Manapad, Tuticorin Overview

In a world full of popular tourist destinations that are being commercially exploited, there are still some truly serene and mesmerising locations. India is no exception to this altering tourism scenario and the quaint coastal village in the state of Tamil Nadu – Manapad – is proof for the existence of such relatively unexplored and untouched places. This small hamlet nestled between naturally formed dunes on one side and enclosed by clear blue seas on three sides stands still with all its beauty and majesty. Ingrained in history and bestowed with inimitable natural splendour, Manapad is a fantastic location for leisure activities and water sports as well. This pristine destination is surrounded by many places of great heritage, tourism and religious significance.

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History of Manapad

According to the traditional stories, it is believed that a Portuguese trading vessel sought haven in the well-known port of Kulasekharapatnam after encountering a violent storm. The captain of the ship constructed a cross on the shore to keep a vow he made after entrusting the safety of the vessel to Christ. In 1542, Saint Francis Xavier came to Manapad and began to hold masses at a chapel of the Captain’s Cross. Later in the year 1581, the famous 400 years old Holy Cross Church was built on the seashore of Manapad.

Places to Visit in Manapad

Manapad Beach: For those who prefer sea beaches to mountains, Manapad Beach is an ideal location to spend the holidays. During the colonial times, the beach was of strategic importance as traders used it. The beach is not only an excellent place for enjoying the fantastic views of the sea but also to know about the intriguing history associated with it.

Holy Cross Church: Built in the year 1581, the Holy Cross Church stands on the seashore of Manapad. It holds a special religious significance because of its direct association with Saint Francis Xavier. It is believed that fragments of the True Cross, which were brought from Jerusalem, are placed in the church. Two of the other important churches in Manapad are the Holy Spirit Church and the Saint James Church.

Manapad Palm Leaf Cooperate Society: Established in 1957, this women folk’s livelihood in Manapad specialises in making eco-friendly products out of Palmyra leaves and twigs. The local women join this initiative, irrespective of their age, and help in making these beautiful and creative palm leaf products, namely handbags, fans, decorative products, baskets and many.

Things to do in Manapad

Surfing: The unique coastline of Manapad is a resultant of the multiple layers formed by the accumulated lava over hundreds of years. This rare distinction is the reason why Manapad witnesses the best wave formation throughout the year, making it one of the best surfing-sites in India.

Heritage Walk: In the Heritage Walk, the tourists are taken around the sublime coastal village of Manapad to let them explore the rich heritage of the place. The walk starts from the old Saint Francis cavern, passing on to the momentous Holy Cross Shrine, the Gothic castles, some other churches and finally ends at the Palm Leaf Cooperate Society. This peaceful stroll through the narrow lanes refreshes the mind and body of the tourists.

Festivals in Manapad

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: This festival of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is celebrated in Manapad on 14th September, annually, to commemorate the recovery of the True Cross from the Persians. Pilgrims visit the Holy Cross Church throughout the year and thousands flock during the festive season, which is from 1st to 14th of September.

Best time to visit Manapad

Since Tamil Nadu stays hot and humid during the summers and monsoons, the ideal time to visit Manapad begins from November and lasts until February, which is the winter season in the region.

How to reach Manapad

Manapad is located near Tuticorin and Tirunelveli, which are well connected to Chennai, Madurai and Trivandrum by roads and regular trains. Taxi services are available from these Tuticorin and Tirunelveli that costs about INR 800.

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