History of Sivakasi

Sivakasi Town HistorySivakasi, the renowned business centre of South India is a selection grade municipality located in the Virudhunagar district of southern state of Tamil Nadu. Located 534 km away from the state's capital Chennai, Sivakasi is widely regarded as a commercial hub of India as the town is long familiar for its innumerable fireworks, offset printing and safety matches industries. In point of fact, considerable share of India's total production of fire crackers, safety matches, colorful calendars, diaries and other essential stationeries are produced in Sivakasi extending employment opportunities to over 25,000 people.

The known history of Sivakasi is almost 600 years old that this business town was actually founded during 15th century BCE. The pyrotechnics hub of Sivakasi was an integral division of the temple town of Madurai and has been governed by various kingdoms, which include Pandyas, Madurai Nayaks, Vijayanagar Empire, Carnatic kingdom, Chanda Sahib and finally under the administrative control of the British.

Etymology of Sivakasi

The quiet little town of Sivakasi was actually constituted during the early time period of 15th century BCE. During the time interval between the years 1428 and 1460, a renowned king named Harikesari Parakkirama Pandian of the ancient Tamil dynasty of Pandian dynasty had the sovereign power of the southerly divisions of Madurai domain in Tamil Nadu, constituting present-day Sivakasi and its surrounding neighborhoods.

According to legends of Hindu, the Pandian king Harikesari Parakkirama Pandian desired to erect a house of God for the worship of Lord Shiva at Tenkasi (one of the urban administrative divisions in the Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu). The king took a holy trip to the religious town of Kashi in the aspiration of bringing a lingam which is considered as the symbol of the energy and potentiality of Lord Shiva.

On his way back to Tenkasi along with the highly regarded lingam, the Pandian king Harikesari Parakkirama Pandian decided to take a breather in the shadow of a bael or bilwa tree (vilva maram) which is considered as a holy tree that is born from the breasts of the Hindu Goddess of wealth Lakshmi and a favourite tree of Lord Shiva. On trying to proceed the trip to Tenkasi, the king tried to move the cow carrying the holy lingam but to his surprise, the cow refused to move any further!

Responding to his intuitions, the King Harikesari Parakkirama Pandian recognized that Lord Shiva's wishes are different from his psychological state of beliefs, feelings and values. The king eventually made up his mind to place the holy lingam in the exact same spot where the cow halted. The land where the lingam finally positioned came to be called as Sivakasi.

Early Times of Sivakasi

Sivakasi town was an integral administrative division of Madurai domain during the 16th century BCE. The temple town of Madurai turned autonomous from the prevailing Vijayanagar Empire aka Karnata Empire during the year 1559. Madurai domain was conquered a lot of times by various rulers who include Chanda Sahib (mughal conglomerate soldier, faujdar and nabob of the carnatic, chief functionary of the carnatic, sipahsalar of the carnatic), Nawabs of Arcot and Mathuranayagam Pillai until the 18th century. During 1801, the domain of Madurai fell under the administrative powers of the British East India Company and attached to the Madras Presidency.

Present Scenario of Sivakasi

Owing to the growing population and economy, the Sivakasi municipality was first constituted during the year 1920. Following the Indian independence from the British, Sivakasi remained to be an urban administrative division under the Madras presidency and subsequently, a division of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Afterwards, the Sivakasi municipality was furthered to a second-grade municipality during the year 1978 and was upgraded as a first-grade municipality in the same year.

Keeping the growing population and the revenue generated by the town into consideration, Sivakasi was further upgraded as a selection-grade municipality during the year 1998 and as a special-grade municipality during the year 2013. Over the past few decades, the town of Sivakasi witnessed rapid growth and today Sivakasi is highly-developed as a commercial hub of fireworks, safety matches and offset printing industries.

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