This important port during the Chola period (10th 11th century) attracted traders from far off lands. The Portuguese had commercial links with Nagappattinam during the Tanjore Nayak rule. Later on, the Dutch became powerful and established their supremacy here.
Nagore (5 kms.)
It is famous for the sacred dargah (tomb) of a Muslim Saint, Hazrat Meeras Sultan Syed Shahabdul Hameed. The dargah has beautiful domes and minarets and attracts devotees from all religious faiths and beliefs. Kandhuri festival during Oct. – Nov. is very popular.
Sikkal (5 kms.)
The Sikkal Shri Singaravelan temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the important religious centers of the State. Lord Murugan, the son of Shiva is worshipped here in his popular form of Singaravelan.
Tarangambadi (Tranquebar) (35 kms.)
It was once the site of a Danish settlement and has relics of the Dansborg fort built-in 1620, by Ore Gedde, commander of the Royal Danish Navy. The places of interest include the Church of Zion, The Gate, Masilamaninathar Temple, Rehlings Gard, etc.
Karaikal (15 kms.)
The former French enclave is a part of Pondicherry Union Territory. It still retains a distinctly French flavor and is a popular Hindu pilgrim site.
Thirunallar (5 kms.): It is well known for the Shiva temple, which is regarded as one of the ‘Sapthvidanga’ Thalamus. The unique temple of Lord Saneeshwara (Saturn), here is only one of its kind in the country.
Kodikkarai (Point Calimere) (68 kms.)
The bird sanctuary here sprawls over an area of 17 sq. kms., comprising of wetland jutting into the Palk Strait. Migratory water birds like teals, shovellers, terns, plovers, sandpipers, and herons, etc. come here during the winters. One can reach Kodikkarai by bus from Vedaranyam, which is linked to Nagapattinam and Thanjavur.
Vedaranyam (Thirumaraikkadu) (55 kms.)
The sacred site is known for the Vedaranyewarar temple, which is one of the ‘Sapatha Vidanga Thallams’ It is also associated with ‘Salt Sathyagraha”‘.
Velanganni (14 kms.)
The famous Roman Catholic church here is dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Good Health’. Devotees from all religious faiths visit the church, many donating gold and silver models of cured body parts. A major festival is held in Aug. – Sept.