Thoothukudi (தூத்துக்குடி in Tamil) also known as Tuticorin, is a city and a municipality in Thoothukudi district in the Indian
state of Tamil Nadu.
is also known as "Pearl
City". It is a sea port city which serves southern Tamil Nadu including the inland cities of Coimbatore,
Madurai and Tirunelveli. It is one of the oldest cities in
India with the history dating back to
the 6th century BCE. Thoothukudi is the headquarters of Thoothukudi District.
Tuticorin name was used by Dutch people
who were here, and now its called "Tuticorin" in English and "Thoothukudi" in Tamil.
is traditionally known for its pearl fishery and shipbuilding. It was the sea port of the Pandyan kingdom. Thoothukudi was
the stronghold of the Paravas, a community from the lineage of Pandyan kingdom that still continues to be a strong base of
this community. This community also claims the status of uncrowned kings of the land holding a sway over power. But recently,
there is a decline in the community's stonghold since most of its youth are employed abroad.The Paravas community have a unique
way of living; their cultural demarcations are stronger than that of the other communities in that region.The traditional
old houses of the Paravas in the city are unique; they are built out of Burmese teak wood in both Victorian style and Chettinad
style. Another community in this region is the Nadars, the southern trading community.Thoothukudi became the center of the
Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, with such leaders as the poet Subramanya Bharathy, Kattabomman, and
V.O. Chidambaram Pillai.
In 1906, one of the greatest freedom fighters of India, Mr. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, launched the first swadeshi ship "S.S. Gaelia".
major harbour of Thoothukudi
is well known as a pearl diving and fishing center. Thoothukudi was founded by the Portuguese in 1548, captured by the Dutch
in 1658, and ceded to the British in 1825. (Courtesy - The Columbia
Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001) The lighthouse built in 1842 marked the beginning of the history of Thoothukudi harbour
Thoothukudi is in South India about 540 km south
west of Madras(Chennai) and is geographically located in the Gulf of Mannar.
is in south and southwest by the district of Tirunelveli, west and northwest by the district of Virudhunagar and north
by the district of Ramanathapuram. The total area of this district is 4621 kmē. The administrative headquarters is an urban
agglomeration and also one of the taluk headquarters within the district.
climate. Hot and humid
After Independence, the minor Port of Tuticorin
witnessed a flourishing trade and handled a variety of cargo meant for the neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka, Maldives etc.
and the coastal regions of India.
To cope with the increasing trade through Tuticorin, the Government of India sanctioned
the construction of an all-weather Port at Tuticorin. On July 11,1974, the newly constructed Tuticorin Port was declared as the 10th major
port. In 1st April 1979, the former Tuticorin minor Port and the newly constructed Tuticorin major Port were merged and the
Tuticorin Port Trust was constituted under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963
Tuticorin port is located in the south-eastern part of Tuticorin district. The natural harbour with a rich hinterland,
activated the development of the Port, initially with wooden piers and iron screw pier and connections to the railways. Thoothukudi
was declared as a minor anchorage port in 1868. Since then there have been various development over the years.
enjoys a unique advantage by its strategic location close to the East -West international sea route, barely 125 nautical miles
from it. It is the first Indian port to receive ISO 9002 Certification. Tuticorin
Port offers round the clock service. The Port records a throughput of
1,03,000 TEUS per annum with an average growth rate of about 10 % per annum. It is one of the most important ports of India which provide commerce and economical growth to the
It handles around 43 lakh tonnes of cargo annually. Total berth age of 3.5 km, six alongside berths to handle
mainly break bulk, dry bulk cargoes and containers. Covered and open storage available, total area of 60,000 sq.m.
History of Tuticorin Port:
Tuticorin has been a centre for maritime trade and pearl fishery
for more than a century. The natural harbour with a rich hinterland, activated the development of the Port, initially with
wooden piers and iron screw pile pier and connections to the railways. Tuticorin was declared as a minor anchorage port in
1868. Since then there have been various developments over the years.
Tuticorin became the citadel of the freedom struggle
in the early 20th century. In 1906, one of the greatest freedom fighters of India,
Mr. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, launched the first swadeshi ship "S.S. Gaelia" in British India.DD
the minor Port of Tuticorin witnessed a
flourishing trade and handled a variety of cargo meant for the neighbouring countries of Sri
Lanka, Maldives etc. and the coastal regions of India.
cope with the increasing trade through Tuticorin, the Government of India sanctioned the construction of an all-weather Port
at Tuticorin. On July 11,1974, the newly constructed Tuticorin
Port was declared as the 10th major port 1st April 1979, the erstwhile
Tuticorin minor Port and the newly constructed Tuticorin major Port were merged and the Tuticorin Port Trust was constituted
under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.
Port is an artificial deep-sea harbour formed with rubble mound type parallel breakwaters projecting into the sea for about
4 km. (Length of North breakwater is 4098.66 m, length of South breakwater is 3873.37 m and the distance between the breakwaters
is 1275m). The Port was designed and executed entirely through indigenous efforts. The harbour basin extends to about 400
hectares of protected water area and is served by an approach channel of 2400 metres length and 183 metres width.
1. Tuticorin is the only Port in Southern
India to offer a direct weekly container service to U.S.A. Window berthing is provided on every Friday and the
transit time to US is 22 days. Further, regular weekly direct services to Europe on every Tuesday (transit time 17 days),
China on every Wednesday (transit time 10 days), Red Sea Ports on every Thursday (transit time
8 days) are also available. Besides, 26 services per month to Colombo
are also available.
2. For the import container from Bangalore,
Salem & Dharmapuri region, concessional storage charges at Port area are offered on experimental basis.
has good road / rail connectivity. Presently two ICD rakes viz. One ICD train leaving Bangalore
on every Sunday and another ICD train leaving on Wednesday are available for connection vessel to Europe and USA separately.
4. Based on volume, Port could facilitate
sharing of infrastructure facilities available at Oil Jetty to handle POL products.
5. Port has vast open space within
and outside security wall for storage of cargo. Requisition for allotment of land on short term basis for 11 months could
be considered within one month time.
is now 35 years since Tuticorin Port was
declared as a Major Port.
In these 32 years it has crossed many milestones. The important milestones in the development of Tuticorin are given below:
of Tuticorin Port as a major Port - 11.07.1974
Commissioning of the Oil mooring berth - 13.07.1974
the first two alongside berths(VOC I & II) - 02.12.1975
Commissioning of the next two alongside berths(VOC III &
IV) - 31.12.1976
Constitution of the Port Trust Board - 01.04.1979
Commissioning of Oil Jetty - 26.04.1980
Coal jetty I - 01.03.1983
Commissioning of fifth alongside berth (AB 1) - 05.09.1983
Commissioning of sixth alongside
berth (AB 2) - 01.01.1984
Commissioning of Coal jetty II - 27.02.1995
Certification of ISO 9002 - 12.03.1996
of Night navigation - 12.10.1996
Commissioning of alongside berth 7 - 05.09.1998
Licensing out berth no 7 to M/S PSA-SICAL
Commissioning of shallow draught berth - 10.05.1999
Completion of Dredging in Harbour Basin (11.90m) and
Approach Channel (12.50m)- 05.11.1999
Functioning of a world standard Container Terminal - 21.12.1999
main line service to U.S. - 17.10.2001
Commissioning of Berth No.8 - 02.02.2002
Switchover to ISO 9001:2000 standards
Entering 30th year of existence as a Major Port - 11.07.2003
Introduction of direct main line service to
Europe - 16.07.2003
Completion of Dredging Dock Basin in front of berth No.8 - 24-09-2003
Inclusion of our port in Western
Circuit of Cruise Tourism - 26.12.2003
Silver Jubilee Celebration - 10.07.2004
Registration of Sethusamudram Corporation
Ltd. - 06.12.2004
Sethusamudram Website launched - 30.06.2005
Inauguration of Sethusamudram Project - 02.07.2005
14001 : 2004 Certificate of Approval - 16.09.2005
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