A mansion-homestay in Kanadukathan in Chettinad, Tamil Nadu
The heat rarely lets up in Chettinad in Tamil Nadu and the region is arid, but the once-mighty Chettiyars of this region did not let these factors limit their imagination. These successful merchants built stunning mansions and these large residences, along with the delicious cuisine, today attract travellers. The Chettinadu Mansion Heritage Resort is one such maginficent mansion-turned-homestay in Kanadukathan, one of the main villages in the region.
Many years ago a luxury hotel group reached out to the family that owns the mansion to run it as a hotel. However, the family decided to turn it into a homestay on their own as it was their home and so a very personal space. A. Chandramouli and his wife Sivagami started running the homestay after the former’s retirement. The fact that the host-family is on the premises makes all the difference as they are always at hand to help and guide the guest when needed.
The mansion was built in 1902 and has been carefully restored. Spread over 80,000 sq ft, the mansion offers just 12 rooms for guests, all on the first floor. The beautiful pillared courtyards, the traditional Athangudi tiles, the spacious rooms, the carved antique wood furniture—all ensure an authentic experience.
Chettinad is known for its flavourful and spicy cuisine that is quite different from what you find in other parts of Tamil Nadu. While the state is dotted with so-called Chettinad restaurants you get the real deal only in the region as the best cooks of Chettinad supposedly never leave home! At the mansion you are treated to the entire range of Chettinad dishes, like the Chettinadu Chicken, Mutton Kolambu, Kola Urundai, Kuli Paniyaram, Vella Paniyaram, Kandarappam and Kavanarisi.
At the mansion there is much to do and experience. You could get an Ayurvedic massage, swim in the small pool, relax on the terrace during the cooler mornings or evenings or visit the museum located within it. Outside, you can go on bullock cart rides organised by the mansion or rent a bicycle and explore the sleepy village of Kanadukathan
At the mansion there is much to do and experience. You could get an Ayurvedic massage, swim in the small pool, relax on the terrace during the cooler mornings or evenings or visit the museum located within it. Outside, you can go on bullock cart rides organised by the mansion or rent a bicycle and explore the sleepy village of Kanadukathan village and the surrounding villages to gawk at the sprawling mansions, many of which are in ruins but are stunning nevertheless. Visiting the units where the Athangudi tiles are still made by hand, the weaving centres, the many temples are all great experiences.
Price: Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500
Read more: www.chettinadmansion.com
The Chettinad Mansion is a restored heritage dwelling that is over 100 years old. The mansion has been maintained and restored with care and so only natural and traditional construction materials and techniques have been used. The construction has no concrete; only mud, wood and stone have been used. Use of plastic is kept to a minimum. All kitchen supplies are procured locally. 80% of the staff are from this rural area. All the waste is collected by the ladies wing of the local panchayat. The family-run homestay also promotes the local cuisine.