Famed for its spicy, aromatic delicacies, Chettinad is a region in southern Tamil Nadu, round 109 km from Tiruchirappalli. home to one of the most wealthy businesses and banking community, Chettinad is well known for its culinary heritage and lesser regarded for its equally rich structure and cultural historical past.
Scattered all over Chettinad are temples built by way of Cholas and other Tamil dynasties like Vairavan Kovil temple, Kundrakudi Murugan temple, and others. Grand and majestic, each temple have its own water lily crammed water tank, ooranis, which might be websites for holy and temple rituals. similarly awe-inspiring are the 18th-century mansions spread over the town. Palatial, furnished with Burmese teaks with walls that were as soon as polished with egg whites, those mansions are a statement in elegant opulence. Yet some other fascinating elements of Chettinad are the saris produced here. Thick, heavy and barely shorter in width than usual saris for women to be able to reveal off their anklets, Chettinad saris actually exude vibrancy and sheer beauty of their deep, earthy colours.
Over a century ago, day by day existence inside the villages of Chettinad in Tamil Nadu might have been very exceptional. The sounds of girls anklets, the laughter of kids, the aroma of freshly-floor spices would have crammed the implementing mansions of Chettinad built across the 19th and early twentieth century. The location contains a few seventy-eight villages, ruled by means of the prosperous Nattukotai Chettiar network of businessmen and bankers. Karaikudi is the vicinity’s foremost metropolis.
Large verandas, pillared passages, and rooms that can fit a thousand humans are commonly found within the traditional mansions of Chettinad. Photograph: Dinodia photograph it is anticipated that 11,000 such mansions nonetheless stay—about half of the quantity that existed 100 years in the past. They were constructed by way of men who as soon as trading in the whole thing from salt to gemstones, with countries like Burma, Malaysia, and Singapore. a great deal in their earnings went into constructing those grand houses, which used to be referred to as Natukottai or nearby fortress. however, in the mid-20th century, maximum Chettiar households moved to cities together with Chennai. Their palatial houses have been left in the custody of caretakers, who maintained them for the ones uncommon occasions, such as weddings or Pongal, the Tamil harvest pageant, when the family came to go to.
These days, the better-maintained homes see a smattering of curious travellers, delivered by nearby guides and cab drivers who can rattle off names of films which have been shot in Chettinad, and actors who have graced the vicinity with their presence. some mansions were converted into stylish motels. though these mansions are nonetheless Chettinad’s largest draw, there are different matters to peer and do after you are mentioned-out. The area is likewise just a two-hour power from two of Tamil Nadu’s extremely good temples at Madurai and Thanjavur.
Chettinad is complete of palatial houses so huge their entrances are on one road and exits on a parallel road. In a standard Chettinad mansion, a sweeping route results in the front porch called Thinnai. Then comes a large veranda main into an open space that became used for weddings and different celebrations. A slim passage from there ends in the following veranda after which any other. alongside the verandas are the mansion’s residential and keep rooms (over a hundred in lots of homes). a number of the mansions have lengthy rooms that run parallel to the courtyard; those can seat a thousand humans.
owners or caretakers proudly display off the best carvings at the doorways, teak pillars from Burma, marble tiles from Italy and ceiling tiles from Spain. The clean walls are lined with a mixture of egg white and lime giving them a sheen that has lasted for decades. The design of the mansions continues them cool even in summer and incorporates water harvesting methods created a century in the past.
All Chettinad cities have some nicely maintained mansions that locals helpfully point out. a number of the more famous ones are the Chettinadu Mansion in Kanadukathan village (now a boutique resort) and Chellappa Chettiar’s residence (also known as “the museum” through locals) in Kottaiyur. The PeriyaVeedu (large residence) in Athangudi is tremendously stunning and well-maintained. each floor on this mansion gleams, from the Spanish tiles at the roof, to the teak pillars from Burma, and stained-glass home windows from Italy and murals painted above the pillars. This house additionally feels the extra heat and welcoming than the mansion lodges. these kinds of are normally open to traffic between nine a.m. and four p.m. Caretakers regularly assume around ?one hundred for access. Pallathur, Devakottai and Kothamangalam villages, all within a 50 km radius of the principal city of Karaikudi, are also well known for their grand mansions. visitors of The Bangala resort can visit the palatial MSMM residence in Karaikudi, owned by the Meyyappan family. Karaikudi is likewise domestic to AyiramJannalVeedu (the residence with one thousand home windows) but as its miles lived in, vacationers are not allowed to go into. The Chettinad Palace (Raja’s Palace) in Kanadukathan is every other grand mansion in which site visitors are not allowed in; its miles sincerely worth preventing with the aid of for a glance from the road. whilst traveling those houses, appearance out for vintage own family pictures on the walls, the fading sepia recollections of the mansions and the people who as soon as lived there. Crane your neck up earlier than coming into to peer statues on top of the main door leading to the residence—from goddess Lakshmi and Lord Murugan to squaddies on horseback, those brightly painted statues have been the satisfaction of the house. once inside, look up at the ceiling for the maximum ornate chandeliers.
The hilltop Thirumayam citadel was built in 1687 through a nearby ruler, Sethupathi Vijaya Raghunatha Thevar. other than the cannon right on the pinnacle and an awesome view of the panorama for miles, the castle additionally has 3 small rock-reduce temples, dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. attempt to go to inside the morning so that you can make the short but tiring climb before it gets warm.
There’s like the fifth-century Pillayarpatti Temple, 12 km from Karaikudi. commemorated as KarpagaVinayakar (Shiva-Ganesh), it is considered the most extensive of the nine critical shrines to Ganesha and Shiva to be located in the location. The aspect entrance has awesome frescoes at the ceiling. The Alternate sanctuaries are at Illaiyathangudi, Mathoor, Vairavankoil, Nemamkoil, Illupaikudi, Surakuddi, Velangudi, and Iraniyur. every of those is a clan temple for one of the nine major Chettiar village clusters.
Stores promoting antiques can be located on MuniswaranKoil Avenue in Karaikudi. lots of whats available turned into as soon as part of the dowry of Chettiar ladies. other than this, there are traditional vessels, furnishings, and woodwork from the place, and the unusual quirky item like an antique biscuit tin or gramophone information. beyond the disarray within the displays, you may discover a gem or two, particularly antique, strong cooking utensils in brass and copper.
A lady in Kanadukathan dries complete purple chilies, a crucial ingredient in Chettinad cuisine. picture: Dinodia picture
at the neighborhoodsandai (marketplace) you can actually catch a glimpse of normal lifestyles in Chettinad. these markets are hung on Mondays and Thursdays in Karaikudi, and on other days at exceptional villages (test with local motels for statistics).
At one of the many tile workshops in Athangudi, visitors can see how a primary stencil and the clever use of colors and strategies create beautiful ground tiles in floral, geometric, and paisley patterns. Tile-making skills are handed on from father to son and the superiority of these products is credited to the excessive satisfactory of neighborhood soil and water. again, a tip of round ?100 is favored.
It’s viable to peer neighbourhood weavers at paintings and purchase beautiful Chettinad cotton saris and fabrics at very affordable prices from a weaving center. The cash goes directly to the weavers as opposed to through middlemen. The exceptional options are Sri Mahalakshmi handloom weaving center in Kanadukathan (9488567554/9442047995; okay.M. avenue) and the weavers’ colony simply outside Karaikudi.
Besides the well-known Chettinad fowl, the area is known for its flavourful and fiery cuisine, but maximum lodges will tone down the spice for visitors. Breakfast dishes encompass paniyaram (round shallow-fried dumplings) eaten with a spread of chutneys and idiyappam (string hoppers) with kosumalli (a nearby stew). For lunch and dinner, try kola urundaikozhambu (a sambhar-like stew with steamed dumplings made from pulses) and the uniqueness of the day (fowl, fish or mutton).
The Bangala is open to non-citizens for meals (?four hundred for breakfast, ?800 for lunch; 04565-22021; www.thebangala.com). ebook the day past, and consume gently at breakfast to do whole justice to the meal. The owner, MeenakshiMeyyapan, is nicely-informed about the place and the adjustments it has passed through through the years. at the same time as in Kanadukathan, try the food at Visalam; book a day in advance.
To eat with Karaikudi locals, ask for lodge President(present at 3 locations inside the metropolis), in which piping warm vegetarian dishes are served at some point of the day. its miles always crowded—strive their kothurotti and exceptional forms of dosa. A panneer (rose water soda) from the cigarette/beverages save outside is a good manner to stop the meal.
Different neighbourhood stories
when in Chettinad, learn to prepare dinner the Chettinad way. maximum upmarket hotels provide kitchen excursions, cooking demonstrations, and classes. Chettinad delicacies derive its flavours from the sensible mix of several spices: big name anise, cinnamon, black pepper, pink chili, fennel seed, and tamarind. Visalam has an open kitchen wherein visitors are invited to look at and participate in the education of all of the meals of the day. apart from that, there may be a loose cooking demonstration each night at 3 p.m. wherein a signature Chettinad dish like chook thirakkal (chook in wealthy gravy), pepper bird, or mutton uppuvaruval (fried mutton) is ready. The Bangala also gives cooking classes in which four-5 in their distinctiveness dishes like tomato rice, prawn masala, pepper hen and urulaikaruvaaduporiyal (potato fry), are taught.
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Budget friendly trip for Sri Lanka
POSTED ON : 08 OCT
The new buzz in the town for Travellers is International Tours. However, with the ever-increasing expenses and lifestyle International travel is taxing, time-consuming and it sometimes punches a hole in your pocket.
We have been thinking about budget-friendly international tours… is it possible? Guess what we have found a few of them as a matter of fact there a quite a few. To start off we would choose Sri Lanka.
Why Sri Lanka:
We would say why not, you get beautiful beaches with beautiful waves, misty mountains and mighty elephants, whales, and leopards you have them all. Warm smiles of the people along with lovely tea from the mountains around would make your comeback to this tiny Island packed with goodness.
We have broken Sri Lanka Sightseeing into 4 different parts
Historical Places in Srilanka
Polonnaruwa: Is a 12th-century ruin which has been well preserved by the Sri Lankan government. Its massive well-preserved audience hall and Sacred Quadrangle are a must watch.
Galle: It is a 17th-century Dutch colonist which is a perfect example of a fortified city. It is also very close to Sri Lankas oldest Lighthouse.
Anuradhapura: Is a sacred city built around the 3rd Century BC. The Relics are open for the public to view and enjoy.
Dambulla: Dambulla is famous for its rock cave temples filled with spectacular Buddha Idols and statues.
Beaches in Sri Lanka :
Mirissa: If you are looking for a Tropical getaway look no further Mirissa beach would fulfill all your dreams with swaying palm trees, golden sand, and clear water. It is also a good place for spotting whales and dolphins.
Arugam Bay: It is the best place to surf in Sri Lanka. Its beautiful road running along the coastline is a lovely place for a drive.
Hikkaduwa: It is a seaside resort town and home to marine turtles and exotic fish.
Unawatuna: It is a coastal area which is commonly known for its coral reef and palm-lined beach.
Hill Station in Srilanka :
NuwaraEliya: This is one place to visit in Sri Lanka, it is a charming hill station that offers a cool and relaxing climate. It is like an old classic British era in the 21st century.
Kandy: It is a hidden gem and the gateway to the central highlands. It is the gateway to the rubber plantation and tea plantation.
Sigiriya: It is considered to be the most symbolic places of Sri Lanka. A 600 feet high plateau which used to be a house for an ancient civilization.
Trincomalee: It is a port city and is commonly known for its blue whale watching points.
Things to do in Sri Lanka,
Every destination has a list of things to be tried. The checklist that needs to be checked for a successful completion of the trip.
• Citadel of Sigiriya - Lion Rock
• Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
• Pidurangala Rock
• Nandana Tea Factory
• Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary - Bird Watching & Nature Safari
• Elephant Freedom Project
• Euphoria Spice and Herbal
• Ella Rock
• Sea Turtle Farm
If you are travelling in a budget in Sri Lanka follow the general tips for budget travellers.
Eat where the locals eat and always check if there is a crowd around. If the locals are eating then it is cheap and safe and if there it is a crowd then it is tasty too.
Always travel by train for long distance since they are cheap and comfortable. If it is not long you could also opt for the bus, but remember it could be cheap but you would need to compromise of comfort.
Avoid tourist spots as they would be costly due to more inflow of foreign currency. If you are taking a taxi or a TukTuk please take the number of the driver and stick to the same driver.
No Trip is complete without taking souvenirs from that place. Sri Lanka is famous for its Tea, Handicrafts, Spices, Cheap fabric, leather goods, and gems. So why wait to grab your bag and your passport to leap into the magical experience of Sri Lanka.
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First International Travel Tips and Advices that everyone need to remember
POSTED ON : 27 NOV
Travel in itself is fun and an enriching experience. However, if you are leaving your home country to go out into the big, wide world for the very first time in your life you need to be made aware of certain things.
Passport and Visa:
Be sure to check the renewal date on your passport against the passport requirements of the country or countries you plan on traveling to. Some countries require 6 months on your passport after the planned on departure date. Very few countries have “Visa on Arrival” so you need to check that too before you leave. In the event, you do not have a passport you would need to apply for one which would take a few weeks. Expedited services are available for an extra charge. Visa processing also takes time. There are various international travel packages, international tour packages, and best holiday packages provided by various travel agencies that can take care of your passport, visa, and hotel bookings and also arrange guided tours if you so wish.
If you are on any prescribed medication ensure to fill your prescription before you leave. Note the generic name in case you run out of it on your travels. If it involves the use of a syringe, remember to collect a letter from your doctor. If you wear glasses make sure you carry an extra pair. Also, if the country or countries you are traveling to need for you to get vaccinated ensure that it is done before your departure. Before booking international tour packages, keep all medicines.
Travel light as that will keep you from being worried about your luggage on your travels. Unless absolutely necessary, do not carry any valuables in your luggage such as expensive jewelry or expensive gadgets. Bear in mind that different countries have different sized plugs and voltages so remember to carry a charger adapter in case you are carrying electrical gadgets that need to be charged on the go. Include a pocket battery to charge your phone off of. Always lock your luggage and stay alert to any signs of snatch and grab.
Be sure to talk to your cell phone service provider and ensure you have a plan conducive to your travels else you can opt for a local SIM in the country you visit.
Carry enough money to cover your needs but be sure to include a credit card or two. Cash always helps especially for buses and trains and if you opt for street food. ATM cards can be helpful when traveling abroad. On this note, keep your bank and credit card provider informed of your travel dates so your account is not locked and cards are not denied on suspicion of fraud.
It is always a good idea to learn a few words in the local language of the country or countries you plan on visiting. To this end, guidebooks can be of help. Try to blend in with the local customs and traditions as much as possible. Be friendly with the locals, especially, the staff at your accommodations who can be of great help. Make friends as you go.
There is a choice in the form of accommodation available such as hotels, hostels, Airbnb, etc. Try to book the best holiday packages in advance as much as possible.