Athangudi Tiles from Karaikudi, Tamilnadu




Chettinad is a region of the Sivaganga district of southern Tamil Nadu state, India. It is 80 kms away from Madurai. Karaikudi is known as the capital of Chettinad, which includes Karaikudi and 74 other villages. It is the ancestral home of the chettiyars.


The chettiyars were a banking and a business community. They ventured overseas to do business in South and Southeast Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They transacted with Malaysia, Myanmar, Burma, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

This made them both economically and culturally rich. It was customary for them to build palatial houses. These houses were a testimonial to the riches, to the conglomeration of various cultural influences and building styles. All the mansions have lovely teak, marble or granite pillars supporting a spacious verandah, and the inner courtyards, the domain of the sheltered women.

Housing/ Settlement Typology

Knowledge System/ Innovation

Disaster Resistance/ Structural System

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