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About Nagapattinam

NagapattinamNagapattinam, often written as Nagapattnam is a popular town located in the Nagapattinam district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The small town of Nagapattinam is the administrative central office of Nagapattinam district. The small town was an erstwhile division of the Thanjavur district before it was established as the home base of the newly made Nagapattinam District in Tamil Nadu. The town of Nagapattinam is administrated by a selection grade municipality addressing a total area of 5.76 sq mi.

The major share of population of Nagapattinam is engaged in the sea-borne line of work, agribusiness and touristry. Nagapattinam is the proud home of the world renowned Hazrat Syed Shahul Hameed Dargah, popularly called as Nagore Dargah which receives pilgrims from all over the globe, throughout the year. The town is also an important Hindu pilgrim site that Nagapattinam houses several popular Hindu temples that include Kayarohanaswami Temple (dedicated to Lord Shiva), Soundararaja Perumal Temple (dedicated to Lord Vishnu) and so on. Let's get to know more about the town of Nagapattinam in detail.

Etymology of Nagapattinam

Appar Tirunavukkarasar Nayanar and Thirugnana Sambandar, the 7th-century saiva poet-saints of Tamil Nadu refer to the town as Nagai in their literary works. Nagapattinam was originally known as 'Nagai' and the Tamil word 'Pattinam' meaning town was bonded during the Chola era when it became a significant seaport.

Did you know?
Nagapattinam was mentioned by early authors and the Portuguese as 'the city of Coromandel'.

Several accounts exist behind the name of the town as the name Nagapattinam came from 'Nagar' citing to masses from Sri Lanka who settled in the town. During the governance of the Cholas, the town was called as 'Cholakula Vallipattinam'.

History of Nagapattinam

Nagore Dargah

The literary works of the 7th-century saiva poet-saints of Tamil Nadu, Appar Tirunavukkarasar Nayanar also known as Appar and Thirugyana Sambandar established some references regarding the town of Nagapattinam. The sacred compositions of the saint poets mention that Nagapattinam had several buildings, fortified walls, and a bustling port. The inscriptions from the Nagapattinam Kaayaaroganeswarar Temple suggest that the construction of the temple was started during the rule of the Pallava king, Narasimhavarman II also known as Rajasimha.

Did you know?
During the year 1991, Nagapattinam was made the home base of the recently formed Nagapattinam District.

The town became well known during the age of Medieval Cholas and operated as their significant seaport. The Chudamani Vihara - a Buddhist vihara (monastery) in Nagapattinam built by the Sri Lankan power in association with the Chola kingdom is an outstanding structure in the region. The Lusitanian and, subsequently, the Dutch people under whom it served as the headquarters of Dutch Coromandel (a governorate of the Dutch East India Company located on the Coromandel Coast) from 1660 to 1781 CE.

During the year 1781, Nagapattinam was captured by the Honourable East India Company (HEIC). Furthermore, Nagapattinam served as the headquarters of Thanjavur  between 1799 and 1845 CE under the Presidency of Fort St. George. The region proceeded to be an integral part of the Tanjore territorial dominion after Indian independence.

Geography and Demography of Nagapattinam


The geographic coordinates of Nagapattinam town is 10.77°N 79.83°E. The total area of the town is specified as 5.76 sq mi (14.92 sq.km). Nagapattinam is bordered by Bay of Bengal in the east, Thiruvarur district in the west, Puducherry to the north, Uppanar River to the south and Tanjore district in the north west. The town has a tropical climatic condition during the summertime, especially during the months of March to May. The geographical feature of being located very close to the ocean is the primary reason behind the eminent humidness in the town all through the year, which gets to 70% between August and May. Nagapattinam gets a yearly rainfall of 14 in (350 mm). Vettar, one of the affluent courses of Kaveri River are the primary water bodies in the town.

Did you know?
Nagapattinam is one of the cyclone-prone geographical zones in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and was majorly ruined during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Demographic Information of Nagapattinam

Population of Nagapattinam (Census 2011): 102,905
Population (under the age of six): 11,884
Population of Scheduled Castes: 8.67% of the total population
Population of Scheduled Tribes: 0.62% of the total population
Population Density: 615.99 per sq.km (1,595.4/sq mi)
Sex Ration: 1,026 females for every 1,000 males
Literacy Rate: 78.74%
Number of Households: 24,688

Tourism in Nagapattinam

Vaitheeswaran Kovil

Though fishing plays a crucial role in the economic system of the town of Nagapattinam, the town has respectable revenue making tourism industry. Nagapattinam receives pilgrims and visitors from all over the globe, throughout the year for its temples, churches and mosques. Furthermore, Nagapattinam is an important junction connecting tourists to various other popular destinations which include Velankanni, Nagore, Kodiyakkarai,  Sikkal Singaravelan Temple, Mannargudi, Ettukudi Murugan Temple, Vedaranyeswarar Temple and so on.

Some of the important places of interest in Nagapattinam include Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health aka Velakanni Shrine in Velankanni, Soundararajaperumal Temple, Hazrat Syed Shahul Hameed Dargah also known as Nagore Dargah, Kayarohanaswami Temple and so on.

Economy of Nagapattinam

Nagai Fish Market

The primary occupation of the people of Nagapattinam town is fishing and related line of work. Fresh catches from the Bay of Bengal are traded in the local fish markets in the town. The region also houses a lot of ice factories manufacturing ice cubes of various sizes that are widely used for preserving the fish.

Did you know?
Cauvery Basin Refinery - a subsidiary of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited, popularly known as CPCL (an Indian state-owned oil and gas corporation) located near the town of Nagapattinam is a major subscriber to the economic system of the town.

The region has very limited agrarian activity but a great deal agricultural business happens in the town. Some of the major cash crops of Nagapattinam include paddy, sugarcane, pulses, cotton, groundnut and sesame. Nagapattinam is an important hub of retail supplies, primarily merchandising for the settlements surrounding the town.

Transportation in Nagapattinam

Nagai Train Station

The coastal town of Nagapattinam is principally connected by two national highways and they are
  • NH 45A
Connectivity: Runs from Villupuram eastbound to Puducherry and then runs along the Bay of Bengal south till it arrives at Nagapattinam

Route Information: Viluppuram-Valavanur-Kandamangalam-Villianur-Pondicherry-Ariyankuppam- Cuddalore-Alapakkam-Chidambaram-Kollidam-Sirkazhi-Akkur-Tranquebar-Karaikal-Nagore-Nagapattinam
  • NH 67 to Coimbatore and Gundlupete in Karnataka state
Connectivity: Runs from Nagapattinam to Gundlupete in Chamarajanagar district in the southern state of Karnataka

Route Information: Nagappattinam - Thiruvarur - Thanjavur - Tiruchirappalli - Karur - Vellakoil - Kangayam - Palladam - Coimbatore - Mettupalayam - Coonoor - Udagamandalam - Gudalur - Gundlupet

Nagapattinam is well connected with Coimbatore, Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Chennai, Pondicherry and other important cities and towns in the state through the following state highways
  • SH 148 from Nagore to Vettar
  • SH 22 from Grand Anaicut to Kaveripoompattinam
  • SH 64 from Kumbakonam to Sirkazhi
  • SH 67 from Nagore to Nachiyar Koil
  • SH 149 from Sembanarkoil to Nalladai
  • SH 147 from Kumbakonam to Karaikkal
  • SH 150 from Vaitheeswarankoil to Lower Anaicut
  • SH 23 from Mayiladuthurai to Thiruthuraipoondi
The public transport bus operator of Tamil Nadu, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) runs more than 150 daily buses from various towns and cities to Nagapattinam. It is important to note that most of the buses via Nagapattinam operated by the TNSTC run between the sacred town of Velankanni and Tiruchirappalli. Furthermore, the TNSTC operates several town buses covering the surrounding towns and villages of Nagapattinam. The State Express Transport Corporation, popularly known as SETC (long distance mofussil services) runs regular long distance bus services to Thiruvanathapuram (Kerala), Bangalore (Karnataka) and so on.

Nagapattinam Quick Facts

District: Nagapattinam
State: Tamil Nadu
Geographic Coordinates: 10.77°N 79.83°E
Total Area: 5.76 sq mi (14.92 sq.km)
Population (Census 2011): 102,905
Languages: Tamil and English
Postal Code: 611xxx
Telephone Code: 04365
Administration: Selection Grade Municipality
Number of Wards: 36
Municipal Chairman: S. Manjula
Municipal Commissioner: A. Abdul Lateef
Municipal vice-Chairman: Abdul Kadar
Member of Legislative Assembly: K. A. Jayapal (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam)
Member of Parliament: K. Gopal (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam)
Law and Order: Tamil Nadu Police (Nagapattinam Sub Division)

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