Karaikal Ammaiyar(6th Century AD) was one of the nayanmars amongst the 63 Nayanmars. Her birth name was Punithavathiyar. She was born at Karaikal. She was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva.
She belonged to Chettiar Community, and she was married to a wealthy merchant from Nagapattinam.
One day her husband sent two mangoes to her, through a person, and asked her to keep it safe. After some time, a Shiva devotee asked for alms to her. She gave one of the mangoes to him, which was given by her husband. In the afternoon, his husband came to the house and asked her to offer the two mangoes for his lunch. She prayed to Lord Shiva and by his grace, she got a mango, and she served the two mangoes to her husband. Due to its great taste, he has enquired her about the mango, and she told the truth. Without believing his wife’s words, he has asked her to produce one more mango. And due to the grace of Lord Shiva, she got one more mango and produced it to him.
He realized the greatness of his wife. And he went to the Pandiyan kingdom, and there he married a wealthy girl and lived happily, and they had one child. After knowing his whereabouts, the relatives of Punithavathi has approached him along with Punithavathi. He, with his second wife and child, fell at Punithavathy’s feet, and he told to them, that she was a great divine lady.
Due to the prayer of Punithavathy, Lord Shiva transformed her body into a skeleton.
Then she went on a pilgrimage to the Mount Kailash, and she finished her final part of the journey on her head. Due to that, Lord Shiva was very much satisfied with her bhakti and made her as one of the 63 nayanmars.

Even today, every year during the Tamil month of Aani on Pournami day in Karaikal ammaiyar Temple, manganithiruvizha festival will take place. A lot of Devotees will gather and celebrate the festival in a grand manner. Curd rice and mangoes are given to them as prasadam during the festival period. The festival will be celebrated in a joyful mood by the devotees for several days.
Let us pray to the great divine mother Karaikal Ammaiyar and be blessed.