A tour to Poompuhar is a must-include in your tour itinerary of Tamil Nadu if you want a taste of the intrinsic culture and essence of Tamil Nadu. Noted as the backdrop of one of the greatest Indian epics, the Silapathikaram or the “Epic of the Anklet”, Poompuhar has always enjoyed an immense importance as one of the most important tourist destinations of Tamil Nadu. Located on the estuary of the River Kaveri, this beautiful port town was named so because of the estuary itself which is signified by “Poohar” which actually means an estuary. Located just around 24 kms away from Mayiladuthurai and 21 kms away from Sirkali, Poompuhar is one of the greatest tourist attractions of Tamil Nadu.
A tour to Poompuhar reveals the history of this beautiful and ancient port-city. Once, the capital of the Chola dynasty, Poompuhar shows evidences that prove its existence as a major power during the 4th or 5th centuries A.D. These include pottery that also points to the evidence of a suspected tsunami that rocked this picturesque port-city as early as 500 C.E. Poompuhar also plays an extremely important role in Sangam literature which describes to a large extent the history of Poompuhar. One of these describes this ancient city as a leading trading center of the period as well as one of the earliest planned cities of the world. Evidences of the city being destructed by an attack of the sea are also described in great details in the ancient literature of the land, an attack that is placed by modern scientists to be a tsunami. Even today the ruins of the ancient city can be observed while on a tour to Poompuhar.
The festivals of Poompuhar are varied and add an extra spark of life to the town’s daily lives. Perhaps the most important of these is the festival of Pongal, which shows its influence on almost all the different regions and cities of Tamil Nadu. However, Poompuhar is perhaps, one of the most important places where the festival of Pongal can be witnessed in its true glory and colors, a trait which perhaps stems from the fact that Poompuhar has been regarded by many social historians to be the birthplace of the festival itself during the reign of the Chola kings at Kaveripattinam, the ancient name used for Poompuhar. Besides this, another important festival of Poompuhar is the Festival of Lights, in which lamps of Karthigai are lit on the full moon day of the month of Karthigai which banishes all forms of evil from the world. The festival which takes place towards the end of November is a definite must see if you are planning a tour to Poompuhar during that time.
Being close to the sea, Poompuhar has a climate that is very clearly tropical with scorching summers and mild winters. Thus, the best time to visit this Tropical Paradise is definitely during the months of November to march when the harsh summers give way to cool and comfortable winters.
Silappathikara Art Gallery: A beautiful art gallery that is a store house of wonders for all art lovers, this impressive gallery is a recommended must-see while on a tour to Poompuhar for its exquisite architecture too.
Zion Church: Built in 1792, this church reflects the rich Christian heritage of Poompuhar and is popular for its architecture.
Town Gateway: Reflecting a very prominent Danish architectural influence this structure was built in 1792.
Danish Fort: Today controlled by the Tamilnadu Archaeological Department, this Fort was built in 1620 and is visited by countless tourists each year due to the Archeological Museum which it houses.
Masilamani Nathar Koil: Though heavily eroded by the sea in a number of places, this temple built in 1305 by Maravarma Kulasekara Pandiyan, still manages to impress all the tourists to Poompuhar with its architectural richness.
Danish Governor Bungalow: Used as the residence of the Dansih Governor in 1784, this impressive building s today controlled by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department.
There are a number of temples located around Poompuhar. These include: