Tirunelveli also known as Nellai and historically (during British rule) as Tinnevelly, is a major city in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tirunelveli an ancient city is about 2000 years old and is a town of hoary tradition. Thamirabarani River flows here gives pride to the city. Tirunelveli is the capital of Tirunelveli District.
Industries in Tirunelveli include administrative services, agricultural trading, tourism, banking, agricultural machinery, information technology and educational services. The city is an educational hub of southern India, with institutions such as Tirunelveli Medical College, The Tirunelveli Veterinary College and Research Institution, Tirunelveli Law College, the Government College of Engineering and much more.
Occupations in Tirunelveli include service-sector activities such as administration, agricultural trading, tourism, banking, agro-machinery, information technology and educational services. In 1991, the Tirunelveli region ranked second in the number of women workers. Service sectors such as tourism have developed, due to a growth in religious tourism. Tirunelveli has beedi and cement factories, tobacco companies, workshops for steel-based products and mills for cotton textiles, spinning and weaving; there are also small-scale industries, such as tanneries and brick kilns. The agricultural areas, hand-woven clothes and household industries contribute to the economic growth of the city. Food-processing industries have developed since the late 1990s; at the district level, it is the foremost industrial segment. Industries involving rice-making, blue-jelly metal manufacturing and jem power generating are located on the outskirts of the city. The major agricultural produce in the region is paddy and cotton. Beedi production during the 1990s earned an annual revenue of ₹190 billion and a foreign exchange of ₹8 billion across the three districts of Tirunelveli, Tiruchirapalli and Vellore.
Tirunelveli is a major area for wind-power generation. Most wind-power-generation units in Tamil Nadu are located in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts. In 2005 they contributed 2036.9 MW to the state power-generation capacity.
Tirunelveli is well-connected by road and rail with the rest of Tamil Nadu and India.
Tirunelveli Junction railway station is one of the oldest railway stations in India.
The nearest domestic airport is Thoothukudi Airport. The Nearest International Airports are Madurai International Airport and Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
The nearest Seaport is Thoothukudi Port.