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The Thamirabarani River (also spelt Tamaraparani,Tamiraparani or Thamiravaruni, Tamil: தாமிரபரணி) originates from the famous Agastyarkoodam peak in the hills of the Western Ghats above Papanasam in the Ambasamudram taluk and flows through Tirunelveli & Tuticorin districts of the Tamil Nadu state of southern India. It was called the Tamraparni River in olden days and it is also associated with Sri Lanka. Contents[hide] * 1 Etymology * 2 Geography * 3 Ancient history * 4 Origin of Tamiraparani * 5 Tributaries * 6 Irrigation * 7 Course and tributaries * 8 Tamirabarani river system * 9 Notes * 10 External links|  Etymology
The Thamirabarani contains traces of copper, hence its name (Thamiram means copper in Tamil). The copper content gives it a distinct reddish shade. The river has also been historically known as Porunai. Thamaraparani in Tamil is ThAn Marantha Para Nir means the river which spreads forgetting itself.  Geography
It originates 1,500 metres above sea-level on a part of the Annamalai range on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats in the Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, near the peaks of Aduppukkal Mottai, Agastya Malai and Cherumunji Mottai. The headwaters of the Thamirabarani River are at 8°35′32″N 77°16′12″E. It flows generally east and enters the Gulf of Mannar of the Bay of Bengal near Punnaikayal. The 40 metre panatheertham waterfalls are located close to the origin of the main river. The Papanasam Reservoir is 16 km downstream. It is fed both by monsoons and by its tributaries. In the year 1992, there was an unexpected flood in Thamirabarani, which claimed hundreds of lives. The river is mentioned in existing ancient Sangam and Tamil texts. There is an ancient script written as Thamirabarani mahathmiyam  Ancient history
Spelt differently as Tampraparani, Tamraparni, Tamiravaruni, etc., the river is mentioned as the Porunai nathi in Tamil poetic literature. It gets recognition and is referred to as the renowned one in Sanskrit literature references to which are as old as that of the Puranas and Epics. The meaning and origin of the name Tamiraparani is reasoned out differently. Bishop R. Caldwell, in his book, A History of Tinnevelly discussed the various interpretations of the word ‘Tamiraparani’ at length. According to him the meaning of the name Tamiraparani in itself is sufficiently clear, but its application in this connection is far from being self-evident. Tamara means, red, parani means parana, a tree which has leaves. Tamiraparani might, therefore mean a tree with red leaves, but, this is a strange derivation for, the name of a river and the ideas naturally suggest itself that some events or legends capable of explaining the name lies beyond. He further discussed the similarity of the name Tamiraparani and of the old name of the present Sri Lanka which was called in olden days as Tambrabane and tried to find out the political, cultural and anthropological intercourse of the land of the river with that island. He concludes that it seems more natural that Tamiraparani, the tree with the red leaves should have been first the name of a tree, then of a town, then of a district and then of a river (it being not uncommon in India for villages to adopt their names from remarkable trees). Some scholars interpret the name Tamiraparani as Tamiram (Copper) + Varuni (stream or river). They ascribe this origin as the bed of the river is of red soil and when the water flows on the red soil it gives a copper like appearance. The Greeks of the Ptolemy’s time refer to this river as Solen.  Origin of Tamiraparani
The Tamiraparani originates from the peak of the Periya Pothigai hills of the Western Ghats above Papanasam in the Ambasamudram taluk. The great river like the Cauvery, but unlike most of the other Indian rivers, is fed by both the monsoons – the south west and...