Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin)
This is it, the end of India. There’s a sense of accomplishment on making it to the tip of the subcontinent's 'V', past the final dramatic flourish of the Western Ghats and the green fields, glinting rice paddies and slow-looping wind turbines of India's deep south. Like all edges, there's a sense of the surreal here.
The Chettiars, a community of traders based in and around Karaikkudi, 95km south of Trichy, hit the big time back in the 19th century as financiers and entrepreneurs in colonial Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. They lavished their fortunes on building at least 10,000, maybe even 30,000 opulent mansions in the 75 towns and villages of their arid rural homeland, Chettinadu.