• Kamban Mani Mandapam

    The medieval Mahakavi Kamban is one of the few people honored to have a monument named after them. He was a famous Tamil poet who lived circa 1180-1250 AD in Tamil Nadu. Though belonging to a high caste family of priests, he grew up in a wealthy farmer’s home. Being a learned scholar of ancient languages such as Sanskrit and Tamil, Kamban gained fame after writing the Tamil version of the Ramayana epic. Known as the ‘Kamba Ramayana’, it is believed to be one of the greatest epics in the Tamil language, having more than 10,000 poetic songs and is composed of 45,000 lines. He has made a f...

  • Chettinad-Style Interior Decoration

    The Chettinad region comprises of 74 villages located close to Trichy in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. While the flavorsome cuisine of the Chettinad region is famous all over the country, the Chettinad style of architecture and interior decoration is spellbinding as well.The landowning Nattukottai Chettiars who lived here in the last century were merchants who traveled far and wide in search of commerce. With the wealth they earned, they bought things of great beauty and used them in the huge mansions that they built back home. These mansions were built on a luxurious scale from anywhere ...

  • Kundrakudi Murugan Temple

    The Chettinad region located in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu is dotted with numerous awe-inspiring temples that could interest connoisseurs of history, culture and architecture of yore. The Kundrakudi Murugan temple (also known as Shanmughanathar temple) is one such fine example built during the 8th century under the Pandyan Empire. This ancient temple is a typical representation of fine Dravidian architecture and has a grand five-tiered Rajagopuram (gateway) that rises to a majestic 16.5m height. It is encrusted with numerous intricately carved sculptures that tell their own interest...

  • Chettiar Clan Temples

    Located within the heart of the southern state of Tamil Nadu is the famous Chettinad region which falls within the Sivagangai and Pudukottai districts. True to the tradition of Tamil Nadu being known as the land of temples;, the Nagarathar (also known as Chettiars) community who lived here were ardent Vishnu worshipers. They built many temples including 9 major clan temples. Each of the more than 93 settlements and more that existed here earlier, each was associated with a clan temple.Every temple had its own set of rules and with religious activities being a mainstay of the people, the temple...

  • 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...