Tenkasi is one of the municipalities in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located in the foothills of the Western Ghats near the Courtallam Waterfalls.The translation of ‘Tenkasi’ means ‘Kasi of the south’ referring to the Kasiviswanathar temple. Tenkasi is famous for its saaral (சாரல் drizzling). Every year from May–August, people and tourists enjoy the saaral in Tenkasi.The main tourist attraction of Tenkasi is Courtallam, with exotic waterfalls and healing spas.Tenkasi is at the footsteps of Thirikooda Malai (Thiri koodal in Tamil means the convergence of three mountains) – a picturesque place. As of 2011, the town had a population of 70,545.
Tenkasi is located at 8.97°N 77.3°E. It has an average elevation of 143 metres (469 ft)
Tenkasi has two bus terminus and a railway station. Daily trains include the Pothigai Express (from Chennai to Shencottah) and two passenger trains, one from Madurai to Shencottah and the other runs between Tirunelveli and Shencottah. The broad gauge conversion work is completed on the Shencottah Tiruchendur stretch ( Via Tenkasi Junction, Ambasamudram, Tirunelveli) last year (2012). Shencottah – Punalur – Kollam gauge conversion work is in progress and is expected to be completed by 2014. Long distance buses are available from Tenkasi bus terminus to Chennai, Bengaluru, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore, Puducherry, Guruvayur, Thiruppathi and many other places.
According to 2011 census, Tenkasi had a population of 70,545 with a sex-ratio of 1,020 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 7,413 were under the age of six, constituting 3,774 males and 3,639 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 14.16% and .47% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the town was 78.49%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The town had a total of 17887 households. There were a total of 27,885 workers, comprising 279 cultivators, 2,006 main agricultural labourers, 3,332 in house hold industries, 19,903 other workers, 2,365 marginal workers, 28 marginal cultivators, 90 marginal agricultural labourers, 494 marginal workers in household industries and 1,753 other marginal workers.
Tenkasi assembly constituency is part of Tenkasi (Lok Sabha constituency).
Tenkasi is a place where most of the people are agriculturists and their commercial activity is much related to agriculture and some others in the field of saw mills.Tenkasi is the gateway of Tamil Nadu to southern townships of Kerala. Buses to Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram are operated from here. Tourism is also a main boost to the economic activity of Tenkasi. Tenkasi Rajagopuram and Courtallam are the main destinations for the tourists. There are many cottage industries in Tenkasi. Gingelly oil mills, coconut oil mills, fiber mills, and handloom industry are also located here.
Pavanasa puram is under control of the Tenkasi municipality area. This is a very small village in the surrounding of Anai kulam . There are very few houses in Pavanasapuram. Pavanasapuram is also known as Ibrahim’s puram.
Tenkasi (South Kasi) is famous for its Ulagamman Temple and its Shiva Temple. The Ulagamman temple was built by Parakrama Pandian, but was shattered by lightning. In the 1990s, the temple was restored with much financial assistance of Sivanthi Adithan and others, and it was given a fresh coat of paint again in 2006 by the same philanthropists. However, the first few feet from the ground has not been painted as that part appears to have survived the lightning. The gopuram or the entry gateway remains among the highest in southern Tamil Nadu.And it is the second highest gopuram in Tamil nadu. The main deity here is Kasi Viswanathar (Shiva). This temple has three Sannidhis [a unique aspect] – Sivan, Amman and Murugan Sannidhis. This temple has beautiful sculptures and also has musical stone pillars, that emit notes of different pitch when tapped with fingers. The entrance is really grand, with heavy steps. One could view the majestic Temple Gopuram even while entering the town. The Gopuram of the temple welcomes pilgrims with a pleasant cool breeze straight from the nearby Thirikooda Malai.
Tenkasi has the other magnificent Kulasekaranathar Temple, which has been in a closed state for ages. There is also a temple pond in middle of the town, adjoining the Kannimaramman Temple. There are a row of houses along the Kannimariamman Temple, famous among them being the Justice and Advocate villas.
Anggalap Parameshwari Temple is in Malayan Street and it is famous for 10 days festival, with Sivarathiri and Alaghu. Esakki Amman Kovil is also located in Malayan street, sri pagavathi amman kovil kalangatha kandi. It is a famous temple One more old temple in tenkasi Chidambareswarar Temple