Today explore one of the local weekly markets called a santhai and shop for hand spun cotton fabrics, palmyra leaf baskets, and locally-grown food produce that comes from village farms.
Visit the loom at Mahalakshmi or local shops for the famous Chettinad sari (traditional Indian dress for women) – a striking combination of checks and stripes in bold colours, and stop at the tile manufacturing units at Athangudi and custom order your own handmade terracotta tiles.
Places: Madurai, Karaikudi & Athoor.
Drive from Madurai to Karaikudi – the home to the Chettiars, a community of Tamil traders. Later in the evening go on a private guided exploration of the famous mansions of Chettinad at Kothamangalam, Kanadukathan and Pallathur. Walk the narrrow streets of the Kanadukathan Heritage Zone and visit magnificent mansions and homes of the Chettiars.
Families & Couples | Visit August - March | Fly to Madurai
Morning at leisure. In the evening, if you are up for an hour of window shopping, then browse for antiques and collectibles in Karaikudi at the Muneeswaran Koil Street. There are a number of antique shops selling items purchased from local homes and mansions – glassware, lacquerware, basketware, and furniture.
Long Breaks | 7 nights
Fly in the morning from Chennai to Madurai, one of the oldest cities in South Asia. Visit Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar Temple, built to its current form in the 15th century AD. The massive gopuras (pagodas) of this vast temple complex, writhing with multi-coloured mythological figures and crowned by golden domes, remain the greatest man-made spectacle in South India. After lunch go on a private guided-walk of Madurai as the history and culture of this wonderful and ancient city is uncovered by a local insider who has lived here for generations. Later in the evening , go on an exciting food tour of the city’s most authentic eateries to taste the local flavours of different restaurants in the city.
Athoor is a small village in the foothills of the Palani Range. Experience the way of life that is largely Tamil Nadu - an agrarian village community.
Enjoy the delicious food at your farm stay, village and countryside walks before heading back to Madurai airport.
Enjoy the day choosing to do what you love from an array of activities - Ayurvedic massages, carambol game, antique shopping, presentation on Chettinad heritage and the protection & heritage based projects, visit of potter’s workshop, bullock cart ride, wood carving workshop.
Blend in with the glorious past and the busy present of Madurai with its great temples that showcase architectural brilliance. Venture inside the cavernous Puthu Mandapam, a 17th century pillared entrance hall opposite the Meenakshi Temple's east tower, to find rows of tailors and stalls selling fabric, jewellery, and handicrafts.
In the heart of South India's Tamil Nadu, lies the colourful and extravagant mansions of the Chettiars - a prosperous trading community who made their fortunes in the 19th and early 20th century. Their huge mansions (some with over a hundred rooms!) are crumbling, but filled with Burmese teak, Italian marble and English iron. Slowly but surely, India is waking up to Chettinadu’s intricate heritage, and this 75-village web, centred on Karaikudi, is now home to some of South India’s most exquisite hotels. While here, explore the weekly markets called a santhai and shop for hand spun cotton fabrics, palmyra leaf baskets. Visit the loom at Mahalakshmi or local shops for the famous Chettinad sari – a striking combination of checks and stripes in bold colours, and stop at the tile manufacturing units at Athangudi and custom order your own handmade terracotta tiles. Browse for antiques and collectibles in Karaikudi at the Muneeswaran Koil Street.
Proceed to Athoor, a charming hamlet nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats. The area’s rich biodiversity allows guests to discover a rare and magnificent array of flora and fauna, and with the help of experienced local guides there are a multitude of options for excursions in the local area