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Chettinad

Chettinad, the land of the Chettiars, is a collection of 78 villages and towns in the Sivaganga district of eastern Tamil Nadu. Famous for its Nattukottai Mansions, Kandaangi saris and Chettinad cuisine (obviously), the region has attracted the world’s attention for quite a while, by quite a while I mean centuries. The Natukottai Chettiar also known as the Nagarathars, who are the residents of Chettinad are considered to be the pioneers of banking and trade.Chettinad has been the center of trade for everything from salt to gems, with countries like Burma, Malaysia and Singapore since the 17th century . One cannot but admire the grandeur of the stunning Chettinad palaces, some large enough to accommodate hundreds of people. These palatial homes are a testament to the immense exposure this small region has had with the rest of the word with teak pillars from Burma, marble tiles from Italy, stained glass from france and ceiling tiles from Spain.

Some of the major attractions in Chettinad are elaborately decorated, intricate designed Chettinad mansions and the temples like Vairavan Kovil Temple, Karpaga Vinayakar temple, Kundrakudi Murugan temple and Kottaiyur Sivan temple.

Things to do in Chettinad :
The most important tourist attractions of Chettinad are its mansions. Built in accordance with Chettinad style of architecture, these mansions are elaborately decorated, intricate designed. Built between 1850 and 1950, many have more than 60 rooms spread over interiors as large as one and a half acres.

A visit to Chettinad would be incomplete without savouring the delicious cuisine the region has to offer. Though predominantly vegetarian, non-vegetarian influences became entrenched in Chettinad cuisine from the late 18th Century after the Chettiar community established businesses in Ceylon, Burma, the Dutch East Indies, Malaysia and Singapore. Some of the must try dishes are Chettinad Chicken, Vazhaipoo Meen Kuzhambu, Milagu Kozhi Varuval, Karaikudi Eral Masala and Kandarappam.

Temples form the core of Chettinad’s culture. There are several famous temples in the region like Vairavan temple, Karpaga Vinayakar temple, Kundrakudi Murugan temple, Kottaiyur Sivan temple and Kandanur Sivan temple. The temples are also famous for their ornate carvings and paintings and are mostly dedicated to Popular Gods among the community like Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesa, Lord Muruga, Lord Venkateswara, Lord Ayyanar, Goddess Durga and Goddess Mariamman.

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