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Location : Tamil Nadu
Languages : Tamil, English
Major Attractions : Fire works
Best Visiting Time : Any time
Sivakasi at Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu excels in firework industry and printing presses. Famous for its bustling industries, the city offers the tourists with magnificent temples and churches.
The word "Sivakasi" means lingam of Lord Shiva from Kasi. There are three industries that are quiet prominent here. Many of you might have seen the name of the town printed on matchboxes and firecracker covers. Apart from these two, printing press industry has flourished here from many years. It ranks second in world for the offset machines required for printing. The only other city that exceeds the number is Gutenberg. As far as the match industry is concerned, there are about 1500 such units that are functional here. More than 80% of India's need of firecrackers and matches is filled by Sivakasi alone.
In the middle of 15th century, the place was ruled by Madurai kings. It was king Harikeasri who laid the foundation of a Shiva temple here. It was later renovated under the reign of King Pandia. Known by the name Kasi Viswanatha, the Temples was reconstructed many number of times.
Legend behind the Name :
As per a legend, Ankesari was a pandyan ruler who wanted to construct a Shiva abode at Tenkasi. To do so, he visited Kasi in North India so as to bring a lingam from there. While returning from his journey, he took a nap and when awoke from his slumber, he was surprised to see that the cow carrying the lingam would not budge from its place. As it caused delay and the king dropped the idea of installing the lingam at Tenkasi. Instead, he consecrated the place where he had halted. This sacred place came to be known as Sivakasi.
Kasi Viswanatha Temple :
This temple of hoary antiquity is a nice tourist place. The deity that is installed here belongs to Lord Shiva. Another deity that is worshipped at the premises is named Visalatchi Ambal. The temple celebrates many Festivals that are attended by a whole lot of devotees. Powrami Puja is organized on full moon. On the occasion of another festival called Prathosam, a huge congregation of the worshippers can be seen. Other festivities like Karthikai Thiruvizha and 108 Changabishegam are also quiet popular ones.
Mariamman Kovil :
It is yet another temple of prominence; at its premises, goddess Mariamman is worshipped by the devotees. You can see a silver chariot here.
Pathira Kaliamman :
This temple of Sivakasi is very famous. The main attraction of this structure is its Raja Gopuram which carries a height of 110 feet. Resting ion a stone base, the temple took 6 years to get completed. There are as many as 100 sculptures that adorn its premises. Powrnami Puja is the regular feature here. The visors get attracted to the tranquil surroundings in which it is laid.
Bhadrakalimman Temple :
The beauty of this magnificent temple lies in its gilded Kalasam that attracts the visitors. There is painful history behind this lovely temple. People from Nadar community were tortured here. Devasthanaam Committee was laid down to look after the affairs. Daily poojas are organized here. Its magnificent gopuram took about 8 years to get completed.
Our Lady of Lord Church :
Built by Roman Catholics, this church can accommodate 800 persons at a time. The style and design of the structure is entirely Portuguese. The church plays a vital role in causing awareness about social causes like child labor.
Rockland Church :
Constructed by E.H.Waller, the church took more than 8 years to get completed. It was the work of Protestants. The premises are inaugurated in 1925.
Apart from these, there are many mosques at Sivakasi that are quiet famous.
The city is inhabited by Hindus, though people belonging to other religions dwell here as well. An exhibition showcasing the cultural events is a major attraction to people from Tamil Nadu and nearby states. The old tradition of Nandavanam is carrie out since several years. This particular ritual is observed at the premises of Pathirakaliamman Temple. Here you can see beautiful birds like peacocks. As far as food habits are concerned, the inhabitants of the city take rice, pakoda, milk etc. Karupatti is the sweet candy prepared from Palm tree. Among the snacks, Kara Sev is a spicy dish that is prepared from Sattur.
"Parota" is the main dish that is served with gravy. Other specialties include pakodas, milk rice and Karupatti Mittai (a sweet). You can also relish Idli along with Kothukari.
Almost all types of hotels are available at Sivakasi. You can book both budget and luxury accommodations.
This destination is fine place to be visited and spend your vacation.