Velankanni is also spelled as Vailankanni or Velanganni, is a Parish under Tanjore Roman Catholic Diocese and a Panchayat town in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a small town located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.
Once a port that traded with Rome and Greece, the tiny commercial center gradually lost its importance to the larger Nagapattinam. The canal built to link that city with Vedaranyam still lies to the west of Velankanni. The Vellayar, a minor branch of the Cauvery River, runs on the south of the village and flows into the sea.
September 8 is commemorated as the Feast of Our Lady of Good Health. The celebration starts 29 August and ends on the day of the feast. The feast day prayers are said in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Konkani, Hindi and English.
Velankanni is prominent as a tourist destination and is given the nickname of “Lourdes of the East” because like Lourdes in France, there is also a great influx of pilgrims in to the place. Tourists in thousands come and visit the church of Mother Mary. It has almost become the synthesis and the vital destinations of all Marian Sanctuaries located in the world.
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