Karaikal Ammaiyar (meaning "the revered mother of Karaikkal"), one of the three women amongst the 63 Nayanmars, is one of the greatest figures of early Tamil literature. She was born at Karaikal, South India, and probably lived during the 6th century AD. She was a devotee of Shiva.
Karaikal is a maritime trading city in Chola Nadu. Karaikal Ammaiyar, whose original name was Punithavathiyar, was born to Dhanathathanar in a merchant community known as Nattukottai Nagarathar (also Known as Nattukottai Chettiar)  She was married to Paramadattan, a wealthy merchant from Nagapattinam.