THIS BEAUTIFUL coastal town, one of the six sacred abodes of Shiva’s son, Murugan has the impressive ubramanyam Temple. Dating to the 9th century, it was renovated in the 20th century. The temple, entered through the towering Mela 8opura, is built on a rocky promontory overlooking the Gulf of Mannar, and provides lovely views. On the seashore are some caves and rock-cut sculptures.
ENVIRONS: Manapad, 18 km (11 miles) south, has one of the oldest churches in India, the Church of the Holy Cross. Built in 1581, it preserves a fragment of the “True Cross”, brought from Jerusalem. An annual festival held every September attracts pilgrims from all over the region. St Francis Xavier visited this coastal village in 1542.