Thootukudi, popularly known as Tuticorin (its English name), is one of the principal seaports in the country. Famous for pearl fishing, this ‘Pearl City of India’ has interesting historical facts yet to be explored, starting from its name Thootukudi itself. The name is a combination of two Tamil words ‘Thoothu’ meaning ‘Dig’ and ‘Kudi’ meaning ‘Drink’ referring to the time when the only source for drinking water was from wells as the place did not have any rivers. It was initially known as Thirumandhira Nagar and was ruled by not one but different rulers in different times such as Pandyas, Cholas during 5th or 6th century, followed by others and later in 16th, 17th and 18th century by Portuguese, Dutch and British. Due to which the city boasts of several reminiscences from the ancient civilisation in the form of temples, monuments and structures.
Best time to visit: October to March is the ideal to visit Tuticorin.
How to reach
By Air: Tuticorin airport is located 17km away from the city. IndiGo operates 21 non-stop weekly flights between Tuticorin and Chennai with seamless connections to many other cities in India.
By Train: Tuticorin railway station is well-connected to various parts of the country through multiple direct and regular trains.
Getting around: Buses, cabs and auto-rickshaws are the popular transportation modes to travel across the city.
The city has its version of macaroons that are made using cashew nuts, sugar, egg whites and yeast. Ganesh Bakery on VOC road is the best shop in town to try macaroons. Besides you can also try their delicious cookies and cakes.
Tuticorin dish that should not to be missed is Thenkuzhal in which flour and molasses are combined and given a shape of a floral ring. To try its best version, you need to go to Alagu Vilas and specifically ask for ‘Karupatti Thenkuzhal’.
This is a famous street food which you will easily spot in any corner of the city. Salna is a curry that gets served with Parotta. Usually Salna, Parotta and Chukka are eaten as dinner in all over Tuticorin.
If you are on the beach road in South Tuticorin then there are a list of local delicacies that you must try. Such as 'Dodol' – a local version of Indonesian sweet, 'Vazhapazha Innipu' or Banana Halwa, 'Puttu Karupatti' – candies made with molasses and 'Paaghu' made using palm jaggery and Brinjal.
Apart from sweets, Tuticorin is also very popular for spicy meat dishes. Visit Alwar Nightclub and dive in over deep fried parotta pieces coated with mutton and chicken gravies. Also, being in a port city, trying fish is a must. Among all, the most famous fish cuisine of Tuticorin includes, Meen Kulambu (fish curry), Meen Varuval (fish fry) and Karuvadu Kulambu (dry fish curry).
You can also try some of Famous Tuticorin’s vegetarian dishes like Vathal Kulambu a different kind of Vattha curry and Venthaya Kali. Visit Brindavan Hotel that serves traditional Chettinad dishes such as hot and sweet paniyarams.
Tuticorin is widely known for its sweets, so this time take back some sweets as a memoir of this beautiful city. Buy some macaroons from Ganesh along with some cookies and cakes. Also, stock some wine biscuits that are prepared using different variations of wine which make them unique in their own way. South India is famous for gold, silver as well as artificial jewellery, so there are several showrooms in Tuticorin that offer these.
Sathya Park and Resorts This resort closer to airport is an ideal option for the business traveller to conduct meetings, conference or even annual get together.
Kani Residency If you love luxury then this is the perfect address for you. The hotel offers royal treatment to its customers with luxurious rooms and suites. It is also ideal for regular travellers due to its closeness with the major landmarks like railways stations, shopping centres in the city.
Hotel DSF Grand Plaza A place where you can spend your dream holidays. It stands out in the city for its distinctive styling and contemporary architecture. With a fitness centre, rooftop restaurants, bake and café you don’t need to go somewhere out.
Being in a port city, you must visit the Tuticorin port, one of the major trading ports as this is your chance to witness how things function here. Being an artificial port, it is indeed an example of engineering wonders. The port offers its services to Europe, China, Sri Lanka, USA and Mediterranean countries and is often compared with Singapore port which is the second busiest port in the world regarding shipping tonnage.