Chettinad Crafts and Culture Tour

Madurai

Chettinad gets its name from the Chettiars, a powerful and prosperous business community whose influence is clearly discernible in the region's culture, crafts and cuisine. The old wealth of the Chettiars can still be seen in the large number of elaborate 19th century mansions they built in a mix of Indian and European styles. Apart from being renowned for its spicy and aromatic cuisine, Chettinad is famous for its crafts, such as the Athangudi handmade tiles and the Chettinad handloom saris.

Walking Tours
History and Culture
Off the Beaten Path

Chettinad gets its name from the Chettiars, a powerful and prosperous business community whose influence is clearly discernible in the region's culture, crafts and cuisine. The old wealth of the Chettiars can still be seen in the large number of elaborate 19th century mansions they built in a mix of Indian and European styles. Apart from being renowned for its spicy and aromatic cuisine, Chettinad is famous for its crafts, such as the Athangudi handmade tiles and the Chettinad handloom saris.

On this Tour:
• See paddy farming, small villages, bazaars, shrines dedicated to folk gods, and if the timing is right, watch festivals and celebrations in full swing.
• Drive for an hour to Athangudi, and visit the traditional tile-making and pottery units – the brightly patterned Athangudi tiles were commissioned by the Chettiars for their mansions and are even today entirely handmade.
• Drive about 30 minutes further to visit Thirumayam Fort. Built in the 17th century, it has been a site of several battles and intrigues, having a fascinating history to tell.
• Visit the small town of Kanadukathan, famous for its grand old-style mansions with elaborate woodwork, terracota and tile work.
• Stop for lunch in the town of Karaikudi, where a multi-course traditional meal awaits us at The Bangala, a traditional Chettinad residence that has now been converted by the family into a heritage hotel.
• Visit the antiques market in Karaikudi and the local weaving units that produce the famous Chettinad weaves.

Duration: Full day (8-9 hrs depending on your interests, with a break for lunch).

TOUR STYLE: Craft & Culture

MEETING POINT: from your hotel

END POINT: your hotel

TOUR START/END: The cost includes pickup and drop from your hotel using a medium sized chauffeur driven car.

TOUR DURATION: 8 hours depending on your interest.

GROUP SIZE: Maximum 6 people and Minimum 2 People.

PRICING: As mentioned above, all our tours are private.

INCLUSIONS: Local English speaking guide, entrance fees and transport as indicated.

EXCLUSIONS: Items of a personal nature, tips / gratuities for guide & driver.

WHEN: Every day morning at 9 AM. Prior reservation required. Timings may vary slightly depending on weather / season. We will confirm the exact start time along with tour logistics once you book the tour.

WHAT TO WEAR: Please dress modestly for the walks; this is a traditional area and ensure you have adequate sun protection. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

TOUR NOTES: Please note, the food on the street is delicious but does not meet national or international hygiene standards. Although we only go to very popular places, with good local reputations, these stalls do not cook using bottled water or wash their utensils with it. So eating street food is always risky. If you prefer not to risk it, but still want to see what it’s all about, then at the end of the walk, we can take you to Haldirams where you can try chaats and other popular dishes in safe and hygienic conditions.

Location

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