General Information :
Karaikal is one of the four regions of the Union Territory of Puducherry. It is surrounded by the Nagappattinam and Thiruvarur Districts of Tamil Nadu State. It is about 300 Kms. south of Chennai and about 135 Ks. from Pondicherry on the East Coast.
From Times immemorial, Karaikal has been known for its rich religious heritage. It is an ideal place for those who like to seek solitude, leisure and serenity on the shore. With rivers and beaches it is, ntoushed by tourists. The French flavour still persists the peaceful land of Karaikal. The pilgrim tourist visiting Tamil Nadu never fail to include this temple town in their itinerary.
- Area : 161 Sq. Kms.
- Population : 2 00 222 (2011 Census)
- Climate : Trophical
How To Reach ?
The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli, 168 Kms. away
: Karaikal is connected by rail to
- Chennai (Train No.16175),
- Thanjaur (Train No.76812),
- Tiruchirapalli (Train No.56714, 06852),
- Velankanni(Train No.76818),
- Ernakulam (Train No.16188),
- Bangalore(Train No.56514) and
- Mumbai (Sunday Only- Train No.11017).
Karaikal is connected directly from
- Thirunallar – 5 kms. (Towards West)
- Kumbakonam – 64 kms. (Towards West)
- Thanjavur – 103 kms., (Towards West)
- Tiruchirappalli-168 kms., (Towards West)
- Coimbatore (Towards West)
- Erode (Towards West)
- Chidambaram- 64 kms., (Towards North on ECR)
- Puducherry-135 kms., (Towards North on ECR)
- Chennai-294 kms., (Towards North on ECR)
- Nagore-10 kms., (Towards South on ECR)
- Nagappattinam-17 kms.(Towards South on ECR)
- Velankanni-26 kms., (Towards South on ECR)
- Thiruvarur-40 kms.,(Towards Southwest)
- Mayiladuthurai-40 kms.(Towards Northwest)
Puducherry Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), Tamil Nadu State Express Transport Corporation (TN-SETC) and other private buses are flying over the above routes. Taxis, Auto rickshaws, mini buses, Town buses are also available for Local transportation. VOLVO, Ultra Delux from PRTC and TNSTC and omni buses are also run for pleasure travels to Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum etc.
|FROM||VIA [ * Direct Route ]||DISTANCE (Approx.)||HOURS (By Bus)|
|CHIDAMBARAM||SIRKALI, POOMBUHAR ARCH, AKKUR, THIRUKKADAIYUR, TARANGAMBADI-KARAIKAL [*]||57 KMS.||2|
|CHIDAMBARAM||SIRKALI, VAITHEESWARAN KOIL, MAYILADUTHURAI, AKKUR, THIRUKKADAIYUR, TARANGAMBADI-KARAIKAL||62 KMS.||2:30|
|CHIDAMBARAM||SIRKALI, VAITHEESWARAN KOIL, MAYILADUTHURAI, KOLLUMANGUDY, NEDUNGADU, THIRUNALLAR-KARAIKAL||60 KMS.||2:30|
|CHIDAMBARAM||SIRKALI, VAITHEESWARAN KOIL, MAYILADUTHURAI, KOLLUMANGUDY, NEDUNGADU – KARAIKAL||60 KMS.||2:30|
|CHIDAMBARAM||SIRKALI, VAITHEESWARAN KOIL, MAYILADUTHURAI, PERALAM, THIRUNALLAR-KARAIKAL||65 KMS.||2:45|
|NAGAPPATTINAM||NAGORE, TR.PATTINAM -KARAIKAL [*]||18 KMS.||0:45|
|KUMBAKONAM||THIRUNAGESWARAM, KOLLUMANGUDY, NEDUNGADU-KARAIKAL [ * ]||64 KMS.||2:30|
|MAYILADUTHURAI||KOLLUMANGUDY, NEDUNGADU-KARAIKAL||40 KMS.||1:00|
|MAYILADUTHURAI||KOLLUMANGADY, PERALAM, THIRUNALLAR-KARAIAKL||45 KMS.||1:15|
|MAYILADUTHURAI||SEMBANARKOIL, AKKUR, THIRUKADAIYUR, THARANGAMBADI-KARAIAKL||42 KMS.||1:20|
|THANJAVUR||NIDAMANGALAM, THIRUVARUR, NAGAPPATTINAM, NAGORE-KARAIKAL||100 KMS.||3:00|
|THIRUVARUR||SANNA NALLUR, THITTACHERRY, TR.PATTINAM-KARAIKAL||35 KMS.||1:00|
Boarding and Lodging :
Comfortable and affordable accommodations are provided to the tourists coming to Karaikal through the Govt. Tourist Home, Kovilpathu and Yatri Nivas, Thirunallar. Accommodations are provided to the the high dignitaries and ministers of State & Central Government at the Govt. Guest House, Collectorate, Karaikal. Both rooms and suits are also available in Arasalar Guest House, Beach Road. maintained by the Public Works Department.
GOVT. TOURIST HOME / MOTEL / VIP SUITE / GUEST HOUSES
|Name of the Office||Designation||Phone||Remarks, if any.|
|DEPT. OF TOURISM||ASSISTANT DIRECTOR||222177||Contact for any tourism information.|
|Govt. Tourist Home,
(Near Bus Stand) Koilpathu,Kkl
|Receptionist||222621||Boarding Only. A/C(5 Nos.) & Non-A/C (6 Nos.) Delux rooms (6 Nos.) available|
|Secretary to the collector||222444||ONLY FOUR NO. OF SUITS AVAILABLE FOR VVIPS|
|PWD GUEST House, Beach Road||Receptionist||220531
[A/C, NON-A/C & SUITS ARE AVAILABLE]
|Thirunallar Devasthanam Tourist Home, Thirunallar..||EXECUTIVE OFFICER||236530 [O]||Lodging Only|
|Yatri Nivas||Assistant Director||222177||Lodging Only (Double Bedded-5 Nos.), dormitory (8-Bedded 2 Nos.)|
|Seagulls [ GOVT OF Puducherry.UNDERTAKING],
What to See ?
Karaikal is naturally a pilgrim centre. The total number of hindu temples in the region are said to be 99. 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.
Out of 274, Four Places in Karaikal which are visited by the Saivite Saints (Nayanmarhal, In Tamil) and sung Pathigam in honour of Lord Siva.
DHARMAPURAM – Sri Yazhmurinatheeswarar temple – 1.8 Km. of west of Karaikal.
THIRUNALLAR – Sri Darbaranyeswarar Devasthanam – 5 km. west of Karaikal.
KOVILPATTU( THIRUTHELICHERRY) – Sri Parvatheeswaraswamy – Near Bus stand, Karaikal.
THIRUVETTAKUDI – Sri Thirumeniazhagarswamy temple – 9.9 km. north of Karaikal.
Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple
is at Karaikal, dedicated to a celebrated woman Siva Saint ‘Punithavathi’ and subsequently elevated to the status of a goddess. KARAIKAL AMMAIYAR, the only woman out of the 63 Nayanmars.
During the month of June and July (ie. Aani, a tamil month – Full Moon Day) the Mangani Festival is celebrated.
There is small but beautiful place “Ammaiyar Thirukulam” in the heart of the town to spent relax in the evening. It is embedded with Sri Somanathar -cum-Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple, Sri Nithyakalyanaperumal Temple and Sri Kalilasanathar Temple.
Lord Sri Dharbaraneswara Swamy Temple :
Lord Saturn is housed in the famous Lord Darbaneswara temple at Thirunallar, 5 Kms. west of Karaikal Town. This temple also has an ‘Emerald Lingam’ (Symbol of Lord Shiva).
This is the only temple that is dedicated to Lord Sanior Saturn. When the planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs, literally millions throng this shrine. The legendary King Nala is said to have been relieved of his afflictions, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worship in this temple. Of the numerous tanks theertams, the Nala theertam is the most important one. By bathing here, it is believed that one is washed off all kinds of misfortune and afflictions.
Mastan Syed Dawood dargah
at Karaikal is dedicated to the memory of descendant of the prophet who came to Karaikal from Beughara.
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.
Our lady Angels church
Our Lady Angels Church built in 1891 is the chief place of worship for catholic 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.
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.
Like to Taste and Available :
Kola fish is most delicious and is available in plenty in the deep sea off Nagapattinam and Karaikal coasts during April to July. `Kola’ is fished only during late night hours.
Vendors and people wait for the fishermen in the coast in the night hours to buy fresh fish, which is a type of tiny and shiny species. It has to be cooked on the day it is bought or else its real taste would be lost.
According to the fishermen, there is always good demand for the `Kola’ fish. In early days, the fishemen who ventured into the sea by catta-maram for more than a day to catch the demanded fish.
Tourists are showing very much interested to purchase ALWA in Karaikal.
Interesting Around :
Tarangambadi Dans burg Fort
Tharangambadi or Tranquebar where the dancing waves sing eternally. Masilamani nathar (Shiva) temple was built here in 1306, in a land given by Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I. It is a Danish settlement with an ancient fort which is known as Fort Dansborg, construction started in 1620. It is a place where the first printing press in India was established in 1714 and printed the new testaments in Tamil. It is located in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu and 13 Kms. away from north of Karaikal.
Sri Maha Saraswathi Temple
The Maha Saraswathy Amman temple (the only temple for Saraswathy amman in South India) is located at koothanur (near Poonth thootam) and about 25 kms. west of Karaikal town.
Koothanur is the birthplace of the Tamil poet Ottakoothar.There is another reason for the name of this place which is King Rajaraja Cholan gifted this village for koothan’s poem because he is a great poet. So this village is called Koothan + oor =Koothanur.
In India, Koothanur became an important tourist spot. Vijayadhasami festival is celebrated in Koothanur which is one of the most important festivals in this temple. Before appearing the examinations or admission of schooling, the pupils are paid a visit and worship the learning goddess Maha Saraswathy for their success.
Nagore Andavar Durgah :
This is one of the biggest Muslim Pilgrim Centre in India and is located 13 Kms. south of Karaikal. It is located in Nagore of Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu.
Shrine Annai Velankanni Church :
It is a famous Christian Pilgrim Shrine, 26 Kms. away from Karaikal. It is located in Velankanni of Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu.
Velankanni has one of the country’s biggest Catholic Pilgrimage Centre, the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health. Devoted to Our Lady of Good Health, it is popularly known as the “Lourdes of the East”. Its origins can be traced back to the 16th century.
Annually, 20 million pilgrims flock to the shrine from all over India and abroad, out which an estimated 3 million people visit the shrine during its annual festival from 29 August to 8 September. The 11-day annual festival concludes with the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of Mary on 8 September.
Sri Amirthakadeswarar – Sri Abirami Amman Alayam, Thirukkadaiyur
Thirukkadaiyur (Thirukadavur) is a temple town on the east coast of Tamil Nadu, about 265 Kms. south of Chennai and 20 km north of Karaikal. The famous Amrithakateswarar – Abirami Temple of Tirukkadaiyur is associated with the legends of Markandeya and Abirami Pattar, which is a replica. The original temple, Thirukkadaiyur Mayanam now called Thirumeignanam.This is one of the holy places of Saivism today.
The Ayulya Shanthi Homams like Shastiapthapoorthi (at the age of 60 years), Bhimaradha shanthi (at the age of 70 years), 80th birthday (at the age of 80 years) are very famous here.
Sri Meganadha Swamy – Sri Lalithambigai, Thirumeeyatchur.
Sri Meganadha swamy is a Hindu temple located at Thirumeeyachur in Tiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu, India and 26 K.ms . away from Karaikal towards West. The presiding deity is Shiva. He is called as Meganathaswami. His consort is known as Lalithambika. Mother Lalithambika is all powerful and Lalitha Sahasranamam also writing this temple.