Karaikal Sightseeing

Monuments

It lies inside the city.karaikudi is very famous for the giant buildings of the past.Their architecture is very different.They were built in 1950's by the nattukottai chettiars.still now they stand strong without any cracks.but some of buildings are not maintained properly.steps had been taken for the maintenance of the buildings by the indian tourism development board.

The ancient fort was built bySethupati Vijaya Raghunatha Tevan.Near the fort there is small temple of bairavan.the caves are built with eminent persons having excellent knowledge in architecture.At first it was a very small fort .later it was built very big by the next generations of the king It is just a 30 minute drive from karaikudi.

Places of Worship

The first of the clan temples was in Ilayathangudi and it is 25 kms from Karaikudi on the road to Kunrakudi, passing Nemam, Keelasivalpatti and Avinipatti on the way. It is said to have been granted to the Nagarathars in 707 A.D. The temple is known for its great sculptural value and it has the biggest tank, "oorani" of all other temples. Legend has it, that this was the resting place of the gods and it explains the village's name. .

The Vairavanpatti temple is on the Karaikudi-Madurai road, about 15 kms from Karaikudi. A splendid 19th century temple tank is testimony to Dravidian architectural skills. Behind the Nagarathar choultry Vairava Theertham, a sacred spring said to have miraculous powers. The temple has 23 bronzes, all dating to the first renovation, and 12 vahanams. The temple also has several striking wall paintings, 37 on the Vairava Puranam and 43 on the Ramayana. There are also painting of scenes from the Mahabharata. The main deities here are Lord Aatkondanathar and Sivapurandevi. .

The Soorakudi temple is about 10 kms from Karaikudi on the road to Kanadukathaan and the Chettinad railway station. The soorai shrub also abounds here and is given as an explanation for the name of the village. The temple has ten vimanams and two gopurams. Its rajagopuram to the east, comprises five storeys and is richly embellished. Another striking feature of the temple is the sculptured pillars on the corridor around the shrines of the main deities. This is one of the temples of the Nagarathar clan that is held in high regard for its sculptures. .

The last clan temple is the Velankudi temple that is located on the Karaikudi-Thiruchirapalli road, about 10 kms from Karaikudi, in an area abounding in vela trees. With just 46 pullis and a membership of less than 200 in its four villages, this is smallest temple clan among the Nagarathars. A curious feature is that their numbers have not changed for over a hundred years. The result is a temple to which scant attention has been paid towards renovation. The last kumbhabhishekam for the temple was performed in 1937. The temple was granted to the Nagarathars in 718 A.D. .

About 25 kms from Karaikudi on the Pillaiyarapatti road, near Keelasivalpatti, is the Iraniyur temple. There are 50 bronzes here, a splendid Nataraja dating to the 12th -13th century period. One of the bronzes belong to the 16th century, another in a 5-metal alloy of the 17th century, a dozen from the 19th century and the rest from the 20th century. Two groups of beautiful paintings grace the Lakshmi mandapam. Opposite the Rajagopuram is one set of paintings done in the Vijayanagar style during the first renovation and another in the 1940s during the second renovation. The latter displays the Ravi Varma influence. .

The best known of the Nagarathar clan temples, Pillaiyarpatti, about 12 kms from Karaikudi on the road to Madurai. It attracts visitors in large numbers from all parts of India and abroad. The Karpaga Vinayagar here is a huge bas-relief in a cave hewn out of a hillock and is a splendid example of the art of the South India sculptor. The tall sculpture is more than 6 feet tall and dates back to the 5th Century A.D. The Rajagopuram is on the eastern entrance and rises in five storeys. The temple is rich in stone and terracotta sculptures. There are 30 bronzes in the temple that date from the 10th century. The main deities here are Karpaga Vinayagar, Lord Thiruveswarar and his consort Sivagami. .

The Mathur temple is a little over 5 kms from Karaikudi, that can be reached not long after passing Iluppakudi. Burial urns found in the vicinity indicate that there were settlements here more than 1500 years ago. The temple is rich with sculptures, and there is a unique piece at the entrance to the mahamandapam, where the steps, the two flanking elephants and the pedestals for the two doorkeepers have all been hewn from one stone. The nearly 70-foot tall rajagopuram here has been constructed in five storeys. The vizha mandapam or the festival hall in front of the rajagopuram or the main tower, at the entrance was built in 1949 and can seat 500 persons within the hall and another 500 around it. The main deity here is Lord Ainootheswarar and his consort Periyanayaki. .

It is near to pillayarpatti.it is the temple of lord muruga.it is located on the hill.There are many poojas on the thaipoosam day.It usually falls in the month of febrauary or january. .

It is around 6 km from karaikudi.It is near to the karaikudi railway station.It is the temple of lord venkateshwara.It is very ancinet temple.The history is that a business magnet who lived in ariyakudi was deity of the lord venkateshwara.He went to the tirupati(famous temple of lord vankateshwara in andhra pradesh(state of india)).It is far away from ariyakudi.But he often went to tirupati.He helped the poor.He reciting slogas every morning.He prayed the god whole heartedly even in his old age.one day when he went to tirupati he was about to fall as he should climb the hill to get to temple, at that time lord venkatrshwara appeared and he told to build a temple in ariyakudi where he will find four stones in four corners and the temple was built there taking the statue of lord venkateshwara from srirangam(trichy) and the fire was brought from thirumayam(pudukottai) .