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Theni district
Theni District
—  District  —
Country  India
State Tamil Nadu
District Theni
Established July 07, 1996
Headquarters Theni
Talukas Periyakulam, Theni, Andipatti, Uthamapalayam, Bodinayakanur
 • Collector & District Magistrate Dr K.S Palanisami IAS
 • District 2,889 km2 (1,115 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • District 1,243,684
 • Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • Metro 591,841
 • Official Tamil
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 626531
Telephone code 04546
ISO 3166 code [[ISO 3166-2:IN|]]
Vehicle registration TN-60
Coastline 0 kilometres (0 mi)
Largest city Theni
Sex ratio M-50.5%/F-49.5% /
Literacy 71.58%%
Legislature type elected
Legislature Strength 5
IUCN category
Precipitation 833.5 millimetres (32.81 in)
Avg. summer temperature 40.5 °C (104.9 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 15 °C (59 °F)

Theni District (Tamil: தேனி மாவட்டம்) is a district of Tamil Nadu state in South India. The city of Theni is the district headquarters. The district is divided into two natural divisions: The hilly areas constituted by parts of the three taluks Periyakulam, Uthamapalayam and Andipatti with thick vegetation and perennial streams from the hills on the western side and Cumbum valley which lies in Uthamapalayam taluk.[2]


Theni District was formed by the bifurcation from erstwhile Madurai District as per G.O. Ms. No. 679 Revenue Department Dated July 7, 1996. Consequent to the bifurcation, one new Revenue Division with headquarters at Uthamapalayam and two new Taluks at Theni and Bodinayakanur were also created with effect from January 1, 1997. Theni Municipal town was only a firka headquarters until December 31, 1996. Consequent to the formation of the new District, Theni Municipal Town was upgraded as the Taluk and District headquarters on January 1, 1997.[3]

The region covered by present day Theni District was scarcely populated before 1900s. In 1886 Mullaperiyar dam project brings some part of water from Periyar River downhill to Cumbum Valley and merge into Mullayar River. This project helped more people to settle down in Cumbum Valley. Also to be noted that Theni is itself a small and less-known town by 1900s. After the Mullay-Periyaar merger project lots of people from nearby dry arid regions (Sivakasi, Kovilpatti, Virudhunagar, Sattur and several nearby towns) settled in Cumbum-Valley (present day Theni District). So there was influx of people by 1890s to 1920s. Bodi and Periyakulam are famous places at that age. Later Theni developed in rapid pace due to lots of business activities.


Manjalaru Dam.

Cumbum Valley.

The 2,889 km2 (1,115 sq mi) district lies at the foot of the Western Ghats between 9' 39' and 10' 30' North latitude and between 77' 00' and 78' 30' of East Longitude. Central location: 10°04′N 77°45′E / 10.067, 77.75. The district is bounded by Dindigul District to the north, Madurai District to the east, Virudhunagar District to the southwest, and Idukki district of the Kerala State to the west. The district is home to Theni, Periyakulam, Bodinayakanur, Cumbum, Uthamapalayam, Kombai, Gudalur, Chinnamanur, Andipatti, Thevaram, Lakshmipuram and several other small villages likePathirakalipuram, SukkangalPatti, Meenatchipuram, Melasindalaichery, Kottur or Pallavarayan Patti a popular village in Tamilnadu Jallikattu Kamatchipuram. It is diversified by several ranges and hills. A range of hills which runs parallel to Western Ghats from north to south separate it from the neighboring state of Kerala.[4]

Climate- In the plains, the temperatures range from a minimum of 13 °C to a maximum of 39.5 °C. In the hills the temperatures can range from as low as 4-5 °C to 25 °C. The district is known for its salubrious climate, hills and lakes.

Rivers and dams- The Vaigai River, Kottagudi River, Suruliyar River, Varaganathi River, Manjalar River and Varattaru River flow through the district. The important reservoirs in the district are Vaigai Dam, Manjalaru Dam, Sothuparai Dam, Sanmughanathi Dam, Manalaru Dam and Melmanalaru Dam.


Paddy fields across the backdrop of the Western Ghats

Its economy is mostly agricultural. Utilisation of land area for cultivation in Theni district is 40.33%.[2][5] The principal crop production (in tonnes) in 2005-2006 was: sugarcane 1,201,221, cotton 95,360 (561 bales of 170. kg lint each), rice (paddy) 66,093, millets and other cereals 57,081, pulses 6,677, groundnut 4,021 and gingelly 325.[6] Silk, Banana, Coconut, Tea, Coffee, Cardamom, Grapes and Mangoes are other main produce of the district.[7]

Cumbum Valley is a major centre for grape production with 4,000 small farmers producing over 90,000 tonnes of Muscat grapes, locally known as panneer dhrakshai, and about 10,000 tonnes of Thomson seedless grapes. The unique feature here is that the grapes are harvested throughout the year, while in most grape growing centres elsewhere the season ends with summer.

Grapes Cultivation.

Cotton Spinning Mills and Sugar Mills are the major industries in this district. In Andipatti Taluk Handloom weaving and power looms are flourishing. In Uthamapalayam Taluk, the Highwavis Estate produces an important amount of Tea. Bodinayakanur is a major market place for cardamom, coffee, tea and black pepper. This city is also called "Cardamom City" because of the large quantity of cardamom trade in this area. It has an auction centre for cardamom.[4]

The Periyar and Surliar Hydro Power Stations and the Vaigai Micro Hydro Power Station have 181 MW installed capacity and actual power generation of 494 MW in 1996 in this district.[2][8] Theni is one of the active business hubs in the western side of Tamilnadu, inviting more industries to its locality. The district currently has 41.09 km of Metre gauge track serving 3 Railway Stations which connect to Madurai.[2][5]

Forest resources

Meghamalai Falls.

The forest area in Theni district is about 33.70%. There are 27 forest areas in Theni district constituting a total area of 795.81 km2 (307.26 sq mi). 19 areas fall under the Reserve Forest category with 255.44 km2 (98.63 sq mi), 8 areas under Reserve Land category with 540.37 km2 (208.64 sq mi). Total area of forest under green cover classification was 806.86 km2 (311.53 sq mi). Dense forest and Sparse forest are 292.81 km2 (113.05 sq mi) and 22.43 km2 (8.66 sq mi) respectively. There is no Unclassed Forest type in the district. About 44.65 km2 (17.24 sq mi) of Man Made Forest Area are cultivated in the district. Wattle, Softwood, Fuel wood, Cashew, Neem, Tamarind are the main forest plantation species in Theni district.[2]

There has been no conservation of biological resources in the district. The information of wild life census in Theni district is yet to be made available.[2]


According to the 2011 census Theni district has a population of 1,243,684,[9] roughly equal to the nation of Trinidad and Tobago[10] or the US state of New Hampshire.[11] This gives it a ranking of 386th in India (out of a total of 640).[9] The district has a population density of 433 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,120 /sq mi) .[9] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 13.69%.[9] Theni has a sex ratio of 990 females for every 1000 males,[9] and a literacy rate of 77.62,higher than national rate %.[9] Theni-Allinagaram and Bodinayakanur are the largest towns in terms of population, in this district.


Bodinayakanur, Periyakulam, Cumbum, Uthamapalayam and Theni are charming towns in the district. Resounding cascades, silver-lined clouds resting a top billiard green hill tops, sheer rock faces and temples of antiquity distinguish these places.

Places of interest-

Vaigi Dam

  1. Vaigai Dam (~20 km from Theni)
  2. Suruli falls (~50 km from Theni)
  3. Manjalar Dam(~35 km from Theni)
  4. Meghamalai Hill (~67 km from Theni)
  5. Bodi Mettu Hill (~45 km from Theni)
  6. Kumbakarai Falls (~24 km from Theni)
  7. Sothuparai Dam (~24 km from Theni)
  8. Shanmuganathi Dam (~50 km from Theni)
  9. Chinna Suruli falls (~15 km from Theni)
  10. Ramakkal Mettu(~30 km from Theni)
  11. Kurankani (~20 km from Theni)
  12. HighWeaves (~80 km from Theni)

Nearest Places in Kerala

  1. Thekkadi (~ 80 km from Theni)
  2. Munnar (~ 95 km from Theni)
  3. Kumili (~70 km from Theni)

Thousand Lingam Temple, Suruli Falls.


Bullock cart race held in Theni district

The Ramzan Peru naal Thozhuhai at Uthamapalayam in Theni is a very famous for the district. The celebration of Gowmariyamman temple festival at Veerapandi and cumbum during the month of May, Pathirakaliyamman Chiththirai Thiruvizha Festival at Pathirakalipuram, Veerappa Ayyanar festival at Theni, Kamatchi Amman festival at Devadhanapatti and Saneeswaran Temple festival at Kuchanoor are the most important festivals of the district. Theni district is known for its brilliant celebration of Pongal, which is considered to be one of the most important festivals of Tamil Nadu. Pallavarayanpatti, Ayyampatti and pudupatti is very famous for its Jallikattu during the Pongal festival. Another important festival is Chitra Pournami festival, which is celebrated at Sri Mangala Devi Kannagi temple, on the Western Ghats near Gudalur during the month of May. Other important festivals of the region are the festivals of Masi Maham and Shivarathri which are celebrated in the Kamatchi Amman Temple during the months of February–March and kottur eagaadesi.

Christmas and New Year are very majestically celebrated in Anaimalayanpatty.

Famous Personalities

Theni District is home to several well-known Tamil entertainment personalities, including:

  • S.S.Rajendran, is a famous old Tamil film hero is from Periyakulam.
  • Major. Sundrar Rajan, a famous actor in Tamil film Industry is from Periyakumam.
  • cumbum siraaj a famous director in tamil film industry in 1980s has won by guinness record, film is suyamvaram.
  • Barathiraja, a famous director in Tamil film industry has won many awards including Best Director awards by Indian Government and Tamil Nadu State Government. His son Manoj is actor in Tamil films.
  • Illayaraja, Isai Gnani (Famous film music director) is from Pannaipuram of Theni district. His brother Gangai Amaran, also famous music director and film director in Tamil film industry. Yuvansankar Raja, Karthick Raja and daughter Bhavadharani are the children of Illayaraja, Director Venkat Prabu, and Prem ji Amaran are the children of Gangai Amaran, Parthi Baskar are the famous artists in Indian Film Industry. Ilayaraja is also called numbers of name like Ragadevan, Isaignani, Symphony music Director Maestro and Doctor, He won large number of National and state awards, one of his song is listed at fourth in the world's top 10 most popular songs of all time in a survey conducted by BBC. (Adi rakkamma Kaiya thattu from the movie Thalapathi directed by Mani Ratnam)
  • Vairamuthu, the Tamil poet from the Vadugapatti nearby village of Theni, has won many awards from Government and other organisations.
  • Kasthuri Raja, another famous director in Tamil cine industry, who is also known for Village subjects belongs to Theni. The director Selvaraghavan and the young actor Dhanush are the sons of Kasthuri Raja.
  • Rajasekar, the director and actor. and his brother Actor Selva are also from Theni.
  • Vaiyapuri, a Tamil comedy actor
  • Kunjarammal, a Tamil comedy actress
  • Sevvalai Raju, a Tamil film sub actor
  • Bala, famous Tamil director, N.d patti theni.
  • Rajkapoor Director kombai
  • S.Jeyakumar, from Uppukkottai Army person in New Delhi. Shooting champion and kabbadi army team champion (corps of signals)
  • tharan gopi, a Tamil film director in gudalur (themuru film director).
  • chella muthu, a Tamil film director in thevaram (suriya nagaram movie).
  • actor dhanush, a Tamil film famous hero in theni mallinka purm.
  • director selva rahavan, a Tamil film famous director in theni malinka puram.
  • director siva, a Tamil film kazhuku director in bodi mettu.
  • 'Swami Sundaravadivel,,coodalur....,,a well known godman for doing yajnas and homam.....
  • 'Theni Selvam,,a wll known still photographer

Tamil writers

Theni District is home to several well-known Tamil Literary writers, including:

  • Kavingar R.Vairamuthu
  • Kavingar N.Kamarajan
  • Kavingar Mu.Metha
  • Kavingar Uma Maheswari
  • Kavingar Peru.Palanichamy
  • Balu Satya
  • Ramesh Vaitya
  • Baskar Sakthi
  • Poncee @ Pon.Chandramohan
  • Theni. M. Subramani - He got Tamilnadu Best Book Award from Tamilnadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha on April 13, 2012 for his Book "Tamil Wikipedia" published on 2010.
  • Theni.S.Mariyappan
  • Theni.Murugesan
  • Theni Seerudaiyan
  • Alli Uthayan
  • Kamudurai
  • Muthu. Thanga Ayyappan
  • Kallipatti S. Kuppusamy
  • Theni.Pon.Ganesh
  • Dewan V. Selvam
  • S.Chinnaraja(Gandamanur)
  • Dinesh Narayanan
  • Jo.T [viswasapuram- bodi]
  • Aravathu Arivukku Appal Book Writer ARP.Manikkavasagam (Thevaram)


  1. ^ "2011 Census of India" (Excel). Indian government. 16 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f National Environmental Information System (India). "Environment Profile for Theni district". ENVIS. pp. 1–29. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  3. ^ M.Subramani M.A., M.Phil., P.G.D.J & M.C., D.L.L & A.L.,. "History of Theni District.". pp. history p1/2. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  4. ^ a b M.Subramani M.A., M.Phil., P.G.D.J & M.C., D.L.L & A.L.,. "History of Theni District.". pp. history p2/2. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  5. ^ a b p.29
  6. ^ Collectorate staff (2006-2007). "District Profile Theni District" (PDF). District Collectorate, Theni. pp. 1–15. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  7. ^ Collectorate staff (2006-2007). "District Statistical Handbook 2006-2007 Theni District" (PDF). District Collectorate, Theni. pp. 1–47. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  8. ^ p.15
  9. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  10. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Trinidad and Tobago 1,227,505 July 2011 est." 
  11. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. "New Hampshire 1,316,470" 

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