Tirunelveli Tourism

Tirunelveli Tourism

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Rank 17
Ranked 17 of 78
Tamil Nadu Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.7 / 7
2520 Ratings & 2230 Reviews

Tirunelveli Info

  • State: Tamil Nadu
  • Famous for/as: Heritage
  • District: Tirunelvelli
  • Language: Tamil
  • Weather: Summer 26 to 35°C, Winter 23 to 31°C

History of Tirunelveli

Formally known as Nellai, Tirunelveli is a city in Tamil Nadu. It is the sixth largest city of Tamil Nadu and is the headquarters of the Tirunelveli District. Bordered by Kerala in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south-east, this district lies 612 km south-west of Chennai and 140 km east of Thiruvananthapuram. Being close to the southernmost tip of India, Tirunelveli is also known for its varied geographical features. It consists of five types of geographical terrain - Kurinji (mountains), Mullai (forests), Marudham (paddy fields), Neithal (coastal) and Palai (deserts) and is situated in the west bank of River Tamiraparani. Tirunelveli is an ancient city which was formed on 1st September 1790 by the East India Company. But much before that, the history of this place dates back to the 900 BC when the Pandyas ruled this region. The past of Tirunelveli was also researched by one of the Christian missionaries, Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), who was known to have contributed a lot to the Tamil language. The city was formally named by the Arcot Nawabs and the Nayaks as 'Nellai Cheemai'. The Nayaks, in 1781, granted the local administration and revenue of Tirunelveli to the British and they governed it until India achieved independence in 1947.

People and Culture of Tirunelveli

Tirunelveli has a rich cultural and architectural heritage which is evident from the various temples, mosques and cathedrals located here. Some of the prominent religious structures are Nellaiappar Temple, Holy Trinity Cathedral and the Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram Temple. The Swamy Nellaiappar Temple and Kanthimathi Ambal Temple, Sankaranainar Kovil Temple and Sivasailam Temple are also prominent religious attractions in this region. Another important pilgrimage site is the beautiful sea facing Kappal Matha Church that is devoted to St. Mary and is in the form of a ship. A major attraction of this district is the Mundanthurai-Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary that is home to jungle cat, striped hyena, common langur, tiger and lion-tailed macaque.

Tirunelveli holiday packages can be bought to explore the destination better. The nearest airport to Tirunelveli is located in Tuticorin which is 32 km away from the centre of the town. Being a railway junction, Tirunelveli is well connected to all the major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata by rail. To reach Tirunelveli, tourists can also travel by road as National Highway 7 goes right through Tirunelveli.

Accommodation options in Tirunelveli Guesthouses, lodges, hostels and budget hotels are the hotel options in Tirunelveli.

Tirunelveli is one of the weekend getaway options for travelers living in Trivandrum(Thiruvananthapuram)  and Madurai.

Best time to visit Tirunelveli in the next six months

  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February

Tirunelveli Traveller Reviews

Read 48 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7,
out of 2230 Tirunelveli reviews
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Vivek ravindranath

  • Tourist
  • Vivek ravindranath
  • 3 Reviews
  •  82 readers

"The hidden temple town"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Apr 14, 2017
The city of Tirunelveli is famous for its yummy halwa. But what many locals know is that the city is close to many beautiful and uncrowded temples that deserve our time and attention.
There are 18 famous temples in and around Tirunelveli city... All within a 50 km radius. They are grouped as Nava Tirupati and Nava Kailasam.
The nine Nava Tirupathi temples are ancient structures dedicated to lord Vishnu and represents the Vaishnavite culture. Many at of them are large and elaborately designed shrines which merit a visit just for aesthetic reasons.
The list...
1 Srivaikuntam Sri Vaikuntanathan Primal Temple Surya (Sun)
2. TiruVannaMalai Vijayasena Primal Temple Chandra (Moon)
3. Thiru Puliyangudi Bhumi Palghar Primal Temple Budha (Mercury)
4. Rettai Tirupathi North Temple (Sri Aravindalochanan Temple, Tholaivil Mangalam) Rahu
5. Rettai Tirupathi South Temple (Sri Devapiran Temple, Tholaivil Mangala) Ketu
6. Perungulam Swamy Mayakoothar Temple, Thirukkudanthai Shani (Saturn)
7. ThenThiruperai Thiru Makara Nedunchalai Kaather Primal Temple Shukra (Venus)
8. Thirukolur Sri Vaithamanidhi Perumal Temple Mangala (Mars)
9. Alwarthirunagari Primal Temple, Thirukarugavur Guru (Jupiter)
The Nava Kailasam temples are nine temples dedicated to Shiva and the shaivite traditions. These shrines are a little more esoteric with some of them in state of poor maintenance. The highlight is the first temple at Papanasam which is a large temple with proximity to Agasthya falls which falls in a forest area. A treat for nature lovers as this is a real hosting tigers.
1. Papanasam - Suryan (Sun) - Mela Kailasam
2. Cheran Mahadevi - Thin gal (Moon) - Mela Kailasam
3. Kodaganallur - Chevvai(Mars) - Mela Kailasam
4. Kunnathur - Rahu - Keezh kailasam
5. Murappanadu - Guru (Jupitor) - Keezh kailasam
6. Thiruvaikundam - Sani (Saturn) - Keezh kailasam
7. Thenthiruperai - Budhan (Mercury) - Keezh kailasam
8. Rajapathy - Ketu - Keezh kailasam
9. Saendha Poomangalam - Sukran (Venus) - Keezh kailasam
The only way to visit all these temples is to hire a cab and have a knowledgeable driver who knows the temple timings.
Tiruchendur... The beach temple dedicated to Lord Murugan is also close by and is a lovely experience.
Finally the local Nellaiappar temple in the city needs at least 3 hours of your undivided attention to be appreciated and enjoyed. The huge temple needs to be visited and explored from Both spiritual and aesthetic perspective.
Three full days are needed to cover all these temples. Don't hurry and savour the ancient devotional sites with live and awe. Be prepared to walk quite a bit as some of the temples are huge.
Lodging and boarding are of decent quality in Tirunelveli. I suggest spending extra on transportation while saving on lodging. Food is inexpensive, but primarily vegetarian. Connectivity to Tirunelveli is excellent with efficient bus and train connectivity from major TN cities.
Best time to visit is between October to February.
So for a comfortable and tiring awesome spiritual and aesthetic experience, the temples of Tirunelveli are par excellence.
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Krishnakumar padmanabhan

  • Tourist
  • Krishnakumar padmanabhan
  • 6 Reviews
  •  119 readers

"Tirunelveli review"

  • 3.0/7
  • Posted Feb 11, 2017
On day 1 started my trip to Nagwrcoil and Kanyakumari. Though it is off season, good amount of crowd was there in Kanyakumari. Visited the famous Vivekananda rock and 133ft Thiruvalluvar statue. Did not plan for sunset view as the sky was not clear. Then visited wax museum and suseendr temple where the three lords (brahma. Vishnu and diva) are found together. Finally visited Nagaraja temple in Nahercoil to complete the day.
On day 2 visited Courtallam and Agadthiyar falls in Papanasam which was having more water when compared to Courtallam. The water was ice cooled. Courtallam is with less water and the place is dirtiest ever. Absolutely no cleaning is taking place, then visited the grand Thenkasi temple. Before completing the day visited Nellaiyappar and Gandhimadhi temple and purchased the iruttukadai halwa finally when the shop was about to close.
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  • Tourist
  • M.asokan
  • Lives in Erode
  • 11 Reviews
  •  1618 readers

"Facelift adorned by Tirunelveli is unimaginable"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Apr 29, 2016
It is altogether a different experience when I visited Tirunelveli after 50 years, the facelift adorned by Tirunelveli is unimaginable. There was an overall change right from the basic infra structure. Lots of new buildings, business establishments, luxurious hotels, posh nursing homes and whatnot. Early morning visit to nellaiyappar gandhimathi Amman temple brought solace and glory. Whatever I missed during my student days 50 years ago, I was able to get back and I am sure I will keep the new experiences a valuable treasure for the rest of my life.
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Pritvi Kanchi

  • Expert
  • Pritvi Kanchi
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 232 Reviews
  •  515 helpful votes
  •  584436 readers

"Amazing place to visit"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted Mar 18, 2016
I had been to Tirunelveli in October 2015. The city of Tirunelveli is located at the southernmost tip of the Deccan Plateau. This city was known as Nellai during the British reign over India. Once upon a time in history, it was ruled by the Nawab of Carnatic, The must-visit attractions in and around Tirunelveli include Papanasam dam, Shankaranarayankoil and the Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. The Papanasam Dam is one of the important picnic hotspots in Tirunelveli and home to 108 unique medicinal herbs. The Manjolai hills is also a must-visit attraction in Papanasam. The Shankarnarayan Koil is around 900 years old and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main diety here is Shankaranarayan which is a combination of Lord Shiva and Vishnu. The Mundanthurai tiger reserve spans 900 square kilometres and is located at an elevation of 1800 meters above sea level. This is the second forest reserve in Tamil Nadu and is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.
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Katie Nathan

  • Explorer
  • Katie Nathan
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 26 photos
  • 16 Reviews
  •  17 helpful votes
  •  9583 readers

"Centralized location, every place under 100 kms reach"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jan 26, 2016
This place is amazing, affordable and can make a good central point to visit other places. Kanyakumari at 80+ kms, Courtallam 60+ kms, Tiruchendur 50+ kms and lot more I am yet to visit. A circular route makes it even more interesting.

The place has good food, vegetarian too, tasty affordable and not such a big place that we have to kilometers to move from one place to another.

Check-out the Old Bus Stand area and you have umpteen options for stay and food. Parking can be a problem though.

Not to forget to mention about the famous Iruttu Kadai Halwa so nicely priced at Rs, 180 a kg. You can also eat it hot in plantain leaf at 10rs. Be ready to fight for a place though in the crowd.
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Thirumeni Kalyan

  • Scout
  • Thirumeni Kalyan
  • 6 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  2273 readers

"Many to visit around"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jan 14, 2016
One of the City in Tamizhnadu, located in South. Nellaiappar Temple is the famous Temple in the state. Iruttukadai halwa is famous in the country. Nearby sightseeing places like Papanasam Temple, Agasthiar falls, Manimuthar are exciting places to visit. Most of the people from this place came to Chennai and running their business successfully like saravana stores, pothys, rmkv, etc.
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Raja Manickam

  • Scout
  • Raja Manickam
  • 3 Reviews
  •  4 helpful votes
  •  1322 readers

"It's evergreen"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Sep 17, 2015
Tirunelveli located at farther end of India just about Kanyakumari and just below Thoothukudi and left by Kerala is the city of cultural ethnicity and ever blooming modernity.

It is the city which has with it many cultural and tourist places of the world like the Nellaiappar Temple, Kutralam, Agasthiyar Falls, Papanasam, Manimuthar Krishnapuram, Tenkasi, Palayamkottai etc.

In the heart of the city lies the Nellaiappar Temple which is the foremost temple of the city and for instance the city got the name Tirunelveli from the God Nellaiappar. Another attractive scenic cool enjoyable places is Kutralam. The main falls are Five Falls, Shenbagadevi Falls, and a series of falls are absolutely terrific.
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Shankar Vs

  • Scout
  • Shankar Vs
  • 1 Review
  •  688 readers

"Tirunelveli, nature at its best"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Sep 2, 2015
Kutralam is the best place in Tirunelveli. It was well known for waterfalls available in this place. There are more than seven waterfalls are there. You can nature in this place. Its full of nature. The water fall from the mountain is mixed with the plants having nutrients in them. So it is good for health. That water is very pure. You can drink it.
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  • Explorer
  • Ramesh
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 6 Reviews
  •  4 helpful votes
  •  7172 readers

"Very important city in Tamil Nadu has lots of temples, falls & natural scenarios"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jul 21, 2015
Very important city in Tamil Nadu has lots of temples, falls and natural scenarios. Very near to Kuttralam, tenaksi, tutucorin, Tiruchendur, papnasam, agathiyar falls, nanguneri and other places. Need to plan 7 days visit to see all the temples sight seeing peacefully.
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  • 1 vote

Babu N

  • Explorer
  • Babu N
  • 5 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  2739 readers

"City famous for Halwa & the taste is ecstatic"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Jul 21, 2015
The city is well known for their peculiar and ofcourse a beautiful slang of Tamil. If you are here the first thing you should be doing is eat 'Irutu kadai halwa' the ecstatic taste of the halwa draws in a lot of attention. Surrounding the city are beautiful falls like kumbarotti falls and Papanasam. A trip here wouldn't cost much, a simple and lovely place to visit.
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Nehru ramani k Ganesan Rajendran Subash Nehru ramani k, Ganesan, Rajendran and 2469 other people have been to Tirunelveli.
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