History Of Karaikal :
This Karaikal area formed an integral part of the Pallava kingdom in the eighth century(C 731-796). Poet Sekkizhar (992-1042) describes the town as “vanga mali kadar karaikal”, the ‘Karaikal of many vessels on the coast’ in his Peria puranam. In 1738, Dumas, who was anxious to extend the French territory in India by smooth means, negotiated with Sahuji of Thanjavur for possession of Karaikal, the fortress of Karukalacheri and 5 village for 40,000 chakras. On 14.2.1739 the French took possession of Karaikal town, the fort of Karukalacheri and 8 dependent villages. The King of Thanjavur raised the price for the town of Karaikal and the fort of Karukalacheri to 50,000 chakras. The villages so received were Keelaiyur, Melaiyur, Puduthurai, Kovilpathu and Thirumalairayanpattinam. Subsequently 2 villages were ceded to the French. By a treaty signed on 12.1.1750 Pratap Singh who succeeded the throne ceded to the French 81 villages around Karaikal and cancelled the annual rent of 2000 pagodas payable for the villages. This was all the territory the French possessed around Thanjavur when they surrendered to the British in 1761. The territory then passed twice to the British control before it was finally handed over to the French in 1816/1817 under the Treaty of Paris, 1814. The formation of Karaikal national congress on 13.6.1947 and Students Congress on 31.1.1947 symbolized the first concrete expression of popular desire in Karaikal for freedom from French rule. The French ruled this district till 31st October, 1954 on which date the French flag flying a top the government house at Karaikal was lowered with due military honors before a large gathering of officials and non-officials. Thus the de facto transfer of power took place on 1st November 1954 followed by de jure transfer on 16th August 1962.
Karaikal is a very old temple town in Pondicherry. It is on the east coast, about 135 km. from Pondicherry and 300 km. from Chennai towards south. The town is small with a total of 161 sq Km. with marine time climate. Located on the Koramandel coast of the Bay of Bengal, this small town is a must see for tourists as well as pilgrims.The town of Karaikal is the second largest region of the Union Territory of Pondicherry on the delta of the Cavery River. Karaikal has a rich architectural and religious heritage with special mention of Sri Dharbarenyeswaraswamy Temple, the famous 7th century temple which is one of the most well known of all Lord Shiva’s temples in India.
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