Activities to do in Chettinad

On June 19, 2018

Located at Southern Tamil Nadu, Chettinad is one of the few places that evoke a sense of architectural grandeur, magnificent houses and mansions, eclectic temples and mind-blowing cuisine. With a rich heritage that fashioned over four centuries, Chettinad is a land of merchants, traders and financiers who have migrated from the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu so as to escape from the attack of cyclones and other tumultuous weather conditions. Owing to its astonishing cultural heritage, Chettinad offers a myriad of activities to indulge in.

Exploring the clan temples of the Chettiars is the best way to begin your trail of activities in Chettinad. There are seven chief temples in Chettinad which are visited by most of the travellers visiting the place. Of these temples, Ilyathangudi is perhaps the most important and the first clan temple. Another temple is Vairavanpatti which has several paintings depicting the major events from Indian epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Soorakudi is yet another clan temple adorned with as many as ten Vimanas, twin gopurams and several sculptures of various deities. These temples have elaborate paintings and carvings of gods and goddesses making it one of the most artistically expressive of all the clan temples of the Chettiars. There are other temples in Chettinad as well to explore and understand its significance in the cultural heritage of the region.

If you are a person who loves to traverse through time, visiting the mansions at Chettinad is another enticing activity to do in Chettinad. These mansions are expansive constructs unique to this area of the state and they sometimes span over streets. Many mansions are so huge that you will enter at one street and take the exit from the same mansion at another street. Various architectural styles, rustic wall works, artfully painted and carved pillars and doors are some of the most exciting things to experience while journeying through these time-defying remnants of the glorious past of Chettinad. It is also a rare place where tradition is cleverly woven with unmatched luxury.

Street shopping is another moving experience to have while visiting Chettinad. Since many local artisans and craftsmen work directly with the merchants here, you will have plenty of options to grab a few local items. There are plenty of opportunities to collect souvenirs from these local shops and you can add them as a reminder of the cherished time you had in Chettinad.

If you are keen to understand the transpiring culture of Chettinad, the best place to experience the same firsthand is the Chettinad museum. The museum is a converted heritage home. Everything you need to understand about ‘Chettinad way of life’ is right here. You can also take a close look at the several pieces of jewellery, clothes and utensils, some of which are centuries old.

Maybe the perfect activity to lose oneself into at Chettinad is eating; experiencing the spicy, colourful and flavoured meal with numerous dishes on a banana leaf is creating a memory that will stay with you forever. The diversity of Chettinad and its portrayal of life in all its larger than life and frenzied state is a must-have experience for sure.