Exploring Chettinad

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(2 customer reviews)


The region of Chettinad is located in the central part of the State of Tamil Nadu (South India). The main town of the region is Karaikkudi, which is 90 km from the major sites of the state, such as Thanjavur (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Tiruchirapalli and Madurai. Chettinad region, spreading over the districts of Sivagangai and Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu is becoming increasingly part of the popular tourist destination thanks to the magnificent Raja’s palace in Kanadukathan, and French Art-Deco style palatial homes scattered across the towns and villages of the Region. However, beyond these iconic elements, what makes the charm of the towns and villages of Chettinad is perhaps the beauty of an overall village landscape created by the harmony of architectural elements and urban planning.

What do you get?

  • Stay at Chettinad Heritage hotel with local cuisine
  • Visit to Chettinad Streets, Palace, Houses, Market and Temples
  • Understand the urban architecture of houses and the social life of the traders
  • Explore the art and craft culture in the surrounding areas.
  • See Aathangudi traditional tile making factory.
  • Much more

Cost: Rs.5000 Per Adult

Please contact +917550042234 for booking / details.

#Chettinad, #Karaikudi, #Pillaiyarpatti, #Palace, #Athangudi





High level plan


  • Discussion on Chettinad urban plan
  • Chettinad streets, houses and palace visit
  • Seeing Pillayarpatti & Kunnakudi temples
  • Adaptive re-use and authentic Chettinad lunch
  • Visiting Kadiapatti Chidambara Vilas
  • Bullock Cart ride
  • Chettinad Koodai Pinnal
  • Karaikkudi Town market
  • Dinner and overnight stay

Day 2:

  • Nagarathars / Then Thirupathi Ariyakudi
  • Karaikkudi Savories
  • Athangudi Tile making visit and Athangudi palace visit
  • Thirumayam fort visit

Testimonial: “Mind blowing” is what customer commented on the recently facilitated trip on seeing Chettinad Architecture. 

Cost: Rs.5000 Per Adult from Trichy for a Heritage Twin sharing AC room in Chettinadu Narayana Vilas Hotel with Breakfast. (http://www.chettinadunarayanavilas.com/)



– Stay as per cost

– Local AC Transport from Trichi and upto Trichi.


– Anything not in inclusions

– All meals

– Transport up to Trichi (Bus tickets are available from Chennai / Bengaluru)

– Any camera fees, Any fee at actuals for Foreigner, etc.

– Architect or Historian can curate at extra cost



  • Sequence given is indicative. Itinerary is subject to change
  • To make paymenthttps://keyterns.com/paynow/
  • FAQs, Terms and Cancellation policy – https://keyterns.com/terms/. Further, trip specific terms are given as below.
  • Package booking terms
    • Minimum of 20% to be paid for booking and balance 5 days before the trip date.
  • Package cancellation policy
    • 100% refund if the trip is not organized by KeyTerns or if the guest is not joining and informs us 72 hours before the trip start time.
  • The escorted trip will be conducted once a minimum of 6 persons register for the trip, for less than Five person revised quote will be given.

Information about Experience:

Urban plan discussion and visit to Chettinad streets and houses (to be added if curator comes)

Our trip starts after breakfast with a discussion on how the urban settlements over the Chettinad sprouted up comprising of 96 villages (currently 73) in the surrounding boundaries. Also we would be discussing, various socio-cultural factors that influenced the art and architecture of the Chettinad building. Chettinad comprises of a network of 73 villages and 2 towns forming clusters spread over a territory of 1,550 km2 in the Districts of Sivagangai and Pudukottai in the State of Tamil Nadu. All the Chettiar settlements possess outstanding physical characteristics of urban and land-use planning with their South-North/East-West grid pattern, including water system, and the development of palatial architecture which depict a unique cultural interchange of cultures with influences from all over the world and the combination of the vibrant Tamil traditions. These settlements and the architecture, built from 1850’s to 1940’s, are directly associated with the rich living heritage specific to the Chettiar community.

Pillayarpatti & Kunnakudi temples:

We start our day with the visit to two most important temples in the region. Pillaiyarpatti is situated 12 Kms. from Karaikudi which is the prime town of Chettinadu. As there is a famous Pillaiyar temple, the village takes its name as Pillaiyarpatti. The temple is a rock cut temple and the sanctum sanctorum is inside

a cave. This temple 1600 years old. This deity is believed to be the benefactor of all the business community and everyone from this community apportion a small percentage of their income as their offering to this deity and they also ensure excellent maintenance and upkeep of the temple through regular contributions and care. There is a beautiful temple tank in front of the temple and there is an entrance from the east side also. There is a small shrine outside the temple above a small rock. Enroute to Pillayairpatti from Karaikudi 3 Kms before, is a Murugan temple atop a small hillock. This place is called Kundrakudi. One has to climb a fleet of stairs cut in the rock itself to reach the temple. It would take about 10 minutes to reach the top. The temple is about 1000 years old and is situated at a height of 200 feet from ground level. The famous violinist Kunnakudi Vaidya nathan hailed from this place.

Adaptive re-use and authentic Chettinad cuisine:

We stop for an authentic Chettinad lunch at the NARAYANA VILAS, you can freshen up and also have some discussions over Lunch. After lunch we proceed to Kadiapatti Chidambara Vilas – one of the recent conversions(architecturally we call it as adaptive – reuse). A former residence now converted to a star hotel. We take a look at it for a while and could have an activity or coffee arranged. Stop for Some Bullock cart activities thereafter.

Chettinad Koodai Pinnal :

We stop over at an interesting place to visit Koodai Pinnal. These are a special type of handmade baskets made by the women from the Chettinad districts of India. These are multipurpose baskets which can be put to a variety of uses like gift packaging to home accessories: lunch bags, travel bags, laundry baskets and storage containers. These baskets are an innovation to the traditional Palmyra baskets. Woven out of plastic tapes and wires, they are available in a wide range of colours and designs.

Karaikkudi Town market :

We close the day with some interesting visit to a stroll in the town square centered with Shri Koppudaiammai Temple. You got a lot to see in terms of Chettinad products, antiques, ceramics and all kinds of home wares in one go. One hour of stroll and shopping and also capped with some ice cold SHARBATH.

A visit to 2 clan temples of Nagarathars / Then Thirupathi Ariyakudi :

We start our day with the visit to two out of nine clan temples of Nagarathars in the region. The Nagarathars or Nattukottai Chettiar community is classified on the basis of nine temples of nine different villages called, “Nagara Kovils”. Though these nine villages doesn’t fall under ‘Nagarathar oor’ i.e. Chettinad towns, every Nagarathars family belongs to one of the clans from any one of these temples. All the nine temples cast ‘Shaivism’ i.e. ‘Saiva Samayam’. Lord Shiva and Godess Parvathi are the main deities in these nine nagara temples. Then Tirupati is a very ancient temple that recently underwent renovations as the original structure was breaking down. Reconstruction of the temple has taken away its originality, but the renovation was important to save the temple for posterity. An original work that remains intact at the temple is a Garuda idol that is placed on the northern side of the temple and is called Kal Garudan.

Karaikkudi Savories :

We can smell the murukku being fried in coconut oil even as we enter Soodamanipuram third street in Karaikudi. Ask anyone in the city for authentic Chettinad snacks and they will instantly guide you to Soundaram Snacks. For the past three decades, A L Soundaram aachi (grandma) has won hearts for her tasty and healthy range of murukkus and athirasams not just in Chettinad but across the globe. From Deepavali to weddings, she has been supplying snacks to various festive occasions.

Athangudi Tile making visit and Athangudi palace visit:

Athangudi tiles are one of the well-known handicrafts in Karaikudi region located in Tamil Nadu. The craft has been practiced for the last 500 years. Athangudi tiles  are handmade tiles which are used to decorate the interiors (floors, walls etc.) of houses. The craft is popularly known as ‘Pokal’ (local language) in Tamil Nadu. This living art is practiced from Vishwakarma Community. The tile making is one of the traditional art of Karaikudi. The tiles made are very distinctive and have glossy finishing. Tiles have traditional as well modern motifs. These handmade tiles are very beautiful and unique in their style and are painted using vivid colors. Athangudi tiles are in demand not only in domestic market but also in international market. Slightly close to the tile units is the most famous ATHANGUDI MANSION which has been rendered in many movies. The main hall of the Athangudi Palace, Chettinad. The ornate door with fine carvings at the end of the thinnai led to a huge decorated hall, often with decorated roof two floors high. This was the place where important guests received. A long hall, often running the length of the building was used as banquet halls during family celebrations like marriages.

Thirumayam fort visit:

The Thirumayam Fort is a 40-acre wide fortress in the town of Thirumayam in Pudukkottai-Karaikudi Highway in Pudukkottai District, Tamil Nadu, India. It was constructed by Vijaya Raghunatha Seth

upathi, the Raja of Ramnad in 1687. Later the fort was handed over to his brother in law Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman. The fort has been extensively renovated by Archaeological Survey of India in 2012.

Magnificent palatial houses, beautiful carvings and wood work, important temples and a rich culture and heritage embedded, that should be experienced, rather being read about.

So come down with us to enjoy this trip and know more about the Chettinad – The indigenous place of the Proletarians. 


About us: KeyTerns is an Adventure, Expert Curated and Leisure travel designer and an organiser for individuals, corporates and students in Nature – Offbeat, Heritage – Culture and Spiritual – Wellness themes.

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#Chettinad, #Culture, #Heritage, #Palace

2 reviews for Exploring Chettinad

  1. Rated 5 out of 5


    Appreciation for arranging Chettinad trip

    Karaikudi Heritage stay was great; felt like the best home stay with homely food , nice and welcoming staff, palatial home, relaxing pool and “thinnai” with cool Italian black marbles. Experience enhanced by a cycle trip around the village and a stop over at the nearby potti kadai for a saree and Gopal palpodi purchase . Thanks Keyterns for organising this at short notice and making our stay a good relaxing experience

    ~ Ashok

  2. Rated 5 out of 5


    The Chettinad trip was one of the best tours I’ve done. Karthik (Curator) gave us an in-depth insight into the architecture, social customs and culture of the Chettiar community. Extremely patient, he answered all our questions and it was truly fascinating to hear the details from him. Thanks.

    I have already recommended this your to my friends.

    ~ Suchitra

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