Sivaganga District, Tamil Nadu
Karaikudi lies at the heart of Chettinad, 60 km from the famous temple town of Madurai. A trip to this region, reveals entrancing glimpses of the Chettiar's distinctive way of life...a travel must-see, a heritage must-do!
The Chettinad story began in the 19 th century... when the Chettiars migrated to South East Asia, where their businesses flourished. The wealth thus generated was translated into Chettinad's monumental mansions, dramatic in scale and ornate in design. Hand-crafted elements include Athangudi floor tiles, silk-smooth Chettinad egg plaster and massive successive doorways that stretch to infinity...
Stay at one of the striking mansions and delight in exploring multifarious elements of the Chettiar lifestyle: intricate wood carvings, deep-hued basketry, 8 legged benches, family photographs, household bric a brac in glass and brass, porcelain and enamel, boldly checkered Kandanki saris ... and Chettinad's picy, exotic cuisine!
See & Do
Exclaim at the sheer size of Chettinad's mansions (about 75 scattered within a 20 km radius of Karaikudi). See a tile making unit at Athangudi (8km) where multi-hued, patterned tiles are produced by hand, using traditional techniques and designs. Visit the Karpaga Vinayakar temple at Pillaiyarpatti (16km), the most famous of the 9 Chettinad clan temples. Explore local handicrafts: checked Kandanki sarees with Temple borders; wood carving & sculpting; brass metal lamps in traditional designs. Catch a Kavadiattam or Karakattam folk art performance...and the bull wrestling sport, Jallikattu, a part of Pongal celebrations (Jan). Delight your taste buds with tangy traditional cuisine peppered with spicy condiments... non-veg fare includes a variety of delicacies.
- Airports: Madurai (85 km), Trichy (100km), Chennai (400km)
- Rail links: Karaikudi Junction, Madurai & Trichy
- Regular buses from Madurai
On the Spot
- Heritage home stay: Chettinadu Mansion, (15km) <
- Contact K P Bharathi / Karthick Gopal at the Development of Humane Action (DHAN) Foundation
- Tel: 0452.2610794, 2610805, 2301112, +91.93441.02841, +91.98947.21306, Fax: 0452.2602247
- Email: email@example.com