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Why visit Chettinad?”‹

This is a brilliant area to visit to enjoy laidback village life in southern India whilst staying in a wonderful mansion. The nearby temples are small and simple with rows of terracotta horses, the likes of which you won’t see anywhere else in India. The Chettiar merchants have left a legacy of dozens of mansions, built largely between 1850 and 1950, once opulent and now mostly displaying a faded grandeur, though some are enjoying a renaissance as stylish hotels.
Reasons to visit Chettinad include:

  • Seeing the various architectural styles of the mansions including mock Tudor, art deco and Palladian, built by wealthy Chettiar businessmen between 1850 and 1950
  • Visit village markets, and cottage industries such as tile workshops and sweet makers
  • Unique small temples with terracotta horses
  • Take a bullock cart ride or bicycle tour around a rural village
  • Experience the culture and cuisine of the region, and maybe join a cookery class

When to visit

December to April are the most popular months, avoiding monsoon rains (October to December) and high temperatures (May to July)

Accommodation in Chettinad

Some of the Chettiar mansions have been transformed into hotels and staying in one such as Visalam is very much part of the experience, giving you an insight into the lifestyle of these wealthy families in days gone by.

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Chettinad accommodation

customer rating

5/5 from 130 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT +5 hours

Flight time:

Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.

Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.


Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.


There are no compulsory vaccinations.


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