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Chettinad, India

The Chettiars thrived as businessmen and built huge, richly decorated palaces to house their wealth.

However trade declined and after the Second World War many of the Chettiars moved away from the area, abandoning their vast houses.

Traditional craftsmen

A visit to this area provides an interesting contrast to the ancient history of the temple towns, with traditional craftsmen at work in the market and dusty lanes lined with crumbling carved facades hiding cavernous interiors supported by Burma teak and satinwood pillars.

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Suggested itineraries featuring Chettinad

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Chettinad, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Chettinad

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Chettinad

    Accommodation choices for Chettinad

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Chettinad. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Reception, The Bangala, Chettinad

      The Bangala


      A lovingly restored Heritage Hotel, perfect for exploring the small town of Karaikkudi.

    • Visalam, Chettinad


      First Class

      Visalam is a beautiful heritage Chettinad Mansion in Karaikkudi. It has 15 heritage rooms and reflects the grandeur of the Chettiar lifestyle but with modern conveniences including a swimming pool.

    Ideas for experiencing Chettinad

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Chettinad, and which use the best local guides.

    • Chettinad Mansions Tour
      Chettinad Palace, Chettinad

      Chettinad Mansions Tour

      Chettinad Mansions Tour

      The Chettinad region is fascinating - legend has it that the Chettiars were pivotal in the Chola Empire, dominating coastal business as gem dealers, salt merchants and chandlers.

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