|Location||12 kms south of Nagapattinam in the state of Tamil Nadu|
|Also Known as||Lourdes of the East|
|Prime attractions||Shrine of Virgin Mary|
|Temperature||Max-45° C and Min -10°C|
Velankanni Tourist Information
Situated along the coast of Bay of Bengal at a distance of 14 kms south of Naggapatim. Velankanni is prominent as a tourist destination and is given the nickname of ‘Lourdes of the East’ because like Lourdes in France, there is also a great influx of pilgrims in to the place. Tourists in thousands come and visit the church of Mother Mary. It has almost become the synthesis and the vital destination of all Marian Sanctuaries located in the world. Peoples from every religion, caste and creed come to pay respect to the great Lady.
The small hamlet on the sandy shore of the Bay of Bengal is 350 kms far from Chennai. Towards the south of the Velankanni village flows a small tributary of the Cauvery River. The sacred place was once a port and people of this region traded with countries like Rome and Greece, which was the ancient commercial center of the western countries.
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Major Tourist Attractions of Velankanni
Velankanni Church: The Velankanni Church is in honour of the Lady of Health popular as the Madonna of Velankanni. Devotees to the church believe that the Lady of Health possesses miraculous powers. The Church is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal more particularly at the Eliot’s beach in Besant Nagar. Completely dedicated to virgin Mary and the Heavenly Mother.
It was even recorded in the manuscripts, that Mother Mary appeared once with Jesus in this small place somewhere near the 16th or early 17th century. From then onwards it is the favoured destination of then Christians. Mother appeared in the dreams of Rev. Father Arulappa and expressed her desire of having a church in her name in that place. Arapulla toiled day and night along with Jp Dsouza, an engineer and finally dedicated it as Annai Velankanni Church. The Church had a humble beginning in 1971from a small dwelling to a magnificent basilica declared open for the public in 1972. It houses an imposing 97 feet Belfry.
The devotees in Velankanni offer to Our Lady of Health candles in various forms in days of ailments.. The tradition is that in case of cardiac complications, a heart size candle is offered , in case of jaundice, liver shaped candles, lungs problem then a case of tuberculosis and many others. After being cured of the disease many bring as offering small golden or silver replica of the organ that has been cured.
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Nearby Tourist Attractions of Velankanni
Sri Rangam Temple: Located in Trichy, it is the first of the Vaishnava temples in south India, the Sri Rangam temple is the premier amongst the 108 Vaishnava divyadesas. The Vaishnava Acharyas made it the head quater of the Vaishnava movement. In present times the temple is managed by the Vaishnava Acharyas from the place Nathumani. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the entire Universe.
Hand looms and silk are favourite in the villages of Velankanni and can be found abundantly in the villages. Hand made things can be brought from there.
Accommodation at Velankanni Tamilnadu
Hotel MGM resort offers a cool calm stay in the place meant sacred from the view point of the catholic and the local peoples. Coupled with 12 large rooms and 10 suites it has facility of multi cuisines, In house Laundry and satellite television.
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is located in Chennai at a distance of 350 kms.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is situated at Trichy and the other major rail stations are at Chennai and Thanjavur.
By Road: Buses are available to Velankanni from Chidambaram, Chennai, Madurai, Pondicherry and Trichy as well as Thanjavur. Frequent buses operate to the place from Nagapattinam.