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Chennai (300 km) is the nearest metro to Chettinad. Direct flights also operate between New Delhi and Madurai (75 km). Cabs are available at the airport for onward journey for `4,000/US$57


Wake up to the sounds of old Tamil songs at The Bangala, Karaikudi, where decades-old furniture and walls adorned with sepia-toned pictures of Chettiars in their heyday will be the biggest takeaways. The place is managed by a powerhouse octogenari­an Meenakshi Meyyappan, who is a proud Nagarathar. An ambassador of Chettiar culture to the world, she has created quiet corners with cupboards of literature on Chettinad—its people, culture and food. Starts from `7,212/US$103,

Chidamabar­a Vilas, Kanadukath­an is a beautifull­y renovated Chettinad home with facilities, such as a swimming pool. The hotel offers insightful tours into the region’s history and masterclas­ses on

Chettiar cuisine. Starts from `8,999 / US$130, chidambara­


The Karaikudi Antique Market on the Muneesvara­n Kovil street is every antique-lover’s dream. From colourful enamel-coated cutlery imported from England to original Tanjore paintings—this street is a revelation in terms of its offerings. Visit Sri Mahalakshm­i Handloom Weaving Centre (19/6, K.M.Street, Kanadukath­an) to watch weavers prepare vibrant Chettinad saris.


October to March


Anyone who loves history and has an eye for details


The Thirumayam Fort in Pudukkotta­i offers unbeatable views of the villages of Chettinad. The Ayyanar Horse Temple in Kanadukath­an is also worth a visit for its terracotta horses.

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