I have visited Tuticorin many times since I was a kid. It is my parent’s native place also most of our relatives reside there. Back in those days, I haven’t observed much. So, I haven’t found how precious it could be for a newcomer. Recently, after almost seven years, I visited again and travelled around. This time I looked and observed more than what I could see. I just realized it is a destination with so much opportunity and a place which has so much to offer for travellers. There are many reasons why you have to visit Tuticorin. But, I’ll stick with five reasons based on what I liked about visiting Tuticorin.
1. A Land With So Much History:
When you visit Tuticorin, you have so much to see that you don’t get bored easily. Whether you are good in history or a person who doesn’t even remember what you did in your history class, Tuticorin will let you submerge and let you travel through time. Tuticorin holds the memory of the freedom fighters such as Subramaniya Bharathiyar and VOC and memory of the events merging as we walk through Maniyatchi.
Beyond religion, every locality has and speaks its own story by the art and architecture still existing. All the artistic structures such as Churches and Cathedrals left as a trace by foreigners brighten up during festivals where the entire community gathers without prejudice. As you casually stroll around the roads, you could notice lots of temple and traditional houses revealing olden architectural style standing still beautifully, surviving test of time. You can also notice abandoned houses among the contemporary houses which slowly overtake and project people’s economical growth. On the whole, a treat for architecture and street photographers is this Pearl of Southern Districts.
2. Land which loves and respect Nature:
Whether you fly from Chennai or travel in Train, you can see the transition of colour and view as you look through the window before you land at Tuticorin. It is the lush green that is surviving amidst the slow urbanization. The most important thing I have noticed here is that you can see so much of birds species. Tuticorin is indeed the best spot for birdwatching. I fell in love with this place more because all these birds trust humans or should I say almost all the humans gained trust of birds. These birds roam so freely even while people are around. I have experienced house sparrows sitting right next to me without any fear. I have never experienced this in Chennai. Wait! I have never seen house sparrow in Chennai for years. Also, you will get to see Peacocks roam in the streets so casually. You will eventually get used to it.
Tuticorin is filled with rural community despite many people move out to the city for survival. Many villages exist there with their unique beauty. All the rural villages have so many stories and indigenous knowledge to offer. You can take a walk by local flowers, farmlands, ponds(Kamma), fields and gardens to look around.
People in these rural villages live and grow up with all the domesticated animals. Even though it is considered an income, that doesn’t stop them from giving any less love or care to these animals. You can see houses with more Indian breed dogs like Chippiparai and Kanni, which seem a little intimidating but lovely when you get to know them. In my case goats, bulls and roosters are way more intimidating than dogs.
Nature doesn’t end with village life there, as it reaches through the sea that stretches afar. It has always been one of the sources for Tuticorin people. The beach is always crowded in the evening as families and friends gather to enjoy the sunsets. But, the entire crowd disperse once the darkness set in. My favourite spot is Hare island which has more than just a crisp view and blooming colour. They let you immerse in peace that you don’t even realize how much time has passed.
3. A Place for Food Lovers:
Tuticorin always reminds me of Parotta, Poori, Coconut chutney and Macaroons. Tuticorin is famous for Parotta, even though fact says it is Virudhunagar that’s famous for parotta. Whenever we visit Tuticorin, we never, not even once missed eating Parotta. At least during departure, my father would buy some. I have a weak and sensitive digestive system. Surprisingly, even if I try foods from local street shops at Tuticorin, it hasn’t messed with my tummy. The reason is their cleanliness.
Whatever it is, a tea shop, cafe, hotel, restaurant or street-side shop, people are so clean. Just by seeing the people, you can tell they have bathed, cleaned the shop and diligently finished their prayers and lit the incense stick that welcomes you with a fresh aroma. That always assured me and let me try their cuisine without hesitation.
I also love that food isn’t as expensive and doesn’t compromise with quantity or quality. I have never once suspicious about the food over there or less satisfied. I have always been happy with my food experience at Tuticorin. I still remember the taste of Parotta and Kaadai gravy I had there. Whether the flavour or aroma or texture, everything is on point. Don’t just stick with just parotta the entire time though. Visit villages during festivals, you can experience the typical gramathu samayal with Rice and Kari Kulambu, Fish Kulambu, Biryani and what not. If you find the right spot, you can experience a feast beyond your expectation. I also love the poori and coconut chutney combo, the avials and porials and variety of vathals sourced from fresh local vegetables. The vegetarian restaurants over there always do justice to the taste and don’t go short in competition.
Food experience doesn’t end just there. Tuticorin is also expert in Bakery. It has an authenticity which can’t be imitated so easily. While Macaroon is the King of all, there are a variety of cakes and buns that stole many peoples hearts testing the taste palette of people.
4. A Place with Hospitable People:
The most loveable thing about people in Tuticorin is they are equally kind and hotheads. They are so kind to strangers and guests. We usually do not easily let ourselves trust people and communicate with strangers in a new place. But, once you step into Tuticorin, everything will eventually change. They make you so comfortable. Wherever you go. Shop? Restaurant? Village?. People don’t care, they would just talk from their mind while showing kindness. When you go there as a guest, you will always be treated with kindness. For me, I find it so warm the way people, especially strangers talked with me. I went to Hotel Kani where the in-charge was so engaging, funny and hospitable that made us experience something more than just-food. The strong impact Tuticorin people had on me is that people there don’t require training to be hospitable. They are so natural in this.
Growing in Chennai, I have seen auto drivers going mad when we bargain. I was surprised by a bargain my dad had with an auto driver in Tuticorin. Never have I ever seen a smooth bargain like that in my life. When I think about it now, it doesn’t even felt like a bargain. Maybe it is just that one person. But this happened more than once.
So, if you visit Tuticorin, I am not saying you can blindly trust everyone. What I am trying to say is, even a person who doesn’t want to engage will be dragged into a conversation
5. Land at the Center:
From Tuticorin, you can go anywhere. You are at the center of so many destinations around. Being there doesn’t end your journey. You can start the next by going to different places connected through the roadways of Tuticorin. Whether its Thiruchendur temple or Manapad or Tirunelveli or Madurai or Kanyakumari or Kayalpattinam or Tenkasi. The roads of Tuticorin will take you wherever you want to go. It gives you that vibe by telling you even if you get bored, it has so much to offer around. That’s one of the best things about visiting Tuticorin for explorers and travellers who want to go beyond plans.
Make sure to visit Tuticorin at least once and experience the warmth. Also, be mindful of the time you visit. During the rainy season, there will be so much water stagnation issue similar to life in Chennai. Also, during Summer, you will have the feel of visiting the desert. Villages won’t be so green like I have shown in pictures. Check the forecast before making plans. And share your experience if you have already been there.
Stay Safe Everyone! I know its little late but: Wishing you all a safe 2021 and lets hope for a year where we all would travel everywhere we want without fear!
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