Karaikal is naturally a pilgrim center. The total number of Hindu temples in the region is 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 the 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 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.
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.