Thoothukudi Means :Thoorthu (Dig) and Kudi (Drink) `Thoortha` means land reclaimed from sea while `Kudi` stands for settlement in Tamil language. Tuticorin name was given by Dutch during their rule in this city. Today this city is called Thoothukudi in Tamil.
The major harbour of Thoothukudi is well known as a pearl diving and fishing centre. Thoothukudi, one of the oldest sea ports in the world, was the seaport of the Pandyan kingdom after Korkai and later was taken over by the Portuguese in 1548, captured by the Dutch in 1658, and ceded to the British in 1825. The lighthouse built in 1842 marked the beginning of the history of Thoothukudi harbour development.