Kalugumalai

Introduction

Kalugumalai in Thoothukudi District, Tamil Nadu is a part of the Kovilpatti Taluk.

Geography

Kalugumali has an average elevation of 104 meters above mean sea level. It is situated at 9°08'59.8"N 77°43'11.8"E between Sankarankoil and Kovilpatti. Kalugumalai is 21 kilometers from Kovilpatti and 22 km from Sankarankovil. The climate here is warm and dry with high temperatures reaching 40 Celsius during summer and low temperatures of 20 Celsius during winter.

History

An ancient urn burial ground was found here but most of it had been destroyed due to quarrying of limestone here. Kalugumalai was known in olden days as Tiruneccuram and as Nechchuram after which it had been referred to as Thirumalai or Araimalai. There is not much written about the history of the place. A palace used by Ettaiyapuram King stands here even today.

Demographics

Kalugumalai has a population of about 22,000 with the number of women being more than the number of men. 79 % of the people living here are literate and most of them speak Tamil and follow Hinduism.

Education

There are seven schools in Kalugumalai of which the well known schools are R.C.Susai Higher Secondary School, St. Loisa Girls High School, Kammavar Girls Higher Secondary School, Government Higher Secondary School and Vimal English Medium School in Ramalingapuram. At present there are no colleges here though there are proposals to build one here. The students for higher studies go to study in other towns nearby like Kovilpatti and Sankarankovil.

Economy

Most of the people living here work in industries manufacturing safety matches. Agriculture is carried out on a limited scale here and a considerable number of people make a living trading in produce grown from their farms.

Jain Abode Kalugumalai

It is believed by many that Jainism flourished at Kalugumalai between 7th to 13th century and there are several written accounts about the same in addition to rock cut images of two Yakshas in the sides of Bhagawan Parshwanatha.

There are rock images of other Jain Tirthankaras in the hill here too.

VettuvanKoil

VettuvanKoil is a semi-finished temple here which was being constructed by the Pandyas. A rectangular structure had been carved out of a single rock with the Top alone being completed. Now an idol of Ganesh has been placed in the temple and is worshipped here.

Kalugasalamoorthy Murugan temple

KalugasalamoorthyMurugan temple is partly rock cut and partly constructed temple. In this temple Murugan is the presiding deity and the hall in which the presiding deity is present is cut from rocks.

Transportation

Kalugumalai is connected to the three nearby towns which are Sivakasi, Sattur and Sankarankovil by highways.

The nearest railway stations are at Kovilpatti and Sankarankovil.

Trains starting from or terminating at Madurai , Bangalore, Nagarcoil, Punalur, Coimbatore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Ernaculam, Thiruchendur and Tirunelveli stop at Kovilpatti railway station.

Pothigai Express stops at Sankarankoil and the major stations pothigai express stops at are Chennai Egmore (MS), Tambaram (TBM), Chengalpattu (CGL), Villuparam Jn (VM), Vridhachalam Jn (VRI), Tiruchchirapali (TPJ), Dindigul Jn (DG), Madurai Jn (MDU), Virudunagar Jn (VPT), Tiruttangal (TTL), Sivakasi (SVKS), Srivilliputtur (SVPR), Rajapalayam (RJPM), Sankarankovil (SNKL), Pmbakvl Shandy (PBKS), Kadaynallur (KDNL), Tenkasi Jn (TSI) and Sengottai (SCT).

The nearest airport is at Tuticorin.