Kanniyakumari district is a district of Tamil Nadu state with its administrative headquarters located at Nagercoil town. During the period of the first and second Sangham ages the areas of the present Kanyakumari district were under the old Ay kingdom. After sometime the declination of the Ay kingdoms was started and the area became a part of the Venad or the kingdom of Quilon, with its capital Padmanabhapuram, located on the northern side of the Nagercoil. In 1729 AD before the invasion of Marthanda Varma there was anarchy in the Venad region. During the period of his rule the place was flourished both socially as well as economically. Prior to his reign there was the rule of Samanthan Nairs in the province. There was a huge anarchy in the Kanyakumari region under their rule. The historically famous battle of Colachel also took place in the district. After that, the maharajas of Travancore constructed the forts at the place of Aramboly in order to prevent any further invasion from the Carnatic. In this way the place was ruled by different rulers during different periods of time. Finally, the British came into India and entered the region of Travancore in 1810. After India got its independence in 1947, the place was a part of the re-established Travancore Cochin state in the year 1949. Then the States Re-organisation Act was passed in 1956 and the place Kanyakumari was emerged as a separate district on 1st November, 1956.
S. Venkitaramanan, the eighteenth Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 22nd December, 1990 to 22nd December, 1992 was born at Nagercoil in the district.
Geographically, the district lies at 08°09'N latitude and 77°54'E longitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 59.60% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,684 sq. km. and it is bounded by Western Ghats and Tiruvelveli district on the North, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea on the South and South West, Gulf of Mannar in Bay of Bengal on the South East, Tirunelveli district on the East and Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala on the West. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 2182.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 talukas namely Agastheeswaram, Kallkkulam, Thovalai and Vilavancode. Moreover, it comprises 4 sub-districts, 96 towns and 63 villages. The administrative language in the district is Tamil.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 18,70,374 out of which 9,26,345 are males and 9,44,029 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1019 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 11.60% including 11.30% were males and 11.88% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Christian with 48.65% and 46.85% of the total population. The population density in the district is 1,111 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Tamil with 93.94%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 23,698 out of which 12,221 were males and 11,477 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 17,716 out of which 10,150 were males and 7,566 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent of both the agricultural and industrial, sectors. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, groundnut, coconut, cashew, rubber, fruits, spices, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. The district is also rich in mineral resources. Zircon, limonite, monazite, thorium, zirconium, etc are the commonly found mineral resources in the district. The district is quite well developed industrially as well. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the industries in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. More than half of its population are directly or indirectly engaged in the industries in order to earn their livelihood. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 26,11,454 lakhs at current price and Rs. 16,23,988 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 39,90,477 lakh at current price and Rs. 28,13,414 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 1,55,763 at current price and Rs. 1,20,263 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher educational institutions. The Scott Christian College, one of the recognised and old colleges of the district was founded by a Christian missionery called William Tobias Ringeltaube in Nagercoil. Most of the engineering colleges in the district are affiliated to the Anna University and on the other hand its arts and science colleges are affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 91.75% including 93.65% are males and 89.9% are females.
N. Dennis, a veteran Indian politician was born on 23rd January, 1929 at Keezhkulam village in the district. He was elected for six times to the Lok Sabha from Nagercoil constituency i.e. in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996 and 1998. At the very beginning of his political career he was a member of the Indian National Congress but later he joined another political party named Tamil Maanila Congress.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. The Thiruvalluvar Statue, located in the district has a height of 95 feet and stands upon a 38 foot pedestal that shows the 38 chapters of "virtue" in the Thirukkural. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial stands on one of the two rocks, located at a distance of 500m on the eastern part of the Vavathurai in the district. In the honour of the great personality, Swami Vivekananda the memorial was constructed in the year 1970. The Gandhi Memorial in the district was built in the style of the central Indian Hindu temples. Furthermore, the memorial was made in such a way that on the day of Gandhi Jayanti, i.e 2nd October, the first ray of the sun falls on the exact place of the memorial where his ashes were kept. Some other places of interest in the district are Tsunami Memorial Park, Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Ayya Vaikundar Nizhal Thangal, Kamarajar Mani Mantapa Monument, etc.