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  • Pepper: A spice that changed the history of South India

    Pepper is now just one of those spices used to pep up your salad or curry. Not so long ago though, the humble peppercorns were bought by their weight in gold! The story of pepper is intrinsically connected to the history and economy of the ancient Tamil country (Sangam era: 200 BCE – 200 CE) or Tamilakkam that used to cover most of the present-day states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The agrarian societies were masters at cultivating, weaving, manufacturing and construction. Paddy was the most important crop; it was the staple cereal after all. The next most important crop was pepper. Karaik...

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  • Chettinad Weddings: An Affair Of Good Food And Community Living

    Every Chettiar household would be planning at least one of their child’s wedding to be held in the family house; registered at a village temple. And marriage is the grandest celebration in a Chettiar family. The least period of the celebration is three days, otherwise it can well extend into a full-fledged six-day affair of great food and community living. As a community, the Chettiars are conservative and believe in going through the custom of gift giving for the well-being of the newly married. The bride’s trousseau would be famous for the sheer number of items in all forms of ...

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  • Weddings Chettinad style

    Chettiyar weddings are a grand and elaborate affair and can span for up to three days or more, punctuated with various interesting rituals. Every Nagarathar marriage has to be approved and registered in the respective groom’s temple. Once approved,a garland is delivered to the bride’s home on behalf of the temple authorities on the wedding day. This marks the beginning of all festivities. The Chettinad people are generous when it comes gifting and the bride’s trousseau is legendary and famous for the sheer number of items in all forms of gold, diamonds, silver and steel. Even the k...

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  • The Architectural grandeur of Chettinad homes

    The magnificent mansions in Chettinad reflect a confluence of vernacular architecture & a blend of South East & European architectural styles. This region comprises a great number of striking “Art Deco” style houses built in the 1940 or 50’s (also called “French Art Deco”). Karaikkudi has an important Art-Deco quarter, which includes the Thousand Windows House. The floor plan and structure of a typical Nagarthar are in accordance with all the aspects of the home dweller’s daily and various ceremonial rituals. Most Chettiyar houses will have a reception area edging onto ...

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  • Get The Basics Of Chettinad Cuisine With ‘Chettinad Paste’

    Chettinad cuisine is as rich and colourful as its cultural legacy. The mélange of flavours prepared by the people of Chettinad, carries the tales of enterprising Chettiars who have travelled across Sri Lanka, South East Asia and Europe for trade and commerce. Perhaps the spiciest of all South Indian recipes, Chettinad cuisine has some exotic ingredients like ‘marathi morulu’ (a dried flower pod) and black stone flower (‘dagad phool’ or Kalpasi). They are creatively combined with other popular Indian aromatics, generating flavours and aromas that are known world-over to be unique. Mos...

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  • Important People from Chettinad Who Have Shaped History

    How many of us know that Chettinad is more than just tasty cuisines and bright colours of art? Can you name some of the famous Chettinad people who contributed greatly to our country? If your answer is no, then this article will prove as a good introduction for you to famous Chettinad personalities. Chettinad is a region named after the Nattukottai Chettiars, who originally came and settled from Cauvery Poompattinam in the 13th century after their homeland was destroyed in a massive flood. Their migration also brought with them a unique culture of hard work which proved useful in the unforgi...

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  • Chettinad – A Paradise of South Indian Artefacts

    Temples and heritage buildings are certainly part of the itinerary of any Chettinad traveller. Ever wondered what other things make the region special? There is a bewildering array of art and craft forms in the district of Tamil Nadu for the curious eye to see. The Chettiars were and still are people with unique cultural interests that are reflected in their art and architecture. The people of Chettinad have migrated abroad and brought in valuable insights into how the various arts can be developed. Their art is symbolic of this cultural exchange. The assortment of artefacts from the Nagara...

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  • Restoring lost splendour – The Hindu’s coverage on Chidambara Vilas winning NDTV heritage architecture award

    Architect T.M. Cyriac, whose firm recently won an award for heritage architecture design, talks about restoration of property and the importance of academic debate on architecture Converting a 110-year-old palatial home into a heritage hotel is not an enviable task, but it is one architect T.M. Cyriac and his team pulled off. And their efforts were rewarded when Cyriac’s firm Environmental Creations bagged top honours in the Heritage Architecture Design category at the inaugural NDTV Design and Architecture of the Year Awards. The firm won the award for its work on Chidambara Vilas, a Chet...

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  • Chidambara Vilas Won NDTV Design and Architecture Award, 2014

    We are happy to announce that Chidambara Vilas has won the Heritage Architecture Design of the Year award from NDTV this year. Design and architecture are inseparable components of modern households, hotels and spas. In an effort to recognize the best efforts invested in the architecture industry under different segments, NDTV has now started presenting its first ever Design & Architecture Awards in partnership with GROHE, powered by Autodesk. GROHE, the leading premium brand in the world in sanitary fittings is known for being the founding partner of World Architecture Festival. It is g...

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