is one of the 38 districts of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The district was formed by bifurcation of Tirunelveli district on 20 October 1986. Thoothukudi is the capital and the main town of the district. The district is known for pearl cultivation, with an abundance of pearls being found in the seas offshore. It was formerly ruled by one of the oldest kingdoms in India, the Pandyan Dynasty with the port of Korkai through which trade with Rome happened. The archaeological site at Adichanallur holds the remains of the ancient Tamil civilisation.