Location in Tamil Nadu, India
|Coordinates: 9°10′N 78°10′E / 9.17°N 78.17°ECoordinates: 9°10′N 78°10′E / 9.17°N 78.17°E|
|Elevation||31 m (102 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Vilathikulam is located in the heart of the Karisal Kaadu region (Karisal meaning "black soiled"). The soil in this area is black and has a clay-like stickiness.
The climate of Karisal Kaadu is semi-arid, with hot and dry summers. Both the temperature and humidity are usually high, being close to the equator and barely 25 kilometres from the shore. The clay-like soil retains moisture well; although crops like paddy and sugarcane can never be grown in this area, many 'punsei' (colloquial Tamil: PUNJAI) crops such as green chili, corn, groundnuts, 'kambu' ([Pearl millet]) and sunflower are grown. Only a few kinds of tree grow in the Vilathikulam region, owing to the dry arid climate - palm trees, umbrella-like thorny trees called "Kuda maram" in Tamil (Kudai=Umbrella, Maram=tree), and thorny bushes.
Vilathikulam is a peaceful little town, on the northern bank of the Vaipar river, which has water flowing only 15 to 25 days per year. But it has major issue as the bridge connecting the Vilathikulam town on the southern side to the Kovilpatti and Tuticorin routes gets submerged completely when the river flows. Now, new Bridge are being constructed to avoid roads from getting submerged. It is a single lane bridge constructed during the British Era and is about 1.5 km in length. When there are buses or trucks needing to cross, they flash their lights and the other side, the traffic waits. Since the traffic volume is very low, seldom it results in traffic snarls. A double-way bridge has been newly constructed adjacent to the old bridge recently.
As the panacea of water problem a dam has been constructed across Vaipar in 2006.
Vilathikulam is located at 9°10′N 78°10′E / 9.17°N 78.17°E. It has an average elevation of 31 m (102 ft). Distances from nearby towns: Kovilpatti : 35 km. Tuticorin : 45 km. Aruppukottai : 50 km. Madurai : 100 km. Thirunelveli : 93 km.
Vilathikulam owes its name to a temple pond "Vila" + "Athi" + "Kulam". The Meenakshi Amman Temple has a temple pond, which had a "Vila" tree and an "Athi" tree and hence, the name. Every year during Chithirai month, ( same day and dates as of Madurai Meenakshi amman Temple), Chithirai Festival is celebrated and ends with a Car Festival crowded by the people from nearby villages.
As of 2001 India census, Vilathikulam had a population of 13,540. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Vilathikulam has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 67%. In Vilathikulam, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Absence of industries around Vilathikulam makes its economy to be solely dependent on agriculture. Main agricultural produces of this region are dry chilli, charcoal, groundnuts, maize, cotton, etc. Wood charcoal is supplied from here in huge quantities to all the districts of Tamil Nadu and other parts of India.
"Sithirai Thiruvizha" in Meenakshi Amman temple is the most famous festival in Vilathikulam which will last for more than 10 days. Another big entertainment for the people in and around Vilathikulam is the famous "Rekla Race" (bull cart race), which happens usually for most festivals and functions. The people in and around Vilathikulam will host the "Rekla Race" and people from all over Tamil Nadu participate with their trained bulls.
Purana Nadagam (Stage shows) like "Arichantra Mayana Kandam", "Veera Pandiya Katta Pomman", "Valli Thirumanam", "Pavalak kodi" are arranged every year during the "pongal" festival at the Amman temple at Velidupatti, Singilipatti, Perilovanpatti and also some nearby villages. Other events at such festivals include Karakaattam, Narikurathi aattam, etc.
"Pathirakali Amman" temple festivals like "Silampattom" and "Mulaippari" are other major religious events in the region.
The Vilathikulam people's major expectation is that the proposed Railway line connecting Madurai with Tuticorin through Vilathikulam,Pudur, Pandalkudi and Aruppukottai, should bring in more developments to the region. The project is confirmed and now started. Another desire is to have a Government Arts & Science College and possibly private Colleges as well.
Vilathikulam assembly constituency is part of Thoothukudi (Lok Sabha constituency).
This region lacks institutions of higher education, forcing students to migrate outside this Taluk in search of education.
List of institutes offering professional training:
- Diplomas in nursing and catering offered by "Irin Raja Institute of Vocational Education"
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Vilattikulam
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 4, 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
- Kulathur South
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