Velankanni, also known as Vailankanni, is a city located in Nagapattinam district in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu. It lies on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. The town is home to country’s one of the biggest Catholic pilgrimage centre. 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.’’ The Gothic style of architecture is a unique feature of the Church. The church was modified by Portuguese and then further expanded later on due to the influx of pilgrims. The church itself is an imposing building with inspiring architecture.
Velankanni has a number of places to visit; among them are the Velankanni Church, the Museum of Offerings, the Shrine Depot, and the Velankanni beach. The Fountain of Revelation, the Holy Path and the Lady’s Tank Church are also places of interest for tourists.
There are many other historic places around velankanni which served as important tourist destination such as; Vedaranyam a historic town is situated 55 kms from Nagapattinam. 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. 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 which is situated 66 kms from Nagapattinam and 11 kms south of Vedaranyam, this seaside town has many wonders for its visitors. 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. 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.