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General Overview

In and around Karaikal there are many tourist important places, and holy Shiva and Vaishnava temples are situated which are all recorded in the holy books of Nayanmars and Alwars.


Ammaiyar Thirukulam

Many PLACES OF INTEREST are in the Karaikal region in the view of tourist and pilgrim. Apart from the followings:

There is small but beautiful place "Ammaiyar Thirukulam" in the heart of the town to spent relax in the evening. It is  sorrounded by Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple, Sri Nithyakalyanaperumal Temple and Sri Kalilasanathar Temple.

KARAIKAL AMMAIYAR, the only woman out of the 63 Nayanmars. 'Mangani' festival is celeberated every year during the month of June-July ie. the day of full moon day falls on 'Aani, a tamil month.

The traditional temple of LORD SANEESWARA (Saturn) at Thirunallar which is just 5 kms. away from Karaikal town. This is the only temple in the town dedicated to Lord Saturn and is well known throughout India.

The Karaikal sandy beach is one of the best natural beaches in the South Tamil Nadu. The beach has been given easy accessibility by widening the two kms. road along the Arasalar river and by illumination of the road with sodium vapour lamps. In addition to natural sandy beach, a boat jetty in the Arasalar, Childrens Park, Immovable sitting chairs along the roads, Vehicles Parking, Beach Restaurant, are also more attracting a heavy crowd of all kind of local peoples as well as of outside tourists.

THE FAMOUS PILGRIM/TOURIST CENTRES REPUTED AROUND KARAIKAL:
NORTH : Anandamangalam (Hanuman temple), Tharangambadi(Danish Fort), Thirukkadiyur, Poombukar, Sirkazhi, Chidambaram

NORTH WEST : Mailaduthurai, Vaithiswaran Koil, Sembonnar Koil (Holy temples) and all the `Navagragasthalngal' are around Karaikal.

WEST : Thirunakeswaram, Uppiliappan Koil, Ayyavadi, Kumbakonam,Swamimalai, Alangudi, Thirubuvanam, JayamKondam, Anaikarai, Kangaikonda Cholpuram, and other famous Navagiraga temples. Moreover, the world famous Thanjai Brahadeeswarar Temple is just 95 kms. away from Karaikal.

SOUTH WEST : Thirumarugal, Thiruchengattangudi, Thirukkannapuram,Thirupugazhur, Thiruvarur, Engan, and other famous temples.

SOUTH : Apart from the world famous Basilica of Velankanni Madha Temple and Nagore Dharga, Nagappatinam, Vedaranyam and all `Sabdavidangal'-the famous hindu temples are around Karaikal.

NOTABLE VILLAGES

AKALANKANNU: 9.4 Km. from Karaikal. It is famous for its water-works and temples. The water-works located here serve as the fountain-head bringing succour to the town of Karaikal.

KEEZHA KASAKUDY: 4 km. north of Karaikal. The famous Kasakkudi copper plates discovered in this village in 1879 by M.J. Delafon and ascribed to Nandivarman-II throw much light onthe high cultural level of the people who lived in this part of the country during the Pallava days. The Siva temple in the village is the principal centre of worship.

MELA KASAKUDY: 7 km. from Karaikal onthe Karaikal-Nedungadu road. Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple here, said to belong to the XII century, is protected as an ancient monument. Some of the stone carvings in the temple add to its monumental value.

KOTTUCHERRY: Sri Kodeeswaramudayar temple is the principal place of worship enjoying an ample income. A statue, a broken kuthuvilakku and some other vessels used for temple workship were enearthed from Perumalkoil maidan in this village on 28-03-1972. 5.7 km. from Karaikal North.

PONBETTI: The name Ponbetti is said to be the corruption of Ponbattri. It has also been suggested that Ponpattrikavalan Buddhamitran, the author of Veerachozhiam is a native of this village. This name indicates that he must have been a Buddhist by religion. Interestingly even the Old Siva temple in the village is built in the shape of a Buddha vihara.

PUTTAKUDI: This village is situated at a distance of about 7 km. from Karaikal. The name of the village suggests its possible early association with Buddhism. Interestingly a granite statue of Buddha was unearthed in the village some years ago. Puthamangalam and Agaraputhakudi are the names of two other villages in the region.

SETTUR: (Agarasethur, Pandaravadai Sethur). 10.9 km. and 11.39 km. respectively from Karaikal-Peralam road. Sri Prathapasimmeswarar temple which may be ascribed to the xiii or xiv century is a notable landmark of Agara Settur village. There are chola inscriptions in Sri Egambareswarer temple at sethur Pandaravadai which is now a protected monument under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India.

SORARKKDI: 7.8 km. from Karaikal. Sri Somanathaswamy temple and Sri Lakshminarayana perumal temple are two important landmarks of the village. The discovery of two bronze idols of antique value i.e. Sri Thiripurantaka of about 60 cm. height and Thiripurasungari of about 45 cm. height from Periathope near this village on 30-05-1971 seem to confirm its antiquity. the idols are now in the PONDICHERRY MUSEUM.

THIRUMALARJANPATTINAM: 5.4.km. from Karaikal. The representative of the Vijayanagar ruler Thirumalrayan built this town and reigned. His inscriptions are found at Thiruvanaikkaval, Thanjavur, Papanasam and Pattichuram. Poet Kalamegham served as court poet.

HINDU TEMPLES

AMBAGARATTUR: Second largest village, distance of 13.8 km. west of Karaikal-Peralam road. The famous Bhadrakaliamman temple. Twelve days annual festival celebrated during May-June attracts many thousands of devotees. The festival is accompanies by a fair to cater to the visiting throng. (Thirunallar Commune)

DHARMAPURAM: 1.8 Km. of west of Karaikal. Sri Yazhmurinatheeswarar temple, visited Saint Thirugnanasambandar, who sung a Pathigam (Thirumara III-Pathigam No.136). (Karaikal Commune)

KARAIKAL: Sri Uppilamaniar, Sri Kailasanathar, Nitya Kalyanaperumal, Karaikal Ammaiyar, SriParvatheeswaraswami Temple (Karaikovilpathu) and Sri Kothandaramaswami are famous. The Mangani festival is said to be celebrated for many centuries in the Karaikal Ammaiyar temple.

KARAIKOVILPATTU: This village referred to as THIRUTHELICHERRY in religious lores. It may then be assumed that this village must have been the abode of an important temple. This is one of the four places in Karaikal region visited by Saint Thirugnanasambandar who sang a pathigam in honour of Sri Parvatheeswaraswamy. Surasmaharam, Vijayadasmi, Kadaimuzhukku and Thiruvadhirai festivals are celebrated.

KARUKKALACHERRY: 3 Km. from Karaikal. Sri Karu Mariamman temple and Sri Vellai Vinayagamurthi temple are the centres of worship in the village.

KEEZHA KASAKUDY: 4 km. north of Karaikal. The famous Kasakkudi copper plates discovered in this village in 1879 by M.J. Delafon and ascribed to Nandivarman-II throw much light onthe high cultural level of the people who lived in this part of the country during the Pallava days. The Siva temple in the village is the principal centre of worship.

MELA KASAKUDY: 7 km. from Karaikal onthe Karaikal-Nedungadu road. Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple here, said to belong to the XII century, is protected as an ancient monument. Some of the stone carvings inthetemple add to its monumental value. The Vaikunda Ekadesi and Masi Magam festivals celebrated in this temple attract several hundred devotees from the surrounding villages. Thiruvathirai, Chithirai Pournami and Masi Magam festivals are celebrated in Sri Naganathaswamy temple.

KOTTUCHERRY: Sri Kodeeswaramudayar temple is the principal place of worship enjoying an ample income. A statue, a broken kuthuvilakku and some other vessels used for temple workship were enearthed from Perumalkoil maidan in this village on 28-03-1972. 5.7 km. from Karaikal North.

KURUMBAGARAM: Sri Lakshminarayanaperumal temple is the principal centre of worship where Vaikunta Ekadesi is celebrated with some measure of festivty. This village lies at a distance of 11.215 km from west of Karaikal. (Nedungadu Commune)

NALLAMBAL: 12.3 km. from Karaikal on the Peralam road. Sri Tantonreeswarar temple ascribed to the Chola period is an important landmark in the village. The outer walls of the temple carry many inscriptions which do not appear to have been published so far. There are also a few exquisitely carved granite statues inthe temple.

NEDUNGADU: 10.3 km. from Karaikal. The most sensational find of bronze images in the Territory was reported from this village in 1948. They included the images of Pillaiyar, Manickavasagar, Thirugnanasambandar, Skandan, Uma, Jnanasakti (a pair), Sivakamasundari, dancing Siva (Anandatandavam) besides a trident, a conche, a pair of sandals, a copper tripod and a plate. The Siva (Sri Tantonreeswarar) temple in the village was declared as a protected monument in 1971. The Thiruvadhirai festival in the Sivan temple and the annual festival at Sri Mariamman temple attracts a large number of devotees.

NIRAVI: 5.3 km from south of Karaikal. The village is noted for its temple of Sri Jambunathaswamy claimed to be about 300 years old. The thiruvathirai (December-January) and thirukkarthigai festivals (November -December) are celebrated in this temple Several hundred people take part in the thiruvathirai festival. Vaikunta Ekadesi is celebrated during December-January in the Kariamanickaperumal Temple.

ODUTHURAI: The annual festival celebrated in Sri Kaliamman temple.

SERUMAVILANGAI: 9.65 km from Karaikal. Sri Kailasanathar temple is the most important landmark here.

SETTUR: (Agarasethur, Pandaravadai Sethur). 10.9 km. and 11.39 km. respectively from Karaikal-Peralam road. Sri Prathapasimmeswarar temple which may be ascribed to the xiii or xiv century is a notable landmark of Agara Settur village. There are chola inscriptions in Sri Egambareswarer temple at sethur Pandaravadai which is now a protected monument under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India.

SORARKKDI: 7.8 km. from Karaikal. Sri Somanathaswamy temple and Sri Lakshminarayana perumal temple are two important landmarks of the village. The discovery of two bronze idols of antique value i.e. Sri Thiripurantaka of about 60 cm. height and Thiripurasungari of about 45 cm. height from Periathope near this village on 30-05-1971 seem to confirm its antiquity. the idols are now in the Pondicherry Museum.

THALATHERU: 4.6 km. north of Karaikal. Sri sivalaganathaswamy temple is the centre of worship where the celebration of the annual festival and masi magam evokes some popular interest.

THIRUMALARJANPATTINAM: 5.4.km. from Karaikal. The representative of the Vijayanagar ruler Thirumalrayan built this town and reigned. His inscriptions are found at Thiruvanaikkaval, Thanjavur, Papanasam and Pattichuram. Poet Kalamegham served as court poet.

JADAYUPUREESWARAR TEMPLE is said to be the oldest. Masimagam is the most important. Scenes from Ramayana are re-enacted with the help of wooden images during masi (February-March) festival. The temples of SRI ABIRAMIAMMAN, SRI RAGUNATHAPERUMAL, SRI VENKATESPERUMAL, SRI VIZHI VARADARAJAPERUMAL and SRI KAMAKSHIAMMAN are the other important places of worship inthe village. SRI AAYIRAM (THOUSAND) KALIAMMAN KOIL is another important famous temple. Once in every five year the booja with 1000 items of each articles is attracts devotees comming for from over Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry.

THIRUVETTAKUDI: 9.9 km. north of Karaikal. Sri Thirumeniazhagarswamy temple with its 45 feet tall gopuram is the most important landmark of the village. The presiding deity of the east facing temple is Lord Siva, known here as Sundareswarar and his consort Soundarya-nayagi. To the left of the prakaram is the shrine of Lord Ganesh and to the right are the shrines of Chandikeswarar, Durgai, Ayyanar, Soorya and Chandra. At the centre of the prakaram is the mahamandapam, fromwhere one may have a view of the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord inthe form a Lingam. Behind the sanctum sanctorum may be seen the shrines of Lord Subramaniar, Punnaivana-nathar and Mahalakshmi. The glory of the presiding deities of the temple has been sung by such great Saivite Saints as Thirugnanasambandar and Thirunavukkarasar.

THIRUNALLAR: 5 km. west of Karaikal. A Stalapurana published about this village. However, it is of interest to note that a granite statue of Buddha was discovered from a site belonging to Darbaranyeswarar temple in 1966. The place is otherwise famous because of the DARBARANYESWARAR TEMPLE situated. The one-piece emerald idol of the deity here is claimed to be the largest of its kind inthe country, while the image of Thiagar here is believed to be the outcome of divine handiwork; Hence it is also known as one of the `sabthavidangal'. SANI PEYARCHI festival is celebrated on a grand scale once every two and a half years attracts devotees from all over the country.

VANJIUR: The Rangayyasami Madam is situated in this village.

VIZHIDIUR: 9.20 km. east of Karaikal. Sri Vizhinadhaswamy (Siva) temple, said to belong to the Chola period, a monument of some importance which is dedicated to Lord Siva known as Vizhiandhaswamy and his consort Sri Vimalambigai. Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple in the village is another important landmark of the temple. This temple, said to belong to the Chola period is noted also for its stone carvings.

PLACES OF INTEREST (MUSLIMS)


Karaikal Durgha

KARAIKAL: Muslim festivals, the Kandoori festival in the Karaikal durgha is the most important. The festival is celebrated in honour of Syed Dawood, the muslim saint born at Bukkara, the capital of Turkistan. He came to India in search of his spiritual guide Halareth Syed Ahamed Kalkhel Diwan Oliulla of Trichirapalli, spent his last years in Karaikal and passed away on 24-02-1829 (i.e 1244 of the Muslim era) at the ripe age of 120 years. The body was entombed in the durgha at Karaikal where the annual Kandoori festival is celebrated. The festival which is marked by processions, music and dance is brought to a finale with an elaborate display of fire-works.


PLACES OF INTEREST (CHRISTIAN)


Lady Angels Church,Karaikal

KARAIKAL: The church of Our Lady of Angels built in 1891 is the chief place of worship for catholics in the town. The tettaravu madha festival is celebrated on the 15 of August every year. The festival commences with the flag hoisting ceremony on the 6 th August. On the 10th day, the statue of the Blessed Virgin, mounted on a beautifully decorated car, is taken out in procession along the main streets surrounding the church.

MELAKASAKUDI: One Roman Catholic church is here and celebrating 10 day annual festival in June.

ODUTHURAI: The naming festival of Child Jesus in St. Antony's Church is important for this villagers.