Located within a two hour drive from two of Tamil Nadu’s great temples at Madurai and Thanjavur, Chettinad is a region of around 78 villages with beautiful heritage mansions. The ancestral homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars, a prosperous merchant class who ventured overseas to do business in South and Southeast Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Chettinad is renowned for its impressive mansions, and rich and distinctive cuisine. The Chettiar merchants built handsomely and extensively across their region, which is full of examples of huge mansions with exquisite teak and silkwood pillars, marble detailing and lime-plastered wall, and some of these houses are now open to the public.
Karaikudi is known as the center of the Chettinad culture because of the predominance of the Nattukottai Chettiars and plethora of Chettiar mansions. The place is also famous for shandys (village markets), silver and goldsmiths, fascinating antiques and beautiful textiles (including the famed traditional Chettinad saris). Chettinad is also renowned for its distinctive cuisine – dishes such as chicken or mutton biryani, fresh fish curries and vegetarian stews are finely flavoured with up to 23 different spices.
Explore & Experience–
- Chettinad Palace
- Chettinad Museum
- Chettinadu Mansion Kanadukathan
- Chellappa Chettiar’s House Kottaiyur
- Periya Veedu Athangudi
- Athangudi Tile workshops
- Thirumayam Fort
- Vairavanpatti Temple