Karaikudi is a municipal town located in Sivagangai district of the state of Tamil Nadu. The houses in this town are constructed using the limestone that is called ‘karai veedu’ in local language. Some people also believe that the town got its name from the plant of ‘Karai’ which is found in abundance in the place. Not much is known about its history, since the earliest temple dates back to 1800 CE.
the Chettiar community makes the majority of the population of the town. They have helped shape the town and brought it into prominence by building educational institutes, funding banks, constructing temples and celebrating festivals in the traditional ways. They have also brought about social reforms.
To make Karaikudi self sufficient in every way, Vallal Alagappar, who belonged to the Chettiar family, established the Alagappa University in the place and this university has a good nationwide ranking. Its Engineering college is first class and it also has courses in Arts, Fine Arts, Sciences and Humanities.
Apart from having some of the best educational institutes in the country, Karaikudi is also a hot-spot among the film-makers of the south. Many south Indian movies have been shot in the town after the AVM studio was opened in the town by A.V.Meyyapa Chettiar. Some of the best movies of south India have been shot in the studios at Karaikudi.
Koppudai Amman Temple
Koppudai Amman Temple in Karaikudi is a very famous temple of South India and is very popular among devotees. Many people suffering from various diseases of the skin, infertility issues or marriage-related problems throng to the temple in large numbers. According to a legend, it is believed that praying at the temple can help solve your problems.Those who are suffering from health related issues also come to this temple to pray for their better health. It is believed that a person who comes to the temple with complete faith will have his/her prayers granted.
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple
This is among the largest temples in the country. It was initially built by Kulasekara Pandyan, but only ruins remain of that temple. Renovation was started by Viswanath Naikar in the sixteenth century, and Tirumal Nayakar completed it. The temple has an impressive style with 12 huge gopurams with the four tallest gopurams standing on the outer walls of the temple in a protective stance. The temple is dedicated to Sundareswarar who is worshipped in the form of a lingam.
Sri Muthumari Amman Temple
this temple is currently under renovation and awaiting kumbhabhishekam. The deity is goddess mariamman. This is a famous temple at the outskirts of Karaikudi town. Lot of devotees flock for prayer, more so on tuesdays and fridays. praying at this temple is done for removal of disease. designs made of silver replicating eyes, legs, arm, torso, etc are purchased and deposited at the HUNDIALS, when the prayers fulfilled, by the grace of the deity.
There are two branches to this temple: "Chinna" (small) and "Periya" (big)
Located 10 km from Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu. The Chettinad Palace was designed and constructed by Dr.Annamali Chettiyar, founder of the Indian Bank and the Annamalai University in Chidambaram.
Athangudi tiles are handmade tiles which are used to decorate the interiors (floors, walls etc.) of houses. The craft is popularly known as 'Pokal' (local language) in Tamil Nadu. The products are mainly tiles, which are made in different sizes and shapes. Some of the designs are (locally) known as Socate, Uttapo, Star, Kolimutakall, Vatathamary Ilango design, Papatikal (Kerala design), minalkoodi, Vavakamalam, khombabukal, Sashtikal, Valavumkamalae, Katachokata design.
It is the traditional looks of Athangudi tiles in geometric and floral designs, dark, earthy hues and black and white collection for borders, and the center-spread of swans or birds, which lend/give a carpet-like feel on the floor. The tiles are cast from locally available clay that is burnt and glazed. Colours are mixed with white cement and poured using a mould or glass base, which helps give the tile a smooth surface and sheen. After the design is packed with cement it is left to dry in the sun and then cure in water for a couple of days before being sun dried again. The laying process involves a special technique and the use of sand, cement and lime. Masons are trained to deftly place the tiles at exactly the right level, allowing for variations in the tile thickness and weight without camouflaging the imperfections of how they are laid.
Vaikasi (between April & May) Koppudai Amman Temple.
The festival starts on the first Tuesday and lasts for ten days. The festival begins with flag hosting and thereafter includes many things such as temple float festival and offering of flowers. The festival concludes with the temple car festival.
Also in this temple is celebrated the Tamil New Year (13th or 15th April).
The Chinna Muthumari Amman temple has a 10 day festival in March
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Mahasivarathiri
This is celebrated in the Tamil month of Massi and is an auspicious night for many rituals.
Palani Pada Yathirai Thiruvizhu
This is a pilgrimage undertaken in the Tamil month of Thai (January to February) to the top of the mountain at Palani.
Buses to neighbouring villages terminate at the old bus stand. The state transport corporation also runs long distance buses to Chennai, Bangalore etc from the old bus stand Buses from larger towns terminate at the new bus stand.
Trains going to Karaikudi Junction are those going to Rameshwaram
Tiruchirapalli Airport (90km) and Madurai Airport (90km)
Best Time to Visit: December January, considering temperature (high of 30C) and rainfall (low) Hot: March-September Rain: September-November