Village and Countryside of Chettinad
On October 16, 2017
In all its history and splendor, Chettinad is a quintessential South Indian village located snugly between the cities of Madurai and Trichy. Being the ancestral city of Nattukottai Chettiars, who were a respectable community of bankers and traders, Chettinad has all the charm and rustic feel of a city that stays comfortably away from the buzzing cities of the modern South India and its unrelenting hustle bustles.Chettinad is in every way the perfect ancient village that everyone wants to spend some time visiting. It has a clearly distinguishable culture, several beautiful temples, unique mansions and a rare cuisine. All of these make Chettinad one of the most important places to visit in the cultural trail of India.
The Chettinad mansions that span from one street to another are some of the most intriguing mansions you would ever lay your eyes on. The mansions are the signatures of the bygone past where Chettinad reigned in all its grandeur and sumptuousness. Most of the mansions in Chettinad sport several elements of distinct architectural styles that range from the Victorian to Neo-classical styles. Most aspects of the mansions such as the expansive courtyards, lavishly ornated exteriors, huge teak doors that are intricately carved, Belgian chandeliers and Italian marbles along with several other features present everything to keep the visitors riveted for a whole day.
The temples in Chettinad are as much intriguing as the mansions here. Unlike most other villages in India, where every village has a single temple to it, the village in Chettinad has quite a few temples to it. Testimonial to this fact is the presence of nine temples in Chettinad within a radius of twenty five kilometers. Adorned by exceptional interiors and being veiled in some of the most fascinating facades, the temples in Chettinad such as Pillaiyarpatti temple, Vairavanpatti temple, Mathur temple and Iranikovil temple, are a feast to behold.
Another unique attraction of Chettinad is the handloom center that one can visit. Chettinad handloom sarees are some of the best cotton sarees which can be hand-washed. A visit will definitely make you understand everything you need to know about the making of these sarees and buy a few additions to your wardrobe for sure.
The Athangudi tiles are another thing of interest to witness while travelling in Chettinad. The Chettiars brought several artifacts and ideas to their land while they travelled overseas. The Athangudi tiles are believed to have been taken inspirations from the patterns of carpets used in Europe during those times.
Chettinad cuisine is another exotic part of Chettinad, and the cuisine has naturally become an important part of the menus of several South Indian restaurants across the world giving exceptional gastronomical experience to food lovers. Chettinad chicken and lamb dishes are sure to tease your taste buds.
Chettinad is also a land of artifacts art and antiques; the Chettiars have invested a lot of money and time to promote local culture and art forms as much as they can. Some of the Chettinad specialties one can find here are the Tanjore paintings, copper water heaters and intricately carved pillars and doors.