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Karaikudi Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: October - March Read More

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"The Largest Town of Chettinad"

Karaikudi Tourism

Karaikudi, a Greater municipality in the Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu, stands as the 21st largest urban agglomeration in the state, marked by its unique limestone-built palatial houses called Kaarai veedu. This distinctive architectural heritage has earned the town the local name "Kaarai Nagar." The municipality, spreading across 33.75 sq km, is an integral part of the culturally rich region known as "Chettinad."

Renowned for the production of Karaikudi kandangi sarees, a unique local textile, the city has received geographical indication recognition from the Indian government. The region is also the birthplace of Chettinad cuisine, adding to its cultural significance. As one of the selected AMRUT Smart cities in Tamil Nadu, Karaikudi undergoes developmental activities overseen by the government.

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Political Significance

Karaikudi falls under the Karaikudi Assembly constituency and is a part of the Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency. Governed by the greater Karaikudi special grade municipality, the metropolitan Urban Agglomeration covers 68.5 sq km, with a population of 181,851 as of 2011. The UA includes Karaikudi's greater municipality, along with neighboring towns and villages, making it a vibrant and populous urban center.

Name Origin and Establishment

The city's name, Karaikudi, finds its roots in the thorny plant Karai, mentioned in ancient literature. Established in the 19th century, Karaikudi boasts historical landmarks like the Koppudaiya Nayagi Amman Temple. Post-independence, the city experienced substantial industrial growth, contributing to its present significance.

Chettinad Heritage

Karaikudi and its surroundings, commonly referred to as "Chettinad," form a network of 73 villages and 2 towns with a distinct cultural identity. The region showcases unique palaces, Chettinad Architecture-based buildings, and grand mansions. Visitor attractions include Kannadasan Manimandapam, Kamban Manimandapam, and the Thousand Windows House. Notably, the first Temple for Mother Tamil, Tamil Thai Kovil, was established in Karaikudi in 1993.

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