Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nanchil Nadu

Kanyakumari is located at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. With an area of 1672 Kanyakumari occupies 1.29% of the total extent of Tamil Nadu. The district name is spelled as ' Kanniyakumari ' in official records which are in tune with the spoken name of the district in Tamil language. The District is bound by Tirunelveli District on the North and the east. The South Eastern boundary is the Gulf of Mannar . On the South and the South West, the boundaries are the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea . On the West and North West it is bound by Kerala.The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari , or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari was referred to by the British as Cape Commorin.A memorial built in his honor is accessible via ferry. There is also a recently built memorial to Tiruvalluvar, the author of the philosophical work Tirukkural - a treatise on the Indian way of life.History:Kanyakumari District takes its name from the town of Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India. (In many Indian languages Kumari means virgin girl). Thus, Kanyakumari District is also sometimes called 'Kumari' District. Kanyakumari town is named after the Goddess Kanyakumari Amman, a popular deity of the area. Legend has it that the Goddess Parvati in one of her incarnations as Devi Kanniya did penance on one of the rocks of this 'land's end' to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva.The town of Kanyakumari is geographically a Cape, and it was known earlier as Cape Comorin. Since ancient times, Kanyakumari District has consisted of two geographical areas, known locally as Nanjilnadu and Idainadu. The etymologists interpret the word Nanjilnadu as the country ('nadu') where there were (and still has) several agriculture plantations and fields. Nanjilnadu is mentioned in old Tamil litrature as a rich agrarian area, where the town of Kottar, (today, a locality in Nagercoil) as a major commercial centre. Ancient temples and inscriptions reveal a major Jain influence in ancient times. The district is home to many practitioners of various branches of ancient India's health tradition, including siddha, ayurvedha, varmakalai.Language:The main languages spoken by people of the district are Tamil and Malayalam. English is widely understood in the urban areas. While the majority in the district speak Tamil, Malayalam is an important language, and spoken by many, in the northern and western areas of the district.People of the district celebrate both Tamil and Keralite (Malayalam) festivals, apart from religious festivals. Tamil Pongal festival and keralite Onam festival are both popular in the district.

Soil in the district is mostly of the red loam variety. However on the sea coasts, the sandy typeof soil prevails and, near the mountain ranges, gravelly soil is generally seen. In low lands there is neither white sand nor sandy leam, while in the midlands and high lands there prevails fairly fortile soil of the fine type. The valley in the midland has loamy clay soil with high sand content. In the midlands, in general, the soil is clay-leam of lateriteorigin with an admixture of gravel and sand. In Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks, the gravel content is low.