• Then Tirupati Ariyakudi Perumal Kovil

    The southern state of Tamil Nadu is known as the land of temples and the Chettinad region located in its heartland is no less. There are numerous famous temples here with the then Tirupati Ariyakudi Perumal Kovil being one of the outstanding ones. This 500 year-old-temple is located in Ariyakudi and is the biggest Vishnu temple in the Chettinad region which includes the Sivaganaga and Pudukottai districts. The temple is also believed to be one of the earthly homes of Lord Balaji. The presiding deity here is Lord Venkatachalapathi (also known as Thiruvenkatamudaiyaan) and has been brought fro...

  • Chettinad Art, Artifacts and Antiques

    The Chettinad region of the southern state of Tamil Nadu is located in the Sivaganga and Pudukottai districts. The Nattukottai Chettiars or Nagarathar community that resides here were originally wealthy traders and bankers who traveled through the south-east Asian countries in search of commerce. From their travels, they brought back things of great value and beauty.With the money they earned, they also built magnificent mansions that were lavish and featured decor elements from different nations. These mansions had intricately-carved grand entrance doors and highly decorative inner central co...

  • Velankudi

    The Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu is famous for many things including its cuisine, culture and magnificent heritage homes that were built so opulently, they could almost be classified as palaces. The Nagarathar or Nattukottai Chettiar community living in this region included 93 villages, but these have dwindled down to around 70 with people migrating to the larger cities. The Nagarathar community can be divided into 9 clans with each clan following one among the 9 important ‘Nagara Kovils’. An important feature of these nine temples is that they all have Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati as...

  • Vettuvan Koil Temple

    Most people are attracted to the mysterious, the allure of the unknown and the will to explore all things of a bygone era. Such is the fascination that goes with the Vettuvan Koil. The name itself means heaven of sculptors. It is an ancient unfinished Hindu temple that was carved out of rocks between the 8th and 9th century. It is also the only monolithic Pandyan temple still surviving. This incomplete monolithic cave temple is sculpted from a single rock, with only the top portion of the temple having been completed. This portion itself houses about 122 beautifully executed sculptures of var...

  • Temples of Chettinad – Nagarathars

    The Nagarathars are a part of the Chettiar community located in Chettinad with a rich history going back to the medieval era during the reign of the Chola dynasty. They are famous for their business acumen and traveled far to the south-east Asian countries including Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java and Vietnam in search of commerce. The community is renowned for its legendary hospitality and is considered as the pioneer of the modern banking system in practice today. They are believed to have introduced words like debit, credit, profit and loss, expenditure and trial bala...

  • Athmanathaswamy Temple

    The Chettinad region in the Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu boasts of several significant Shiva temples. Known for its sculptural beauty in granite, the 10th century Athmanathaswamy temple is a popular tourist destination. This Shiva temple is located on the scenic banks of the Kaveri River and is just 24km away from Trichy city. There is a myth that worshipping at this temple can cure those with mental illness, hence many mentally challenged people are brought here. There is even a mental asylum built nearby and run by a trust. The temple has a large shrine for Manickavasagar, a great sa...

  • Soorakudi

    Soorakudi is a sleepy village nestled in the Sakkottai Block of Sivaganga district in Tamil Nadu. It is a part of the Chettinad region and rich in its history and culture. The historical name of Soorakudi was Desikanathapuram and was named after the main deity resident in the Soorakudi temple. The current name is based on the ‘Soorai’ scrub which grows in abundance in this region. This scrub is believed to have strong medicinal values too. The Soorakudi temple forms part of the 9 Shiva temples that are managed by the Nagarathar Chettiars of the Chettinad region. Each clan belongs to one o...

  • Vairavanpatti

    Vairavanpatti is a quaint little town located in the Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu. It is home to the Vairavanswamy temple which is the third-largest Shiva temple run by the Nagarathar Chettiars of this famous Chettinad region. It is one of the 9 Shiva temples of the Nagarathars. They are devout Shiva worshippers and most of the daily activities revolve around their temples. This ancient temple is said to have been in existence since the 8th century and was earlier under the care of the Pandya kings. In the 14th century, they handed over its care to the Nagarathar Chettiars. It was initia...

  • Chettinad Palace

    Chettinad is a region located in the Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu. It once consisted of 94 vibrant villages, but that number has now dwindled down to 75. The Nattukottai Chettiars who lived in this region belonged to a business and banking community; they generated their wealth by trading with the south-eastern nations. With the wealth they amassed, they built massive mansions. They brought back materials of great beauty and included them in the building of their palatial homes. It would be no surprise to find exquisitely carved Burmese teak pillars lining the inner courtyards or stained...

  • Pillaiyarpatti Temple

      The Pillaiyarpatti temple is located in the township of Pillaiyarpatti and is also known as Karpaka Vinayakar temple. Unknown to many, it’s one of the oldest rock-cut cave temples in Tamil Nadu. Located between Pudukottai and Karaikkudi towns in the Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu, the town is named after Ganesha – with ‘Pillayar’ meaning Ganesha in Tamil. The word ‘Vinayakar’ here also means ‘incomparable leader’. He is also known as the Lord of wisdom. He is believed to have fulfilled the prayers of his devotee, the ‘Karpakam’ tree, hence he is known as Karpaka ...