Things To Do in Chettinad

Rich in history and a popular tourist destination in South India, Chettinad is vibrant in the Sivaganga region of Tamil Nadu. The town gains its name from the banking and business community Natukottai Chettiars. Chettinad literally means ‘land of the Chettiars’. Thanks to their prosperity, the locals designed and constructed the architectural marvels that Chettinad is most famous for.

Apart from its cultural aesthetic and historic value, Chettinad attracts a lot of tourists due to its remarkable religious structures, extraordinary art and crafts, abundant architecture, and delicious South Indian cuisine that has continued throughout generations. There are a lot of things to do in Chettinad, here are some of the essential places and activities you must add to your itinerary.

Stroll around The Chettinad Palace

The Chettinad Palace is an extraordinary example of 19th and 20th century architecture. Constructed in 1912, the magnificent structure reflects the traditional construction of the Chettinad people and dates back to the 18th century. Made with elements sourced from across the globe, it has borrowed influences from traditional as well as European style with a royal aura.
Adding to its splendour are the boundless green fields that encircle the majestic palace. It is a fusion of contemporary decoration, intricate carvings, exquisite workmanship, and beautiful figures. The lavish palace situation inside the garden is a sight to hold and a must-visit tourist spot.

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Experience Luxury at The Chettinadu Mansion

The Chettinadu Mansion

A historic retreat in Kanadukathan, the Chettinadu Mansion is a century old palace/mansion that reminds visitors of the golden days of Chettinad. The mansion is preserved in all its glory and now runs as a resort. Its cultural allure, nostalgic history and heritage value has been preserved, the architectural integrity is still intact. It has almost 12 rooms that can be booked by guests. It will make your Chettinad stay pleasurable and immemorable.

A popular shooting location for Bollywood and Tollywood films, its spacious hallways, immense gardens and grand Chettinad-style construction speak of the Chettiar prosperity and luxury. Visitors can also indulge in leisure activities that are designed to transport them away from their everyday boredom and stress. For instance, they can explore the small private museum or try cooking in Chettinad cuisine. Getting familiar with its unique taste is a unique experience and one of the most fun things to do in Chettinad.

Visit the many Temples of Chettinad

Since Chettinad is a town that was built on its culture, many of its contemporary practices are a continued legacy of its roots. Every temple grows its own water lilies in the oorani (water tank) inside its premises and uses them for holy rituals. Some of the famous temples are: Vairavan Kovil, Iraniyur, Karpaga Vinayakar, Kundrakudi Murugan, Kottaiyur Sivan, and Kandanur Sivan temples.
Vairavanpatti is a 19th century temple located 15 kms away from Chettinad. Associated with multiple legends, the temple is decorated with paintings representing the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Each temple in Chettinad reveres different deities. Sivapurandevi and Lord Aatkondanathar are worshipped here.

Located in Pillaiyarpatti, the Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar Temple is a magnificent temple intricately carved out of ancient rocks. Thousands of devotees have been coming to worship at the temple for years.

Another beauty is the Soorakudi temple located near Karaikudi. The temple has beautifully ornamented, exquisite statues that the locals hold in high regard. It is named after the Soorai shrub known for its therapeutic properties.

The Athmanathaswamy temple is a 10th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Its beautiful interiors are a testament to the region’s traditional art and the granite structures speak for its stunning architecture.

There are many ways to reach Chettinad easily by train, bus or road. It’s time to make your way to this beautiful town down south now.

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