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Uvari is a coastal village with about 3,000 households and a population of 10,000in the Tirunelvelimarker district in the state of Tamil Nadumarker in Indiamarker.It is 75 km from Tirunelvelimarker and 45 km from Kanyakumarimarker.

Economy

Statue of Saint Anthony of Padua
The main occupation is fishing.Many of the men work as sailors, contributing to the local economy.This is a separate Panchayat village, which is beautiful and modern in nature.Uvari has four schools, which are run by the local parish church, a hospital run by nuns, a bank and a post office.

History and Religion

Kappal Matha Church


In ancient Tamil history, the people were called Paravas of the Neithal (ocean) land.The sister town of this village is known as Kezha Uvari which is famous for an ancient Shiva temple, Sri Suyambulingaswamy Thirukovil. Today little is left except the remnants of gate arches carved out of rock and an abandoned temple, a little away from the newly constructed main temple.

More recently, in the 1530s, Portuguesemarker and Spanishmarker missionaries from Goamarker had a strong influencewhen the Paravas converted to Christianity en masse.The priests, acting as godfathers, gave surnames such as Fernandes to most of the villagers.

According to local tradition, the crew of a Portuguese ship sailing near Uvari about 450 years ago contracted cholera.In an attempt to avert death, the ship's carpenter carved an image of Saint Antony of Padua from a block of wood.Soon after, the entire crew regained its health.When the ship docked at Uvari, the sailors set up the statue inside a hut in the village.In the 1940s, the villagers built a church with the original statue of St. Anthony holding the infant Jesus in his hand on the altar.St Anthony is said to perform many miracles daily, and Uvari is visited by pilgrims of different religionsfrom all over South India.

The Kappal Matha Church (our lady of health), with the form of a ship carrying an airplane, is also well known and worth a visit.The original church of St. Mary was damaged by sea erosion, and replaced by this one built in 1974.There are three shrines and many grottos.

Present situation of Uvari

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