With a history dating back to the pre-Christian era, Tirunelveli is situated on the west bank of the river Thamiraparani. The place is surrounded by ‘nel-veli’ (meaning fence made of paddy fields) and the presiding deity of the place is Lord Shiva (Tiru), hence the name Tirunelveli. The city flourished during the time of Pandyas and served for some time as the capital. Tirunelveli is famous for reed mats, palm handicrafts and palm sugar.
The prime interest is the Kanthimathi-Nellaiyapper Temple (twin temple dedicated to Parvati and Shiva). Major attractions nearby are Palayamkottai, Papanasam, Kazhugumalai, Srivaikuntam, Manapad, Kulasekarapattinam and Tenkasi.
Tirunelveli is located at a distance of around 150 km from
Madurai and has an area of 87.64 sq km. The common language spoken by the people are
Tamil and English.
The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram. Tirunelveli Railway Station is an important railhead of the Southern railway and it is well connected to major cities in the state through meter gauge and broad gauge.