Chettinad is renowned across India for its unique spectacular combination of flavorful cuisine, yet few venture to this sleepy, tranquil village. In its former glory days, Chettinad was a booming community of decadence. The Nagarathar (Nattukottai Chettiar), a group of successful merchants, built their palaces and mansions here about one hundred years ago. Today, most of these majestic ancestral homes are crumbling away with their rubies intact, yet the lavish spirit lives on within the vivid culture, and artisanal traditions of textiles and woodcraft. If you are seeking an authentic experience in India, this is truly the hidden gem.
(Only if staying at Visalam) Go on a guided tour of the Vilasam, enjoy a bullock cart ride through the village. Go antique shopping in Karaikudi and watch weavers at work as well, visit a 17th century fort in Thirumayam. The hand made tile unit at Athangudi would be an interesting learning experience as would be the visit to a school in Kanadukathan where you can interact with village children, definitely a fascinating experience.
Visit many a traditional Chettinad home, more importantly Kamban Mani Mandapam and Kaviarsar Kannadhasan Mani Mandapam; visit the terracotta tile factory in Athangudi.
(Only if staying at Chettinad Mansion) Go on a guided tour of the Chettinadu Mansion, enjoy a bullock cart ride through the village. Visit antique shops in Karaikudi and learn about their art works, watch weavers at work here. Visit a 17th century fort in Thirumayam. The hand made tile unit at Athangudi is an interesting learning experience as is the visit to a school in Kanadukathan, where you can interact with village children – definitely a fascinating experience.
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