Poompuhar, also known as Puhar, is an ancient town situated in Sirkali Taluk of Nagapattinam District, in the state of Tamil Nadu. In Tamil language, Puhar means 'estuary of river in the sea'. It is located along the coastal lines near the mouth of River Kaveri. The town has two distinct districts – Maruvurpakkam and Pattinappakkam, located near the sea and to the west of town, respectively.
Poompuhar holds a significant place in history, with inscriptions dating back to the 2nd century mentioning this historical city. Pottery made in the 4th or 5th century also underscores this town's importance in India's history. It has been the seat of many prominent South Indian rulers, like Manuneethi Cholan, Karikal Cholan and Sembiyan. It was known as Puhar Nagaram in the reign of Chola Kingdom.
Many temple inscriptions, ancient literature and travelogues detail this town under different names, like Kaganthi, Sampapathi, Palarpukar Moothur and Mannagathu Vanpathi, among others. During the events of Krakatoa in 535 AD, Poompuhar suffered extensive damage from a tsunami. Thirusaikadu (Sayavanam), Pallavaneeswaram, Malaperumpallam, Keelaperumpallam, Keezaiyur, Melaiyur and Vanaguru were the only parts of the town left undamaged after this event. However, it regained its lost glory under the reign of the Cholas in 850 AD.
Poompuhar is a prominent place for religiously inclined travellers. Sayavanam Temple, Pallavaneesvaran Temple are two sites that hold historical as well as religious significance. Sillappathikaram Art Gallery, Zion Church, Town Gate, Danish Fort and Danish Governer Bunglow are prominent tourist attractions located in this town.
Elanchi Mandram, Kotra Pandal, Thiruppallavaneeswaram, Melapperumpallam and Keezhapperumpallam, Thiruvengadu, Thiruvakkur, Sempanarkoil, Anantha Mangalam are other places of interest. Apart from these, Vaitheswaran Koil, Sirkazhi, Thirunallaru, Thiruvarur, Tranquebar or Tharangambadi and Masilamani Nathar Koil are also popular.
Travellers can visit Poompuhar by boarding a flight to Trichy Airport, which is located 141 km away. The town is connected to Mayiladuthurai and Srikali via road, with buses of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation plying at regular intervals.
The closest railway station is the Srikali Railway Station, situated 21 km from this town, where tourists coming from Chennai have to get off. Visitors coming from other routes need to deboard at Mayiladuthurai Railway Junction located 24 km away from Poompuhar.
The weather of Poompuhar is characterised by three seasons - winter, summer and monsoon. Summers, between March and May, are very warm, with extreme humidity. The winter season, from December to February, is the best time for visiting the town. Heavy rainfall occurs in the monsoon, which begins in June and lasts till the end of October.