• Kundrakudi Murugan Temple- stuff of legends!

    Madurai is known as the temple town of Tamil Nadu; it’s the place to visit for those who are history and ancient culture buffs. The ancient sculptures, beautiful architecture as well as the entrancing legends that go along with the temple history are a great way of learning about civilization as well as the oldest religion of the world – Hinduism. The Kundrakudi Murugan temple, also known as the Shanmughanathar temple, sits atop a hill in the village of Kundrakudi near the city of Madurai, India. The easiest way to access it is by road after reaching Madurai either by road, rail or air. ...

  • The Chettinad way of Life

    Chettinad is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, about 85km away from the famed temple town of Madurai. A trip to this rural destination reveals the heritage mansion homes of the Chettiars who were shrewd business men that traded in almost everything ranging from common salt to gems with countries like Burma, Singapore and Malaysia. Much of their incomes went into building grand mansions that were built during the 19nth and 20th century. However, by the mid-twentieth century, most of the Chettiars moved to the capital Chennai for better prospects and left their intricately designed man...

  • Delicacy from Trichy – Aadi Kummayam

    The Chettinad communities from Tamil Nadu are great connoisseurs of food and their festivals as well as weddings are celebrations of gastronomical delights. A visit to this town of awesome heritage mansions gives you an insight into the traditional ways of cooking still being practiced among the Chettiars. Aadi Kummayam is a healthy and lip-smacking dessert of the Chettinad people and a must in all important functions, marriages and banquets. This dish is also served to pubertal girls along with raw egg and a teaspoon of sesame oil; it’s supposed to help in strengthening their bones, taking...

  • Fenugreek in Chettinad Cuisine

    Fenugreek leaves and seeds form an integral part of Chettinad cuisine and its cultivated in the semi-arid regions of many countries that use it in their cuisines including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Turkey, Morocco and Egypt. Charred fenugreek seeds were found in Iraq, dating back to 4000 BC, a testimony to their use since historical times. Interestingly enough, desiccated fenugreek seeds were even found in King Tutankhamens tomb! In India, Rajasthan produces about 80% of this condiments total output. It is believed that the Chettiars of the Chettinad area of Tamil Nadu ...

  • Chettinad Thayir-Sadam (Curd Rice)

    Chettinad cuisine is perhaps the most renowned fare of Tamil Nadu state of southern India. The people of Chettinad call themselves the Nattukotai Chettiars and are famous for their loaded dining tables. The Chettiars were basically vegetarians, but they have absorbed the non-veg culture from their travels across the Malabar Coast where the resident Christians and Muslims indulged in non-vegetarian food habits. Further travels to Ceylon, Burma, China, Singapore and Malaysia led to these non-vegetarian habits becoming further ingrained into the Chettiar cuisine. During traditional feasts and r...

  • The Unforgettable Chettinadu Chicken curry

    The incredibly spicy and aromatic Chettinad cuisine was made famous by the Nattukotai Chettiars, who hail from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu of southern India. This community specializes in trading, merchandizing and banking and apparently their hearts are as big as their pockets too as these Chettiars make excellent hosts and are always ready to welcome strangers and any occasion is a reason to feast for them! The meal starts with an almond flavored liquid dessert followed by a dozen varieties of main courses along with buttermilk to calm the taste buds from the fiery tingling of the sp...

  • The Trades of Chettinad

    Back in the day, the Chettiars were primarily traders of salt, silk and precious stones transported by sea to the South East Asian countries. They later became prominent in banking and money lending. With the growth of British colonial rule in south East Asia, many Chettiars emigrated from India to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Burma and Malaya (now Malaysia and Singapore). Their success overseas enabled them to fund palatial family mansions back home. The grandeur of the Chettiar settlements built from the 1850s to the 1940s is a testimony to their rich lifestyle. The community that conceptualized...

  • The Chettinad Cuisine – A Glimpse

    A major attraction to the historic land of Chettinad is its distinctive cuisine. Popular for the complexity of flavors and aroma, the Chettinad cuisine has a culinary tradition unlike any other. The interesting history of the Chettiar community is reflected in its unique cuisine. Having originated from the coastal region, Chettiars used seafood to create most of their authentic dishes such as eral masala (prawn), nandu masala (crab), meen kuzhambu (fish curry), and sura puttu (scrambled shark).When the community moved inland and settled in the comparatively dry and arid Chettinad, the cuisin...

  • A quick look in to Chettinad

    A nexus of 73 villages and 2 towns spread over 1,550 km2 in the districts of Sivagangai and Pudukottai comprises the land of Chettinad, with its capital in Karaikudi. Claiming to have originated from the ancient kingdom of Chola that existed between the 10th to 12th centuries, the Chettiars, or Nagarathars were primarily Seafarers, well known for their trading expeditions overseas. Having lost their land and belongings in a tidal wave, they decided to move inland and are said to have been invited by a Pandyan king to help prosper his kingdom. A centrally located temple and the land of Chettin...

  • Explore the Kandaangi sarees of Chettinad

    The Kandaangi saree or the Chettinad saree is renowned for its extensive use of colours, contrasting tints, stripes and bold check patterns. These sarees have long proved to be a prized possession of every south Indian woman. The charm of the Kandaangi saree is its ethnic look and versatility, making it a favourite for any occasion. The saree’s design has evolved over the years, just like how the lifestyle evolved over time, here in south India. What makes it distinct? The most distinguishable features of the saree are its striking colours which are brought out by the combination of st...