Travel Review

Chettinad Palace & Karaikudi

After seeing Thirumayam fort (detailed blog) we went to Kanadukathan (கானாடுகாத்தான்) to see Chettinad palace, the palatial house of Sri MAM Ramaswamy and family. Chettiyars hail from the Chettinad region is a prosperous banking and business community who travelled across South East Asia doing trade, especially during Cholas and later the British empire. To go inside the Chettinad Palace you need to get prior permission from the family which we were lucky to get through a friend in Tanjore.

Kanadukathan Palace - கானாடுகாத்தான் அரண்மனை
Kanadukathan Palace – கானாடுகாத்தான் அரண்மனை
Courtyard of Kanadukathan Palace - கானாடுகாத்தான் அரண்மனையின் முற்றம்
Courtyard of Kanadukathan Palace – கானாடுகாத்தான் அரண்மனையின் முற்றம்
Look at the grandeur designs on the ceiling
Look at the grandeur designs on the ceiling
African elephant ivory tusk
African elephant ivory tusk
Venkatarangan Thirumalai in front of the Kanadukathan Palace
Venkatarangan Thirumalai in front of the Kanadukathan Palace
Kanadukathan Palace which has appeared in many Tamil films
Kanadukathan Palace which has appeared in many Tamil films

After Kanadukathan we went to Athangudi to see the Big House (ஆத்தன்குடி பெரிய வீடு), this too is a palatial house slightly on a smaller scale compared to Chettinad Palace but matching in the grandeur of interiors. Tourist are welcome inside to see the house after buying a ticket for Rs.50 (~USD 1).

ஆத்தன்குடி பெரிய வீடு
ஆத்தன்குடி பெரிய வீடு
Athangudi Palace
Athangudi Palace
Look at the wonderful works on the ceiling — at Athangudi Palace.
Look at the wonderful works on the ceiling — at Athangudi Palace.
Every part of the interior is richly painted or decorated
Every part of the interior is richly painted or decorated
High roof Courtyard
High roof Courtyard
Look at the paintings on top of every window that depict stories
Look at the paintings on top of every window that depict stories
On top of every window frame, there is the beautiful pictorial narration of mythological stories — at Athangudi Palace.
On top of every window frame, there is the beautiful pictorial narration of mythological stories — at Athangudi Palace.
Another scene from the story
Another scene from the story
The tile patterns are called Athangudi tiles
The tile patterns are called Athangudi tiles
Every part of the ceiling is decorated
Every part of the ceiling is decorated
The exposed inner courtyard, Kitchen and dining are one side
The exposed inner courtyard, Kitchen and dining are one side
Peacock tile design next to the main door
Peacock tile design next to the main door
Venkatarangan in front of a wall decoration
Venkatarangan in front of a wall decoration

Next, we went to Thappa Garden for a tasty authentic Chettinad meal here. Especially the Vendakkai (Okra) Mandi (curry dish) with its mango bits, onion, and garlic were yummy.

Traditional chettinad banana leaf lunch (செட்டிநாட்டு வாழையிலை சாப்பாடு)
Traditional chettinad banana leaf lunch (செட்டிநாட்டு வாழையிலை சாப்பாடு)
Cottage resorts and restaurant - Thappa Gardens
Cottage resorts and restaurant – Thappa Gardens

After lunch, we had planned to go to KundrakudiPillaiyarpatti, Kuberan Koil and Vairavanpatti but headed back to Tanjore. The next day, on Tuesday we toured around Thanjavur.