In the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu a historical town Chettinad is located, it has countless tourist pleasure and it is famous for itsunique architecture, rich art and cultural heritage and delicious cuisines.
Chettinad region in South India got its name from the NatukottaiChettiar community, who were the pioneers of banking in India. This community flourished in their time and they have built majestic buildings, and developed an exclusivestyle of architecture. They had a prosperous era which resulted in rich lifestyle,culture and arts & crafts and remarkable temples. The glory of the golden still sparkle in the legacy left behind.
Chettiad community had glorious days which make the city worth visiting. The traditional bungalows which are spellbinding tourist attractions which helps you understand simple yet classy life of wealthy trading community.
Museums are the major tourist attractions in the city - the KaviarsarKannadhasan Mani Mandapamand the Kamban Mani Mandapam, built in honour of late poet have an amazing collection. Traditional jewellery, clothing,artefacts,huge copper vats and grain bins take you to the old days.
In the 18th century Chettiar community built many Chettinadhouses.The palatial houses have an exclusive setting with spacious rooms, wide courtyards, furnishings embellished with marble and teak and ornamented columns. The most extraordinary houses are found in the villages of Aathangudi, Kandanur, Kadiyapatti and Kaanadukathan
Atype of limestone known as karai was used in the construction of Chettiar mansions, and they were polished with a paste made out of egg whites that give it an ethereal white appearance.
Chettinad cuisine is aromatic, rich in flavours and spicy and the experience is one of a knid. There are lots of vegetarian delicacies but non vegetarian food tops the menu that include lamb, prawns, Lobsters, Fish and crab. The most famous dishes would be Chettinad Lamb and Chicken from the Chettinad Kitchen.
In South Indian culturethe arts and crafts of Chettinad occupy a distinct position.Silver embellishment, palm-leaf baskets, Wood carvings,handmade tiles,architectural styles,gold jewellery, egg plastering are few of specimens of the wide-ranging repertoire. The main highlight of artistic creations are the Chettinad baskets with intricate patterns which are made with palm leaves.Chettinad Sarees and Kandaangi sarees are the best creations, they use beautiful colour combination and pattern with stripes and bold checks are beauty to look at.
If you want to enjoy the Chettinad Architecture, the streets of this town are the best. The mansions are built on large plots exceeding over 1.5 to 10 acres and it has approximately 1300 windows with 1500 tons of timber as wood work. There is not much in town but still you can wonder at these amazing specimens of architecture.
Annamalai Chettiar's, Chettinad Palace which was built 115 years ago is the best of its kind. All the furnishings, decorative items and construction material were brought from East Asia and Europe. The palace is decorated with marble from Italy,Crystal and Wall-to-wall Mirrors from Europe, Chandeliers and Teak from Myanmar and Crockery from Indonesia.
The position for temples, activities and festivals are very special in the lifestyle of Chettinad'speople.The ruling dynasty built these magnificent templesfrom time to time. These temples are built according to AgamaShastras and Vaastu Shastras, the temples exists as a evidence to the spiritual belief of the people. The wealthy Chettiars take care of the maintenance of these temple sites and enhanc its beauty with some of the finest intricate cravings and designs.
Some of the major features of the temple are Majestic towers, holy tank in the premises and exotic architecture.
The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Devakottai has 108 statues of Vinayakar.KundrakudiMurugan,KarpagaVinayakar,NagaraKoil,KandanurSivan, Iraniyur, Kottaiyur Sivan and VairavanKovil temples are among the other famous temples of Chettinad.