"Rajapalayam" the name derived from 'Raja'-The community called Raja (Rajus) and 'Palayam'-in Tamil means a "cantonment on fort". Previously called as 'PALAYA Palayam', then 'Raju Palayam' and finally as 'Rajapalayam'. Rajapalayam is inhabited by people who came from the old Vijayanagaram state. Krishnadevaraya, the Maharaja of Vijayanagara Empire had sent five military commandos to Madurai Nayak kingdom to keep the law and order in the southern part of Nayaka kingdom at Sivagiri region. The Kshatriya Raju team under the leadership of Chinna Raja, a lineage decedent of the king of Vijayanagar belonged to Pasumpatti and other four brothers reached and established good for the Nayaka kingdom of Madurai. After then, they migrated to the south along with his followers and settled at kilarajakularaman(a nearby village of Rajapalayam) at the first instance and then moved their settlements to Palayapalayam in 1483 AD. When Vijayanagaram rule was established in Madurai, the descendents of the original emigrants were said to have served under the Chokkanatha nayak, king of Madurai (1659 -1682) who has recorded his appreciation of the service rendered by Chinna raja and his four sons and has granted 'Sasanam'(King's Free Grant/Charter) to establish a fort there.So the middle of 16th century, they constructed the Palayapalayam fort. Either after the battle of Talaikotta (1565) or on the eve of the same battle more Rajas migrated to the south from the Vijayanagar empire. They settled in Pudupalayam, western portion of Rajapalayam municipality and the town was expanded by purchasing lands from Vijayarenga chokkanatha nayak (1706 -1732).Rajapalayam was constituted as a united board in the year 1885. It became a panchayat board in the year 1930. Railway line was laid in the year 1927 and the town was electrified in 1937.
Western ghats passes through west part of the city (12 km from the city). A small hill called "Sanjeevi hills" located closely to the east part of the city.Thus the climate maintained constantly with the help of these land marvels throughout the year.
Main source water got from this mountain range with several water catchment areas. Water stored in the 6th mile Water reservoir.
Also the city surrounded by some major Lakes(Kanmaai) such as Kondaneri, Karungulam, Pirandaikulam, Sengulam Etc.. Government classified the Soil as Red loam.
The climate of the region is semi-arid tropical monsoon type. Temperature range is 20 °C to 37 °C.It has a high mean temperature
Initially, agriculture was the principal source of living for the people of Rajapalayam. In the mid 1900s, Rajapalayam gradually evolved into a thriving business community. "Rajapalayam Mills Limited" was the first spinning mill in this region to start industrial revolution in Rajapalayam. After this initiation was successful, the industrial revolution became very fast. Several years later, Rajapalayam Became 3rd largest Textile industrial hub of Tamil Nadu, followed by Coimbatore and Dindigul.
Rajapalayam mills ltd
Jayajyothi mills Ltd
Arumuga Spinning mills ltd
Vishnu shankar mill ltd
Sudarsanam spinning mills
Sree Karpagambal Mills ltd
Ramco spinners(100% EOU)
Subburaj Cotton mills
Sandhya spinning mills
In a last two decades, the city is famous for Bandage cloth, Woven cloth and nighties production which gives great contribution to export sector.
A neighboring town Chatrapatti(Virudhunagar Dist) is a vast player in producing Bandage Cloths(Technically Surgical Cotton cloth-Gauze)
Dhalavaipuram and Muhavoor a small towns producing Nighties with small scale industries.
They are the largest producers and exporters of Nighties in India, occupied number One position for long years.
According to 2011 census, Rajapalayam had a population of 130,442 with a sex-ratio of 1,014 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 11,604 were under the age of six, constituting 5,927 males and 5,677 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 13.51% and .09% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 77.87%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The city had a total of 37797 households. There were a total of 53,913 workers, comprising 380 cultivators, 3,676 main agricultural labourers, 1,375 in house hold industries, 45,223 other workers, 3,259 marginal workers, 34 marginal cultivators, 326 marginal agricultural labourers, 286 marginal workers in household industries and 2,613 other marginal workers.
As per the religious census of 2011, Rajapalayam had 94.53% Hindus, 3.48% Muslims, 1.75% Christians, 0.02% Sikhs and 0.21% following other religions.
National highway NH-208 of Tirumangalam to Kollam(Quilon) road passes through the city. This is a major main road which connects Madurai and interlinks all parts of country. The plan to modify/upgrade the Rajapalayam-Tirumangalam section as four way track is underway.
State highway SH-41 (Rajapalayam-Sankarankovil-Tirunelveli) links the major parts of extreme south Tamil Nadu like Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanniyakumari. The Road also serves a good freight connectivity to Tamil Nadu's 2nd largest Sea port Tuticorin. To serve better the road is now under upgradation.
State highway SH-186 (Rajapalayam-Vembakottai) connects east part of Virudhunagar dist which passes through Chatrapatti and Alangulam(fast growing industrial towns).
Rajapalayam has two bus stands to cater to the needs of the population. The old bus stand currently serves as the city bus stand. The new bus stand on Sankarankovil Road is where all the mofussil buses stop by. Government of Tamil Nadu's TNSTC(Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation) and some private transport companies like Jayavilas, KAYESR, Sakthi, etc. operating Buses majorly. Frequently services shuttle between Madurai and Rajapalayam via Srivilliputtur every five minutes. There are buses, every 15 minutes, from Rajapalayam to Tirunelveli travel via Sankarankovil and every 30 minutes to Aruppukottai via Srivilliputtur, Sivakasi & Virudhunagar and vice versa. Long route buses to Major cities well connected from this city to Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Trichy, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Mettupalayam, Sathyamangalam, Gobichettipalayam, Pondicherry etc..
Many Omni buses leave for Chennai & Bengaluru during nights. There are also the state-run SETC buses to Chennai & Bengaluru. Buses between Chennai/Bengaluru and Sengottai travel via Rajapalayam.
Rajapalayam Railway station is under Southern Railways zone/Madurai division of Indian Railways. Train# Train name Destination ARR DEP
The single line broad-gauge(un-electrified) lies between Virudhunagar to Kollam(Quilon) via Shengottai. The station code is RJPM.
The Virudhunagar-Rajapalayam section Gauge converted from Meter gauge to broad-gauge in 2003 and Rajapalayam-Tenkasi section Gauge converted in 2004.
Initially a passenger train operated to Virudhunagar and extended to Madurai and after gauge conversion completed at the RJPM-TSI the train extended to Tenkasi and Sengottai. The station serving with 3 platforms. To cater best service the station was upgraded with some added facilities such as Foot over bridge, Raised Platforms, Shelters.
A New Bi-Weekly express train to Chennai via Aruppukottai, Manamadurai, and Karaikudi "Silambu Express" (Train# 16181/16182) extended up to Sengottai. This is to give train access to Chennai for the newly converted broad gauge line Virudhunagar-Manamadurai section and to give additional train service to Chennai for Virudhunar-Sengottai section.
Trains at a glance
12661 Podhigai SF Exp Sengottai 07:07 07:09
16181 Silambu Express Sengottai 07:48 07:50
56732 SCT-MDU Passenger Madurai 08:18 08:20
56731 MDU-SCT Passenger Sengottai 08:58 09:00
56733 MDU-SCT Passenger Sengottai 13:18 13:20
56734 SCT-MDU Passenger Madurai 13:23 13:25
56736 SCT-MDU Passenger Madurai 17:09 17:11
16182 Silambu Express Chennai Egmore 17:20 17:22
56735 MDU-SCT Passenger Sengottai 18:47 18:49
12662 Podhigai SF Exp Chennai Egmore 19:33 19:35
The nearest International airport is Madurai Airport (~80 km). Madurai Airport is around 1hour 50 minutes from Rajapalayam. Jet Airways, Spicejet and Air India are operating daily flights between Madurai Airport and Chennai International Airport. and Hyderabad. Also flight in Sri Lanka and Dubai
Ayyanar Koil forest area is located 10 km west of Rajapalayam on the eastern slope of Western Ghats. The forest area has many of streams, waterfalls, springs and a temple. Hiking in this forest area is one of the main recreations for Rajapalayam residents. Rajapalayam Water Reservoir, which provides water to the entire city, is situated en route to Ayyanar Falls. Rajapalayam Dam and Rajapalayam Water Treatment Plant are also situated adjacent to the Rajapalayam Water Reservoir. The water supply and distribution system are by natural gravitational force without Motor pumps.
Vallakattu Karuppasamy temple is situated en route to Ayyanar Kovil right in the middle of forest. Lord Karuppu Samy is one of the 21 associate folk-deities of Ayyanar. This temple is located next to 6th Mile Dam that supply water to Rajapalayam township.This temple is one of the most famous in this area. The deities Lord Karuppasamyare is decorated with a golden kavacham on every fullmoon night. Every Saturday the worshippers who visit the temple are provided with food. There is an ayalya tree and those whose stars(according to the Hindu belief, based on the day time and year of birth)come under the ayalya star worship this tree with milk (milk abishekam)to have a patient life.
Sanjeevi Hills is a small hill situated in south-west Rajapalayam en route Chatrapatti area.The Murugan Temple is at top of the hill. Karthigai Deepam lit on the top spot on thirukarthigai day of every year. The calm and serene ambiance makes it a favorite spot for tourists. Tradition recounts that in order to save the unconscious Lakshmana, Hanuman, the monkey god carried the entire Sanjeevi Hills with the herbal plants to Sri Lanka and threw it away afterwards. It is said that the thrown down hill is the Sanjeevi Hills.
Poosapati Sanjeevi Kumarswamy Raja [P.S.Kumarasamy Raja] (1898–1957) was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Madras Presidency), India from 6 April 1949 to 10 April 1952.