Chettinad Tale

Hello Folks,

A comeback after break always carries a good feeling. Here is a short tale from my recent travel experience. Yet another bag packing travel story from Southern tip of India. After two day trip to Kochi (I am yet to write about it), little did I know what was in store at Karaikudi, where I was supposed to have a business meeting. These sudden meetings have been slightly arduous yet full of surprises.

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At the centre of Kanadukathan

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Since I sometimes end up overthinking, that provokes anxiety only to later result in overwhelming experience or a fruitful event or travel. Chettinad experience was one such travel, which I thought was purely professional. Alighting train at Madurai and travelling by road was a better option rather to have multiple break journeys in train. With luggage more than usual and sweat tripping, I was only waiting to rush to my accommodation and have a quick shower to cleanse body and mind.

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The Landmark – Chettinad Palace

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Silence to the core mid-day

This is one another time, I booked a hostel. Chettinad Packers, did have good reviews and true to the fact, the very slight impressed me. Reaching this place, which was a little away was held an unplanned surprise to self. Though usually I check the destination and hotel, sometimes, I am drawn to other factors in accommodations. Just about 5 minutes from the hostel was this magnificent building that seemed very familiar. It took less than a minute for me realize that this mansion was home to either villans or hero in Tamil movies. Remember seeing them in one of the travel stories in YouTube. This was for sure a part of my passive bucket list. 

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I was very pleased with the room for it was spic and span, taking care of basic needs. The manager(Akash) also managed to help me with a bike taking into account my urgent requirement to attend meeting. While speeding in the smooth roads, I realized that this quaint village for sure did not have the word “traffic” in it’s dictionary. How peaceful can riding be…..while I was trying to sway until my destination arrived.

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Though, I did get lost in a deserted path for about 5 kilometers…a big thank you to google maps…not a soul all through the uneven patch……it was perfect offroading experience…before connecting the high way. Nevertheless, my return was careful and smoother.

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Lunch time, all thoughts got drawn to chettinad cuisine…. specially mutton the traditional way. I chose meal over biryani. After a hearty meal, Akash accompanied me to one of the Chettiar’s palace and showed me around. There is nominal charge of Rs.50/- and receipt is given for the same. These funds collected go to the caretakers expenses.

As I entered the mansion, I see a long rectangular hallway with two major entrances and I was warned not to take photographs since the owner is not keen on this place being posted on social media. For sure the hall was a place to be shot, as it had an array of long standing cupboards with mirrors, tall pillars, corridors and impeccable architecture.

Proceeding further, we were greeted by the caretaker, who had a welcoming smile on her face. This where my photo shoot started…..the next room was a hall with broad seating both sides edged by long pillars made of single wood along with a open roof courtyard at the center. One can walk through both side to reach the wash area and then to kitchen. It was massive, more than what one could imagine by just looking at the house from its main entrance.

There were few bedrooms at the ground floor, yet most of them were at the first floor. I learnt there were more than 40 bedrooms in the mansion. They were all locked and I could barely get a sight of it. The dark and narrow staircase alongside Yellow painted walls led us to the roof of the building to give the best view of the quaint town. It was a u-turn to history.

Hope you enjoyed reading this piece of hidden history. To be back soon…Luv Vannie

 

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