Nagapattinam


Nagapattinam
Nagapatnam
—  town  —
Nagapatnam
Location of Nagapatnam
in Tamil Nadu and India
Coordinates 10°46′N 79°50′E / 10.77°N 79.83°E / 10.77; 79.83Coordinates: 10°46′N 79°50′E / 10.77°N 79.83°E / 10.77; 79.83
Country India
State Tamil Nadu
District(s) Nagapattinam
Population

Density

92,525 (2001)

615.99 /km2 (1,595 /sq mi)

Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)

Nagapattinam Tamil: நாகப்பட்டினம் (nākappaṭṭinam) (previously spelt Nagapatnam or Negapatam) is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the administrative headquarters of Nagapattinam District. It is a prominent seaport on the east coast of India and an important centre of trade and commerce.

The town of Nagapattinam dates back to the Sangam period. The Chudamani Vihara in Nagapattinam was constructed by the Medieval Cholas. Nagapattinam was settled by the Portuguese and later, the Dutch under whom it served as the capital of Dutch Coromandel from 1660 to 1781. In November 1781, Nagapattinam was conquered by the British East India Company. It served as the capital of Tanjore district from 1799 to 1845. In 1991, it became the capital of the newly-created Nagapattinam District. The town was severely damaged by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004.

Sea-borne trade and fishing are the major sources of income for the town. There are also a number of pilgrimage sites and tourist destinations, notable amongst them being Sikkal Singaravelan Temple, Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, the Nagore Dargah and Puhar.

Contents

History

Dutch engraving showing Nagapatnam c. 1680

Ptolemy refers to Nagapattinam as Nikam and mentions it as one of the most important trade centres of the ancient Tamil country.

Nagappattinam was the headquarters of the region during Chola period and named after` Kshathiriya Sigamani (Raja Raja Cholan). Nagappathinam was also known as ‘Cholakula Vallippattinam’. The heritage of the town is found in the Burmese historical text of 3rd Century B.C,and gives evidences of a Budha Vihar built by the great Ashoka.

Nagapattinam was a Buddhist centre from 4th-5thth century CE. Its stupa dates from this era. Buddhism disappeared from this city as of an unknown date, but was revided as of the 9th cent. CE. (H.P.Ray, The Winds of Change, Delhi 1994, p. 142) In the 11th century CE, Chudamani Vihara, a Buddhist vihara (monastery) was built by Javanese king Sri Vijaya Soolamanivarman with the patronage of Raja Raja Chola.[1] “Animangalam Copperplate” of Kulothunga chola notes that “Kasiba Thera” [Buddhist Monk] Renovated the Buddhist temple in 6th century AD with the help of Buddhist monks of ‘Naga Nadu’. This ‘nagar annam vihar’ later came to be known as ‘Nagananavihar'.Buddhism flourished until 15th century CE and the buildings of the vihara survived until 18th century. In Chola's Empire, Nagapattinam was the prominent port of Cholas, who used this port not only for trade but also as conquering gateway to the east. This town still has traces of Saiva temples that were built by Cholas

Permanent Shelter for Tsunami Affected Families in Nagapattinam - meant to be tsunamiproof

Nagapattinam was referred to by early writers and the Portuguese as "the city of Coromandel".[2] In the early 16th century the Portuguese started commercial contacts with the town and 1554 they established a commercial centre. In 1658, the Dutch establish the agreement between King Vijaya Nayakkar of Thanjavoor on 05-01-1662. The following ten villages were transferred from the Portugese to the Dutch, namely Nagappattinam Port, Puthur, Muttam, Poruvalancheri, Anthanappettai, Karureppankadu, AzhingiMangalam, Sangamangalam, Thiruthinamangalam, Manjakollai, Nariyankudi

Ten Christian churches and a hosptial were built by the Dutch. They also released coins with the name Nagappattinam engraved in Tamil letters. As per agreement between the first Maratta King ‘Egoji’ of Tanjore and the Dutch, Naagappattinam and surrounding villages were handed over to the Dutch on 30.12.1676. In 1690, the capital Dutch Coromandel changed from Pulicat to Nagapattinam, after work had been started on Fort Vijf Sinnen three years earlier.

Later this town fell into the hands of the British in 1781 after the two naval battles between British and French fleets were fought off the coast of Negapatam, as it was then known; the first in 1758 as part of the Seven Years War, and the second in 1782 as part of the American Revolutionary War. The town was taken by the British from the Dutch in 1781 (who had been formally brought into the war in 1780). When the Dutch and British reached a peace agreement in 1784, Nagapattinam was formally ceded to the British. 277 villages with Nagur as the Headquarters were handed over to the East India company. Gold coins bearing the names ‘Nagappattinam Varagan’ and ‘Nagappattinam chornam’ were in circulation during Tanjore Maratha Kings period. Thus the Nagappattinam has the history of over 2000 years for its credit.

From 1799 to 1845 it was the headquarters of Tanjore district. Today Nagappattinam remain the Head quarters of Nagappattinam District. Nagapattinam was one of the regions severely affected by the tsunami which followed the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

Demographics

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1871 48,525
1881 53,855 +11.0%
1891 59,221 +10.0%
1901 57,190 −3.4%
1911 60,168 +5.2%
1921 54,016 −10.2%
1931 48,527 −10.2%
1941 52,936 +9.1%
1991 86,489 +63.4%
2001 92,525 +7.0%

As of 2001 India census,[3] Nagapattinam had a population of 92,525. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Nagapattinam has an average literacy rate of 84.09%: male literacy is 90%, and female literacy is 78%. In Nagapattinam, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. The major language spoken in the Nagapattinam District is Tamil. The vast majority of the population are Hindus with Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains co-existing.

Economy

The fishing boats at Nagapattinam

The main occupation of Nagapattinam is fishing in the waters of Bay of Bengal and selling them in the town's fish market. There are a large number of ice factories for preserving the fishes. The fishing Industry was severely damaged by the tsunamis that struck its coast on 26 December 2004.

Away from the coast of Nagapattinam, agriculture, education, food packing, etc. are practiced with agriculture being the most important occupation in the villages surrounding the town. It has vast farmlands where rice is cultivated. These farmlands are irrigated through an extensive network of canals from the tributaries of the river Cauvery. The produce is transported by rail to other parts of the country.

Cauvery Basin Refinery, a subsidiary of CPCL is located near Nagapattinam.

Shopping/Restaurants

  • More Super Market
  • Krishna Super Market
  • Siva Sakthi Departmental Stores
  • Uma Group - Sweets and Bakery, Juice Shop, Hotel
  • Vasan Sweets and Bakery
  • Moora Hotel
  • Chettinadu Hotel
  • Palace Hotel

Banks

  • State Bank of India, Neela Street
  • South Indian Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Tamilnad Mercantile Bank
  • Axis Bank

Tourism

Nagapattinam lies on the eastern coast, 350 km south of the State capital Chennai, 20 km south of Karaikal, 145 km east of from Tiruchirappalli and 90 km east of Thanjavur. It is known for having one of the best harbors in the country and is considered a major pilgrimage centre having famous shrines of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam in nearby areas. With a salt swamp near it, Nagapattinam is also considered one of the most biodiverse regions of the country.

Tourist places in and around Nagapattinam
Koothanur - Saraswathi Amman Temple
Thirukadaiyur - Abirami Amman Temple
Sikkal - Singaravelan (Murugan) Temple
Thirunallar - Saneeswara Baghawan Temple
Thirukkuvalai - Brahmapureeswarar Temple
Ettukudi - Murugan Temple
Velankanni
Nagore
Tranquebar (Tharangambadi Dutch Fort)
Kodikkarai (Point Calimere Bird Sanctuary)
Mayiladuthurai (or Mayavaram)
Thiruvarur
Karaikal
Vedaranyam

Velankanni

Velankanni is one of the most important pilgrimage centers for Christians in India. It is located just about 12 km away from Nagapattinam. Declared by the Pope as a Holy City, Velankanni has a special place in the pages of Christian history in India. The Arokiya Madha Church or the Velankanni Basilica is located in this town. People of all religions offer their worship at this Church. The annual carnival that takes place in the month of August and September is very famous. Tourists flock Velankanni during that period of the year.

Temples

  • Thiru Soundararaja Perumal Temple (19th Divya desam)
  • Thiru Kayarohana Udanurai Neelayathatchi Amman Temple
  • Nellukadai Mariamman Temple

Athibakta Nayanar - One among 63 Nayanmars was born in this town

Politics

Nagapattinam assembly constituency is part of Nagapattinam (Lok Sabha constituency).[4]

See also

References

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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