HOME STAY – A New Model of Rural Tourism

    In a bid to promote rural tourism, especially among low and middle income families, the Department of Tourism here has proposed ‘home stay’ scheme, A model that was hitherto confined to elite tourism accompanied by high-end tourist packages.

    ‘Home stay’ is a take-off from the erstwhile ‘bed and breakfast’ scheme, which provided for low cost accommodation to tourists. The Bed and Breakfast Scheme that had been in vogue for over five years has been rechristened as ‘home stay’ model, where interested households with additional rooms to spare for the stay of a visiting tourist, may register with the Tourism Department. The department has called for expression of interests for sub-letting of portion of dwelling units, from property owners in Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur. The process envisages security clearances, including police verification, after which an NOC [no-objection certificate] issued by the police will be forwarded to the Tourism Directorate.


    The District came into existence in the year 1991 with its headquarter in Nagappattinam city. Its long stretch of beach runs along the Bay of Bengal for 188kms. Nagappattinam boasts of having one of the most thriving harbours of India. It has Shri Kayahorana Swami Neelayathatchi Amman Temple, Sowriraja Perumal Temple, and Nellukkadai Mariamman Temple. The mini museum, the towering lighthouse and the long beautiful beach are some of the worth visiting places in this city. The pillar located in front of the District Collectorate stands for the victorial acheivement of the administration along with the citizens of this district in taking the Guinness Record Acheivement of planting the maximum no. of saplings in 24 hours.


    The Dargha in Nagore near Nagapattinam, the district headquarters is a holy place. Not only the followers of Islam but also of all faiths visit this sacred centre throughout the year to offer their prayers and get the blessings of the saint. Nearly five hundred years ago a son was born in a devout Muslim family in a village in the central provinces [Madhys pradesh], He was named Abdul kadhar. With lust for the grace of Allah, he wandered with his followers far and wide. He came to Tamilnadu after visiting different places like Keelakkarai and preaching the doctrine of love, service devotion to the almighty he settled down in Nagore in a piece of land granted by a devotee of this saintly preacher. His words and deeds were divine and prophetic. He said ‘Islam preaches the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of Man’ . He sent his disciples to work among the people and spread the message of Prophet Mohammed. He passed away in 1558 at the age of 68 and in Nagore dargha are the relics of this God-man. Khandoori festival is the anniversary celebrations and devotees from all over the world join the festivals to be blessed by Nagore Andavavar.


    Velankanni is one of the most visited pilgrim centres in India. It is a town situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal. This renowned shrine 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.

    Knowing the importance of this town the Pope in the Vatican city has declared Velankanni as a Holy city. This Roman Catholic Church has an extended Basilica, which has two floors where one can find the statue of Jesus Christ. The Gothic style of architecture is a unique feature of the Church. The church itself is an imposing building with inspiring architecture. While the buildings have been painted white roof of the church is made by the tiles with striking red in contrast to the colour of the walls. The environment around the shrine is spick and span. Radiating rays of hope and piety. There is also a shrine of ‘lady of sorrow ‘ where in the sorrowing Mother is depicted carrying infant Jesus in her hand.


    Kodiakkarai is also called Point Calimere, is situated abutting the Palk Strait. Spread over an area of over 312.17 hectars, this Wild Life Sanctuary boasts of mammals like blue buck, spotted deer, wild boar, semi wild ponies, bonnet macaque, water birds like flamingoes, ibises, herons, and spoonbills. Sea turtle, starred tortoise, vipers, marsh crocodiles, etc., are some of the reptiles. Fish, dolphins, dugong, sea lion, sea cow are occasionally found here. Besides, it is where the occurrence of varieties of corals are found.


    A beautiful Muragan Temple dedicated to Lord Singaravelan is housed in a large complex. The pillars of this temple are adorned with intricate and exquisite carvings. The beautiful paintings of a bygone era are amazing in colour and portrayal. Beside this temple has the shrine of Siva, Vishnu and Hanuman. It is a rare combination, indeed. Worship in this temple removes all the hurdles of the devotees, it is believed.