Places of interest

Chidambara Vilas is situated at the gateway of the Chettinad region, and equally positioned within 90 kilometers of the three major cities and tourism centers. These cities are already well known for their rich collection of historical locations, temples and cultural landmarks. Within the Chettinad region there are several locations to visit to experience the history and culture of the Chettiars. The immediate vicinity of Chidambara Vilas also holds some locations of interest like the Thirumayam fort built in 1687 AD. Every journey is a source of discovery of the Chettinad way of life, from the lush paddy fields, local industries, artwork, history, architecture, temples and rustic landscape with vast expanses of open space. The breadth of locations accessible from Chidambara Vilas opens up a vast variety of options on places to visit.

Karaikudi

Situated approximately 25 Kms away, Karaikudi is one among the several cities in the district of Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the 76 villages under the province of Chettinad. The name “Karaikudi” is believed to have become etymologically existent from a plant called “Karai” in Tamil, which grows extensively in the regions in and around the city. Karaikudi is also immensely rich in the number of temples, historically significant tourist spots and magnificent palatial houses, of which the most famous ones is in the nearby locality and easily accessible from Chidambara Vilas.

Thirumayam Fort

Located around 6 kms from Kadiapatti, Thirumayam is a historic village, its central attractions being the Thirumayam Fort and the temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The Thirumayam Fort, situated atop a hill, was built in 1687 AD by Sethupathi Vijaya Ragunatha Thevar, the ruler of Ramanathapuram. Although the fort has been partially destroyed due to weathering, the entrance to the fort is still intact and lies about 1 km south of the remaining fort. The relics of a courtyard with pillared corridors and sculptures carved out on them can be seen within the fort.

Kanadukathan

Kanadukathan, as one sees today, is a small town in the district of Sivaganga, situated 11 Kms from Kadiapatti. This culturally vibrant village is quite famous for the massive, palatial houses of the Chettiar community and also for the culinary expertise of the people in the Chettinad style of cooking. Most of the huge mansions are now left vacant or less occupied. These mansions used to be the proud and magnificent homes of the Nattukottai Chettiars, a forward caste in South India well-known for being wealthy and philanthropic.

Trichy

Trichy, at a distance of under 75 kms from kadiapatti, one of the most important cities of Tamil Nadu, is also the administrative headquarters of the Trichy district. The city has been ranked as the fourth largest municipal corporation in Tamil Nadu. Ancient Trichy was ruled by a number of empires that include the Cholas, Pandyas, Pallavas, the Delhi and the Madras Sultanates, Vijaynagar empire, Nayaks and the British Empire. Owing to this fact, Trichy has a combination of different cultural orientations and numerous interesting historical facts and fables.

Thanjavur

Thanjavur, situated 96 Kms from the town of Kdiapatti, the headquarters of the district of Thanjuvur, is an important city in Tamil Nadu. Having a long history that dates back to the Sangam period, Thanjavur is one of the most ancient cities in the world. Founded by Swaran Maran, a Mutharayar king, Thanjavur later stood out among other cities when it became the capital of the Chola Empire. Following the decline of the Cholas, Thanjavur went through the hands of different rulers such as the Pandyas, the kings of Vijaynagar, the Madurai Nayaks, the Thanjavur Nayaks and the British Empire.

Madurai

Madurai is the third largest city in Tamil Nadu and is located just 95 Kms from Kadiapatti. Recognized as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world, Madurai has been a chief settlement for over 2000 years. Apart from its temples, Madurai is well-known for its historical tourist sites that attract a huge number of global visitors annually. The most famous temple in Madurai is the Meenakshi Amman Temple.The temple, was built by the Pandyans and the Madurai Nayaks, is based on the Dravidian architectural style. Madurai is also a major pilgrimage destination in India.

Pillaiyarpatti Temple

The Pillaiyarpatti or the Karpaka Vinayakar Temple is a rock-cut cave temple situated at Thiruppatthur in the district of Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu. The ancient Agama texts, which can be found on the stones in this temple, verify that it was constructed between 1091 and 1238. The temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, has separate shrines for other deities too. The rock-cut images of Lord Shiva as well as of some of the other Hindu mythological gods can be seen quite prominently in the temple. Thiruppatthur is situated 30kms from Kadiapatti.

Pudukottai

Pudukkottai is one among the 32 districts of Tamil Nadu surrounded by the districts of Tanjore, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and Trichy. The district was once a part of Trichy and Tanjore and was declared as an independent district in 1974. Comprising around 765 revenue villages, Pudukottai covers a total area of about 4600 km2 However, it has a coastline which is only about 42 km long. The coastline runs along the Bay of Bengal. Agriculture, horticulture and fishing are some of the main occupations of the people of Pudukkottai. Pudukottai is easily accessible by road at a distance of 25 Kms from Kadiapatti.

Namanasamudram

Namanasamudram, located 18 kms from Kadiapatti, is an Ayyanar Kovil (temple) with hundreds of Terracotta horses and elephants which provides spectacular visual imagery. Ayyanar temples pay homage to the deity of the same name who is worshiped as a protective deity. Ayyanar temples are located at the boundaries of villages and have their own customs which differ from the central temples. Ayyanar cult involves the use of fierce imagery and magnificent idols in large than life sizes. These idols depict the deity riding horses or elephants. The Idols can be very large standing several feet high. Devotees offer terracotta horses, tridents and spears to the temple. Historically Ayyanar temples involved sacrifice as part of their rituals. The idols and imagery are an experience unlike what you get in other temples.

Image Credit – koshyk, Rakesh Ashok, Mali, Mamandram