• 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...

  • An award of excellence

    Congratulations to us! Chidambara Vilas has been honoured with the Award of Excellence from Booking.com for providing the best possible accommodation experience to our guests. The award was based on the reviews provided by our more than just happy customers in 2014 (a rating of 9.2/10) and this will be a fine feather to add to our cap; a ratification of our consistently outstanding commitment to delivering amazing experiences to our guests while staying with us. We express our most sincere gratitude to Booking.com for this prestigious accreditation.

  • Discover the soul of Tamil Nadu

    It would be very safe to say that the very soul of a place can be discovered only by experiencing it hands on. There are of course, innumerable ways to experience this, depending from person to person, for it could be just taking a local bus ride, visiting a traditional home or by taking part in a festival or anything that would actively involve the local participation and tradition. While you are staying with us at Chidambara Vilas, there are activities that you could involve in which would be great ways of experiencing the soul of Tamil Nadu. To begin with, you could take a guided tour o...

  • Top 3 dishes you can have only when in Chettinad!

    The Chettinad cuisine is world renowned for its unique tastes and blends and there are indeed many dishes that you could have, only while you are in Chettinad! Here are some described, so that you’d know what to look out for when you are in the region next time. Kavuni Arusi Back in the day, this was brought in from Burma, the present Myanmar and is still popular over there. This is a true Chettinad speciality and takes prominence in the traditional Chettinad functions, especially the wedding. Though the recipe is fairly easy, it takes precise cooking to get it’s soft and smooth ...

  • Pepper: A spice that changed the history of South India

    Pepper is now just one of those spices used to pep up your salad or curry. Not so long ago though, the humble peppercorns were bought by their weight in gold! The story of pepper is intrinsically connected to the history and economy of the ancient Tamil country (Sangam era: 200 BCE – 200 CE) or Tamilakkam that used to cover most of the present-day states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The agrarian societies were masters at cultivating, weaving, manufacturing and construction. Paddy was the most important crop; it was the staple cereal after all. The next most important crop was pepper. Karaik...

  • Chettinad Weddings: An Affair Of Good Food And Community Living

    Every Chettiar household would be planning at least one of their child’s wedding to be held in the family house; registered at a village temple. And marriage is the grandest celebration in a Chettiar family. The least period of the celebration is three days, otherwise it can well extend into a full-fledged six-day affair of great food and community living. As a community, the Chettiars are conservative and believe in going through the custom of gift giving for the well-being of the newly married. The bride’s trousseau would be famous for the sheer number of items in all forms of ...