Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple
Karaikal Ammaiyar is a small shrine, which is dedicated to Karaikal Ammaiyar, the only woman out of the sixty three Nayanmars. Constructed by Malaiperumal Pillai in 1929, this temple is known for the huge idol of this lady saint. Popularly known as Goddess Punithavati, this woman and the episodes of her supernatural powers are renowned among natives of the region.Tourists and pilgrims frequently throng this temple during the annual celebration of Mangani festival that is celebrated during the month of June and July. Special poojas and ceremonies are conducted on the day of full moon that falls in Aani, a Tamil month. Curd rice and mangoes are the prime offerings made to the deity as well as to tourists.
Mastan Syed Dawood Dargah
Mastan Syed Dawood Dargah is famous for a tomb that houses the relics of Syed Dawood, the Muslim saint born at Bukkara, the capital of Turkistan. Constructed in memory of the descendant of the prophet, the dargah celebrates the Kandoori festival to pay homage to him.
The saint arrived in India for taking spiritual guidance from Halareth Syed Ahamed Kalkhel Diwan Oliulla of Trichirapalli. Staying in the region during his entire lifetime, the saint died in February 1829 at the age of around 120 years.
The dargah is adorned with flowers and other decorative materials during the annual Kandoori festival, which is marked by processions, music, dance and display of fireworks.
Our Lady of Angel's Church
Holy Angles Church was built by the French in 1739. This is one of the architectural beauty of French culture. Our lady of Angel's Church standing impressively on the Church street. On 15th August every year that Catholic chruch celebrates the "Thetheravu Mata" festival when the status of the blessed Virgin is taken out in procession. The festival commences with the flag hoisting ceremony on the 6th 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. It is a beautiful church which is the tallest landmark in the Karaikal town, which has three huge clocks and five large bells. Originally built in 1740 and rebuilt in 1828 by a French benefactor. In 1863, the church was beautified with the decorative marble Altar, the beautiful stained glass windows and having impressive look with its 133 feet tall tower, the tallest landmark of the town, housing three huge clocks and five large bells. The melodious ringing of the bells could be heard with in a radius of 5 kms.
Karaikal Sandy Beach
The Karaikal sandy beach is one of the best natural beaches in the South India. If you want to get an outstanding view over the bay then Karaikal beach in Pondicherry is the ideal place for you. The beach has been given easy accessibility by widening the two kilometers road along the Arasalar river and by illumination of the road with sodium vapour lamps. The sunrise from this beach looks absolutely stunning and striking. In addition to natural sandy beach, a boat jetty in the Arasalar, children’s park, immovable sitting chairs along the roads, tennis court, beach restaurant, vehicles parking, are also more attracting a heavy crowd of all kind of local peoples.
The Boating Club, one of the recreation sites, is situated on the banks of the backwaters of the Arasalar. Spread over an area of around 2 km, the site is located on the road constructed on the banks of the sandy beach and sea. Apart from housing a boat house, the club also offers paddle, motor and rowing boats.
Saneeswara Temple is an ancient temple situated at Thirunallar at a distance of around 5 km from Karaikal. Dedicated to Lord Dharbaranyeswara, one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva, the temple is the only shrine located in Thirunallar. The holy place is frequented by number of tourists and pilgrims especially during Shani Amavasyas and Sani Peyarchi festival, which is celebrated once in two and a half years. Besides, the temple also houses a holy tank, known as Nala Theertha which is believed to have miraculous powers. It is believed that pilgrims suffering from Shani dasha should take bath in the tank to get rid of problems and ill effects caused by the Graham.
Akalankannu is one of the largest villages in Karaikal District in the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Renowned for its water works and huge belt of ancient temples, the village is frequented by tourists visiting Karaikal.
This village also possesses archaeological significance as many images and idols were excavated from various sites. Vaidyanatha Swami Temple and water works in the form of fountain head are the prominent attractions of this village.
Keezha Kasakudy, located on the northern part of Karaikal, is renowned for copper plates that were discovered in the village around 1879 by M.J. Delafon. Located in the centre of the village is Nandivarman-II that represents the cultural and traditional values of natives during the reign of the Pallavas. Besides, an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the other prime attractions of the site.
Mela Kasakudy is one of the popular villages located on the Karaikal-Nedungadu Road. The main attraction of the village is the 12th century ancient temple dedicated to Sri Varadaraja Perumal.
This temple is protected by the state authorities as an ancient monument. The interiors and exteriors of this temple have beautiful stone carvings that enhance its monumental value.
Tourists and pilgrims visit this temple mainly during the celebrations of Vaikunda Ekadasi, Thiruvathirai, Chithirai Pournami and Masi Magam festivals. Tourists can also visit Sri Naganatha Swami Temple which is located in the vicinity of the village.
Kottucherry, located on the northern side of Karaikal, is famous for an ancient temple of Sri Kodeeswaramudayar. The temple premises house a statue, a broken ‘kuthuvilakku’ and some other vessels that were discovered from Perumal Koil Maidan in March 1972 and are presently used for worshipping.
Puttakudi is famous for housing a granite statue of Lord Buddha which was unearthed from the village premises several years ago. The name of the village is believed to be associated with Buddhism. Tourists visiting the site can also visit Puthamangalam and Agaraputhakudi villages that are located nearby.
Settur, a village near Agara Sethur or Pandaravadai Sethur, is located on the Karaikal-Peralam Road. The village is known for housing a 13th or 14th century Sri Prathapasimmeswara Temple, which is also a notable landmark.
Besides, the village is frequented by visitors for the Sri Egambareswara Temple, which represents the inscriptions dating back to the Chola reign. Owing to its historical and religious importance, the temple is one of the protected monuments under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India.
Sorarkkdi is famous for housing ancient shrines of Sri Somanatha Swami and Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal in the premises of the village. The site has a major archaeological significance as idols of Sri Thiripurantaka, measuring 60 centimetres in height, and Thiripurasungari, around 45 centimetres in height were discovered from the village.
The discovery of two bronze idols was made from the place called Periathope near this village in May 1971. Presently the idols are preserved in the Pondicherry Museum.
Thirumalarjanpattinam is a prominent historic town, which represents the ruling period of Thirumalrayan, a Vijayanagar ruler. It is believed that the king founded this town and established his kingdom, where poet Kalamegham served as his chief court poet. The inscriptions dating back to his reign can be seen in monuments and shrines located at Thiruvanaikkaval, Thanjavur, Papanasam and Pattichuram.
Ambagarattur, located on the western side of Karaikal-Peralam Road, is the second largest village in Karaikal. Renowned for the popular Bhadrakaliamman Temple, the village is frequented by devotees during an annual festival that lasts for twelve days. This festival is celebrated during the months of May and June and mainly attracts the Thirunallar community.
Dharmapuram is situated on the west of Karaikal and is famous for housing the shrine of Sri Yazhmurinatheeswarar. It is believed the temple was visited by Thirugnanasambandar, a saint, who sang a Pathigam in praise of the enshrined deity.
Sri Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple
Sri Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is renowned for housing an idol carved out by using single stone. Depicting the lying posture or Ananthasayanam, the idol is similar to the one enshrined at Sri Rangam, also known as Sri Ranganathar Swami Temple, at Trichy.
Standing on the Bharathiar Road, the temple is situated close to the Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple. Besides housing the idol of Lord Vishnu, the temple premises also have shrines of Alamelu Thaayar and Aandal. Tourists and pilgrims throng the temple in large numbers during the celebrations of Rama Navami, Vaikunta Ekadasi, Hanuman Jayanti and the entire month of Margazhi.
Sri Parvatheeswara Swami Temple
Sri Parvatheeswara Swami Temple, also known as Sri Parvatheeswara Temple, is dedicated to Lord Parvatheeswara, one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva. The west facing temple is believed to be built around the 8th century, during the reign of Pallavas. Representing the Chola architectural style, the temple was thought to be reconstructed during the ruling period of the Cholas.
The site is one of the four places in Karaikal region that was visited by Thirugnanasambandar, a saint who sang Pathigam in honour of Sri Parvatheeswara Swami. The temple celebrates Vijayadasami, Kadaimuzhukku, Thiruvadhirai and Surasamharam festivals.
Sri Kothandaramaswami Temple
Sri Kothandaramaswami Temple is situated in Kovilpathu town in the state of Tamil Nadu. The temple houses idols of Goddess Sita, Lord Lakshmana and Lord Hanuman, belonging to the Chola period, which were found in the excavations conducted around 90 years ago.
Nedungadu is famous for housing an ancient shrine named Sri Tantonreeswara Temple that is believed to be constructed during the Chola period. Several architectural excavations were conducted at the site in 1948, which resulted in discovery of bronze images of various gods and goddesses.
The wide collection found at the site includes idols of Manickavasagar, Pillaiyar, Thirugnanasambandar, Skandan, Uma and Jnanasakti, dancing posture of Lord Shiva or Anandatandavam and Sivakamasundari. Besides, a conch, a copper tripod, a pair of sandals and a plate were also found during excavations.
Sri Tantonreeswara Temple is named after the local deity Nedunthuyartheertha, the consort of Tantondrinathar or Swayambhu Iswara. The temple was declared as a protected monument in 1971 under Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1956.
Believed to be constructed by the Cholas, the temple features many inscriptions on the outer walls of the sanctum. It is also believed that the temple was renovated by the Nayak Rulers of Thanjavur. Tourists throng the temple especially during the celebrations of Thiruvadhirai festival and the annual festival at Sri Mariamman Temple.
Jadayupureeswara Temple is believed to be one of the oldest existing temples in the region, which is renowned for celebrations during Masi magma. The exteriors and interiors of the temple are adorned with wooden images depicting episodes from the Ramayana.
Tourists visiting the temple can also visit shrines of Sri Abiramiamman, Sri Ragunatha Perumal, Sri Venkates Perumal, Sri Vizhi Varadaraja Perumal and Sri Kamakshiamman. Besides, Sri Aayiram Kaliamman Koil is another prime attraction located in the vicinity of the temple.
Aayiram Kaliamman Temple
Aayiram Kaliamman Temple is renowned for housing a wooden statue of the goddess. According to legend, it is believed that the box containing the parts of the body of the goddess was founded by a devotee of Senguntha Mudaliar community on the sea coast of Thirumalairajan Pattinam.
Later, the goddess arrived in his dreams and commanded him to worship her. On opening the wooden box, devotees found the statue of the goddess along with a palm leaf, which has a script describing that the daily pooja should be done with 1000 articles. Since then, the Sengunda Mudaliar community performs a three day festival during the months of May and June once in five years.
The Bhadrakali Temple is located in the Ambagarathur village of the Karaikal District in the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Parasakthi, who killed a demon named Ambaran.
The temple houses an image of the north facing goddess with 4 arms that has been made using terracotta. The idol of the goddess is always draped in a white cloth with measures around 20 metres in length.
Tourists and pilgrims throng this temple especially during the 12 day annual festival that is organised during the months of May and June. Laksh archana, a type of special pooja, is conducted on the last Tuesday of Aadi and Thai, months in Tamil calendar.
Emerald Linga, also known as Marakata Linga, is located at Thirunallar, which is one of the seven holy places collectively known as Saptha Vidanga. The Linga is kept in an iron safe placed on the left side of Thyagaraja.
According to legend, on receiving the devotional support from Mucukunda Chakravarty, an emperor, Lord Indra gifted the Emerald Linga along with six idols to the king. After receiving the holy belongings, the king installed the seven idols at different places in his kingdom that are called as Saptha Vidanga. Being one of its kinds in the world, the Linga is the second of the seven idols gifted by Indra.
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