Nagercoil Details

Origin of the name:

Nagaraja Temple(Tamil: Naga (serpent) + Raja (king), is a Hindu temple temple dedicated to the God Nagaraja which is situated at the heart of Nagercoil. The name for the town 'Nagercoil' originated from this temple. The temple is full of images of Snakes. In addition, the gate keepers of the sanctums are two snakes.

Head priest who was recently interviewed in 2009 truly believe that it was originally a Dravidian Tamil Jain temple taken over by Hindus and rechristened as new mythological god by name Naga Raja.

Besides Nagaraja, there are Images of Jain Tirthankaras, Mahavira and Parswanatha are seen carved on the pillars of the temple.


As of 2001[update] Nagercoil had a population of 208,149


Nagercoil has a pleasant, though humid, climate for a major part of the year. The maximum temperature during the summer hovers around 86F or 30C with extremely high humidity at times. Nagercoil receives both the north-east monsoon and the south-west monsoon. It rains more often in Kanyakumari district than in any other part of Tamil Nadu, with the exception of the Nilgiris. Due to geographical conditions, the southern tip of Kanyakumari is generally 2C to 3C warmer than Nagercoil during the daytime, though Kanyakumari is only 20 km away.


Nagercoil is the headquarters of the state owned Arasu Rubber Corporation and the regional office of the Central Rubber Board. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a major testing facility for Cryogenic and Liquid Propulsion rocket engines on the Mahendragiri hills (on the Western Ghats) off Nagercoil. Rocket scientists and engineers from all over India work at this facility, called the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Mahendragiri.

The town also serves as a centre for the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant reactors, being built with Russian assistance, which is situated in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, but is the closest major town to the facility. The public sector Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IRE), also has a major facility at Manavaalakurichy, near the town.

Aralvaimozhi, a once-impoverished village, benefited from the building of the nearby Muppandal wind farm a renewable energy source, supplying the villagers with electricity for work.[3][4] The surrounding area is a major centre for wind-mill renewable-energy production, and one of the biggest centres in South Asia, both in terms of electricity generated and size of wind-mills, with thousands of wind-mill electricity generators on tall towers dotting the entire area. The total power generated from these wind mills are 540 MW with each wind mill generating a power output of nearly 1.65 MW. The wind mills are erected and technically-supported by multinational majors in the field of renewable energy like Vestas, Suzlon, Micon, etc. The steady flow of wind for these wind-mills is made possible because the Muppandal Wind Farm is situated on a mountain gap (pass) in the Western Ghats, through which the wind gushes through, for a major part of the year.

Fish-net manufacturing is a growing business in and around the town ; nets for commercial fishing are supplied both to the domestic and export markets.

There are also few software, research and development companies in Nagercoil. RedEgg InfoExpert Technologies[5] is popular and their offering is sold in North America as MyMediaInfo[6], which is a media contacts database. Compvue [7] is an IT services company serving customers from Los Angeles & San Francisco area since 2005. Small Scale industries (cottage industries) include coir-making, floral trade, handloom-weaving, rubber products, food-processing units, lace-making (export-oriented), etc.

Being the major Tamil Nadu town closest to the Kerala capital, Thiruvananthapuram (65 km away and the closest International airport to Nagercoil), trading and sending supplies to Kerala and Thiruvananthapuram is a major activity for the bustling markets at Vadasery and Kottar - availability and many items being cheaper in Tamil Nadu than in Kerala adds to the thriving business.

Supply of marine and agricultural produce to the overseas export-markets are also important economic activities, though primarily done through exporters or agents in Kerala. Remittances to Nagercoil from overseas, from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) hailing from the town, is also a major contributor to the local economy.



Agricultural products - banana, coconut, semi husked cocnuts, husked coconuts, vegetables, onion, potato, cabbage, beans, drumstick, brinjal, green chilly, carrot, beet root, turnips, fruits, pine-apple, jack fruit, papaya, mango, guava, amla, spices, egg, fresh flowers, jasmine


The district holds the honour of having the highest literacy rate in Tamil Nadu (88.11) .Some schools and colleges in Nagercoil are more than 150 years old , like the Scott Christian College, built by British missionaries. European missionaries, in the 19th century and early 20th century played a major role in imparting education to the people of the town and district.

One of the oldest regular schools in South India, Sethu Lakshmi Bai Higher Secondary School, is situated in the heart of town. It was established under the supervision of the Travancore administrators and named after a Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the Queen of Travancore between 1924 to 1931[8]. Another school which was named after a Travancore ruler is Sri Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma Higher Secondary School.

Educational institutions include many privately funded Engineering colleges, the state-run Kanyakumari Medical College (at Asaripallam near Nagercoil), and many Polytechnic colleges and Arts and Science Colleges. As in neighbouring Kerala, women's education and career-development are given importance, almost on par with men by all communities.

         ST Hindu College,

         Sivanthi Aditanar College Pillayarpuram, Nagercoil

         Ayappa College for Women,

         Sun College of Engineerin & Technology

         The Muslim Arts College Thiruvithancode,

         Noorul Islam College of Engineering at Kumaracoil,

         Pan India famous ICFAI has one of its affiliate ICFAI National College imparting MBA program is situated at Vadasery,

         SMRV higher secondary school etc. are some of the educational institutions in Nagercoil.

Several leading Colleges and Schools are run by Christian denominations and include:

         St. Xavier's Catholic College of Engineering

         St. Xavier's Catholic College of Nursing (Tamil Nadu's first Catholic diocesan nursing college)

         CSI Institute of Technology

         James College of Engineering and Technology

         Holy Cross College,

         Scott Christian College, (Arts and Sciences College, with some specialised departments)

         Holy Cross College for Women

         Women's Christian College Nagercoil

         Carmel higher secondary School

         Little Flower girls higher secondary school

         St.Joseph's Convent Higher Secondary School

         St.Joseph's Matric Higher Secondary School

         C.S.I Matriculation Higher Secondary School

         Scott Christian Higher Secondary Schoo

         Duthie Girls Higher secondary Schoo

         Moderator Gnanadason Polytechnic College

In the Christian theological side, the Concordia Theological Seminary established in 1924 caters to the training of Pastors of the India Evangelical Lutheran Church. One of the well reputed C.B.S.E schools in Nagercoil is the Adarsh Vidya Kendra which is situated at Vetturnimadam which is 3 km from Nagercoil.


Nagercoil is the headquarters of the state owned Arasu Rubber Corporation and the regional office of the Central Rubber Board. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a major testing facility for Cryogenic and Liquid Propulsion rocket engines on the Mahendragiri hills (on the Western Ghats) off Nagercoil. Rocket scientists and engineers from all over India work at this facility, called the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Mahendragiri.

The town also serves as a centre for the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant reactors, being built with Russian assistance, which is situated in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, but is the closest major town to the facility. The public sector Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IRE), also has a major facility at Manavaalakurichy, near the town.


Movie Theatres:

         Chakravarthy Theatre 2

         Karthik Theatre

         Mini Chakravarthy Theatre

         Rajesh Theatre

         Thangam Theatre

         Vasantham palace




Nagercoil is located at 811′N 7726′E / 8.18N 77.43E / 8.18; 77.43

Sea level:

22 m above sea level.


Places of interests in and around Nagercoil


         The Nagaraja Temple (which gives Nagercoil its name) and the Thanumalayan Temple, at Suchindrum, about 6 km from the heart of the town, are famous Hindu shrines for pilgrims from all over South India. The Nagaraja Temple has Nagaraja, the King of Snakes, as its principal deity, to whom milk is offered by the devout. The Suchindram Temple is unique amongst Hindu temples in that it unites the worship of the Trinity of Hinduism - Shiva (Sthanu), Vishnu (Perumal or Mal) and Brahma (Aiyan) - in the presiding deity, Thanumalayan. The tradition of the temple is that the King of the Devas, Indra, worships at the temple each night.

         Krishnancoil, situated on the way to Trivandrum at NH-47 is named after the temple where the presiding deity is Lord Kishna in his childhood avatar. This temple is just 1.5 km from the heart of Nagercoil town.

         St. Francis Xaviers Church, in the Kottar locality of the town, which was built in the year 1600 AD, is historically important due to the visit and stay of St.Francis Xavier. The church was built in the land allotted to St. Xavier by the Venad king.

         Fresh water supply to the town is from the Mukkadal Reservoir, about 8 km from the town - itself a very scenic place, with a small bushy island in the middle of the reservoir. The reservoir is surrounded by hills of the Western Ghats.

         Another area with some picture-postcard-perfect sceneries in Kanyakumari District is Boothapandi, about 10 km from Nagercoil. This place shows an extended range of the Western Ghats with lush green fields all around. A peculiar feature about this place is that are some small, dilapidating, ancient Hindu Temples and structures dotting the green fields

The hilly, undulating terrain in Kanyakumari District is partly forest land and the remaining is covered by rubber and other plantation plants. Elephants are very common in this area.

         Mathur Aqueduct (Thotti palam)

         Udayagiri Fort

         Vattakottai Fort.

         Thirparapu Falls

         Padmanabhapuram Palace

         Muttom Beach.

         Sanguthurai Beach


         Maruthuvaal Malai

         Ullakaarvi Waterfalls



Nagercoil derives its name from a famous old temple called the Naga Raja Temple (temple of the serpent king) which still exists in the central part of the town. It has been an important temple for Hindus for centuries, and it also is a tourist attraction. According to certain accounts, it may once have been a Jain temple, as icons of the Jain Tirthankaras -- Mahavira and Parsvanatha -- are found on the pillars of the templeNagercoil came under the rule of various kingdoms, notably the Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms, at various points in time; historical records reveal that these kingdoms fought over the control of the fertile area of Nanjilnadu and Kottar, a town mentioned in old Tamil writings and maps of ancient India. Archaeological records also show Jain influences in ancient times. Also the literatures reveal the fact that the Nanjil Nadu and Kottar were ruled by Kurunji Nattan (Kuravars) and a naga tribe with pandyan origin called Bharathars (Paravars, ancient rulers of Bharatha Varsha), who were called Chandravanshi in North India.

The modern history of the town is interwoven with the history of Travancore state. The modern town of Nagercoil grew around Kottar, now a locality within the municipal limits. The town came to prominence during and after the reign of Maharaja Marthanda Varma, the king of Travancore, the capital of which was Padmanabhapuram, about 20 km to the north of Nagercoil. The capital was later shifted to Trivandrum, now Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala state, about 65 km to the north of Nagercoil. In the erstwhile princely state of Travancore, Nagercoil was the second most important town after the capital Trivandrum.

Nagaraja Temple, from which the town derives its name.

Maharaja Marthanda Varma's successors continued the land, revenue and social reforms he instituted. Although Travancore was considered by many to be a "Hindu" administration, the rulers generally showed religious tolerance, and were not hostile to European educators, missionaries and traders. Until the 19th century, the coffers of Travancore were greatly helped by revenues from the trade of pepper and other spices, with the European powers.

Irrigation systems (an excellent system is still found around Nagercoil), dams, roads, schools etc. developed under the able administration of the Travancore royals and their Dewans. The British in India considered Travancore a "model native state". At the time, Travancore was the most socially developed, and one of the most economically developed states under the British Raj. During the British Raj, Travancore was essentially a vassal-state to the British, but the British never interfered in the general administration of the state.

At the time of India's independence from Britain, the Dewan of Travancore, Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyer, preferred Travancore to be a sovereign country, but he eventually gave up after a tough stand by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Indias federal minister in charge of home affairs, who wanted the princely state annexed to India. The late Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyer is still held in high esteem in Nagercoil, for the many development projects he undertook in South Travancore, of which the town was a part.

After a political fight in the 1950s led by Marshal A. Nesamony Nadar, the Government of Travancore-Cochin gave part of South Travancore (present day Kanyakumari District) to Tamil Nadu, because a majority of the population spoke Tamil in the district. This was enacted in the Indian States Reorganisation Act of 1956.[1]

Nagercoil has generally been a peaceful place, although there was some tension and violence between the Christian and Hindu communities in the 1980s. Since then, inter-religious meetings organised by various faiths and by District Collectors (local administrators) have helped develop good understanding among the various sections of the population.


The foundation of several educational institutions by English, German and other Western Christian missionaries in the 19th century and the development of social infrastructure by the Travancore administration raised the social status and literacy of the people, ahead of many other urban centres in Southern India. Today, one finds a number of streets, schools and colleges in the town named after these European missionaries ; many of these missionaries also being noted educationists and scholars.

The European missionaries converted a section of the people to Protestant Christianity. Roman Catholicism had been introduced earlier by St. Francis Xavier in the 16th century and later by other Jesuits.

St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral at Kottar, Nagercoil. St. Francis Xavier, the missionary-saint resided for sometime at Kottar, while doing missionary work in the neighbouring areas.

St. Francis Xavier, the Roman Catholic missionary, made Kottar locality in the town his principal residence for a period of two years in the 16th century, while preaching around the town and in neighbouring Tirunelveli district.

Of the Protestant missionaries, the services of two European missionaries are particularly laudable. One is C. Mead, who after arriving in 1817 in Nagercoil, as a missionary of the London Missionary Society (LMS), made immense contributions to the cause of education in the town and in Travancore. In 1818, he founded the Nagercoil Seminary, which became one of the first regular institutes to impart English education in Travancore state and also in Southern India. In 1855, in recognition of his contributions to the cause of education, the Travancore Government appointed him Superintendent of Schools, and while in this office he also encouraged women's education in Nagercoil and in the state of Travancore. He also started the Nagercoil Mission Press, the first printing press in the state of Travancore. Mead also fought to abolish forms of indentured labour rampant at that time.

The other great missionary was William Tobias Ringeltaube, a native of the then Prussia (present Germany), who established a number of schools and worked among the poor and downtrodden around the town. He started one of the first regular schools in Travancore at Mylaudy, near Nagercoil which is still active.

Like the London Missionary Society (LMS), another organisation that rendered valuable services to the cause of education and upliftment of the socially downtrodden has been the Church Missionary Society (CMS). Both these societies still have a presence in Nagercoil (nearly two centuries after inception).

Home church is one of the important place for worship. this was build by Thurivankur King and one of Big church in Nagercoil. This was build by Hard stones.

The Salvation Army is known in the town for their pioneering medical services in and around the town. Their Catherine Booth Hospital in the Vadasery locality of the town was established in the 19th century and is still active.

Near By Places :

Being the southernmost municipal area of the country, and situated close to Kanyakumari, or Cape Comorin, the southernmost point of peninsular India, the town is essentially an intersecting point of culture, tradition and trade of the western and eastern coasts. The town connects two major eastern and western lines of the Indian Railways, with one line leading through Kerala, called the Konkan route, and the other through the eastern part of India, through Tirunelveli of Tamil Nadu. Nagercoil is 65 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala state, connected by National Highway 47, and 65 km from Tirunelveli.


The culture is a mixture of Tamil and Malayalam culture and traditions. Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are the major religions in the town and district. Food prepared here is also a mix of Kerala/Tamil Nadu traditions. Puttu, Appam, Idiappam are very popular food items here and so are rice murukku, achchappam, etc. Even curries here are made with coconut and coconut oil which is now considered Kerala style cooking.

Some of the prominent festivals that are celebrated here are Onam, Suchindrum "Ther Festival", Ayya Vaikunda Avataram, Deepavali, Easter, Christmas, New Year, St. Francis Xavier's feast, Bhagavathy Amman Temple festival, Ramzan (Eid ul fitr) and Bakrid (Eid ul alha).