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Located in the centre of Tami Nadu, Chettinad is the home of the Nattukottai Chettiars called the Nagarathars who were and are still today, a prosperous banking and business community. This entire area is a major tourist spot with its temples, old palatial buildings, architecture, woodcraft, textiles and delicious cuisine. It also has a vivid history and culture. The biggest town in Chettinad is called Karaikudi and it is about 90 minutes drive from Madurai.
One of the main attractions of Chettinad is the huge country homes of the Chettiars. These ancestral houses, that were built more than 100 years ago, have massive high walled structures and were decorated with the finest of wood and craftsmanship. They are packed with imported period furniture, chandeliers, curios and paintings. Also interesting to see is the Chettinad museum, which is housed in an old converted house. It showcases the traditional jewellery, textiles, household implements and utensils, and all other unique lifestyle products of the Chettiyars. Among temples, the must see is the Meenakshi Sundereshwar temple, that is famous for its unique architecture.
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