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Karaikudi

State: 

Karaikudi is the biggest City in Sivaganga district. Known as the capital of Chettinad, because of the predominance of the "Nattu Kottai Chettiars" who have from here have ventured far and wide to set up their businesses even at the turn of the 20th century. Karaikudi is also home of two famous Institutions, Alagappa University and CECRI (Central Electro Chemical Research Institute).

Karaikudi is the largest town among a collection of 75 villages that form the Chettinad region in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The name Karaikudi is derived from the ‘Karai’ plant found extensively in the region. Situated about 80 km from the city of Madurai, it was the home of the “Nattu Kottai Chettiars”, who moved out to several parts of the state and the country to establish highly successful commercial ventures.

The town has several stately mansions, historic buildings, temples and archaeological sites. The city was also made famous by the Tamil and Telugu film industry who chose it for many movie shootings.

Karaikudi is the largest town among a collection of 75 villages that form the Chettinad region in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The name Karaikudi is derived from the ‘Karai’ plant found extensively in the region. Situated about 80 km from the city of Madurai, it was the home of the “Nattu Kottai Chettiars”, who moved out to several parts of the state and the country to establish highly successful commercial ventures.
The town has several stately mansions, historic buildings, temples and archaeological sites. The city was also made famous by the Tamil and Telugu film industry who chose it for many movie shootings.

Karaikudi is a city in Sivaganga District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the largest city in Sivaganga district, and is the biggest town in the Chettinad region. Chettinad literally ‘Chetti land’ in Tamil, is a collection of 76 villages/towns. Chettinad stretched from Ramnad District and Pudukottai State of ‘British’ India [1][2]. The Chettiars, or more properly the Nattukottai Chettiars, came from the Chettinad. Originally involved in salt trading, sometime in the eighteenth century they became more widely known as financiers and facilitators for the trade in a range of commodities. By the early nineteenth century finance had become the primary specialisation of the Chettiars, and they became famed lenders to great land-owning families and in underwriting their trade in grain through the provision of hundis[3]. Several members of the Chettiar community migrated to nearby Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Burma, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Karaikudi became pouplar because the area is famous for the type of houses built with limestone called 'karai veedu' and also may be due to a plant called "Karai" which is widely spread over this area.

Karaikudi is known as an ancestral home of Chettiyars. It is 80 kilometers away from Madurai. It is famous for its Chettinad Mansion, CECRI (Central Electro Chemical Research Institute), Temples, Old buildings, Gopura karai saris and Chettinad delicious tasty dishes. Nowadays it is termed as a shooting spot for Tamil and Telugu film industries and as well as a tourist center. Tourists come in large numbers to have to have a view on history of Chettinad buildings. One of the well known country’s magazine recently came out with surprising news wherein it was mentioned that Chettinad was one among the top 5 fast growing vacation spots in India. Hence, Karaikudi will provide relaxing and enjoyable time to tourists who will cherish the memories for long.
Karaikudi and 74 other villages comprise Chettinad, the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars. The Chettiars were a prosperous banking community who ventured overseas to do business in South and Southeast Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

History: 

Karaikudi is located in Sivagangai district between Trichy Rameshwaram High road. It got its name because of the famous plant called "Karai" which is widely spread over this area. Earlier it was a small village in Ramanathapuram district. In 1928 it was changed from Panchayat to Muncipal. The people of Karaikudi played a major role during the India freedom struggle. The city was well facilitated with Railways and Roadways in 1930. The educational institutons developed to its peak in 1947, by Allagappar who is the founder of todays Alagappa University. The famous temple PillaiyarPatti is 12 km away from Karaikudi. The city is known for Sri Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple, also known as Sivan Temple which was built during 1872. There is a temple here where there are 108 statues of Ganapathy. Sekkalai is located at north-east of Karaikudi, which was known as "Jain Kunda Puram" 50 years back. In North-west of Karaikudi is MutthuPattinam which is known for MuthuMariamman Temple. At the Central is Kallukatti where the famous temple Koppudaiaamman is located. The river Thennar flows through South Karaikudi. "Tamil Thai Kovil", " KambanManimandabam","Vallal Allagapar Statue"," Kavi Araser Kannadhasan Manimandabam and Statue" carries honour to Karaikudi.

Accessibility: 

Air: Nearest airport to Karaikudi is Madurai domestic terminal, which is about 60 km from Karaikudi. Cab charges about Rs 1200 from airport to Karaikudi. Madurai is connected to Chennai by many flights in a day. International travelers need to get connecting flights from Chennai, which is connected to all major cities in India and abroad.

Rail: Karaikudi is connected by rail to Madurai (60 km) and Chennai (456 km). All major cities can be reached from Karaikudi through Chennai central station. Taxi cab charges about Rs 1200 from Madurai to Karaikudi.

Road: Lots of public and private bus services are available from Karaikudi. Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation Buses connect Karaikudi with many cities in and around.

Shopping: 

The city of Karaikudi is overflowing with excellent antique shops. Numerous impressive and even exotic items can be acquired for rather reasonable prices. Charming pewter jars, mugs, and bowls that are painted in blues and greens can be found. These items are imported from Czechoslovakia. Another possible find is the lacquered Burmese bamboo boxes and bowls that abound in the shops. Excellent wooden furniture can be found as well. Unusual finds are also possible. Such finds may include wooden chests from China, old pictures, various wooden artifacts, and even 100 year old jars of face cream and hair pomade that were imported originally from Great Britain.

District: 
Sivaganga
STD Code: 
04565
Termperature: 
Summer 23-37°C, Winter 13-30°C
Best time to visit: 
October to February