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Karaikudi is located in Tamil Nadu
Coordinates: 10°04′N 78°47′E / 10.07°N 78.78°E / 10.07; 78.78Coordinates: 10°04′N 78°47′E / 10.07°N 78.78°E / 10.07; 78.78
StateTamil Nadu
 • TypeGreater Municipality
 • BodyKaraikudi Greater Municipality
 • Total33.75 km2 (13.03 sq mi)
 • Rank20
82 m (269 ft)
 • Total181,851
 • Density5,400/km2 (14,000/sq mi)
 • OfficialTamil
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
STD code04565
Vehicle registrationTN-63Z

Karaikudi is a Greater municipality in Sivagangai district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the 20th largest urban agglomeration of Tamil Nadu based on 2011 census data. It is part of the area commonly referred to as "Chettinad" and has been declared a Greater Municipality by the Government of Tamil Nadu,[1] on account of the palatial houses built with limestone called karai veedu.

Karaikudi comes under the Karaikudi Assembly constituency, which elects a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years, and it is a part of the Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency, which elects its member of parliament (MP) once in five years. The town is administered by the Karaikudi special grade municipality, which covers an area of 100 km2 (39 sq mi). As of 2011, the city had a population of 106,714. The city had a metropolitan population of 181,851 of which 90,799 were males and 91,052 were females in 2011. The municipality consists of karaikudi, Kanadukathan, Kandanur, Kottaiyur, Pallathur, Puduvayal, and Sankarapuram (census town)

This city is famous for karaikudi kandangi sarees a special type of sarees which come from and are woven in this area.The geographical indication presents the government of India of this kandaangi sarees.[2] 


Kanadukathan Palace Chettinad Architecture near Karaikudi

The city derives its name from the thorny plant Karai, referred to in ancient literature as Karaikudi, which in modern times has become Karaikudi. The town was established in the 19th century, and the oldest known structure is the Koppudaiya Nayagi Amman Temple.[3]

Mahatma Gandhi delivered two speeches in Karaikudi in 1927[4][5] and Bharathiyar visited Karaikudi in 1919 to participate in a function.[6] After independence, the city saw significant growth in the industrial sector.[3] Karaikudi and surrounding areas are generally referred as "Chettinad".[7][8] Chettinad comprises a network of 73 villages and 2 towns forming clusters spread over a territory of 1,550 km2 in the Districts of Sivagangai and Pudukottai in the State of Tamil Nadu. Karaikudi is the largest town in Chettinad. Karaikudi and surrounding areas are very popular for their unique palaces, Chettinad Architecture.

The interior of Athangudi Palace near Karaikudi.

Kannadasan Manimandapam, Kamban Manimandapam and Thousand windows house are other visitor attractions in Karaikudi.[9]

The first Temple for Mother Tamil, Tamil Thai Kovil is located in Karaikudi and was established in 1993.[10] Tamil Thai Kovil is a temple in which the presiding deity is Tamil Thai representing Tamil language, is the only temple in the world for worshiping a language as a God or Goddess. The temple is situated inside the Kamban Mani Mandabam and the street in which the temple is located has been named Tamil Thai Kovil Street. The Tamil Thai Kovil remains closed except during the Kamban Vizha which happens during the month of April every year.

Karaikudi is well known and growing shooting spot in Tamil Nadu. There are many films shot at karaikudi. The kollywood team likes to shoot at karaikudi because of the natural sceneries and the giant palaces and bungalows. Athangudi palace and thousand window house are very famous shooting spots in most of the films.


According to 2011 census, Karaikkudi had a population of 181,125 with a sex-ratio of 1,000 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.[11] A total of 19,619 children were under the age of six, constituting 10,405 males and 10,214 females. The average literacy rate of the town was 81.48%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.[11] The town had a total of 47504 households. There were a total of 60,069 workers, comprising 244 cultivators, 314 main agricultural labourers, 1,303 in household industries, 30,836 other workers, 17,372 marginal workers, 162 marginal cultivators, 2496 marginal agricultural labourers, 1345 marginal workers in household industries and 9,469 other marginal workers.[12] In Karaikudi, Hinduism is the majority religion with 83.9% of the total population, followed by Islam, 11.39%, Christianity, 4.3%, Jainism, 0.05%, Sikism, 0.01% and Others, the rest.


Karaikudi is located in Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu State. The TrichyRameswaram Highway passes through Karaikudi. The Thennar River flows through South Karaikudi. Karaikudi is located at 10°04′N 78°47′E / 10.07°N 78.78°E / 10.07; 78.78. It has an average elevation of 82 metres (269 ft). The terrain of Karaikudi is predominantly flat. Rocky areas are found in the surrounding areas of Karaikudi town with more rocks towards the western side of the town. The soil is of the hard red lateritic type and is not suitable for cultivation.[13] The water table in the area is generally at depths of 3 to 6 ft (0.91 to 1.83 m) and rises to nearly 1 m (3 ft 3 in) below the ground level during rainy seasons. Since the 1970s, the water supply of the Karaikudi residents has depended on the deeper aquifers.[13] The average maximum temperature is about 34 °C (93 °F), and average minimum temperature is about 24 °C (75 °F). The annual average rainfall in Karaikudi is about 920 millimetres (36 inches).

Administration and politics[edit]

Elected members
Member of Legislative Assembly S. Mangudi[14]
Member of Parliament Karti Chidambaram[15]

Karaikudi was constituted as a municipality in 1928 and was upgraded to a Grade II Municipality in 1973, to Selection Grade in 1988, to special grade in 2013, to municipal corporation in 2022. The area of the city is about 13.75 km2, comprising the revenue villages of Kalanivasal, Sekkalai kottai, Elappakudi Area, Ariyakudi Area and Senjai.[16] The Karaikudi municipality has 36 wards and there is an elected councillor for each of those wards.[17] The functions of the municipality are devolved into six departments: general administration/personnel, Engineering, Revenue, Public Health, city planning and Information Technology (IT).[18] The legislative powers are vested in a body of 36 members, one each from the 36 wards.[19] The legislative body is headed by an elected Chairperson assisted by a Deputy Chairperson.[20]

Karaikudi is a part of the Karaikudi assembly constituency and it elects a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years.[21] The current member of the legislative assembly is S. Mangudi from INC party.[14][22] Karaikudi is a part of the Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency. The current Member of Parliament from the constituency is Karti Chidambaram from the INC.

Law and order in the city is maintained by the Sivaganga sub division of the Tamil Nadu Police headed by a Deputy Superintendent. There are three police stations in the city as North police station, south police station, Azhagappapuram police station are mainly being an all-women police station and town police station. There are special units like prohibition enforcement, district crime, social justice and human rights, district crime records and special branch that operate at the district level police division headed by a Superintendent of Police.[23]



Chettinad Cuisine originated in the areas around Karaikudi

Some prominent temples around the city are:

  • Karaikudi Nagara Sivan Kovil, located at the center city of Karaikudi, built by Nagarathars/Chettiars in according to Dravidian Temple architecture[24]
  • Koppudaiya Amman Kovil, Kallukatti, Temple in Karaikudi[25]
  • Ariyakudi Thiruvengamudayan Temple,[26] one of the biggest Vishnu temples of the Chettinad region; located 2 km (1.2 mi) away
  • Pillayarpatti Karpagavinayagar temple located 10 km (6.2 mi) away
  • Thirumayam fort 20 km away from the city
  • Thousand window house, Kanadukathan palace, Athangudi palace, Kannadasan manimandapam, Kamban manimandapam, Azhagappar museum, Sankarapathi fort are other tourist attractions in the city
  • The very famous Chettinad cuisine originated in the areas around Karaikudi.


  • Karaikudi is a developing urban center in Sivaganga district in Tamil Nadu.[27][28] UNESCO has offered to set up a Chettinad Heritage Museum in Sivaganga district recognizing the unique style of architecture in the region.[29]
  • Chettinad Kottan are palm leaf baskets woven by the women of the region. Chettinad Kottan has been noted for its unique style and colors and was granted a Geographical Indication tag in 2013.[30][31] Chettinadu Kandangi sarees are a popular type of sarees produced in the region.[32]* In these area around 250 rice mills and paper mills located in puduvayal and pallathur are the sub urban region of karaikudi is one of the trade and commercial economical growth area. It is also called as second rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. Athangudi tiles are basically cement tiles like mosaic used for building the palatial houses in the town and in modern times, is a source for handicraft industry.[33] Indian Overseas Bank was founded on 10 February 1937 in Karaikudi by M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettyar.[34]


By Air[edit]

Nearby airports include Tiruchirapalli International Airport (95 kilometres (59 mi)) and Madurai International Airport (100 kilometres (62 mi)).

Though this city is well connected by roadways and railways. This town also has an unused airstrip called Chettinad airport also known as Karaikudi airport. This old British era airfield had been used during the world war 2. The government of India is planning to reopen this airfield under the UDAN scheme[35]

By Rail[edit]

Karaikudi Junction railway station is a major rail head with 5 platforms and 6 tracks serves the city and Devakottai Road, Chettinad railway station , Kandanur railway station are the stations around the city.[36]

By Road[edit]

The town has two bus terminals namely "Rajaji Bus-stand" aka Old Bus terminal and new bus terminal. Buses that connect the Karaikudi city, nearby villages and smaller towns terminate at the Old bus-stand. The State Transport Corporation Buses To:Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy and near by cities run moffusil buses terminate at the New bus-stand Karaikudi Bus Terminal.[citation needed]

Education and utility services[edit]

As of 2011, there were government schools and many private schools in Karaikudi and Azhagappa university colleges, many private colleges in the city.[37] Alagappa University is located in this town and Alagappa Chettiar College of Engineering and Technology is the oldest college here and was established in 1953.[38] CSIR-CECRI's B.Tech. in Chemical and Electro Chemical Engineering is very famous at national level. Azhagappa Government Polytechnic College and Annamali Polytechnic Colleges are other renowned colleges located in Karaikudi area. Electricity supply to Karaikudi is regulated and distributed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). The town along with its suburbs forms the Sivaganga Electricity Distribution Circle.[39] Water supply is provided by the Karaikudi Municipality from seven borewells is located at Sambai Oothu (Artesian aquifer).[40] As per the municipal data for 2011, about 45 metric tonnes of solid waste were collected. The underground drainage system in the city is on board at process and the sewerage system for disposal of sullage is through septic tanks, open drains and public conveniences.[41] The municipality maintained a total of 46.55 km (28.92 mi) of storm water drains in 2011.[42] As of 2011, there was one government hospital and 13 private hospitals in the town.[43][44] The municipality operates one daily market namely the Anna Daily Market and there are three weekly markets (Uzhavar Santhai) that cater to the needs of the town and the rural areas around it.[45]


  1. ^ "Government Order on Heritage Towns" (PDF). Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Government of Tamil Nadu, India. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. ^ Raman, Sruthi (12 November 2019). "TN's Kandangi sari gets GI tag. What does this mean for the state's handloom market?". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Historical Moments". Karaikudi Municipality. 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Mahatma Gandhis Message on Khadi". Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal / Gandhi Book Centre, 299, Tardeo Road, Nana Chowk, Bombay 400007 India. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  5. ^ Pushpa Joshi (2002) Gandhi on Women: Collection of Mahatma Gandhi's Writings and Speeches on Women, Navajivan Publishing House, ISBN 8172293143
  6. ^ Malarmannan article on Madhabhimana Sangam in Thinnai e-zine, 17 Jan 2011, [1]
  7. ^ Government of Burma 1930a, Report of the Burma Provincial Banking Enquiry Committee, 1929-30, Volume I: Banking and Credit in Burma, Rangoon. Superintendent of Government Printing. 1930.
  8. ^ P., Siegleman (1962). Colonial Development and the Chettyar: A Study in the Ecology of Modern Burma, 1850-1941, unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Minnesota.
  9. ^ "Places of interest in Karaikudi". Karaikudi Municipality. 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Dinamalar Jan 14, 2012". Dinamalar. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Census Info 2011 Final population totals". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Karaikkudi". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Karaikudi Municipal Council". General info on the KMC. Department Of Municipal Administration And Water Supply. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  14. ^ a b "MLA of Karaikudi". Government of Tamil Nadu. 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  15. ^ "General Elections to Lok Sabha, 2009, name and address of the elected members of parliamentary constituencies in Tamil Nadu". Government of Tamil Nadu. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  16. ^ "Karaikudi Municipal Council". Department Of Municipal Administration And Water Supply. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  17. ^ "About the municipality". Karaikudi municipality. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Commissionerate of Municipal Administration". Commissionerate of Municipal Administration. 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  19. ^ "Councillors of municipality". Karaikudi municipality. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Economic and political weekly, Volume 30". Sameeksha Trust. 1995: 2396. Retrieved 29 December 2012. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ "List of Assembly Constituencies". Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu state government. 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  22. ^ "Partywise Comparison Since 1977". Election Commission of India. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  23. ^ "Karaikudi Police". Karaikudi municipality. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  24. ^ "Very well maintained Sivan temple - Reviews, Photos - Sivan Koil - Tripadvisor". Archived from the original on 15 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Koppudai Amman Temple - Karaikudi | Koppudai Amman Temple Photos, Sightseeing -NativePlanet".
  26. ^ S., Prabhu (7 November 2019). "Ariyakudi: where the deity appeared for His devotee". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  27. ^ Rangarajan, R.S. "Heritage Tourism-BL Print Edition 2/2/2006". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  28. ^ "Architectural Heritage Safeguard". World Monuments Fund, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2412, New York, NY. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  29. ^ "District Administration supports heritage museum". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  30. ^ Government of India 2011, Geographical Indications Journal No. 38, Geographical Indications Registry, Intellectual Property Rights Building, GST Road, Guindy, Chennai 600032, India
  31. ^ Sivaraman, R. "GI tag". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  32. ^ "Kandangi Saree weavers". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  33. ^ Varanashi, Sathya Prakash. "Legacy of Athangudi tile". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  34. ^ "IOB". Indian Overseas Bank. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  35. ^ "Chettinad Group ready to support efforts for mini airport". The Hindu. 27 February 2017. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  36. ^ "Karaikkudi Railway". Archived from the original on 10 April 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  37. ^ "Educational Institutions". Karaikudi municipality. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  38. ^ "Karaikudi". Alagappa Chettiar College of Engineering and Technology. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  39. ^ "Important Address" (PDF). Indian Wind Power Association. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  40. ^ "Water Supply Details". Karaikudi Municipality. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  41. ^ "Waste management programme". Karaikudi Municipality. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  42. ^ "Storm water drains". Karaikudi Municipality. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  43. ^ "Hospitals in Karaikudi". Karaikudi Municipality. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  44. ^ "Karaikudi street lights". Karaikudi Municipality, Government of Tamil Nadu. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  45. ^ "Karaikudi markets". Karaikudi Municipality, Government of Tamil Nadu. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012.

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