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Article - History of Thoothoor Area

Dr. Albaris J Thoothoor is the author of this article.

This is the research paper by Dr. Albaris J Thoothoor, about Thoothoor region gives a clear picture of this place and it's background. Dr. Albaris works as a Reader in History, Alagappa Govt. Arts College, Karaikudi, T.N-India.

History of Thoothoor Area

"Thoothoor, a coastal village is situated in the Arabian Sea coast. It is the headquarter of Thoothoor panchayat, consisting of five villages, namely Thoothoor, Chinnathurai, Eraviputhenthurai, Poothurai and Erayumanthurai. This article is mainly about Thoothoor village alone (@1). Thoothoor is geographically located in Vilavancode Taluk, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu [India] (@2). It is located 45 Kilometers, west of Nagercoil, the headquarter of Kanyakumari District and 40 Kilometers south–east of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala State. The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram and railway station is Parassala or Kulitturai.

Thoothoor is almost exclusively a fishing village, eventhough a little group of people are involved in agriculture, especially in coconut plantation, besides their primary occupation and other professions. The fishing operation in this village is more often restricted to a coastline of about one-Kilometer length. It’s total population is about 6000. This village is bounded in the north by the A.V.M Canal [Anantha Victoria Marthanda], south by the Arabian Sea, east by Poothurai village and west by Chinnathurai village. But most of the educated people of this village are settled at the north of Thoothoor Panchayat upto a length of about 500 meters. Recently the Tamil Nadu Government has constructed a Housing Colony namely St. Thomas Colony in this zone. Those who are settled in the above zone also consider themselves part and parcel of the village of Thoothoor. As per the Government demarcation, this zone is part of Ezhudesam Town Panchayat. But this zone must be merged with this village.

For the educational uplift of this village we have St. Jude’s College, Thoothoor which is managed by Latin Catholic Fishermen Educational Development Society, Thoothoor and it is affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli. Pius XI Higher Secondary School, Thoothoor which is managed by St. Thomas Forane Church Parish, Thoothoor and Pius XI Primary School, Thoothoor, managed by St. Anne’s Sisters, Thiruchirapally through St. Rita’s Convent, Thoothoor to play a vital role for the cause of education. The Government Primary School, Thoothoor also provides education to the poor. Other than the above educational institutions, Infant Jesus Matriculation School, manned by St. Jude’s College, Thoothoor and Canossa Pre – Primary School, Thoothoor manned by Canossa Convent, Thoothoor are doing educational service for the educational uplift of this village.

The educational institutions mentioned above are doing wonderful services for the educational well–being of not only Thoothoor but also a number of nearby villages. The literacy rate of this village is higher compared to that of the neighbouring villages. After the establishment of St. Jude’s College at Thoothoor, the importance of education was very well realised by the people of this village. In the fields of Research, Computer, Engineering, Medicine, Technology, Teaching, Arts, Science, Marine Engineering and etc., the sons of this soil are doing wonders. A good number of people from this village are also working in the Gulf countries in the fields of Production, Management, Computer, Engineering and Fishing, In the U.A.E. the employees from Thoothoor have got an association, viz. Thoothoor Welfare Association(TWA), which works for the welfare of Thoothoor people.

The Government Primary Health Centre, Thoothoor, Sub-Post Office, Thoothoor, F4 Police Station, Nithiravilai at Thoothoor and State Bank of Travancore, Thoothor are the other institutions doing commendable service for the welfare of this village. Netaji Library and Sports Club[NLT], Jancy Rani Library for Women[JRLT], Thiruvananthapuram Social Service Society [T.S.S.S.] Unit, Kottar Social Service Society [K.S.S.S.] Unit, Fathima Mahalir Mandram[F.M.M.], Kerala Catholic Youth Movement [K.C.Y.M.] Unit, Society of St. Vincent De Paul Conferences etc. are doing tremendous and meritorious service for the well - being of Thoothoor village.

The Catholic Church plays a conspicuous role in the day-to-day life of the fishermen of Thoothoor village. The conversion of the Hindu fishermen of this village may be traced back not later than to A.D. 1544. It was due to the indefatigable endeavours of St. Francis Xavier who converted on December 1544, 10000 Mukkuva fishermen living in thirteen villages along the coast from Pallam to Poovar, such as Poovar, Kollencode, Vallavilai, Thoothoor, Poothurai, Thengapattanam, Enayam, Midalam, Vaniyakudy, Colachel, Kadiapattanam, Muttom and Pallam. Immediately after their conversion by St. Francis Xavier, they pulled down their Hindu temple and idols, built earlier. In such places a cross was erected and then thatches were made for worship. In due course, they were converted into churches (@3).

In 1600, the Thoothoor Parish Church was brought under the Padroado (@4). Subsequently this Parish came under the Diocese of Cochin. In 1838, St. Thomas Church, Thoothoor and other adjacent coastal Churches from Pallithura to Erayumanthurai were brought under the Diocese of Varapuzha (@5). It led to Padroado - Propaganda dispute to a crucial stage. Ultimately again St. Thomas Church, Thoothoor was brought under the Diocese of Cochin with its revival in 1850.

The Diocese of Thiruvananthapuram was founded on 1st July 1937. But only in 1952 all the coastal Churches from Pallithura to Erayumanthurai were added to Thiruvananthapuram Diocese. Thus at present Thoothoor Parish Church is one of the Foranate Churches of Thiruvananthapuram Diocese.

All the people who live within the boundary of Thoothoor village are Latin Catholic Mukkuvas. They owe allegiance to the Church. The Church intervenes and dominates in the socio-economic life of the people. The Church authorities, namely the Parish Pastoral Council makes compulsory collection upto 5% of the income from the people. This income is spent for maintaining and improving the church building, parochial house, St. Thomas Community Hall, Pius XI Higher Secondary School, and is giving salary to the Parish Priest and Kanakkapillai. It is also spent for the celebration of Church festivals. The Parish revenue was not properly accounted and spent for a long time. But how, youngsters of this village have taken active role in the parish administration.

Fishing is the primary occupation of this people. This occupation evolved as a chief economic activity during the heyday of the Indus Valley Civilization. It preceded even agriculture and farming. The fishermen of Thoothoor village are specialised in shark catch, using traditional methods. Mechanised boats and long lining are used for shark catch. They stay in sea for 5 to 20 days consecutively. For shark catch, they go up to Porbandar, Veravel, Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Gareware, Goa, Mangalore, Kochi, Neendakara, Vizhinjam, Kanyakumari, Chennai, Vishagapattanam, Paradeep and so on. A very few fishermen from this village go to Gulf countries and specialise in shark catch. Thoothoor fishermen in lieu of their shark catching techniques are known all over the world. The bye-products of shark are shark fin, shark flesh, shark liver oil and shark teeth. From this village, about 150 boats are engaged in shark fishing. Such a peculiar type of fishing is the speciality of the fishermen of Thoothoor. From a very backward village like this, the fishermen by their hardwork, skill, adventurous nature and dedication have come up to this stage. Though there are many odds, they move positively aiming at a better future. When a study was made by the editor of Business India, Mr. K.G. Kumar in 1994, he stated, “Thoothoor is thus no ordinary sleepy little fishing village”. For the welfare of shark hunters of this village, an association namely, ‘Association of Deep-Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen is working at Thoothoor.


@1. The features mentioned in this article is about Thoothoor village alone.

@2. Kanyakumari District was part of erstwhile Travancore State. Travancore State was later merged on 1st November 1956 to form the new Kerala State. Only Kanyakumari District was merged with Tamil Nadu after a long struggle.

@3. Albaris J. Dr. ‘Mukkuvas: A Historical Study,’ Kadalora Makkal Sangam Silver Jubilee Souvenir, Thoothoor, 1992, p.4.

@4. Padroado was the right of spiritual jurisdiction granted by the Pope to the King of Portugal. This Padroado right was abolished in 1975.

@5. Agur, C.M. Church History of Travancore, Madras, 1963, p. 232.

6. Albaris. J. Dr. ‘The Mukkuvas Through the Ages,’ Journal of South Indian History Congress, XXI Session, Madurai, 18th to 20th January 2001, pp. 80-84.

7. Kumar, K.G. ‘Thoothoor: The Heady Hunt for Sharks,’ Business India, 31st January to 13th February 1994, p. 241.

Carmel. S. Factors that determine the Income of Fishermen: A Case Study of Thoothoor Village in Kanyakumari District [Unpublished M.Phil. Dissertation], Madurai Kamaraj University, June 2000, pp.17-18.


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Tamizhvanan, Sirkali[21-10-2017@17.52.18(IST)]

Prajith, Thoothoor[15-08-2016@21.55.15(IST)]
Gud website to know d Flash News & Things happening in d Native for who Staying away from Native...

John, Nagercoil[13-1-2016:16.11.13(IST)]
Very excited to read the article about history of Thoothoor. You can also visit our Website Online Kanyakumari to know the complete information of our Kanyakumari District. Thank You.

jeni, thoothoor[22-9-2015:17.36.24(IST)]
our village is like kutti america i am proud to born in thoothoor semma history paaaah wonder ful place plzzzzzzzz visit viewers...

VINU, NAGERCOIL[8-9-2015:18.51.27(IST)]
Excellent article about the History of Thoothoor. Really liked very much. For more history on Kanyakumari and Travancore, Please visit:

Sr.Shyra P, Ernakulam[4-9-2015:21.48.12(IST)]
I wish all the people of village

sr.hamlet, thoothoor[4-9-2015:15.17.53(IST)]
dear sir
you have done the good job and we come know the history of our village

Jackulinemary, Simoncolany[3-9-2015:17.25.31(IST)]
I like this place and history

ajan, chinnathurai[22-1-2015:19.31.46(IST)]
Wonder area my villages it has villages road this damage please help me friends

This article is good. Congratulations Albaris sir

Feel good and excited to read the history

FRANCIS CRUZE.A, THOOTHOOR(MDU)[16-12-2014:23.3.12(IST)]

Leo Johny, Thoothoor[14-12-2014:12.11.54(IST)]
It’s really a commendable job; I appreciate the effort made by the author. It’s very interesting to learn the history of our own village in a lucid language.
Knowing history will definitely give an idea to solve the present and future problems.
Once again thank you very much for sharing such a valuable history.
Small request, it (this history) should be preserved in some format for future reference

perpectual felishia, chinnathurai[13-12-2014:18.19.27(IST)]
Very interesting history... nice to read..but try to remove the above line from this article..

Good Link about Thoothoor fisherman skill

Leon Pankiras, Bahrain[6-2-2014:15.35.36(IST)]
Thoothoor is a known place for me, used to travel while I was studying in St.Jude's College, Thoothoor between 1983 till 1986. It is nice place, people are of qualified, very professional in Fishing, working abroad. Friends and relatives are there in Thoothoor.

stanly, thoothoor[7-10-2013:11.10.48(IST)]
i want know about the total number houses in thoothoor

john, midalam[30-5-2013:8.4.17(IST)]
good to know the history

Damin Johny, Chennai[11-4-2013:13.23.58(IST)]
very nice history... Greeting to the author....

ajarsion, thoothoor[11-4-2013:11.47.22(IST)]
thoothoor always rockz..............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Navin, Marthandam[27-4-2012:10.10.20(IST)]
Excellent design

Ebanesar, Marthandam[27-4-2012:10.7.29(IST)]
Super Wsbsite

no name[20-10-2011:19.23.56(IST)]
the sons of this soil are doing wonders,so wat about daughter's of this soil

Brain Stormer[14-8-2011:17.19.23(IST)]
Thank you very much for the deleting those controversial lines based on the objections raised by friends.

Admin -[14-8-2011:12.49.27(IST)]
Based on the above requests, the line concerned is removed. Thanks for the raising the matter.

Edwin Jerome, Chennai[13-8-2011:23.51.39(IST)]
the comment of wellwisher can be considered

Welwisher, Neighbour[13-8-2011:21.44.50(IST)]
Dear Admin,
I hope the line mention as all the five villages are called as Thoothoor ,can be Changed as 'all the five villages are commonly KNOWN as Thoothoor'
I dont know much about Our History, Please discuss with Research Team and Dr.Albaris

Manu, Poothurai[13-8-2011:21.31.39(IST)]
Dr. Albaris is hereby asked to remove the above line from your article, as objected by Anto of Chinnathurai and subsequently supported by Guest, EP Thurai.

Guest, EP Thurai[13-8-2011:21.2.3(IST)]
Dear Admin,

Plz remove the above line from this article.

Anto- Chinnathurai[13-8-2011:19.46.16(IST)]
Nice to read it. But I have a very strong objection to the statement - ALL THE FIVE VILLAGES ARE COMMONLY CALLED THOOTHOOR.

Maria Jerin.V, Neerodi[13-8-2011:15.11.30(IST)]

nice, wish u all the best for the people those who are liveing in the thhthoor

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