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Muthupet
Muthupet
Location of Muthupet
in Tamil Nadu and India
Coordinates 10°24′N 79°30′E / 10.4°N 79.5°E / 10.4; 79.5
Country  India
State Tamil Nadu
District(s) Thiruvarur
Population 17,313 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Muthupet is a panchayat town in Thiruvarur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Contents

Demographics

As of 2001 India census[1], Muthupet had a population of 17,313. Males constitute 47% of the population and females 53%. Muthupet has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 65%.

Muthupet is a town in Tiruvarur District. It is located between Thirutturaipoondi and Pattukkotai, and around 360 km away from Chennai. The town lies adjacent to the Bay of Bengal and is located in the southernmost part of the Cauvery delta. Muthupet is bounded by Korayar and Bamaniyar rivers in east and west respectively. The rivers Koriayar and Pamaniyar join, near Muthupet, and there is a formation of lagoon, which is rich in all kinds of fish.

Muthupet is an ideal place for fishing, pearl hunting and bird hunting. It is well known for its fishing industries such as finfishes (Koduva), shrimps and crabs. A natural mangrove forest, (Alayathi Kadu,) is one of the largest of its kind in India.

Muthupet Railway Station is on the Karaikkudi-Tiruthuraipoondi line. (But now due to railway track modification, (Meter gauge to broad gauge) there is no direct train from Chennai to Muthupet.) Tamil Nadu State transport Corporation (TSTC)and private bus operates buses directly from Chennai to Muthupet via National Highway 45. Connecting buses are also available which arrives from neighboring cities such as Thanjavur, Pattukkotai, Mannargudi and Tiruvarur.

Industry

Muthupet is Famous for its coconut and fishing. The anicient occupation of the peoples here in muthupet is Fishing.

Muthupet Lagoon and Mangroves

Dense mangroves and their pencil roots in Muthupet Lagoon.JPG

Muthupet Mangrove Forest is located at the southern end of the Cauvery delta, covering an area of approximately 6,803.01 ha of which only 4% is occupied by well-grown mangroves. The rivers Paminiyar, Koraiyar, Kilaithankiyar, Marakkakoraiyar and other tributaries of the river Cauvery flow through Muthupet and adjacent villages. At the tail end, they form a lagoon before meeting the sea. The northern and western borders of the lagoon are occupied by muddy silt ground which is devoid of mangroves. The mangroves beyond Muthupet lagoon are discontinuously found along the shore and extended up to Point Calimere. Muthupet mangrove forest was under the control of Chatram Department from 1853 to 1912 (Chengappa, 1918). The Government of the Presidency of Madras Gazette (1937) shows, from 1923 to 1936, half of the revenue obtained from selling mangrove products was paid to the revenue department and the remaining half was spent to maintain the “Chatrams” (Charity homes). The Government declared the Muthupet mangrove forest as revenue forest in February 1937 and accordingly the mangrove forest was handed over to the forest department of the Madras Presidency.

The forest is maintatained by Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The entire mangrove forest is divided into Palanjur reserve forest, Thamarankottai reserve forest, Maravakkadu reserve forest, Vadakadu reserve forest, Thuraikadu reserve forest and Muthupet reserve forest.

Fringing mangroves, mudflat and in Muthupet Lagoon .JPG

The word 'lagoon' refers to the shallow salt or brackish water body that lies close to the sea. Muthupet reserve forest covers the lagoon, river creeks and the mudflats. Muthupet (mullipallam) Lagoon is a spectacular natural creation, which is 8 km from nearby Muthupet town and can be reachable only by boat. The lagoon is shallow with the average of 1m depth. The bottom of the lagoon is formed of silt clay substratum. The tidal fluctuations can be observed well with the exposure of oyster beds and roots during low tide.

The tidal fluctuations are playing a major role in dispersing the mangrove seeds. Dense mangroves mostly cover the lagoon shore. The islets are found on western side which are submerged during high tide. The salinity is the major environmental factor, controlling zonation of Muthupet mangrove forest. Avicennia marina is the conqueror of the forest which is found as a single dominant species.

Southern side (mud flat) separates the lagoon from adjacent sea that also leaves a permanent mouth of lagoon with seasonally opened shallow waterways. The width of mudflat is increased from lagoon mouth to the eastern direction. The mudflat looks like a desert in summer, but the presence of dead gastropods under the surface soil layer and the erosion of soil at the centre of mudflat reveal the submergence of mudflat during flood. There is a difference between the lagoon shore and seashore of the same mudflat, in the aspect of distance of mangroves from fluctuating water level.

A traditional canal fisher.JPG

The mangroves have grown close to water level in lagoon side but not in seashore. The reason may be the difference in the nature of fine clayey silt deposition that carried by the rivers. The salt marshes are found as under herb as well as lining the inner side of the forest. In the degraded central part of the mudflat, the soft fine silt is found only around the salt marshes. But, the remaining barren ground is hard (clay) which may due to the erosion of surface silt by wind or floodwater. Thousands of partially decomposed rooted trunks that found on the southeastern side of Muthupet lagoon are indicating the past, indiscriminate exploitation.

A bird in Muthupet.JPG

(100-150 m in width and 5-6 km in length). The density of mangroves in eastern side of Muthupet lagoon is comparatively lower than other areas. Tamil Nadu forest department has excavated several canals across the mudflat. Each main canal which enhances the water movement between sea and lagoon, has several sub canals on either side with an substantial number of mangrove seedlings. The western side is not straight a protruding land pocket has formed an islet like structure. This part of the lagoon lies near to Koraiyar river mouth with small mangrove patches.

References

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