TUTICORIN, a seaport of British India in the Tinnevelly district of Madras. Pop. (1901), 28,048. It is the southern terminus of the South Indian railway, 443 m. S. W. of Madras city. In connexion with this railway a daily steamer runs to Colombo, 149 m. distant by sea. Tuticorin is an old town, long in possession of the Dutch, and has a large Roman Catholic population. It used to be famous for its pearl fisheries, which extended from Cape Comorin to the Pamban Channel between India and Ceylon; but owing to the deepening of the Pamban Channel in 1895 these banks no longer produce the pearl oysters in such remunerative quantities, though conch shells are still found and exported to Bengal. As a set-off to this, Tuticorin has advanced greatly as a port since the opening of the railway in 1875, though it has only an open roadstead, where vessels must anchor two and a half miles from the shore; it is the second port in Madras and the sixth in all India. The exports are chiefly rice and livestock to Ceylon, cotton, tea, coffee and spices. There are factories for ginning and pressing cotton and a cotton mill.
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