Velankanni is one of the most visited pilgrim centres in India. It is a town situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal, fourteen kilometers from Nagapattinam. This renowned Basilica of Our Lady of Health draws pilgrims from all over the world. Not only Christians but also the people of other faiths come to this church to pray at the shrine of “Our Lady of Health.’ This Basilica has been extended at the back of the original church and it has now two floors, where services are held everyday. The Gothic style of architecture is a unique feature of the Church. The church itself is an imposing building with inspiring architecture. The Museum situated apposite to the Basilica has a very rich variety of exhibits that tell of the numerous miracles that have taken place, after praying in this church. The precious offerings made by the devotees are on display here. Biblical incidents are depicted on both sidewalls. Timings to visit the church: 6.30 a.m to 8.00 p.m.Festivals are celebrated here with pomp and gaiety. Every year on August 29th the feast of Our Lady commences with the hoisting of the flag. The 10 -day festival ends on the 8th September and the flag is lowered.
The pilgrims who come here also follow the Hindu tradition of tonsuring their heads as an offering, and also perform ear-boring ceremony. This is a religious centre where Hindu, Muslims and Christian from all over India congregate in large numbers and worship in harmony.
Nearest Airport is at Tiruchirappalli (165 Km)
Nearest Railway Station is Nagapattinam (12 Km), Connected to all major cities in South India viz., Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Thanjavur and Kollam.
Connected to all major towns and cities, Regular bus services available to Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchirappali, Kanniyakumari, Thanjavur, Pondicherry etc
Vedaranyam This is a historic town. It was to this town that C. Rajagopalachari led the Salt march in the south India, while Gandhiji was leading the March to Dandi in Gujarat in March 1930. A destination of tourist attraction is Vedaranyam, which is also known as Thirumaraikkadu. It is situated 55 kms from Nagapattinam. Shri Vedaranyeswarar Temple in this seaside town has some striking features. This large temple consists of Mahamandapam, long corridors, and the beautiful Rajagopuram and is surrounded tall compound walls.
Kodikkarai (Pt. Calimere) Situated 66 kms from Nagapattinam and 11 kms south of Vedaranyam, this seaside town Kodikkarai has many wonders for its visitors. Popularly known as Point Calimere, it has wild life sanctuary for animals and Bivats sanctuary for migrating birds. This area was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1967. There are more than 2000 blue bucks and spotted deer in this sanctuary. Other than the deer, this sanctuary also has wild boar, semi wild ponies and bonnet macaque. The birds’ sanctuary receives migrating birds from all over the world. Braving dangers and hardship, these feathered travelers come from as far as Russia, Siberia, Iran, Australia and Himalayas. Tourists are attracted by the varieties of birds like flamingos, ibises, herons, spoonbills, woodcock, hornbills, storks, willow warbler, wagtail and the wild duck. Starting from October until March, birds migrate to this place. The lighthouse of the ancient Chola period, the foot print of Lord Rama called Ramar patham meaning Rama’s footprint and the Government Herbal farm are some of the other important places of tourist attraction here.
Thirunallar Among the nine Navagraha places, Thirunallar is the seat of Lord Saneeswara Bhagawan. It is located 5 kms west of Karaikkal on the route Kumbakonam within the limits of Pondicherry state. Arokkiyamadha Festival during August – September.Christmas Festival December 25th.New Year Festival: January 1st