Chidambara VilasKaraikudi is the bastion of Chettinad culture, captivating visitors with spectacular mansions, refined woodcarving, and tangy Chettinad cuisine. Karaikudi's Chidambara Villas is of utmost importance. Chidambara Vilas is a 110 year old heritage Chettiar home that showcases the luxurious Chettinad lifestyles. The Villa was built over a plot of one acre in seven long years starting from 1864. History states that the mansion was constructed for a sum of seven lakhs rupees. To construct the villa, the wood was imported from Burma, mirrors from Belgium, chandeliers from Daman and Diu and tiles from Italy.
Construction of Chidambara Vilas
The mansion was constructed during the golden era of Chettiars. Chettiars were powerful bankers and financiers whose reign stretched across India and South East Asia. During its initial days, the house was home to several members of the princely, political and business communities. This was the opulent era when many other Chettinad mansions were built.
Interiors of Chidambara Vilas
The Grand reception, which is locally called the "Mugappu" has a reception set aside for the accountant. The accountant's desk (Kallupetti) is kept here. History states that the Chettiars used to manage their banking and finances from this desk. The striking reception is made of well dressed pillars, which are designed with elements like granite, terracotta and decorated by ornate woodwork. Moving on, you will see a lobby called the Valavu. Rooms are framed on either sides of this lobby. The doors to these rooms are intricately carved with images of Gods and Goddesses. Chidambara Villas have a special Doll House, that features many carvings and dolls. These halls also known as Panka Halls were used during festivals and functions. The Bomma Kottagai would be decorated during special feasts like Golu. Visiri Hall is a place for women. This hall is also known as Panka Hall.
Exteriors of Chidambara VilasThe exterior layout of Chidambara Villas is a mix of beauty, richness and tradition. The Villa is surrounded by high towers and minarets. These features add more beauty to the mansion. As you stand in the minaret, you will see a beautiful view of the town and its paddy fields. The Thirumayam Fort can be sighted from the towers. The entrances and the doors have beautiful carvings of mythical scenes from Hindu epics.
Present Day Chidambara VilasToday, the villa is owned by the Sangam Group. It is converted into a luxury hotel. After three years of intense restoration, the heritage property has acquired its glow and beauty. Currently, 25 rooms have been recreated and restored. These rooms are equipped with all luxuries and amenities to offer a personalized experience of both the worlds. The villa also serves exquisite Chettinad Cuisine.
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