Tuticorin, also known as Thoothukudi is a port city and a Municipal Corporation and an industrial city in Thoothukudi district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The city lies in the Coromandel Coast off Bay of Bengal. Thoothukudi is the headquarters of Thoothukudi District. It is located about 590 kilometres (367 mi) south of Chennai and 190 kilometres (118 mi) northeast of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). According to Confederation of Indian Industry, Tuticorin has the second highest Human Development Index in Tamil Nadu next to Chennai.
Tuticorin City serves as the headquarters of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited. Major educational establishments in the city include Thoothukudi Government Medical College, Fisheries College and Research Institute,Marine Training Academy, V.O.C. Arts & Science College, Government Polytechnic College, and Anna University Tuticorin Campus.Tuticorin Port is one of the Fastest growing Major Ports in India.Tuticorin is an “Emerging Energy and Industrial hub of South India”.
Thoothukudi is known as “Pearl City” due to the pearl fishing carried out in the town. It is a commercial seaport which serves the inland cities of Southern India and is one of the sea gateways of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the major seaports in India with a history dating back to the 6th century AD. The city is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by the Early Pandyas, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Later Pandyas, Ma’bar Sultanate, Tirunelveli Sultanate, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Chanda Sahib, Carnatic kingdom, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Thoothukudi was settled by the Portuguese, Dutch and later by the British East India Company.
The majority of the people of the city are employed in salt pans, sea-borne trading, fishing, and tourism. A major attraction in the city is Our Lady of Snows Basilica, a 16th-century site. The 21 islands between Thoothukudi and Rameswaram shores in the Gulf of Mannar are noted as the first Marine Biosphere Reserve of India, and have around 36,000 species of flora and fauna. This protected area is called Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. Our Lady of Snows Basilica festival is celebrated annually during August. This and the Shiva temple festivals, e.g., Adi Amavasai, Sasti, and Chittirai chariot festivals – are the major festivals of the area. Roadways are the major mode of transport to Thoothukudi, while the city also has rail, air, and sea transport.