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Karaikal

Trip Planner Asia  /  India  /  Pondicherry  /  Karaikal
(3.5/5 based on 75+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, beaches
Karaikal is a major port city of east coast of India and a municipality in Karaikal district in the Union Territory of Puducherry, India.The French government acquired Karaikal in 1674 and held control, with occasional interruption from the British and Dutch, until 1954, when it was incorporated into the Indian Union along with the rest of French India.EtymologySeveral explanations are offered for the word 'Karaikal'. The imperial Gazetteer gives it the meaning 'fish pass'. According to Julien Vinson the town is said to have known as Karaigiri in Sanskrit. However, the name Karaikal is no doubt a combination of two words 'Karai' and 'Kal'. Both the words ‘Karai and 'Kal' have several meanings, of which the more acceptable ones are 'lime mix' and 'canal' respectively. Hence it has been suggested that the name may mean a canal built of lime mix. However, no trace of such a canal is evident now.HistoryKingdom of ThanjavurBefore 1739 Karaikal was under the regime and control of Raja Pratap Singh of Tanjore. In 1738, Dumas, a shrewd calculative prudent man and a lover of peace and above all one 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 Karakalcheri and five village for 40,000 chakras. On 14 February 1739 the French took possession of Karaikal town, the fort of Karakalcheri and eight dependent villages. At this point, the King of Thanjavur raised the price for the town of Karaikal and the fort of Karakalcheri to 50,000 chakras.
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