The Chettinad region is made up of 76 rural communities and its capital is Karaikudi. Easy Tours guests stay in an exquisitely renovated Chettinad mansion while exploring the area. The Chettinad region has been famous in South Asia for many centuries. The inhabitants that made this region famous moved here about 400 years ago when the coastal region that they had lived in for over a thousand years was devastated by a tsunami. They were prosperous traders that had migrated to nations all over South Asia and had become successful businessman in these nations.
Their primary vocations included moneylending and trade in goods between nations. They accumulated vast wealth and with this wealth they purchased the finest materials from the countries that they lived and traded in, and brought these materials back to their homeland. These materials were used to construct the amazing mansions of Chettinad. A Chettinad mansion is impossible to describe in words. These mansions are massive structures where wide open spaces are enhanced by generous use of Burma teak and marble, and the ambiance created puts most modern mansions to shame.
The incredible detail, the opulence of the materials used in their construction, and the remarkable design all combine to make these unique architectural achievement that creates an ambience not found elsewhere. There are 22,000 such mansions in the Chettinad region, but more than half of them are now in a state of disrepair. Most of the mansion owners no longer live in Chettinad, having settled in other South Asian countries or various parts of India.
The wealth of these traders is reflected not only in the unique and amazing architecture, but also in the local cuisine, as well as culture. Chettinad cuisine is famous all over Asia for many very good reasons. It is different from most Indian cuisine and the famous banana leaf lunch, with its multitude of courses and dishes, will not fail to impress you. Over many centuries Chettinad food evolved, with influences from all over South Asia, into a unique and highly sought after cuisine. It is common to find Chettinad cuisine restaurants in many parts of Southeast Asia.
Activities while you are in Chettinad will include a guided tour to one of the other famous Mansions of Chettinad. Another fascinating excursion will be to the rural tile manufacturing plant. You will observe how this ancient skill is still being practiced, and the amazing, colorful tiles that are produced by hand even today. Another stopover will be at a handloom weaving plant where, again, an ancient set of skills is practiced even today. You can also tour an old fashioned brick kiln, and you can try your hand at forming the bricks.