Anyone visiting Tamil Nadu should definitely travel to Chettinad. Dotted with old mansions and ancient structures, the place assails the senses with oodles of old world charm. The destination is equally famed for its legendary culinary heritage and highly acclaimed temples. Furthermore, with its close geographical proximity to lots of other popular tourist destinations, its further endears itself to the hearts of countless travellers. For instance, Madurai and Thanjavur are two such popular getaways near this place. To get acquainted with three of the top attractions in Chettinad and for some travel information on Madurai and Thanjavur, take a look at this short Chettinad travel guide.
Chettiar Mansion Tour
No trip to Chettinad can be complete without visiting this erstwhile private residence has been made a heritage hotel property and is a terrific example of the architectural splendour of a bygone era. The traditional style of South Indian architecture is clearly evident from the open courtyard at the centre. The courtyard has finely carved pillars of stone, while colourful floor tiles made by hand adorn many parts of the structure. These tiles are known as Athungudi. The courtyard is no less impressive with its lovely pillars carved from stone. Its travel tourism owes a lot of its popularity to this mansion.
Athmanathaswamy Temple Travel
With temples being an essential part of travel, one should positively visit the Athmanathaswamy Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is closely connected to the legend of Saint Manickavasagar, a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Other than its great religious and spiritual significance, the temple also boasts spectacular architecture. An impressive granite roof and walls and ceilings covered with 17th to 19th century mural paintings, all combine to grab the beholder’s undivided attention. These murals largely depict scenes from Saint Manickavasagar’s life. In short, you should definitely make a visit to the Athmanathaswamy Temple, a part of your travel planner.
Journey to Karpagavinayagar Temple
Well, this is another not to be missed part of your Chettinad tour. The rock cut Karpagavinayagar Temple is a shrine for Lord Ganesha and also historically significant as one of the oldest of Tamil Nadu’s cave temples. Devotees flock here in overwhelming numbers. The presiding deity here is that of Desi Vinayaka Pillaiyar or Karpaka Vinayakar. This idol stands tall at 6 feet. The temple is also home to the idols of Marudankudi Eesar and his consort Vaadaamalar Mangai. The rocks here are full of ancient inscriptions. It would be definitely worth the experience, if you include this temple in your travel planner.
Places to See around Chettinad
When it comes to deciding on places to see around Chettinad, one is faced with the problem of plenty. For the sake of brevity, here we will only stick to the two popular destinations of Madurai and Thanjavur. So, here is a little information on how to plan a trip to both these places from Chettinad.
Trip to Madurai
The Chettinad to Madurai distance is about 100 km. One can travel from Chettinad to Madurai both by rail and road. It will take you about two and a half hours’ time to complete the journey by a Chettinad to Madurai taxi. Click the ink for Chettinad to Madurai driving directions.
Trip to Thanjavur
The distance from Chettinad to Thanjavur is about 100 km. One may either board one of the Chettinad to Thanjavur trains or travel by road. The fares for Indian Railway Reservation for Chettinad start at about Rs 130. If you plan to drive down, check out the link for a Chettinad to Thanjavur road map.