Chettinad: A place where time stood still

Located in the centre of Tamil Nadu. The region of Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars, once a prosperous banking and business community. One of the main attractions of Chettinad is the huge country homes of the Chettiars, these magnificent ancestral mansions were built more than 100 years ago. This entire area is a major tourist spot with its temples, old palatial buildings, architecture, woodcraft and textiles.

I called it a place where time stood still because we had a full day at leisure here in this quiet town. Away from heavy traffic, noisy and chaotic streets, we just didn’t took note of the time at all. No early wake up calls, no rush at breakfast time, sun bedding by the pool, walking around the streets contemplating wedding-cake houses, goats, etc..

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On top of the city sightseeing, the best part of Chettinad was our stay at the Visalam Hotel. A splendid palatial house now converted into a beautiful 15 room heritage hotel. The rooms are furnished with period antiques which reflect the grandeur of the Chettiar lifestyle. We had breakfast at the lovely garden and the pool setting is magical free of chemicals.

We really enjoyed the place and the ambiance. The staff were super friendly, they did everything to make us feel at home. Food was amazing. Their menu is very selective and dynamic. You get different main dishes every night. Sabrina wanted plain roasted chicken and they did not hesitate in preparing it plus chapatis of course!

Every afternoon they offered a delicious refreshing drink called “Jigar thanda” literally means cooling the heart. It is a very popular drink in the South of India. It is usually consumed during the Ramzan fasting, the Muslims break their fast by consuming a glass of Jigar thanda. This drink mainly contains milk, jelly (made of china grass) “Nannadi” and sweeteners.

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At the end of our stay almost the entire staff gave us the warmest farewell I would have ever imaged. We won’t forget their smiley faces. They even gave us some snacks in a nicely decorated basket to eat during our long drive to Trichy. I highly recommend this hotel specially if you travel with fussy little ones 🙂

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4 responses to “Chettinad: A place where time stood still

    • I thought you live in South India giving that you made such a wonderful post about the coconut! where do you live? Also I can’t wait to see your pictures of your wedding!


      • Noo I live in central India, at the exact centre of India… Nagpur.
        We have people selling coconuts everywhere here, for the water, food and for religious things.

        I am so excited for our wedding photos… we have to try and find the perfect photographer for us (also there is talk of a video so my family who cannot make it can see it 😀 )

        I hope you are well 😀 x


  1. A nice post. We had a great time in Chettinad. It really felt like we were off the beaten track and the people were genuinely friendly. You didn’t mention the delicious cooking lesson.


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