Day 1 Chennai to Karaikudi
Karaikudi, about 400kms from my home, is a heritage town in Chettinad. It derives its name from the type of houses in the area built with limestone called "karai veedu". We left early on Friday and reached Karaikudi by 1130am. We checked into our lovely hotel Bangala.
Post a lovely Chettinad lunch at the hotel and a short rest, we left to Kanadukathan. Not many people live here now but the houses are amazing. They go from one street to the other - humongous and yet very beautiful!!
Chettinad, rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture, is well known for its houses that are embellished with marble and Burma teak. The houses have wide inner courtyards and spacious rooms. The grand and wonderfully embellished houses reflect the prosperity of the Nagarathar community. The basic design comprises of a "thinnai" which is an enclosed courtyard and this is surrounded by family rooms.
Day 2 - Temple visits
We started Saturday visiting 3 temples - Thirukkoshtiyur followed by Pillayarpatti and then Kundrakudi. Very beautiful and old temples with a lot of history.
Thiru means sacred, Koshty means assembly .....Place of sacred assembly. This temple is very famous for the Vaishnavite temple. Next Pillayarpatti village which derives its name, i.e., Pillaiyar village, from the temple. The presiding deity, Karpaga Pillaiyar, is 6 feet high and 5 feet wide. In Tamil, kundram means hillock and kudi means village. Lord Subramanya, known as Shanmuganathan, with six faces facing east, is the presiding deity of the temple located on top of a hillock here.
Clearly my quota for temples for a decade is done.
Then drove to Athangudi to see the famous hand-made tiles. Stopped for lunch at a lovely place. Spent the afternoon swimming in the pool at the Bangala. The evening we visited the famous antiques market.
Day 3 - Drive back to Chennai
We left the hotel this morning at 1030 and reached home by 430pm.
Palaces, temples, food, art and antiques - all just a few hours away. India has many such places and we have just started doing these short trips. Entire trip was organized by our friends - Bimal & Shobha. Thanks to my friends - it was a phenomenal trip.