Chettinad, exploring an off-beat destination

The name"Chettinad" is a much common when it comes to a foodie as it would recall the peppery and spicy dishes originated from the place. The lifestyle of Chettinad region comprising of about 78 villages in the eastern Tamilnadu would have been very different over a century ago where the Nattukotai Chettiar community dominated the place who were either prosperous businessmen or money lenders.

Chettinad Mansions

A few of the mansions still remains under the supervision of caretakers while some converted to heritage hotels. Most of the Chettiar families have moved to cities like Chennai and maintained them for rare occasions like harvest festivals of Pongal and or to conduct weddings in family.

The dusty Chettinad region has its capital at Karaikudi where you could find the old Mansions, while a few of them are ruined.

Athangudi tiles

Athangudi village, which is about 15km from Karaikudi is worth a visit to take a glance at the making of the famous handmade terracotta Athangudi tiles which are durable and Eco-friendly. While visiting one of the cottage industries a lady mentioned that they had delivered some tiles for a 4000sq feet house in Thiruvananthapuram a week back, who was so particular about the traditional look for his bungalow.

Athangudi Palace

The palace is located at Athangudi a small village of Sivaganga District. This palace is a classical example of traditional Chettinad architecture built during early 20th century, outside Karaikudi city.

The entrance has a pillared veranda or thinnai, for welcoming the visitors. Heavily ornate and magnificent wooden doors leads to its main hall. Typically, the Palace uses Italian marbles, stained glass and Burma teak for its doors and windows and ornate wrought iron. Also handmade tiles and woodwork, light up this house.

The Bangala

Bangala the Tamil word for ‘bungalow’, this home-turned-heritage hotel was converted in 1916 for recreational purposes. Later about 25 rooms were added having different decor and the hotel has all your standard luxury amenities.

The Bangala,

Devakottai Road,

Senjai, Karaikudi,

Tamil Nadu

Contact: +91-4565 - 220 221/ 250221

Standard rates:

Breakfast: ₹525/-

Lunch / Dinner: ₹1050/- for Non-veg and ₹945/- for Veg

Room costs: varies from ₹6,500/- to ₹8,500/- depending upon the season

One could experience the Chettinad architectural designs and authentic Chettinad food from this place.

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