Nagapattinam (previously spelt Nagapatnam or Negapatam) is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the administrative headquarters of Nagapattinam District. It is a prominent seaport on the east coast of India and an important centre of trade and commerce.

The town of Nagapattinam dates back to the Sangam period. The Chudamani Vihara
Chudamani Vihara
Chudamani Vihara was a Buddhist vihara in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India. Chudamani Vihara was constructed in 1006 CE by the Srivijayan king Sri Vijaya Soolamanivarman with the patronage of Rajaraja Chola. The vihara building survived in dilapidated condition till 1867, when Jesuit missionaries...

 in Nagapattinam was constructed by the Medieval Cholas
Medieval Cholas
Medieval Cholas rose to prominence during the middle of the 9th century C.E. and established the greatest empire South India had seen. They successfully united the South India under their rule and through their naval strength extended their influence in the Southeast Asian countries such as Srivijaya...

. Nagapattinam was settled by the Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and later, the Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 under whom it served as the capital of Dutch Coromandel
Dutch Coromandel
Coromandel was a governorate of the Dutch East India Company on the Coromandel Coast between 1610 until the company's liquidation in 1802. It then became a colony of the Kingdom of the Netherlands until 1825, when it was relinquished to the British according to the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. Dutch...

 from 1660 to 1781. In November 1781, Nagapattinam was conquered by the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

. It served as the capital of Tanjore district
Tanjore District (Madras Presidency)
Tanjore district was one of the districts in the erstwhile Madras Presidency of British India. It covered the area of the present-day districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam and the Aranthangi taluk of Pudukkottai district in Tamil Nadu...

 from 1799 to 1845. In 1991, it became the capital of the newly-created Nagapattinam District. The town was severely damaged by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004.

Sea-borne trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 and fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 are the major sources of income for the town. There are also a number of pilgrimage sites and tourist destinations, notable amongst them being Sikkal Singaravelan Temple
Sikkal Singaravelan Temple
Sikkal Singara Velan Temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Muruga and a contender for the unofficial seventh Padaiveedu of Muruga, along with the popular Arupadaiveedu . It is located in the village of Sikkal, near Nagapattinam in Tamilnadu...

, Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health
Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health
The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is located at the small town of Velankanni in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The Roman Catholic Basilica is devoted to Our Lady of Good Health...

, the Nagore Dargah and Puhar
Puhar is a town in the Nagapattinam district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was once a flourishing ancient port city known as Kaveri puhum pattinam, which for a while served as the capital of the early Chola kings in Tamilakkam.It is located near the end point of the Kaveri river,...



Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 refers to Nagapattinam as Nikam and mentions it as one of the most important trade centres of the ancient Tamil country
Ancient Tamil country
The Sangam period is the classical period in the history of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other parts of South India, spanning about the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE...


Nagappattinam was the headquarters of the region during Chola period and named after` Kshathiriya Sigamani (Raja Raja Cholan). Nagappathinam was also known as ‘Cholakula Vallippattinam’. The heritage of the town is found in the Burmese historical text of 3rd Century B.C,and gives evidences of a Budha Vihar built by the great Ashoka.

Nagapattinam was a Buddhist
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 centre from 4th-5thth century CE. Its stupa dates from this era. Buddhism disappeared from this city as of an unknown date, but was revided as of the 9th cent. CE. (H.P.Ray, The Winds of Change, Delhi 1994, p. 142) In the 11th century CE, Chudamani Vihara
Chudamani Vihara
Chudamani Vihara was a Buddhist vihara in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India. Chudamani Vihara was constructed in 1006 CE by the Srivijayan king Sri Vijaya Soolamanivarman with the patronage of Rajaraja Chola. The vihara building survived in dilapidated condition till 1867, when Jesuit missionaries...

, a Buddhist vihara (monastery) was built by Javanese king Sri Vijaya Soolamanivarman with the patronage of Raja Raja Chola
Rajaraja Chola I
Raja Raja Chola I born Arunmozhi Thevar , popularly known as Raja Raja the Great, is one of the greatest emperors of the Tamil Chola Empire of India who ruled between 985 and 1014 CE...

. “Animangalam Copperplate” of Kulothunga chola notes that “Kasiba Thera” [Buddhist Monk] Renovated the Buddhist temple in 6th century AD with the help of Buddhist monks of ‘Naga Nadu’. This ‘nagar annam vihar’ later came to be known as ‘Nagananavihar'.Buddhism flourished until 15th century CE and the buildings of the vihara survived until 18th century. In Chola's Empire, Nagapattinam was the prominent port of Cholas, who used this port not only for trade but also as conquering gateway to the east. This town still has traces of Saiva temples that were built by Cholas
The Solesvara temples were in honor of the Chola kings, who were believers in Shiva, the Hindu god.Other Shiva temples built by Chola:* Sundaresvara temple at Tirukattalai * Komganatha temple at Srinivasanallur...

Nagapattinam was referred to by early writers and the Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 as "the city of Coromandel
Coromandel Coast
The Coromandel Coast is the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian Subcontinent between Cape Comorin and False Divi Point...

". In the early 16th century the Portuguese started commercial contacts with the town and 1554 they established a commercial centre. In 1658, the Dutch establish the agreement between King Vijaya Nayakkar of Thanjavoor on 05-01-1662. The following ten villages were transferred from the Portugese to the Dutch, namely Nagappattinam Port, Puthur, Muttam, Poruvalancheri, Anthanappettai, Karureppankadu, AzhingiMangalam, Sangamangalam, Thiruthinamangalam, Manjakollai, Nariyankudi

Ten Christian churches and a hosptial were built by the Dutch. They also released coins with the name Nagappattinam engraved in Tamil letters. As per agreement between the first Maratta King ‘Egoji’ of Tanjore and the Dutch, Naagappattinam and surrounding villages were handed over to the Dutch on 30.12.1676. In 1690, the capital Dutch Coromandel
Dutch Coromandel
Coromandel was a governorate of the Dutch East India Company on the Coromandel Coast between 1610 until the company's liquidation in 1802. It then became a colony of the Kingdom of the Netherlands until 1825, when it was relinquished to the British according to the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. Dutch...

 changed from Pulicat
Pulicat is a historic seashore town in Thiruvallur District, of Tamil Nadu state, South India. It is about 60 km north of Chennai and 3 km from Elavur, on the barrier island of Sriharikota, which separates Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal. Pulicat lake is a shallow salt water lagoon...

 to Nagapattinam, after work had been started on Fort Vijf Sinnen three years earlier.

Later this town fell into the hands of the British in 1781 after the two naval battles between British and French fleets were fought off the coast of Negapatam, as it was then known; the first in 1758
Battle of Negapatam (1758)
Battle of Negapatam may refer one of the third battles between French and British fleets off the coast of Negapatam in India :* Battle of Negapatam * Battle of Negapatam * Battle of Negapatam...

 as part of the Seven Years War, and the second in 1782
Battle of Negapatam (1782)
The Battle of Negapatam was the third in the series of battles fought between a British fleet under Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hughes and a French fleet under the Bailli de Suffren off the coast of India during the American Revolutionary War...

 as part of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. The town was taken by the British
Siege of Negapatam
The Siege of Negapatam was the first major offensive military action on the Indian subcontinent following the arrival of news that war had been declared between Great Britain and the Dutch Republic, beginning the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, an offshoot of the American War of Independence...

 from the Dutch in 1781 (who had been formally brought into the war
Fourth Anglo-Dutch War
The Fourth Anglo–Dutch War was a conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Dutch Republic. The war, tangentially related to the American Revolutionary War, broke out over British and Dutch disagreements on the legality and conduct of Dutch trade with Britain's enemies in that...

 in 1780). When the Dutch and British reached a peace agreement in 1784, Nagapattinam was formally ceded to the British. 277 villages with Nagur as the Headquarters were handed over to the East India company. Gold coins bearing the names ‘Nagappattinam Varagan’ and ‘Nagappattinam chornam’ were in circulation during Tanjore Maratha Kings period. Thus the Nagappattinam has the history of over 2000 years for its credit.

From 1799 to 1845 it was the headquarters of Tanjore district. Today Nagappattinam remain the Head quarters of Nagappattinam District. Nagapattinam was one of the regions severely affected by the tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

 which followed the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...



India census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, Nagapattinam had a population of 92,525. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Nagapattinam has an average literacy rate of 84.09%: male literacy is 90%, and female literacy is 78%. In Nagapattinam, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. The major language spoken in the Nagapattinam District is Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

. The vast majority of the population are Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s with Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s, Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s, Buddhists, Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s and Jains co-existing.


The main occupation of Nagapattinam is fishing in the waters of Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
The Bay of Bengal , the largest bay in the world, forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered mostly by the Eastern Coast of India, southern coast of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the west and Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the...

 and selling them in the town's fish market. There are a large number of ice factories for preserving the fishes. The fishing Industry was severely damaged by the tsunamis that struck its coast on
26 December 2004.

Away from the coast of Nagapattinam, agriculture, education, food packing, etc. are practiced with agriculture being the most important occupation in the villages surrounding the town. It has vast farmlands where rice is cultivated. These farmlands are irrigated through an extensive network of canals from the tributaries of the river Cauvery. The produce is transported by rail to other parts of the country.

Cauvery Basin Refinery, a subsidiary of CPCL is located near Nagapattinam.


  • More Super Market
  • Krishna Super Market
  • Siva Sakthi Departmental Stores
  • Uma Group - Sweets and Bakery, Juice Shop, Hotel
  • Vasan Sweets and Bakery
  • Moora Hotel
  • Chettinadu Hotel
  • Palace Hotel
  • Mehala traders - Confectionaries


  • State Bank of India, Neela Street
  • South Indian Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Tamilnad Mercantile Bank
  • Axis Bank


Nagapattinam lies on the eastern coast, 350 km south of the State capital Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

, 20 km south of Karaikal, 145 km east of from Tiruchirappalli and 90 km east of Thanjavur. It is known for having one of the best harbors in the country and is considered a major pilgrimage centre having famous shrines of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam in nearby areas. With a salt swamp near it, Nagapattinam is also considered one of the most biodiverse regions of the country.
Tourist places in and around Nagapattinam
Koothanur is a town situated in the Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu, India. According to popular legend, it is the birthplace of the Tamil poet Ottakoothar. The town is located at a distance of 25 kilometres from Tiruvarur. A temple to Saraswathi, the Hindu goddess of learning is situated in this...

 - Saraswathi Amman Temple
Thirukadaiyur - Abirami Amman Temple
This article is about the village of Sikkal. For the article about the temple go to Sikkal Singaravelan Temple.Sikkal is a small township near Nagapattinam in Tamilnadu, India. It is 6 km west of Nagapattinam, 18 km east of Thiruvarur and 6 km east of Kilvelur...

 - Singaravelan (Murugan) Temple
Thirunallar - Saneeswara Baghawan Temple
Thirukkuvalai is a village in Tamil Nadu, India. It is in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. The village is known for the Siva temple, Brahmapureeswarar Temple.It was the birthplace of the politician and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M...

 - Brahmapureeswarar Temple
Ettukudi - Murugan Temple
Nagore is a town in the Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located approximately 16 km south of Karaikal and 4 km north of Nagapattinam. Tiruvarur , Mayiladuthurai , Muthupet are nearby towns. It has a population of approximately 90,000. The prime attraction is the renowned...

Tharangambadi is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 15 km north of Karaikal, near the mouth of a distributary of the Kaveri River. Its name means "place of the singing waves"...

 (Tharangambadi Dutch Fort)
Kodikkarai (Point Calimere Bird Sanctuary)
Mayiladuthurai , formerly known by its Sanskrit names Māyavaram and Mayūram is a town in the Nagapattinam District of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Mayiladuthurai taluk of Nagapattinam district and is the second-largest town in the district...

 (or Mayavaram)
Karaikal is a major port city of east coast of India and a municipality in Karaikal district in the Union Territory of Pondicherry, India. Several explanations are offered for the word 'Karaikal'. The imperial Gazetteer gives it the meaning 'fish pass'. According to Julien vinson the town is said...

Vedaranyam is a municipality in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.-Geography:Vedaraniyam is located at . It has an average elevation of .-Demographics:...


Velankanni is one of the most important pilgrimage centers for Christians in India. It is located just about 12 km away from Nagapattinam. Declared by the Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 as a Holy City, Velankanni has a special place in the pages of Christian history in India. The Arokiya Madha Church or the Velankanni Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 is located in this town. People of all religions offer their worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 at this Church. The annual carnival
Carnaval is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnaval typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party...

 that takes place in the month of August and September is very famous. Tourists flock Velankanni during that period of the year.


  • Thiru Soundararaja Perumal Temple (19th Divya desam)
  • Thiru Kayarohana Udanurai Neelayathatchi Amman Temple
  • Nellukadai Mariamman Temple

Athibakta Nayanar - One among 63 Nayanmars was born in this town


Nagapattinam assembly constituency is part of Nagapattinam (Lok Sabha constituency)
Nagapattinam (Lok Sabha constituency)
Nagapattinam is a Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu. The seat is reserved for scheduled castes.-Assembly segments:Nagapattinam Lok Sabha constituency is composed of the following assembly segments :#Nannilam #Tiruvarur #Nagapattinam#Vedaranyam...


External links

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