The Indian city of Thoothukudi is a port city as well as an industrial city in the state of Tamil Nadu. It lies on the Coromandel coast, overlooking the Bay of Bengal. It was earlier known as Tuticorin. It functions as the headquarter of the eponymous district. The Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited is headquartered at Tuticorin. Major educational institutions in the city include the Tamilnadu Maritime Academy, the Thoothukudi Medical College, the Fisheries College and Research Institute, the Government Polytechnic College and Anna University campus. The port in the city is one of the major and fastest growing ports in the country. The city is also considered to be one of the rising energy and industrial hubs of South India. The city is known for pearl fishing and is thus often called the "Pearl City." The city is believed to have a great historical past as it has been ruled by the various dynasties in the past including the foreign settlers like the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. The modern urban agglomeration of Thoothukudi has a population of more than 4 lakh. Most of the people of the city work in salt pans, fishing, sea-borne trading and tourism. There are 21 islands between Thoothukudi and Rameswaram that are regarded as Indias first Marine Biosphere Reserve which hosts around 36,000 species of flora and fauna. It is a protected area and is known as the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. There are many festivals organized in the area that are worth attending such as Our Lady of Snows Basilica festival, Sasti, Adi Amavasai and Chittirai chariot festivals.
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