city, southernmost Tamil Nadu state, southern India. Nagercoil lies west of the Aramboli Gap in the Western Ghats. It controls the major routes between Madras and Trivandrum and is a commercial centre for a rich agricultural area. Its name, meaning "snake temple," indicates the early significance of the town's Saiva temple. Although historically a part of the Hindu kingdom of Travancore, Nagercoil has developed as an important Christian centre. Among the city's expanding industries are cotton and rice milling, motor repairing, and the manufacture of rubber goods. The city has several colleges affiliated with Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tirunelveli. About 9 miles (14 km) west is the tourist centre of Padmanabhapuram Palace, which was formerly the residence of the Travancore raja. Pop. (1991 prelim.) 189,482.
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