A celebrated residence though it once was, today a veritable museum, having preserved almost everything of its original character and interiors from the time it was built almost a century ago. The rooms are large with high ceilings, gleaming floors and polished windows and doors.
The furniture is period in style, flawlessly crafted and made from the finest Burma teak. The floors and walls are inlaid with the famous Aathangudy tiles that are handmade to this very day.
This Mansion was the splendid house that KVAL Ramanathan Chettiar built for his eldest daughter, Visalakshi, in Chettinad more than a century ago. However, it never became the lively family home it was intended to be and was used only for occasional family gatherings during the period following its construction.
A half-century later it passed onto us bringing with it an unparalleled legacy and a technical challenge of the highest order. How were we to restore this masterpiece while remaining faithful to its original conception? It was a task that we met with diligence and pride, selecting both materials and people who approached the restoration with great care and skill as you would a work of art. No sweeping changes were made to the building’s interiors except to partition its vast halls into comfortable guest rooms from which to experience a palpable presence of the past. Today at this Mansion, one of our landmark heritage properties, you can bear witness to an ambiance that still exudes the spirit of the times it was built in. Its character remains unchanged over the decades and faithfully recalls its original inspiration - the touching saga of a father’s gift to his first daughter!
This Chettiar Mansion recalls a way of life that was truly extraordinary. The Chettiar community of this region were prosperous traders who loved the good life. Their palatial houses were standing testaments to an aesthetic sense that was lofty in its conception and painstaking in its details.
The furniture is period in style, flawlessly crafted and made from the finest Burma teak. The floors and walls are inlaid with the famous Aathangudy tiles that are handmade to this very day. To complement this antique spirit of the house, we have added a service style that is rooted in the tradition and culture of this region, making for a holiday experience that is as magnificent as it is local in nature.
Think Chettinad cuisine and you are likely to think of a playground for spices. It is all this and more. While it is relished around India, it is relatively new to foreign palates. Its unique character is the result of ingenious blends that delicately combine south-east Asian spices, like star anise, with other Indian ingredients that pull you into a sensory domain all its own. If you are a food lover in search of new gastronomic adventures then we will have plenty for you to savor and recall for a long time to come. And If you are given to the exacting but enjoyable art of cooking, take part in our interactive kitchen sessions during your stay with us and learn the fine secrets that lie behind this singular cuisine of southern India.
Walking about the narrow streets of Kanadukathan - one of 9 villages of the prominent Chettiar community of these parts - you could be forgiven for having fallen back in time to a past that still looms large and casts its shadow upon the daily lives of people here ; where majestic villas, imposing colonial-style bungalows and other stately ruins of a bygone era trying to impress onlookers with their stature and grandeur. The marketplace is abuzz with activities that have not changed in a long time - crafts, jewelry, sculpture and woodwork - all of which form the economic, social and cultural leitmotif of this dynamic and ingenious merchant community. Shoppers can make some great buys and bargains here! And for those of you drawn to religion and want to explore the sacred in the lives of these people, Kanadukathan abounds in many temples known for their unique history, most notably the ancient 1800 years old Pallayiar Patti temple a short ride away.
The Chettinad region’s simplicity is what you’ll be charmed by, instantly. You’ll see the same reflect in the ancient mansions of Chettinad, which have simplistic grandeur as their hallmark.
There are many facets to the Chettinad region. Like, the astute business community of Chettiars, distinct spicy cuisine, stunning ancient mansions and the artistic Athangudi floor tiles.
Known for their architectural splendor, around 11,000 of Chettinad’s mansions still remain – it’s about half the number that existed 100 years ago.
Each mansion in Chettinad is soaked in timelessness. But while some of them are aging with neglect, others find themselves restored as heritage hotels welcoming the world.
The famed mansions were built over 200 years ago by the Chettiars. The feature Italian marble, Burmese teak, chandeliers, ornate woodwork ceilings, stone pillars, all integrated to perfection.
The timeless temples built centuries ago with intricate stone carvings and towering gopurams are still around. Even today, they adhere to the age-old religious customs and traditions.
The art and craft of handloom weaving is kept alive in the villages of Kanadukathan as the artistic weavers spin the chakra the real way.
The art of handloom weaving is practiced in the villages of Karaidkudi, having beem passed down from one generation to the next. Also, the beautifully woven bed runners at our property, are from here.
If you’ve ever tasted Chettinad cuisine, you’re sure to fall in love with it. Enquire about the secret of its taste, and you’ll hear, “its freshly ground masalas with aromatic spices!”
Art der Unterkunft
Kanadukathan, Tamil Nadu, Indien