Overview
“Beauty lies in the details…”

Steeped in marvellous heritage, the Chettinad region in south India eloquently illumines the past… and its heart lies in the village of Karaikudi. What we behold here are specimens of architectural brilliance, each of them giving a cue into the vision, endeavour and character of a great civilization. The people of the Chettinad area, the Chettiars or Nagarathars Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars (Nagarathars), a prosperous banking and business community, many of whose members migrated to nearby Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Burma, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They had a taste for the finer things of life, and on return to their homeland they brought back Burmese teak and European tiles and created extraordinary mansions, which today stand as signposts to a unique architectural heritage. , have a unique style of living infused with a spectacular sense of artistic perfection, be it building and adorning homes, worshipping Gods, or even dressing up and cooking!

ChettiarsChettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars (Nagarathars), a prosperous banking and business community, many of whose members migrated to nearby Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Burma, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They had a taste for the finer things of life, and on return to their homeland they brought back Burmese teak and European tiles and created extraordinary mansions, which today stand as signposts to a unique architectural heritage. built palatial mansions in the 19th century, and embellished these home fortresses with an uncommon finesse. Ornate in design the mansions are a treasure trove offering visitors an insight to the multifarious elements of Chettiar lifestyle such as intricate wood carvings on doorways and furniture, Athangudi floor tiles, silk-smooth Chettinad egg plaster work, household bric-a-brac in glass and brass, porcelain and enamel, and massive successive doorways and fascinating pillars.

Restoration activities have been recently energised with focus on traditional skills, art forms and even festivals - such as the production of Athangudi floor tiles and Chettinad egg plaster, festivals like Kavadiattam and Karakattam and the traditional Jallikattu bullfight. Karaikudi got its name because the area is famous for the type of houses built with limestone called 'Karai Veedu' and also may be due to a plant called 'Karai', which is widely spread over this area.
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