Chidambra Villas

Chidambara Vilas

Vilas is a 110 year old heritage Chettiar home that provides an authentic showcase of the luxurious Chettinad lifestyles of the last century.

Authentic restoration
The luxury is truly in the details, made possible through a 3 year restoration effort by the Sangam group which manages this heritage property. You can now experience one of the best examples of authentic Chettinad architecture, furniture, glasswork, tile work and paintings.

Beautifully recreated rooms
25 rooms have been recreated and restored to the smallest details. At the same time the rooms have been subtly enhanced with all luxuries and amenitiesto offer a personalized experience that gives the best of both worlds, a full century apart.

Savour the world famous Chettinad cuisine through three unique dining experiences at Chidambara Vilas – Interactive, Experiential and Fine Dining.

Indoor and outdoor activities
Enjoy a complete Chettinad experience through the custom designed inddor and outdoor activities. Relax in the international standard swimming pool and lounge area within the property.

The history of Chidambara Vilas begins in 1884 with the members of a powerful Chettiar family leaving for abroad. Construction on the mansion was started on a one acre plot which was gifted by the Maharaja of Pudukottai. It took 7 years from 1900 to 1907 to complete the house at a princely sum of 7 lakhs over 110 years ago. The wood was imported from Burma, lights and mirrors from Belgium, chandeliers from Daman and Diu and tiles from Italy.

Golden age for Chettinad houses
During the heights of the Chettiar era, they were powerful bankers and financiers whose empires stretched across India and South East Asia. This coincided with the time of the British Raj, and the house has played host to powerful members of the princely, political and business communities. This golden period was the time at which the most opulent Chettinad houses were constructed.

Restoration by Sangam Group
Today, Chidambara Vilas is projected to visitors as an authentic experience of the rich Chettinad heritage, as a result of the restoration project conceived by the Sangam group who manage the property. The restoration took 3 years, which is almost half the time it took to build the actual home, to ensure that the authentic heritage of the house is preserved.

Pioneering luxury heritage in Chettinad
The Chidambara Vilas is one of the pioneering examples of the concept of heritage Chettinad luxury. The painstaking restoration ensured that many heritage aspects have been preserved which are found rarely even in this region. Chidambara Vilas today stands apart as a rare way to experience luxury from the pre 19th century era and relive the life of a Chettiar from over a century ago.


Standing apart through unique details
Chidambara Vilas is an exquisite specimen of Chettinad Houses. Although governed by similar aesthetic and planning concepts, the grandeur of the Chettinad house was determined by the power and social standing of the merchant who owned it. As with all things Chettinad, the luxury was in the details, and powered by the financial influence of the merchant. The house was built over 100 years ago at the peak of Chettinad dominance and the opulence of the era can be felt in every aspect of its interiors. Imported materials are used liberally in Chidambara Vilas, as the Chettiars were well known for. Built at the time of the British Raj, Chidambara Vilas fits the format of the perfect Chettinad house – an amalgam of traditional and western design sensibilities. For its sheer details, Chidambara Vilas boasts interiors that stand out from among the other houses in the region. From furniture, to ornate carvings, paintings and unique elements like the carved 3D dolls in the Bomma Kottagai, Chidambara Vilas represents Chettinad at its finest opulence.

Grand Reception – “Mugappu”
Standing apart through unique detailsThe Mugappu is the reception area at the threshold of the entry to Chidambara Vilas. A key element of the reception is the Kallupetti which is the accountant’s desk. The origin of this desk hails back to the days when the Chettiars were running finance and banking operations in the last century. A striking element is the numerous pillars which are done up in materials like wood, granite, terracotta and decorated by ornate woodwork.

The Courtyard – “Valavu”
The courtyard following the Reception and lobby is called the Valavu. The courtyard is framed with rooms on two sides. The doors to these rooms are intricately carved with auspicious images of Gods and Goddesses. Each married male member of the family is given one of the rooms surrounding the Valavu or upstairs.

Bomma Kottagai
Bomma Kottagai literally translates into Doll house, and this is reflected in the intricate carvings and installations of dolls in this hall. The use of the hall hails back to the Chettiar tradition of inviting neighbours and relatives to pooja and lunch during the time of the festival of Golu. During this festival several intricate dolls were displayed to the visitors in the hall and this tradition has translated into the use of dolls in decorating the hall.

Visiri hall
The Visiri hall was reserved for the women in the family. The hall has now been converted into the experiential dining hall which serves authentic chettinad leaf meals. The hall is decorated with paintings depicting mythical scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. The paintings were done using organic colors created through combining various natural dyes and elements. These dyes and organic elements were ground together to create the various shades and colors. This hall is also known as Panka Hall. Before the use of electricity the Fan (Panka) was operated manually. Exquisite chandeliers which used candles are also seen in the hall.


Opulent Exteriors
As a result of the specific requirements and multiple influences, the exterior design and layout of Chidambara Vilas is an astute mix of the traditional, the practical and the opulent.

Golden age of Chettinad architecture
Chidambara Vilas was built at the prime of the Chettiar era, when the most grandest Chettinad homes were built. As a result it represents one of the finest examples of Chettinad homes in terms of the scope of architecture, interiors and detailing.

Unique exterior features
The exterior design that stands apart with several distinguishing features, primary among which is the minarets and towers that adorn the heritage home. The minarets provide a beautiful view of the town and adjoining paddy fields. The Thirumayam fort is also visible from the towers.

Exquisite detailing
Beautiful carvings featuring gods and mythical scenes from the Hindu epics decorate the exteriors of the house, particularly the entrances and the doors.

Amalgam of colors and influences
The exterior design stands out by the use of liberal amount of colors, which stands out against the white background. The high windows are stylistic elements from the European influence.The exteriors are a mix of art deco, south Indian and colonial styles. The mix of colors and styles is difficult to achieve and is unique to Chettinad architecture.

Layout and key design elements
The use of imported materials was a key element of the architecture. While the inner parts of the house were designed to afford intimacy for the communal interactions, the outside and the semipublic guest areas were designed to impress through opulence. Legend has it that the Chettiars built their homes on raised platforms, and added additional floors to protect themselves in the eventuality of a flood, which is said to be the original reason for their migration from their original settlement in Poompattinam during the 13th century.

Scientific approach to design
Situated at the gateway region to Chettinad, Chidambara Vilas also imbibed all the authentic qualities of exterior design prevalent in Chettinad architecture, including open space within the structure. Ventilation and flow of air is given priority in the design of the openings. The inner walls of the house did not have direct exposure to sunlight, which helped in managing the heat.

Rooms and Pricing

Luxury Heritage Rooms
Luxury RoomsThe heritage rooms at Chidambara Vilas recreates the ambience of authentic Chettiar lifestyles. This is visible in the attention to details, from the vintage hand operated Panka fans to even the switches which are designed in a format from a previous era. This is also reflected in the furnishings to the lighting and the design elements like athangudi tiles, the wooden roofing and panelling. The rooms at Chidambara Vilas are the most authentic Chettiar experience available today, and is the result of a painstaking effort at renovation, which involved the use of innovative and creative techniques to blend old world charm without compromising on luxury.

Heritage Double Room
Each heritage double room has been recreated in the style of Chettiar homes. As you enter the heritage double rooms, one of the striking features is the poster beds with carved wooden posts and curtains. Vintage format accessories have been used throughout the room, and even small details like the switches are recreated from designs from the last century. The famous ‘Athangudi’ tiles complete the picture with wooden panelling and beamed roofing.

Chidambara Vilas stands out by blending luxury to the heritage structure through features that blend into the vintage format. Handpicked paintings, photographs and reproductions of famous artists lend color and warmth to the cool white walls.

It is like being transported to a heritage room from a hundred years ago, but still having access to features that visitors can’t do without like airconditioning, refrigerators and HD TV’s to full feature bathrooms with long bath and shower cubicle.

The designer furniture includes study tables and lighting fixtures, while the space extends to the large wardrobes. The rooms also come with Tea/Coffee makers and intercom to connect with the staff at all times for any requirements.

Heritage Twin Room
Heritage Twin RoomsThe heritage twin rooms are spacious with large window and balcony spaces that overlook the rustic landscape around the house. The room facilities match every need of the international traveller, but are designed to blend with the vintage room aesthetics. The rooms have been designed with a sense of history, which is elevated hand picked paintings and reproductions of famous artists. The rooms also include photographs and paintings of the journey of Chidambara Vilas and its occupants through the years.

While the ambience transports the visitor to a different era, the facilities match the luxury that heightens the sense of relaxation. The handmade athangudi tiles lend a cool and smooth feel to the flooring that is traditional to the area.

The infusion of luxury runs through both the breadth and quality of features, from airconditioning, HD TV’s and refrigerators, to bath rooms that feature a long bath and shower cubicle. Visitors can use the intercom to summon the staff at anytime and use the in-room safe for valuables.

The packages at Chidambara Vilas are carefully designed to provide the complete Chettinad experience during the time of your stay. Every aspect of your visit, from the culinary delights to the architectural tour and activities have been planned to ensure a memorable trip for the entire family. Our staff are on hand to guide you personally and to customize your stay as per your requirements. The packages also leave plenty of time to yourself and family to enjoy the rustic peacefullness of this unique region.

Chettinad Royale Family Package
Chettinad Royale Family Package3 Nights and 4 Days
Package rate Rs 23,999
For two adults and two children
  • Accommodation at the Heritage Villa
  • A welcome drink on arrival
  • In-room Chettinad dining facilities and Breakfast at the Interactive Kitchen
  • Chettinad Experiential Dining and Special Dinner at Poolside
  • Mehendi for Ladies, Treasure hunt for Children and other Fun Games
  • Guided Tour of the Chettinad House, Village visit and Cookery class
We also offer sightseeing trips to Thirumayam Fort, the Athangudi Tile Factory, Athangudi Mansion, Saree Weaving Center, Antique Market at Karaikudi and Namanasamudram at nominal charges.

*Fee won’t be charged for children (Max – 2) below 12 years. Children, above 12 yrs, will be charged Rs. 2000 per day.

Chettinad Majesty Family Package
2 Nights and 3 Days
Package rate Rs 16,999
For two adults and two children

  • Accommodation at the Heritage Villa
  • A Welcome drink on arrival
  • In-room Chettinad dining facilities
  • Breakfast at the Interactive Kitchen.
  • Chettinad Experiential Dining
  • Special Dinner at Dining Restaurant
  • Village visit and Cookery class
We also offer sightseeing trips to Thirumayam Fort, the Athangudi Tile Factory, Athangudi Mansion, Saree Weaving Center, Antique Market at Karaikudi and Namanasamudram at nominal charges.

*Fee won’t be charged for children (Max – 2) below 12 years. Children, above 12 yrs, will be charged Rs. 2000 per day.

Chettinad Aristocrat Family Package
1 Night and 2 Days
Package rate Rs 7999
For a Couple
  • Accommodation at the Heritage Villa
  • A Welcome drink on arrival
  • In-room Chettinad dining facilities
  • Breakfast at the Interactive Kitchen and Chettinad Experiential Dining
  • Candlelight Dinner by the poolside
  • Guided Tour of the Chettinad House, village visit and Cookery class
We also offer sightseeing trips to Thirumayam Fort, the Athangudi Tile Factory, Athangudi Mansion, Saree Weaving Center, Antique Market at Karaikudi and Namanasamudram at nominal charges.

Chidambra Villas Facilities

The Chidambara Vilas has a varied clientele with different requirements, but commonly looking for a unique experience. Our guests include domestic and international tourists looking for a unique experience, to Chettiars and South Indians looking to reconnect with their heritage, to architects and chefs looking to observe authentic Chettinad culture to translate into their field of work. Temple tourists on the Trichy-Madurai-Tanjavur circuit also stop by and utilize the opportunity to enjoy the authentic experience at Chidambara Vilas. Chidambara Vilas is also used as a venue for business meetings to be conducted in a relaxing atmosphere. As a result Chidambara Vilas has all the facilities expected at a luxury property, and yet set in the context of the Authentic Chettinad format.

Banquet and Conference Hall
Banquet and Conference HallAn airconditioned and spacious banquet and conference hall is available for businesses looking to utilize the space to hold events in a luxurious but unique environment. The quiet and private atmosphere at Chidambara Vilas is well suited to host any occasion from business meetings to get togethers. The banquet and conference hall at Chidambara Vilas can accomodate upto 60 pax.

Swimming Pool
From a dedicated lounge area that includes pool beds and umbrellas, to the dimmed light options for the water in the pool, enjoy a full fledged pool experience while relaxing at Chidambara Vilas. Whether you want to catch the sun, or enjoy a swim or just lounge with a book after a sumptous meal, the swimming pool is just a few meters away from your room. The private swimming pool in the heritage property tucked away in the heart of Chettinad, provides the perfect place to unwind and recharge in a quiet atmosphere. Get away from it all in Chidambara Vilas, nestled in nature and heritage whilst in the lap of the finest luxury.

Indoor Activities
Discover the secrets of authentic Chettinad cuisine through cookery classes with local chefs. Enjoy the colorful and aromatic experience of garland making techniques, handed down over centuries. Participate in designing colorful and auspicious ‘Kolam’ designs with locals. Join family and friends in traditional games played in the region. Watch local artists from the area as they craft an ornate mehendi design of your choice. Visitors to Chidambara Vilas can participate in various outdoor activities that are arranged by the staff, which are designed to help explore and discover what the Chettinad region can offer.

Garland making
FacilitesGarland makingFlowers play a very important role in the Chettinad culture, and indeed in the way of life all over south india. Flowers are used for every auspicious occasion, in particular among the Hindu community. Only selected flowers and fresh flowers are used. Aromatic flowers are used to lend a fragrance to the place of the occasion, whether its worship or a community event. The flowers are used mainly in the form of garlands, and this has evolved into an art form over the past centuries. Some flowers used are jasmine, champaka, lotus, lillies, ashoka, nerium/oleander, chrysanthemum, roses, hibiscus, pinwheel flowers and manoranjitam. The Chettinad region is well known for its temples, which play a central role in every town, from the layout to the economics and artforms. The patronage of the temples has taken the art form of Garland making to new heights. Tons of flowers are picked everyday to use in worship and community events, and the expert garland makers come up with innovative ways to display the flowers. The rituals and flowers used vary between the deity of the temples and regional systems. Every Chettinad clan has its own temple with variations on the core rituals.

The garland culture in Chettinad plays a role in all aspects of life, and learning about it is an experience in itself. Learn about the different kinds of exotic flowers and leaves used in the garlands, and in particular regional favorites. Join the women in plucking the fragrant and aromatic flowers from the gardens around the area. Watch the women deftly string together the flowers in different aromatic and visual combinations using techniques handed down over generations. Make your own garland design with the flowers of your choice. Observe the rituals surrounding the use of flowers for the various Gods. Learn about the myths of the garland makers of the various temples that dot the region, some of whom have pledged their entire lives to garland making for the gods. Garland making is an intensely spiritual exercise with a soothing effect with the natural colors and fragrances. It is also a community affair, which allows every woman to participate in the activity of worship. At Chidambara Vilas, visitors can experience the fragrant and colorful role of flowers in the daily life of the people in the Chettinad region.

Drawing Kolams is a tradition practised in Chettinad homes as a sign of good luck and prosperity. It is intended to welcome the Hindu goddess of wealth – Goddess Lakshmi. The kolam is drawn at the entrance to the house or the gate. It is drawn with the bare hands and using ground rice. There are also various colored powders used in the design. The colored powders are mixed with sand to lend a texture and shimmer. Designing a kolam is a work of art, including the border design, choice of colors and the actual execution. Learn the art of drawing colorful ‘Kolams’ that are practised since ancient times in the Chettinad region. Participate in the process of designing Kolams, including choosing colors and the actual hand drawing methods used to create the Kolam. Its a creative and fun activity for women and children. Take a trip around the town to view the myriad Kolams drawn in front of the various houses.

In Chettinad, the joint family system meant that there were several ladies who could participate in the creation of the Kolam. The Kolams were a regular fixture in front of Chettinad homes. Large, beautiful and complex kolams were made by the ladies for whom it was a matter of pride. The kolams had to match the opulent chettinad homes to whom it welcomed visitors. From ancient times, Chettinad women have created these magnificient designs in the first light of dawn, presenting a magical sight to behold at the threshold of the opulent homes. This was done to welcome wealth into the home, ward of evil spirits and eventually to feed the ants and birds that carry away the rice powder. Today, visitors to Chidambara vilas can become part of this colorful and auspicious tradition.

Chidambara Vilas includes dedicated activity spaces for indoor games ranging from contemporary games like carroms, to traditional games like Pallankuzhi (a traditional wooden board game), Thayam (similar to Snakes and Ladders). Relax with children and family or meet up with other visitors over the range of activities available.

Mehndi is a form of skin decoration involving creating temporary tattoos in various designs using Henna. The color of the temporary decoration ranges from red to black. It originated in South East Asia and is used by all communities in India as a form of decoration and during religious festivals and events. Visitors to Chidambara Vilas have the option of having Mehendi designs done based on designs of their choice. Mehendi is a ceremonial art form thats relaxing and ornate. Expert locals will apply ornate designs that stay with you for a few days as a reminder of your trip to Chidambara Vilas.

Cookery classes
The world famous Chettinad cooking originated in this region and visitors to Chidambara Vilas have the opportunity of joining local chefs in preparation of the cuisine. Whether its to watch and take notes, or to participate hands on, its a chance to understand the authentic roots of the unique cuisine cooked with ingredients local to the region. Visitors can also quiz the chefs on tips and tricks to create the perfect Chettinad dish, and discover some lesser known dishes from the vast number of options available from starters to desserts.

The Chettinad cuisine is a product of the unique local flavours, landscape and ingredients that trace back to centuries ago when the region was adopted by Chettiars. It has also evolved from the broad exposure of the Chettiar business community through their travels to all parts of the world. Just like the architecture and furniture, the cuisine is unique to the region that lends it its name.

A unique culinary experience
Chidambara Vilas recreates the entire culinary experience from the historical context – from the preparation and presentation of food to the settings. This is done using three unique experiences – Interactive kitchen, Experiential dining and Fine Dining, each with deep ties to the culinary and historical background of the Chettiar lifestyle

A range of tastes and settings
Experience the whole platter of Chettinad cuisine, from spicy fare that is served on freshly cut banana plantain leaves, to vintage cutlery in the very formal settings that the British Raj were entertained by the powerful Chettiar community and interact with local chefs preparing food using regional ingredients and traditional techniques.

Extensive menu
The menu is designed to cover the depth of Chettinad cuisine so that every meal uncovers a new aspect of its vast options.
At Chidambara Vilas you can truly claim to have savoured Chettinad cuisine at its traditional best, at the place where it all began.

The Chettinad Kitchen
Chidambara Vilas provides a rare glimpse into the traditional Chettiar Kitchen through the interactive kitchen concept where local chefs cook Chettinad food with locally sourced ingredients and traditional techniques. Visitors can interact with the chefs through a translator to learn about the origins of this world famous cuisine. The open kitchen allows visitors to try their hand at traditional techniques that bring an added dimension to the flavours and textures that are found nowhere else. Experience the sights, smells and sounds of the traditional Chettiar kitchen and savour the unique dishes that it has to offer.

Rustic ambience
The interactive kitchen is held in a courtyard open to the sky and is conducted by local ladies that cook breakfast right in front of the residents. The rustic surroundings, the brightly lit spaces and the crisp morning air form the backdrop as you savour the delicacies made right before your eyes.

The craft of chettinad cooking
The Chettiar kitchen is a treasure trove of information. The classic dishes have been perfected over centuries and the cuisine is associated with strong flavours that range from spicy to sweet. The manual techniques used in cooking predate the modern era and is based on individual care for every dish. A large variety of spices are used along with the regional ingredients. The Cuisine encompasses everything from starters to multi course meals with over twenty dishes. The cooking has been influenced by the exposure of the Chettiars to cuisines from Europe and Asia during their travels.

Cuisine as part of hospitality
The Chettiars laid great importance to hospitality, and regularly hosted large gatherings. Cooking was a community affair and traditionally managed by the women in the family who held great pride in their delicious fare. Recipes of century old dishes were handed down through generations through community cooking. A large and important area of the house was dedicated to the kitchen and banquet halls, which showcases the importance of cuisine in their day to day life.

Traditional Lunch Hall
Lunch HallThe Chettiars were well known for their opulence but also for their real world practicality. While they evolved their own style of eclectic sensibilities from their many travels, they also kept close their traditional preferences. This is reflected in the Lunch hall where the food was served off freshly cut plantain leaves and the food eaten with the hand from spartan tables devoid of any ornateness.

Simple presentation and rich content
The focus was on a simple ceremony in which the food was the center of attraction. This is rustic Chettinad cuisine at its finest – a unique mix of simple presentation, local flavours and rich content. The food is served in the traditional manner across the leaf as a multi course banquet served together surrounding the rice. The various dishes can number well above a dozen and each with its own identity, flavour profile and texture.

Classic dishes
Most dishes have been invented centuries ago and are enjoyed in the original format even today. The recipes have been handed down over generations and use ingredients selected from local sources.

The experience of dining
The process of dining is an experience in itself and the staff at Chidambara Vilas are at hand to guide you on the traditional method of partaking the meal, including how the various dishes are traditionally paired with each other for the best experience. It is also encouraged to eat with the hand as is the custom, and the staff themselves dress in the traditional “mundu veshti” when serving at the Lunch hall.

At Chidambara Vilas, you can truly experience the combination of historical settings, traditional presentation and authentic flavours to understand the best of what this world famous cuisine has to offer.

Kalyana Kottagai
Fine DiningThe formal banquet is served to guests at the Kalyana Kottagai, as part of the carefully crafted menu for the period of the stay. The cuisine consists of Chettinad delicacies and can be subtly customized to guest’s preferences.

Recreating the vintage dining experience Chettiars also played host to British visitors from the time of the Raj, and a similar setting is recreated for dining at Chidambara Vilas, through the use of vintage lighting, cutlery and ornate furniture. The pillared columns, ornate lighting, woodwork and the double height ceilings bring back the ambience of British era luxury, creating a perfect setting for savouring the Chettinad cuisine.

Legendary hospitality
The ceremonial hall has been the setting for many formal events over the past century, and used to entertain guests of the powerful Chettiar community who were famous for their legendary hospitality. The large kitchens bear testimony to the feast prepared regularly for visitors. The cuisine was a medium for Chettiars to treat their visitors, along with the lavish settings and extreme attention to detail. The same approach to hospitality is recreated at Chidambara Vilas.

The setting
Kalyana Kottagai literally translates to marriage hall and was an opulent interior courtyard used for ceremonies. Chettinad mansions were the only place where personal marriage halls and banquet halls could be found. Even so, these were seen only in the most opulent mansions like the Chidambara Vilas. The size of the houses varied with the reputation of the merchant, and the hall at Chidambara Vilas is testament to its elevated standing among Chettinad homes.

Chidambra Villas Attraction

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.

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, 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, 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.

Situated 96 Kms from the town of Kadiapatti, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Saree WeavingChidambara Vilas offers a range of activities customized to help you discover the Chettinad way of life. Tour the scenic surroundings and lush paddy fields that haven’t changed much throughout the last century. Learn about the powerful chettiar community’s history whilst walking through the halls of Chidambara Vilas. Enjoy watching folk dances and traditional dance forms done by professionals from the region. Ride into the town on the traditional bullock cart to interact with the local artisans specialising in jewellery, handicrafts and Tilework. Visit historical locations like forts and temples in the region and get a feel of centuries old traditions, lifestyles and rituals. And speaking of photography, the rustic Chettinad region is an photographers paradise with the myriad colors, amazing details and vast expanses.

Visitors to Chidambara Vilas can also take part in a variety of indoor activities for the whole family that are handpicked to provide a flavor of the region.