Karaikal Tourism

Karaikal Tourism

Karaikal Info

  • State: Pondicherry
  • Famous for/as: Beach
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.
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Most preferred by...

Travellers from Chennai, Salem

Best time to visit Karaikal in the next six months

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Karaikal Traveller Reviews

Read 29 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.3/7, 1
out of 451 Karaikal reviews 29
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Rakesh Sharma
  • Rakesh Sharma
  • Lives in Karaikal
  • 3 Reviews

"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.
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Dr vijayakrishnan nair Nair
  • Dr vijayakrishnan nair Nair
  • Heritage seeker
  • Lives in Thiruvananthapuram
  • 1 photo
  • 7 Reviews

"Karaikal... a nice vacation spot"

  • 7/7
  • 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.
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Mohammed ismail
  • Mohammed ismail
  • 2 Reviews

"A religious heritage"

  • 4/7
  • 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.
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  • Ramesh
  • 4 Reviews

"Had a very good experience"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Jan 16, 2014
The over all experience was very good. We have made a plan to to come back here with our friends.
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Johnson T.
  • Johnson T.
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews

"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..
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  • 2 votes

  • Balu
  • 3 Reviews

"Beautiful religious town"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted Oct 8, 2013
Karaikal is a small but nice town. There are many historic temples on route and in the town itself. If you are planning to visit the Navagraha temples then it is better to stay in this town and visit all the temples. Karaikal is a very good tourist attraction and a religious destination.
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K satyanarayana  Murthy
  • K satyanarayana Murthy
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 5 Reviews

"Amazing Karaikal!"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted Oct 6, 2013
Karaikal has a lot to offer for all ages. Beaches, fort, temples, churches and also famous dargah at Nagore. Though we had wished, we could not visit the holy dargah. We could complete our dream of visiting Annai Vailankanni Church at Vailankanni. Sikkil singaravelan temple and tirunallar temple are worth visiting and are very holy.

Try the masala vadai, banana bhajia and cutting chai at karikal bus stand.
We were out most of the time, used to get up very early get ready and head out. Visited lot of temples at Nagapattinam (Neelayudakshi temple, Soundararaja Swamy Perumal ( a very handsome idol of lord vishnu), Sikkil Singaravelan temple of lord Muruga and Nellukadai Mariamman temple. Half an hour travel from Karaikal will take you to Tirukkadavvur (goddess Abhirami ) temple . You can also visit Keezhaperumpallam (ketu) and Tiruvenkadu (Buddha) temples also.
Do visit the dutch fort at trancobar,
Best mode of transport is by bus as Tamilnadu and Pondicherry have a very good network of buses.
Had a great time !!!
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  • 1 vote

Appar	 Sukumar
  • Appar Sukumar
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 5 Reviews

"Temple trip"

  • 5/7
  • Posted Sep 21, 2013
We feel relaxed because we planned the time according to our comfort. We went to navagraha temples, annai velankanni church and nagoor dharga.
we started from home town (chennai) to mayiladuthurai by train and we started from mayiladuthurai by booking a cab. Went to vaitheeshwaran temple (chevvai sthalam).14kms from mayiladuthurai since it is early morning crowd is very less. Then we went to thirnvengadu (bhudan sthalam) temple.15kms from vaitheeshwaran temple. The temple is located in very large area. We then went to keezhaperumpallam (kethu sthalam) temple small village and small temple. By the time we reached abhishegam was in progress. It was a good experience. Then we go to kanjanoor ( sukran sthalam) temple followed by suriyanaar temple( suriyan sthalam). Both sukran and suriyan temples are very near to each other. We then went to Thirunageshwaram and took a breakfast then we went to temple. at that time raaghukala pooja is performed we participated. and also we went to uppiliappan temple. Then we went to alangudi (guru sthalam) temple by the time we reach almost closing time(12:30pm) but we managed to get a dharshan.Then we went to kumbakonam & took a lunch then we travel to thingaloor (chandran sthalam) temple. It take almost 1hr to reach and we wait for 1hr to open the temple. It is a small village. after get a dharshan. Then we went to thirunallar (sani sthalam) temple. Since that day is saturday the crowd is high.Then we reach to karaikal and stayed in kumaran guest house. On next day morning. We took breakfast and by bus we reach nagoor dharga and we went to annai velankanni church by bus. after performing dharshan. we returned to karaikal and took a train to reach chennai. It is overall a good experience.
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  • Ganesh
  • 2 Reviews

"One of the good city"

  • Posted Jul 9, 2013
Karaikal is one of the wonderful city in pondechery . Big, nice beach available there. Karaikal port also near from city , lot of old shiva temples in city & near area . Vellangani beach also near from here.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: you are getting only south Indian food here.

Activities & things to do: Enjoy

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: you can go by bus from chennai or banglore.
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Nasar Thuvan ismail
  • Nasar Thuvan ismail
  • 2 Reviews

"karaikal is superb place. Evening..."

  • Posted Jun 27, 2013
karaikal is superb place. Evening breeze is good
no power cut. Can't forget the stay at karaikal
From trichy trains are available.Via Tanjavur. It is only of about 4hrs

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Beach is ok Worth visit Matha church at velankanni, Nagoor Dargah and Sani Bhagavan temple

Activities & things to do: GO for evening stroll

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: From Trichy go by train.
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Veravalavan Preethi K Ganesh Veravalavan, Preethi, K and 808 other people have been to Karaikal.
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Karaikal Sightseeing

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