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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 23, p. 379.


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TINNEhELLY TOWN
379
Tinnevelly Subdivision. -Subdivision of Tinnevelly ` District,
Madras, comprising the taluks of TINNEVELLY and SANKARANAYINAR-
KOVIL.
Tinnevelly Taluk.-Tdluk in the centre of the District of the-
same name, Madras, lying between 8 36' and 8 57' N. and 77-34'
and 77 51' E., with an area of 328 square miles. The population
in r9or was 194,647, compared with 184,728 in 18g1. The demand
for land revenue and cesses in 1903-4 amounted to Rs. 3,81,ooo.
The tdluk is the most densely populated in the District, having nearly
6oo persons per square mile. It contains 123 villages, besides the
two municipal towns of TINNEVELLY (population, 40,469), the head-
quarters, and PALAMCOTTAH (39,545) situated on opposite banks of the
Tambraparni river. It consists, as respects soil and general features,
of two distinct portions : namely, the valleys of the Tambraparni and
Chittar, and the high 'dry' land which lies between these rivers and on
either side of them. Its ' wet' land is supplied by means of five chan-
nels, the Kodagan, Palayan, Tinnevelly, Marudar East, and Marudar
West channels, leading from dams across the former of these streams.
About fifteen other channels are supplied by the Chittar. The soil of
the 'dry' land is of the red and sandy series, and generally. poor.
Tinnevelly Town (Tirunelveli).-Chief town of the District and
tdluk of the same name, Madras, situated in 8 44' N. and 77 41' E.,
on the left bank of the Tambraparni river, 446 miles from Madras
city by rail. It is the largest town in the District, but the adminis-
trative head-quarters are at Palamcottah, on the opposite bank of the
river.
The early history of the place is not of much note. About 1560
it was rebuilt by Viswanatha, the founder of the Naik dynasty, who
also erected many temples in it. The chief shrine at present is a
large building dedicated to Siva, which is beautifully sculptured and
contains many inscriptions. Mr. Fergusson considers (Indian and
Eastern Architecture, p. 366) that, though this is among neither the
largest nor the most splendid temples in Southern India, it has the
rare advantage of having been built on one plan at one time, with-
out subsequent alteration or change.
The population of Tinnevelly rose from 24,768 in 18gi to 40,469
in 1901 (of whom 34,664 were Hindus, 4,998 Musalmans, and 807
Christians), and it ranks eighteenth among the towns of the Presi-
dency. It was constituted a municipality in 1866. The municipal
income and expenditure during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged
Rs. 36,5oo and Rs. 34,9oo respectively. In 1903-4 they were
Rs. 58,7oo and Rs. 59,7oo. The chief sources of income are the
house and land taxes, and tolls. Its limits extend to the bank of
the river, but the main town is more than a mile and a half dis-
VOL. XXIII. B b
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