Sacred Heart Church, Kaavalkinaru, Thirunelveli
Sacred Heart Church is located in Kaavalkinaru Village near Nagercoil in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Kaavalkinaru has its roots in the early Dravidian Civilization and its history can be traced from the early 17th century (around 1698 A.D). This region was predominantly ruled by the majestic Pandyan Dynasty; as their kingdom was established from the south of Cauvery River till Kanyakumari. The Name Kaavalkinaru is originated by a Well which provided fresh water for the thirsty soldiers of the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas Kingdom as Kaavalkinaru was the boundary of these Kingdoms, this Well is still preserved at Kaavalkinaru.
During the British rule the Catholicism slowly started taking its roots by the year (1698 A.D.). Many accepted Christianity as their religion. Around (1749 A.D.) a small Catholic Church was cordially built by the local people to offer their weekly Eucharistic Services. Later in (1843 A.D.) the Sacred Heart Church was built and then it was declared as a separate parish by the Tuticorin Diocese. This was followed by setting up a primary school in 1897; this school helped in educating the children of Kaavalkinaru.
As the Church structure was too getting old, people decided to rebuild a massive structure in place of the old structure. So on 1932, the foundation was laid to construct a majestic church. Therefore, by 1961, a new construction was built and raised, in the very classical Gothic Architecture style. The church’s architecture style became a unique feature of architecture in the entire region of Tirunelveli. Later, the church proved to be an imposing building with inspiring architecture to the Catholics around this region.
The environment around the Church was also set to be spic and span, radiating rays of hope and piety. Finally the Church was blessed and incarnated for the first time on 9 June 1961 to the people of Kaavalkinaru. Kaavalkinaru has many other churches within its boundaries there is a St. Anthony Church near the Sacred Heart Church; the Our Lady of Fatima Church at Kaavalkinaru Junction and an Annai Velankanni chapel to the east of Kaavalkinaru Junction, this chapel has a huge Meditation Center where Masses are conducted on special days and a small chapel of St. Michael (archangel) is also built inside Kaavalkinaru.
There is a C.S.I. Church of South India church and many small Hindu Temples of various deities are instilled in various corners of Kaavalkinaru. There is also an Ayyavazhi Temple in Kaavalkinaru. Every year the annual church festival is celebrated with all pomp and gaiety. The church feast is annually celebrated on 15 May with Flag Hoisting and there is a Car-Procession on the 9th Day of the celebration. On the 11th day there is a Common Meal served at the church with the congregation of all the people and to bid their final prayers.
Kaavalkinaru is located at 24 km (15 Miles) from Nagercoil and 69 km (43 Miles) from Tirunelveli. The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport which is at a distance of 99 km. The nearest port is the Tuticorin Port Trust also known as V.O.Chidambaram Port Trust this port is located at 111 km from Kaavalkinaru.