Nazareth, Tamil Nadu

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Nazareth, Tamil Nadu

Therku Mudalur
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Nazareth, Tamil Nadu
Location in Tamil Nadu, India
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Nazareth, Tamil Nadu
Nazareth, Tamil Nadu (India)
Coordinates: 8°33′22.35″N77°58′15.64″E / 8.5562083°N 77.9710111°E / 8.5562083; 77.9710111 Coordinates: 8°33′22.35″N77°58′15.64″E / 8.5562083°N 77.9710111°E / 8.5562083; 77.9710111
CountryFlag of India.svg  India
State Tamil Nadu
District Tuticorin
Founded byCanon Arthur Margoschis
  Official Tamil
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registration TN 69
Nearest cityTirunelveli

Nazareth is a town in the Thoothukudi district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.



Nazareth is situated near the southern tip of the country. It was named by early Christian missionaries in memory of the city of Nazareth Israel, where Jesus Christ spent his early days. There is a 100+ -year-old church (St. John's Cathedral) in the centre of the town. It has a tall tower with a flat top. This part of Southern Tamil Nadu has many Gothic-styled churches.

Nazareth is in Thoothukudi district. It is about 50 km from Thoothukudi; and about 36 km from Tirunelveli. It has a railway station and a bus stand. Several villages surrounding Nazareth are considered as part of Nazareth.

Several daily trains to Chennai pass through Tirunelveli. Chendhur Express train(16106/16105) run through Nazareth on a daily basis. Tiruchendur-Palakkad passenger train(56770/56769) is the long route passenger train apart from other passenger trains that run through Nazareth.

Nazareth is connected to major cities in Tamil Nadu as well as to all the villages surrounding that area.


The climate of Nazareth town is usually dry. A short rainy season exists but the weather, for the most part, is hot and humid. Paddy rice is mainly cultivated in and around the places of Nazareth on a large scale, followed by cereals green and black grams. Banana is also cultivated here on a large scale.


Nazareth is a Christian majority town, created by missionaries from the United Kingdom, primarily through the work of Canon Arthur Margoschis. Canon Arthur Margoschis(1852-1908) is recognized as “Father of Nazareth”.[ citation needed ] The town is surrounded by Hindu communities. The main Hindu temple was built in the late 1960s. The town was previously known as 'Saann Pathu' and also as 'Therku Mudalur'[ clarification needed ] and was renamed by the residents. It is an educational centre with schools such as Margoschis Higher Secondary School for Boys and St. John's Girls' Higher Secondary School, Margoschis college of Arts and Science, Art Industrial School, TNDTA Kaspa Primary School, Dr Mathuram Middle school and a Vocational education institution.

The town is famous for producing many sports personalities, especially in football. Annually 'Canon Margoschis Memorial trophy' State-level football tournaments, is organized by the Margoschis Recreation Club, at Nazareth.[ citation needed ]

N. Angela Lincy Vasanthakumari, [1] [2] is a noted high jumper who had set a national record of 1.75m in the 1987 National Games held in Trivandrum when she was 15yrs old. Later she achieved her career-best of 1.77m in 1993 when she was 21yrs old. She is an alumnus of St. John's Girls Higher Secondary School, Nazareth.

Dr D Daniel Sundararaj, Retired Dean(14.9-1971 to 5.6.1974) of AC&RI, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore(Formerly Madras Agricultural College) who has authored and co-authored many books in the field of agriculture in early 1940s'-70s'. [3]

Thiruchendur Co-operative Spinning Mills Limited, Nazareth which was the only spinning mill and was the livelihood for many people in that area for close to a century, was closed a decade ago in 2002-03 period due to financial crunch and lack of modernization.

Earlier Nazareth was part of the Tirunelveli CSI diocese and in 2003 Thoothukudi - Nazareth Diocese was formed after bifurcation from Tirunelveli Diocese. [4]

As the history of the church, a small village by name “Shanpathu” with 8 families became Christians in the year 1803 through Rev. Sathyanathan. Its revenue extent is 7 sq. miles. The first church a thatched building with palmyrah leaves was built in 1803 named St. John's church at Nazareth. In 20/11/1830 the 2nd church was built by Rev. Adaikalam. It was decided to build a new church. In June 1920 this church was demolished and the foundation was laid for a new church on 5/7/1920 by Rt. Rev. E.H.M. Waller, Bishop in Tirunelvelli. A temporary church was built in front of the present church. In 26/5/1924 Rev.C.S.Stapley the then Presbyter and missionary was transferred and handed over charge to Rev. Canon Diraviam .Koilpillai, who took charge in 26/5/1924 and the present church was built by him. The church was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Norman

Canon Margoschis' contribution towards Nazareth

Many eminent Missionaries rendered significant services not only to the growth of Christianity but also to solidify British occupation. the development of Nazareth in manifold dimensions. Of whom, the contribution of Canon A. Margoschis to the many-sided growth of this village is notable. The development of Nazareth with the educational institutions, the orphanage and Art Industrial School, the hospital and the church is principally due to the result of the efforts of the great missionary Canon A. Margoschis.[ citation needed ] During decades of the 19th century, Nazareth was identified as a small hamlet situated near Valaiyadi or Vahuthankuppam and the people of Nazareth had to get things from the shops or the neighbouring villages crossing the sandy soil clustered with the bush and trees.[ citation needed ] Such a backward un-recognised hamlet has become a recognized and developed place with all facilities[ citation needed ] owing to the work done by canon Margoschis,[ citation needed ].

St. Luke's Hospital, Nazareth:

Though it was founded in 1870 by Dr J.M. Strachan, the monumental growth was under the able stewardship of Canon A. Margoschis. As he had the knowledge of medicine, he could do marvellous medical service, helping thousands of sick flocking even from 20 to 30 miles away. This service was rendered freely to all irrespective of caste and creed. There was a dire need to provide more facilities to the swelling number of sick in the hospital with wards, compounding room etc., To meet the requirements, the main building of the hospital was built by him in 1892 and the hospital was Christened “St. Luke’s Hospital” by him on the day of St. Luke's (18 October) in 1892.

Orphanage and art industrial school:

Canon Margoschis built a small hut hundred yards away from his bungalow for the orphans in 1877. As the number of orphans increased, he took efforts to put up a building for them and the same was built in 1878 in the place where the Art Industrial School is now. He was made aware of his responsibilities and obligations towards the less-privileged and was very anxious to introduce teaching for them on industrial courses. Hence he founded the Art Industrial School in the orphanage itself on 14-11-1878. Carpentry, Black-smithy and sewing courses were started and then weaving section was introduced. In 1884, the first sewing machine was bought and the art of tailoring was introduced. The lower Secondary Training was provided and in 1900, Upper Secondary Training was transferred from Tuticorin to Nazareth. He was the manager of the school until his death. In those days the Art Industrial School, the brain-child of Canon Margoschis, was praised as the only one of its kind in the district and the oldest in the Presidency of Madras[ citation needed ].

Girls' high school

Canon Margoschis was made superintendent of the school 1876 itself. He founded Teachers Training School in 1877. He also stressed the need for good education to women and started kindergarten school. In 1886, he made a historic achievement of upgrading the normal school to a high school. The school became a full-fledged high school in 1888 and the first set of women in the Presidency of Madras to pass the Matriculation Examination was from this school. The Standard of the school was very much appreciated by the Director of Public Instruction in 1890. This school is the first high school for women in south India.

Boys' high school: Canon Margoschis founded a middle school for boys in 1882 in the name “Anglo – Vernacular School”. In 1885; this school was awarded “ The Best School” title in the Presidency of Madras[ citation needed ], He made a successful venture of upgrading it as "high school" in 1889 in spite of the stiff opposition from the then Bishop Rt. Rev. Caldwell. This infuriated the Bishop, who closed down the high school section in 1892.

Theological seminary:

Another brainchild of Canon Margoschis was the theological seminary. It was founded by him in 1890 with eight students. It had grown from strength to strength in the following years.

Other developments and benefits:

Canon Margoschis adopted Nazareth as his “Child”, and with the help of the orphans and hired labourers, he laid the metal road[ clarification needed ] from Nazareth to Valaiyadi and planted trees on both sides.[ citation needed ] Telegraphic office was opened on 25-12-1894, as a result of the initiative taken by him. He showed interest in town planning also and the 5th street was formed by him. As a result of his efforts, the original plan to lay the railway line from Tirunelveli to Tiruchendur via. Thenthiruperai was changed and it was decided to lay it via Nazareth.[ citation needed ] This work, was put into operation a few years after his death.

The people of Nazareth celebrated the 100th death centenary of Canon Arthur Margoschis at Nazareth from 23 April to 27 April 2008.

Missionaries at Nazareth

The following is an incomplete list of missionaries at Nazareth.

  1. Rev. John Caspar Kohlhoff
  2. Rev. Sathyanathan
  3. Rev. James Hough
  4. Rev. David Rosen
  5. Rev. Adaikalam
  6. Rev. John Ludovick Irion
  7. Rev. Augustus Frederick Caemmerer
  8. Rev. Henry Pope
  9. Rev. Thomas Brotherton
  10. Rev. Dr John Miller Strachan
  11. Rev. Benjamin Henry Arthur Margoschis
  12. Rev. Carlin Wilfred Weston
  13. Rev. Cecil George Stapley
  14. Rev. Draviam Koilpillai
  15. Rev. Stephen Charles Neill
  16. Rev. S. S. Moses
  17. Rev. John Samuel
  18. Rev. George Theodore Selwyn

Wives of Missionaries

  1. Mrs Ann Caemmerer
  2. Mrs Weston

Medical Mission

  1. Dr. Rathnam Vedabodakam
  2. Dr. Ruby Grace Vedabodakam


As of 2011 India census [5] Nazareth had a population of 24,862. Males constitute 48% of the population. Nazareth has an average literacy rate of 94%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 95%, and female literacy is 93%.


Nazareth has separate secondary schools for boys and girls, an arts and science college, an engineering college, a polytechnic college, a Nursing (BSc) college and an industrial training institution called Art Industrial School (I.T.I) & Advanced Training Centre.

The town has several small schools including a Margoschis Matriculation School, Seventh-day Adventist primary school, Solomon Matriculation School and Nightingale Nursery and primary school. Tamil medium schools include Kaspa Primary school, St. Johns Model School, Dr Mathuram Middle School, TNDTA Primary School, Thiruvalluvar Colony etc.

Primary and middle schools

Tamil Medium

English Medium

Margoschis Higher Secondary School

[6] The first evangelist Aerion started a Primary school in 1839 with the aim of imparting education to the local children. Soon another school was started for girls. In 1880 the Boys’ Primary School became a Higher Grade Middle School. When Canon Arthur Margoschis was the Missionary at Nazareth, the Higher Grade Middle School became an "Anglo-vernacular School". In 1885, this school was selected for the Award of the "Best School of the Madras Presidency"[ citation needed ] and in the very same year, it was upgraded into a High school. But in 1890, the high school classes were taken away from this high school[ clarification needed ] and attached to the Caldwell High School, Thoothukudi. So the school at Nazareth was reverted into a Higher Grade Middle School. From 1890 to 1912, it served as a model school for the Higher Grade Teacher Trainees. In 1909, it became a recognized Middle school and in that capacity, it continued to function till 1932. The school attained the status of a high school again on 23 October 1932. New buildings were added to the school at various periods to meet the need for additional classrooms, laboratories etc. When the new educational pattern of 10 +2 was introduced, the school was upgraded into a Higher Secondary School in 1978.

St John's Girls Higher Secondary School

St. John's Girl's Hr. Sec. School is the first school in south India and a third one in India[ citation needed ], which was started for girls. It was started by Rev. Hough in 1820. It was upgraded into St. John's Girls High School in 1886; many English missionaries Rev. Camerar, Green, Swingler and Evans showed much interest in the development of the school and worked for it. St. Michael, St. Gabriel and Guardian Angel's hostels were built. The chapel was built by the efforts of Rev. G.T. Selwyn in 1939. It was upgraded into Hr. Sec. School in 1978. Homes run by KNII and world vision are also here.

Higher education

Arts and Science College

Polytechnic College

Engineering College

Nursing college


Training schools


Nazareth town celebrates Christmas with a fireworks display, lighting the streets and singing Christmas carols at the church. The celebration attracts many former residents each year.

Vinayagar Chathurthi celebrates at Sri Sakthi Vinayagar Temple and Vinayagar statue placing in most of the street. Also Vinayagar Chariot circumambulate through Mill Road, Manikavasagapuram, Mani Nagar, kandasamypuram, Vaguthankuppam,Isaac street and finally reached to same Sri Sakthi Vinayagar Temple where it is departed.

Pongal festival celebrates 3 days in every hindus home and roads are portraited by Kolam. During this festival sports events, cultural programs are conducting in every streets.

Services to the needy

In 2007, Calvary Chapel Trust, headquartered in Bangalore, purchased a facility from the Catholic Church and turned it into a boy's orphanage called "Heaven's Gate". This residential facility is home to HIV+ boys. In 2008, Boise, Idaho based Genesis World Mission, Inc. performed a 3-day medical outreach to the community. Over 1100 people were served with primary medical care with the help of local medical providers and volunteers.

St. Luke's Hospital ( Mission Hospital ) is present in the Sathankulam Road, Nazareth

KNH Home, CCCYC Bangalore, Home for Girls for orphan / semi-orphan and deserted children are present inside the St. John's Girls School Campus, Nazareth

Mentally Retarded Home for Boys and Girls present in Thirumaraiyoor, Nazareth.

An old age home, a school for the deaf and dumb and a home for the orphan and poor children operates in Thirumaraiyoor, Nazareth.

A private home for the children of life-term prisoners is operated by Stephen, Mukkuperi.[ clarification needed ]

See also

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