Top things to do

Jain Temple in Chettinadu


About 16km northwest of Pudukkottai, this small Jain cave temple conceals magnificent vegetable-oil frescoes, which you’ll probably get to appreciate all by yourself. Note the Edenic garden paradise painted on the m…
Hindu Temple in Chettinadu

Vijayalaya Cholisvaram

This small but stunning temple stands on a dramatically deserted rock slope 1km southwest of Narthamalai village (16km north of Pudukkottai). Reminiscent of the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram, without the crowds, it w…
Shrine in Chettinadu


Just 8km southwest of Pudukkottai, this is an outstanding village shrine dedicated to the pre-Hindu guardian-god Ayyanar, worshipped only in rural Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Hundreds of majestic terracotta horses and…
Historic Building in Chettinadu

Lakshmi House

With perhaps the most exquisitely painted wood-carved ceilings in Chettinadu, Lakshmi House is a popular film set. Take in the especially fine materials (Belgian marble, English iron), Chettiar history panels, chequ…
Museum in Chettinadu

Pudukkottai Museum

The relics of Chettinadu's bygone days are on display at this wonderful museum, 4km north of Pudukkottai train station. Its eclectic collection includes musical instruments, stamps, jewellery, megalithic burial arte…
Historic Building in Chettinadu

CVCT and CVRM House

Backed by the typical succession of pillar-lined courtyards, the impressive reception hall of this 'twin house' is shared by two branches of the same family. Don't miss the fabulous views over neighbouring mansions …
Historic Building in Chettinadu

VVRM House

One of Chettinadu's oldest mansions, built in 1870 with distinctive egg-plaster walls, Burmese-teak columns, patterned tiled floors and intricate wood carvings. A ₹50 group 'donation' is expected.
Arts/Crafts Centre in Chettinadu

Sri Ganapathy Tiles

Lusting after those exquisite handmade Chettinadu-mansion tiles? Then swing by this long-standing Athangudi workshop, where expert tile-makers display their technique, let you try tile-painting and, of course, escor…
Fort in Chettinadu

Thirumayam Fort

Simple and imposing, renovated Thirumayam Fort, 20km south of Pudukkottai, is worth climbing for the 360-degree countryside views from its battlements. There's a rock-cut Shiva shrine up some metal steps on the west…
Arts/Crafts Centre in Chettinadu

Sri Mahalakshmi Handloom Weaving Centre

Chettinadu is known for its handwoven, contrasting-colour silk-and-cotton Kandaangi saris (now increasingly hard to find). At this small weaving complex, you can watch weavers at work and browse racks of beautiful t…