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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: Oct-Feb Read More

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"The Traditional Urban City of Tamil Nadu"

Tirunelveli Tourism

Tirunelveli, also called Tinnevelly, is a big city in the midst of numerous small towns, each with its own bounty of beautiful sights, temples, waterfalls and much more. Unlike many temple towns, this 2000-year-old ancient city also does offer many other sites to its tourists. The city is located on the west bank of the Tambraparni River which provides irrigation water for crops of rice and cotton. 

Though it is one of the largest cities in Tamil Nadu and has a booming agrarian economy, Tirunelveli is far from being a regular commercial hub. It has its roots very much intact, with multiple religious splendours waiting to be discovered. And to complete your trip, it also has some delicacies you can gorge on!

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History of Tirunelveli

The city was ruled over by many empires, including those of the Cholas, Pandyas and the Nawabs of Arcot. It is also the site of the revolt led by Veerapandiya Kattabomman against the British. The massive and marvellous Nellaiappar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was the royal shrine of the ruling Pandya and Chola dynasties. The famous and delicious Iruttukadai halwa was first made here and is available even today.


Tirunelveli, historically, was an integral part of the Pandyan empire. Researched adequately by Richard Caldwell, it has been traced that many dynasties have asserted their supremacy over this region. The oldest mention of Tirunelveli is seen in Ashokan inscriptions. Before the Pandyan rule, the power was in the hands of the Cholas. It then shifted over to Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I. Eventually, the power shifted to the Maravaras and Vijayanagara rulers.


Tirunelveli is also known as Nellai. Under the British rule, it was known as Tinnevelly. Tirunelveli actually in Tamil means “sacred paddy hedge”. The name came about as a result of some inscriptions, which tell the story of Lord Shiva, who descended in the form of a roof and a hedge, in order to save the paddy of his devotee. Hence, Tirunelveli is derived from three Tamil words “Thiru” (sacred), “nel” (paddy), and “veli” (hedge).

Restaurants and Local Food in Tirunelveli

Tirunelveli has no problems when it comes to food. The most widely available food is South Indian, obviously, but if you want, other cuisines aren't that difficult to find either. The place is especially famous for its Halwas and other Indian desserts.
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Suggested Itinerary for Tirunelveli

Day 1 - Have a hearty breakfast in one of the local hotels. Visit the Nellaiappar Temple. Then, visit the Kattabomman Memorial Fort, located about 70 km from the city.
Day 2 - Visit the Papanasam Falls and the Manimutharu dam. In the evening, check out the local market and street food.

Best Time to Visit Tirunelveli

Commuting within Tirunelveli

Tirunelveli Photos

Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu
Kanthimathi and Nellaiappar
Main Falls
Krishnapuram Temple- Thiruvenkatanathan

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FAQs on Tirunelveli

What is famous about Tirunelveli?

Food and accommodation are relatively cheap. Relatively less crowded throughout the year.

What is not so good about Tirunelveli?

The weather is extremely hot for a major part of the year.

Who should visit Tirunelveli?

Ideal for family visits, people interested in British - era architecture, and people going on a pilgrimage.

What is the best time to visit Tirunelveli?

Being located in the southern half of the country, the place has very harsh summers and cooler winters. The winters do not get chilly and serve as an ideal time to visit. Hence, the best time to visit this town lies between the months of October and February.
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What is the local food in Tirunelveli?

Tirunelveli has no problems when it comes to food. The most widely available food is South Indian, obviously, but if you want, other cuisines aren't that difficult to find either. The place is especially famous for its Halwas and other Indian desserts.
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What is the best way to reach Tirunelveli?

Tirunelveli is well connected to all cities in Tamil Nadu. It is also accessible by road and rail from many other cities.
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What are the things to do in Tirunelveli?

The top things to do in Tirunelveli are Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary, Papanasam, Agasthiyar falls, Papanasam Falls, Kanthimathi and Nellaiappar, Courtallam Waterfalls. You can see all the places to visit in Tirunelveli here

What are the places near Tirunelveli?

The top places near to Tirunelveli are Kanyakumari which is 73 km from Tirunelveli, Trivandrum which is located 69 km from Tirunelveli, Munnar which is located 166 km from Tirunelveli, Ponmudi which is located 64 km from Tirunelveli, Thenmala which is located 74 km from Tirunelveli

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Tirunelveli Reviews

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Siva Sathiyavalli

on Government Archaeological Museum 3 years ago
Wonderful place to visit. We can get more historical information there. Sculpture garden is amazing. Very rare collection of paintings are available here.

Rohit Shroff

3 years ago
- The place has very hot summers and unpredictable whether, even in winters. So when travelling in winters too, make sure you carry some loose cotton clothes, in addition to your woolens. You will, m (Read More)ost likely, need them
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