formed out of two disjoint regions. The district headquarters, Nagapattinam, is located in the southern part which is less populated than the northern one.

Culture and Tourism
Tourism plays a key economic role for the town even though fishing is the major occupation. Kayarohanaswami Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, is located in Nagapattinam. The temple has been in existence from the 6th century CE and has been revered by the verses of Tevaram, the 7th –8th century Saiva canonical work by ApparSambandar and Sundarar. The temple is one of the seven temples of the Thyagaraja cult, classified as Saptha Vidangam, where the deity Thyagaraja is believed to portray different dance styles. The temple is also known for the shrine of Neelayadakshi, the consort of Kayarohanaswami.

Soundararajaperumal Temple is a Hindu temple in Nagapattinam dedicated to Vishnu. It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham by the Tirumangai Azhwar, one of the 12 poet saints called Alwars of the 6th – 9th century. The other prominent Hindu temples in the district are Sikkal Singaravelan Temple at Sikkal, Vedaranyeswarar Temple at Vedaranyam, Ettukudi Murugan Temple and Koothanur Maha Saraswathi Temple.

Nagore Durgha, a 16th century minaret located in Nagore, is an important pilgrimage centre of the town. The Kanduri festival is a 14-day event celebrated for the annual urs (anniversary) of the saint Hazrath Shahul Hamid (1490–1579 CE), for whom the minaret was built. The festival is celebrated in commemoration of the anniversary of the saint's death, and pilgrims from various religions participate in the rituals and rites. The festival is also seen as a sacred exchange between Hindus and Muslims expressing solidarity of mixed faith in the region. It is believed that 60 percent of the shrines were built by Hindus and historically the minaret has many domestic and international visitors. There are three other prominent mosques; one near Nagai Pudhur Road, one near the new bus stand and another at Moolakadai Street.

Velankanni is a pilgrimage centre located 10 km (6.2 mi) from Nagapattinam. The town is known for the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, a Roman Catholic Church built during the 17th century. Pilgrimage to the basilica is common during September when people of many faiths, especially Hindus, Muslims and Christians of all denominations visit the basilica.

Places of Interest:
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Hotels List
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