Thoothukudi, also known as Tuticorin, is a port city and a municipal corporation and an industrial city in Thoothukudi district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The city lies in the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal.
According to Confederation of Indian Industry, Thoothukudi has the second highest Human Development Index in Tamil Nadu next to Chennai. Tuticorin Port is one of the Fastest growing Major Ports in India. Tuticorin is an "Emerging Energy and Industrial hub of South India".
Thoothukudi is known as "Pearl City" due to the pearl fishing carried out in the town. It is a commercial seaport which serves the inland cities of Southern India and is one of the sea gateways of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the major seaports in India with a history dating back to the 6th century AD.
Salt pans in and around the city contribute majorly to the economy of the city. The salt pans produce 1.2 million tonnes of salt every year, contributing to 90% of the salt produced in the state and 50% needed by the chemical industries of the state. The other major industries are shipping, fishing, agricultural, power and chemical industries. Fishing is one of the largest contributor to the local economy. Thoothukudi Fishing Harbour is one of the oldest and largest in Tamil Nadu. The Tuticorin Thermal Power Station has five 210 megawatt generators.
The majority of the people of the city are employed in salt pans, sea-borne trading, fishing, and tourism. A major attraction in the city is Our Lady of Snows Basilica, a 16th-century site. The 21 islands between Thoothukudi and Rameswaram shores in the Gulf of Mannar are noted as the first Marine Biosphere Reserve of India, and have around 36,000 species of flora and fauna. This protected area is called Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. Our Lady of Snows Basilica festival is celebrated annually during August. This and the Shiva temple festivals, e.g., Adi Amavasai, Sasti, and Chittirai chariot festivals – are the major festivals of the area. Roadways are the major mode of transport to Thoothukudi, while the city also has rail, air, and sea transport.
Thoothukudi railway station is one of the oldest and popular railway stations in India.
Tuticorin Airport is at Vagaikulam, 14 km (9 mi) from the heart of the city.