Sivakasi Knowledge Guide
Sivakasi was established during the early 15th century CE. Between 1428 and 1460, a Pandya king Harikesari Parakkirama Pandian ruled the southern part of Madurai region (comprising modern-day Sivakasi and its surroundings). Hindu legend relates that he wanted to construct a temple for the Hindu god Shiva at Tenkasi and went to Kasi to bring a lingam (an iconic representation of Shiva). While returning to his palace with the prized lingam, he rested under the grove of a vilva tree, the favourite tree of Shiva. When a cow carrying the lingam refused to move from the spot, the king realised that the wishes of Shiva were different from his own, and he placed the lingam in the place where the cow halted. The place where the "Shiva lingam brought from Kasi" was installed came to be known as Sivakasi. Sivakasi was a part of the Madurai region during the 16th century. Madurai became independent from the Vijayanagar Empire in 1559 under the Nayaks. Nayak rule ended in 1736 and Madurai was repeatedly captured several times by Chanda Sahib (1740 – 1754), Arcot Nawab and Muhammed Yusuf Khan (1725 – 1764) in the middle of the 18th century. In 1801, Madurai came under the direct control of the British East India Company and was annexed to the Madras Presidency.During the 1800s, Nadars, then an aspiring business community, established their commercial base in the town. By the end of the 19th century, the Nadars’ rapid rise as a business community and pursuit of higher social status caused resentment in higher castes. The mutual confrontation between the Maravars and Nadars reached its peak in 1899, leading to a series of riots which became known as the Sivakasi riots. A total of 22 people were killed, as many as 800 houses and the Big Chariot in the center of the city (used by the temple during festivals) were burnt during the riots. Eventually, the riots came to an end after the intervention of the military in mid-July 1899.The Sivakasi municipality was established in 1920. After India's independence from the British in 1947, Sivakasi continued to be a municipality under the Madras state and later a part of Tamil Nadu, when the state was split on linguistic lines during 1953, 1956 and 1960 and renamed in 1968. It was promoted to a second-grade municipality in 1978, first-grade in 1978, selection-grade in 1998,special-grade in 2013 and upgraded as municipal corporation in 2017. a Over the decades after independence, Sivakasi grew as an industrial town specialising in firecracker, match and printing industries. Several incidents of fire and explosions have occurred in the fireworks factories.
The Sivakasi municipality maintains 65.151 km (40.483 mi) of the road. The town has 13.035 km (8.100 mi) concrete road and 52.116 km (32.383 mi) bituminous road. A total of 2.5 km (1.6 mi) of state highways is maintained by the State Highways Department. Four major roads connect the town with Sattur, Virudhunagar, Srivilliputhur and Vembakottai; there are no bypass roads around the town. There are eight major intersections located across different parts in these major roads.Sivakasi is served by town bus service, which provides connectivity within the town and the suburbs. Minibus service operated by private companies cater to the local transport needs. The town bus routes to surrounding villages are to Puliparaipatti, Thayilpatti, Madathupatti Vilampatti, Alangulam, Vilampatti, Alangulam, M.Pudupatti, Alamarathupatti,Sengamalapatti, Muthalipatti, and Meenampatti. The main bus stand covers an area of 1.39 acres (5,600 m2) and is located in the heart of the town. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operates daily services connecting various cities to Sivakasi. The State Express Transport Corporation operates long distance buses connecting the town to important cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruppur and Thoothukudi. The major intercity bus routes from the town are to cities like Madurai, Chennai, Erode, Karur, Coimbatore, Karaikudi, Dindigul, Trichy, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Sankarankovil, Sengottai, Rajapalayam, Tenkasi, Kovilpatti, Thoothukudi, Tiruchendur, Nagercoil and Tirunelveli. Being an industrial town, there is significant truck transport with around 400–450 trucks entering the town for loading and unloading activities daily. Three wheelers, called autos are also a common public transport system. Sivakasi railway station is located in the rail head from Madurai to Sengottai. It connects Tamil Nadu with Kerala through Rajapalayam and Sengottai. The Podhigai Express connects Sivakasi to Sengottai and Chennai Egmore in either directions. All other express trains ply from Virudunagar station. There are also passenger trains running either direction from Madurai to Shencottah.
Badhrakali Amman temple is the most prominent landmark of Sivakasi. The tower or Rajagopuram of this temple has a breadth of 66 ft (20 m), a width of 44 ft (13 m) and a height of 110 ft (34 m). "Panguni Pongal" and "Chithirai Pongal" are the annual festivals celebrated for the deities Mariamman and Badrakali Amman in April and May respectively, both of which are celebrated for ten days.Arulmigu Viswanatha Swamy Temple and Arulmighu Shenbaga Vinayagar Temple are other two important ancient temples in Sivakasi. Thiruthangal, located on the Virudhunagar-Sivakasi road has the Nindra Narayana Perumal Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu on the hillock, attracts a lot of pilgrims. Karunellinathar temple, a famous Shiva temple is located on the other side of hillock. Periya Palli Vasal mosque and Chinna Palli Vasal mosque are two of the most prominent mosques in the town. The CSI Regland Memorial Church is the most prominent church in the town.The Venkatachalapathy temple located 25 km (16 mi) away from the town attracts pilgrims from southern Tamil Nadu. AJ Indoor Stadium on Velayutham Road, a coaching center for badminton, table tennis, and basketball. This is a major sporting venue in Sivakasi. Many district, state and national level badminton championship matches are held in this stadium.Ayyanar Falls located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats is a popular picnic spot for the residents of Sivakasi.