Ramanathapuram district is a district of Tamil Nadu state with its administrative headquarters located at Ramanathapuram town. At the very beginning of the 15th century, the present district of Ramanathapuram with the taluks namely Tiruvadanai, Paramakudi, Kamuthi, Mudukulathur, Ramanathapuram and Rameswaram were under the rule of the Pandyan Dynasty. After some time in 1063 AD the place was captured by Rajendra Chola I and ruled over it for a short period of time. Then the Nayaks of Vijayanagar came who took over the area under their control in 1520 AD and ruled it for a long period. In 1741, the area was over powered by Marathas and later in 1744 AD the region became a part of Nizam rule. Finally in 1795, the British removed Muthuramalinga Sethupathy as a ruler and started to rule over the Ramanathapuram. In 1801 Mangaleswari Nachiyar was made the Zamindar of Sivagangai. After passing of Queen, the Marudhu Brothers took the charge by paying regular revenue to the East India company. In 1803 the Marudhu Brothers of Sivaganga revolted against the British in collaboration with Kattabomman of Panchalamkurichi. So, Colonel Agnew captured Marudhu Brothers and the hanged them and made Gowri Vallbah Periya Udaya Thevar as Zamindar of Sivaganga. When the downfall of Tippu Sultan was started, at that time British took the control and imprisoned the Nawab. In 1892, the Zamindari system came into an end and a British Collector was appointed for administration. Ramanathapuram as a separate district came into existence in the year 1910. During the period of British rule this district was popularly known as “Ramnad” until India got its independence in 1947. After independence it was renamed as Ramanathapuram.
Kamal Haasan, an illustrious Indian film actor, screenwriter, director, producer, playback singer, choreographer, lyricist, philanthropist and dancer who works mainly in the Tamil film industry was born on 7th November, 1954 at Paramakudi in the district. The Government of India honoured him with the prestigious awards like Padma Shri in 1990 and Padma Bhushan in 2014.
Geographically, the district lies at 10°99'N latitude, 76°98'E longitude and 2 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 6.13% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 4,104 sq. km. and it is bounded by Sivagangai district on the North, Pudukkottai district on the North East, Gulf of Mannar on the South, Palk Strait on the East and Thoothukudi district on the West. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 846.0 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 7 talukas namely Kadaladi, Kamuthi, Mudukulathur, Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram, Rameswaram and Tiruvadanai. Moreover, it comprises 17 towns and 393 villages. The administrative language in the district is Tamil.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 13,53,445 out of which 6,82,658 are males and 6,70,787 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 983 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 13.96% including 17.02% were males and 11.02% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 77.39% of the total population. The population density in the district is 330 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Tamil with 97.67%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 16,979 out of which 8,735 were males and 8,244 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,423 out of which 6,974 were males and 4,449 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, pulses, millets, cotton, groundnut, sunflower, gingerly, chillies, coriander, coconut, sugarcane, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is scantily industrialised but it has some industries of Pearl fishery, chank fishery and prawn farming. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 8,17,600 lakhs at current price and Rs. 5,30,338 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 17,39,662 lakh at current price and Rs. 12,35,825 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 91,799 at current price and Rs. 68,949 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 80.72% including 87.81% are males and 73.52% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 9,78,946 including 5,36,487 are males and 4,42,459 are females.
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, a distinguished scientist turned politician who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007 was born on 15th October, 1931 at Rameswaram in the district. He was honoured with several prestigious awards including the Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and many more.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Kurusadai Islands, one of the prominent tourist destinations in the Ramanathapuram district which is located towards the western part of the Pamban Bridge. It is a perfect marine biosphere which is often called as a paradise for the marine biologists and nature lovers as well. It is rich in marine wealth and for this very reason the island attracts numerous researchers and scholars. Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge, in the Ramanathapuram district connects the Rameswaram Island and the mainland is also popularly known as the Pamban Bridge. It is the longest Indian bridge that constructed over a bay. Some other places of interest in the district are Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary, Periyapattinam, Mandapam, Thiruppullani, Tiruvadanai, Dhanushkodi, Kilakarai, etc.