The history of Chidambara Vilas begins in 1884 with the members of a powerful Chettiar family leaving for abroad. Construction on the mansion was started on a one acre plot which was gifted by the Maharaja of Pudukottai. It took 7 years from 1900 to 1907 to complete the house at a princely sum of 7 lakhs over 110 years ago. The wood was imported from Burma, lights and mirrors from Belgium, chandeliers from Daman and Diu and tiles from Italy.
Golden age for Chettinad houses
During the heights of the Chettiar era, they were powerful bankers and financiers whose empires stretched across India and South East Asia. This coincided with the time of the British Raj, and the house has played host to powerful members of the princely, political and business communities. This golden period was the time at which the most opulent Chettinad houses were constructed.
Restoration by Sangam Group
Today, Chidambara Vilas is projected to visitors as an authentic experience of the rich Chettinad heritage, as a result of the restoration project conceived by the Sangam group who manage the property. The restoration took 3 years, which is almost half the time it took to build the actual home, to ensure that the authentic heritage of the house is preserved.
Pioneering luxury heritage in Chettinad
The Chidambara Vilas is one of the pioneering examples of the concept of heritage Chettinad luxury. The painstaking restoration ensured that many heritage aspects have been preserved which are found rarely even in this region. Chidambara Vilas today stands apart as a rare way to experience luxury from the pre 19th century era and relive the life of a Chettiar from over a century ago.