Karaikal Tourism

Karaikal Tourism

Karaikal Info

  • State: Pondicherry
  • Famous for/as: Beach
  • District: Karaikal
Karaikal is an ancient temple town situated along the eastern coast of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Karaikal is a popular destination of tourists as well as pilgrims. It is located on the Koramandel coast of the Bay of Bengal, at a distance of about 300 km from the south of Chennai and 135 km from Pondicherry.

Situated on the delta of the River Cauvery, Karaikal is the second largest among the four regions in the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Karaikal is bounded by Nagappattinam and Thiruvarur Districts of the southern State of Tamil Nadu.  

History of Karaikal

Karaikal is a place with rich cultural and religious history. This place has been mentioned in the ancient texts of Nayanmars and Alwars. Karaikal was known by the name Karaigiri in Sanskrit, which came from two words 'Karai' and 'Kal'. The town of Karaikal was under the rule of the Pallava dynasty during the 8th century AD. Sekkizhar, a renowned poet of the early 11th century, has mentioned about the town of Karaikal in his Peria puranam.  

The later historical records about Karaikal remain rather obscure until the 18th century. Then, Karaikal was an integral part of the Thanjavur Kingdom. In 1738, Dumas, a dignitary from France bargained with the Sahuji of Thanjavur for the town of Karaikal, Karakalcheri Fort and 8 villages under the its rule.

In the year 1739 the French took possession of Karaikal town from the King of Thanjavur. The French expanded their province later on by acquiring the surrounding villages from Pratap Singh, the successor to the throne of Thanjavur.

When the French surrendered to the British in 1761, the vast territory that the French possessed around Thanjavur came under the British rule. In accordance with the 1814 Treaty of Paris, the British gave the territory back to the French. Karaikal continued to be under French rule until 1954. Even today, the town retains a French flavour.

Things to do in Karaikal

Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple, Lord Saneeswara Temple at Thirunallar, Sri Dharbarenyeswaraswamy Temple, Badrakaliyamman Temple, Ayiramkaliyamman Temple, etc. are some of the prime pilgrim centres in Karaikal.  

The proximity of pilgrim destinations like Velankanni and Nagore also attracts tourists to Karaikal. The presence of the Lord Saneeswara (Saturn) Temple makes Karaikal a unique pilgrim destination.

Best time to visit Karaikal is during winters between November and February. 

Travelling to Karaikal

The nearest international airport to Karaikal is in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.  From Chennai to Karaikal the distance is around 300 km, while 7 to 9 hours by road. The other nearest airport is ay Trichy. 

The nearest railway station to Karaikal is at Nagore, which is 10 km away. Karaikal is directly connected to major cities of Tamil Nadu which include Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli, Thiruvarur, Velankanni and Nagapattinam.

Pondicherry Road Transport Development Corporation, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and private buses ply to Karaikal from major places of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu. Taxis, auto-rickshaws and local buses are available for local transportation.   

Accommodation options in Karaikal

There are numerous accommodation options in Karaikal. These include hotels ranging from budget to luxury catering to the needs of the travellers.

Best time to visit Karaikal in the next six months

  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January

Karaikal Traveller Reviews

Read 34 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.3/7, 1
out of 959 Karaikal reviews 34
Sort by:
Pritvi Kanchi

  • Expert
  • Pritvi Kanchi
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 128 Reviews
  •  422 helpful votes
  •  463853 readers

"A nice trip" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 7 days ago
I had been to Karaikal by train in April 2016. Karaikal is a must-visit in the tourism circuit of Modern Pondicherry. The must-visit attractions around Karaikal include the Sanishwaran Temple and the Karaikal Sandy Beach. The Shanishwaran temple is located around 5 kilometers from Karaikal and the presiding deity here is Shani.

This temple is located in a village called Thirunallar. The Karaikal Sandy beach is located on the banks of the Arasalar river and this location is very famous for both sunrise and sunset views. This location is also famous for water sports, children's park, tennis court and a beach restaurant. An added attraction to the visitors of this famous beach is a boat jetty where visitors can avail of pedal, rowing and motor boats.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Bathri Pandarinathan

  • Scout
  • Bathri Pandarinathan
  • Lives in Karaikal
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  1653 readers

"It's a holy town with lot of enjoyment"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Sep 4, 2015
It's a great holy town with lot of temples surrounding this destination. Also the beech is very good place here to enjoy. The saneeswara temple is just 5 kms from here. Nagore Durga is one of the most famous place for Muslims is just 12 kms from here. And also the world famous Annai Velankanni temple is just 25 kms from here.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.


  • Scout
  • Sudharsan
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1682 readers

"A great experience"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Aug 17, 2015
Great experience in Karaikal. Great darshan in the saneeswara bhagavan temple. Speechless. We came out with overwhelming happiness. Since it was a short trip we were not able to see all the other temples and places but otherwise whatever we have seen through was completely rememberable.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Harish Kumar

  • Scout
  • Harish Kumar
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 3 Reviews
  •  6 helpful votes
  •  3861 readers

"A must visit for a religious person"

  • 4.0/7
  • Posted Apr 4, 2015
Are you a religious or cultural oriented person then definitely you should visit here. It is the place which is associated with history and this town holds history of 500 more years where Gods were living. Scientifically proven temple of Lord Saneeswara that there is some radiation coming in this place at particular. You will appreciate if you are a science background person and that's why our ancestors asks us to wear black dress in this temple. Black absorbs 100%, hence to absorb this we wear black there.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.


  • Scout
  • Venkatesh
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 3 Reviews
  •  45 helpful votes
  •  9639 readers

"Peaceful Pilgrimage"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Mar 21, 2015
Karaikal is not only place to have a peaceful stay. It is a best place for people who have religious believes. People of all religion have places nearby to go and visit. Like Nagur dharga for Muslims, Velankanni for Christians, and Saneeshwaran temple for hindu deities. Also Karaikal beach and resort is there for entertainment.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Rakesh Sharma

  • Tourist
  • Rakesh Sharma
  • Lives in Karaikal
  • 3 Reviews
  •  19 helpful votes
  •  7058 readers

"An awesome place to spend time"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Oct 8, 2014
Superb temple, beach and Teppakulam, Thirunallaru Temple, Tranqbar tourism spot and many places. The boating was extraordinary and awesome. The Velanganni temple is also good.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Dr vijayakrishnan nair Nair

  • Explorer
  • Dr vijayakrishnan nair Nair
  • Heritage seeker
  • Lives in Thiruvananthapuram
  • 1 photo
  • 7 Reviews
  •  34 helpful votes
  •  18329 readers

"Karaikal... a nice vacation spot"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted May 23, 2014
Nice vacation spot. There are many famous religious places nearby. Also, there are beaches available for you to enjoy. I really had a good time. You can get trains easily to reach this place. And there are also many hotels in the area to help you stay and have a good time. The hotels are available at reasonable rates.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Mohammed ismail

  • Scout
  • Mohammed ismail
  • 2 Reviews
  •  4892 readers

"A religious heritage"

  • 4.0/7
  • Posted Feb 8, 2014
Karaikal is a good sea side city it beauty lies in its calmness. Karaikal is one of the four regions of the Union Territory of Pondicherry in India. It is the destination for those who seek solitude, leisure, serenity and piety. Known from times immemorial for its rich religious heritage, Karaikal is a 'must visit' for the pilgrim tourist and the religious minded. It is a peaceful destination off the beaten path of the South Indian tour Circuit.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.


  • Scout
  • Ramesh
  • 4 Reviews
  •  7128 readers

"Had a very good experience"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jan 16, 2014
The over all experience was very good. We have made a plan to to come back here with our friends.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Johnson T.

  • Scout
  • Johnson T.
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  5107 readers

"Nice Town"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted Nov 6, 2013
Karaikal is a small but nice town there are many historic temples in and and route this town. If you are planning to visit the Nava Graha temples then it is better to stay in this town and visit..
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 2 votes

Vasantha kumar Arasu Arasu Savithri Vasantha kumar, Arasu, Arasu and 1935 other people have been to Karaikal.
View their ratings...

Karaikal Sightseeing

Best time to visit Karaikal with family

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Karaikal Information