Kadayam, a picturesque village, is situated in Ambasamudram
taluk of Tirunelveli District
. Its history can be dated back to 10th and 11th century. It lies on the banks of Ramanathi River
and Jambunathi River
, two tributaries of the Tamiraparani, and at the foot of the Western Ghats
. Kadayam comprises South Kadayam, Keezha (East) Kadayam and Mela (West) Kadayam.
Gifted with rich land and water resources, Kadayam is known for its quality rice cultivation, lime orchards, floriculture- primarily roses and ‘thaazhambu’(a fragrant cactus flower) and a cottage industry of rose water.
Legend has it that the presiding deity of the area, Goddess Kalyani Amman could not tolerate the noise created by the inhabitants surrounding her. She pulled out a bracelet (‘kadagam’) that she was wearing and threw it to a distance and asked the inhabitants to go and reside round the spot where the bracelet fell. Thus this place was known as Kadagam, which later came to be known as Kadayam. The temple of Goddess Kalyani Amman is around 3 km from the village outskirts. Kadayam has great association with mythology and appears in different names in historical records, such as, Valaisai, Srikailaasam, Konaadu Vikramapaandiyanallur and Vilvavanam.
Nearby tourist places are Kuttalam, (20 km), Papanasam Dam (20-25 km) and Azhwarkurichchi, about 5 km from Kadayam. Kallidaikurichi and Tenkasi are the nearest towns.
Kadayam lies on the rail route from Tirunelveli to
Sengottai, about 50 km from Tirunelveli and 23 km from Tenkasi. The major railway station is Tirunelveli Junction Railway Station, connected to Chennai (655 km). By road, it is accessible from Tirunelveli via either Ambasamudram or Mukkudal.