• Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple

    The Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple, also known as the Brihadeeswarar temple is considered among the largest temples in the country and is a fine example of Dravidian architecture during the Chola era. It is located in Gangaikonda Cholapuram in the Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The temple is believed to have been built in 1035 AD by King Rajendra Chola 1, son of King Raja Raja Chola who built the original, much larger Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and he is worshipped here in the form of a lingam which is 18 feet wide and 13 feet...

  • Thirumayam Fort in Pudukkottai District

    In ancient days, it was a common practice to build forts to protect ones’ territories and subjects from invasions. Such a fort exists in the town of Thirumayam, situated along the Pudukkottai-Karaikudi highway just a short distance away from the city of Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu. Pudukkottai is famous for its historical temples, Sittannavasal paintings and ancient monuments. The Thirumayam Fort is believed to have been built in 1687 AD by the Raja of Ramnad, Sethupathy Vijaya Ragunatha Thevar. He later handed over the fort to his brother-in-law, Ragunatha Raya Tondaiman. The fort has an in...

  • Sittannavasal Paintings in Pudukkottai

    The Sittannavasal cave is a rock-cut temple or monastery that’s also known as Arivar Koil. It is part of a 2nd century complex of Jain temples located in the Sittannavasal village of Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. In Tamil, the word Sittannavasal literally translates to ‘abode of the great saints’. The temple is famous in India for its magnificent mural paintings dating back to the 7th century. These paintings are considered to be among the best paintings of medieval era India and are second only to the paintings in the Ajanta Caves and Bagh Caves. The Sittanavasal village can be ...

  • History of the Nattukottai Nagarathar Community

    Also known as the Nattukottai Chettiars, the Nattukottai Nagarathars are believed to have settled in Kaviripoom Pattinam, also known as Poombugar, a coastal city during the 2nd century AD of the Chola Empire. They were basically traders with great business acumen and dealt with gems, silks, pearls, spices and salt. Early records show that this community travelled to Colombo in 1805, to Penang, Singapore in 1824, to Moulmein in Burma in 1852 and to Mandalay in Myanmar in 1885. Some of the other countries visited include Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand and established money...

  • History of Pudukkottai

    Pudukkottai district was carved out of Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur districts and forms one of the smaller districts of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It has an area of 4,661 sq km and a coastline of about 39km. The region has a traumatic history as it was the site of many wars waged by kingdoms of the past that ruined its economy and brought misery to the inhabitants. Interestingly the villages here have ancient foundations and are strongly believed to have been home to prehistoric mankind. This is by virtue of the unearthing of numerous artefacts and a large number of burial sites in th...

  • Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

    Ekambareswarar temple is one of the five Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Kanchipuram in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The five Shiva temples represent a primordial natural element – water, ether, fire, wind – with the Ekambareswarar temple representing earth. This vast temple is famous for its huge ‘Gopuram’ which dominates the skyline of the temple town of Kanchipuram. This town is among the seven most important pilgrimage centres in India and attracts numerous tourists. The temple gains further significance as it’s historically among the most ancie...

  • The Story behind the Chettinad Wooden Pillars

    Gone are the days when the Nattukottai Chettiars of the famous Chettinad region lived like royalty in their huge mansion-like homes with numerous luxurious rooms, opulently carved teak front doors and pillars, and walls that gleamed like silk even in the dim light. The homes boasted of highly embellished multiple central courtyards and décor that was collected from various countries and bespoke the owner’s wealth.This banking and trading community has been in existence for more than two thousand years now. Earlier they lived along the coast, but after being insulted by one of the Chola dy...

  • The History of Chettinad

    Chettinad is the name of a region located in the Sivagangai and Pudukottai districts of Tamil Nadu in South India. This area is synonymous with many things grand and outstanding. It has been the home of the prosperous Nattukottai Chettiars since around the 13nth century. This prosperous trading and banking community made the region popular for its famously architected opulent mansions, its local cuisine, it’s world-famous, handmade Aathangudi tiles as well as the Chettinad saris. The Chettiars were basically wealthy traders dealing in silks, gems, pearls, spices and salt and were earlier set...

  • Places to Visit in Chidambaram

    The scenic town of Chidambaram lies in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. This small town spread over 5km sq is about 250km from Chennai and has a history going back to the Chola kingdom. It is well-known for its temples, arts and culture and is famous with pilgrims for its Shiva temple. The word Chidambaram literally translates into ‘sky infused’ with reference to wisdom and intelligence. Chidambaram is also known as ‘Thillai’ and is located in the Coleroon River valley located on the main Thanjavur-Madras road. Thillai could have been derived from the presence of the ancient Thi...

  • Chettinad House Interiors

    The Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu in the Sivagangai and Pudukottai districts is home to about 75 settlements comprising 2 small towns and 73 villages. They are famous for many things – especially their cuisine and their huge sprawling mansions. Most of them were built in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the Nagarathar Chettiars were still having it good in their business ventures. The Chettiars belong to a lineage of wealthy traders and financiers who roamed and settled in parts of South-east Asia in quest of their business interests. They were at the peak of their ec...