You must be remebering my post on Aayiram janal veedu. Having kindled the interest to see more of those architectural marvels constructed by the erstwhile chettiyars I made another trip to Karaikudi . A recent article and photos on Hindu about the Kanadunkathan palace , built by Dr. Annamalai Chettiyar gave me a feeling that it was open to public. But it was not so.
Heritage vilage is situated about 15Kms from the town of Karaikudi. I have heard so much about the well designed palatial buildings made with spacious inner courtyards, well laid marble floors, decorative pillars, bright chandeliers for the ceiling ,Burma teak furniture and smoothly plastered walls that, I made a second visit. But this time also the effort was futile.Many of these buildings are getting converted into hotels which may be attractive for tourists to enjoy the chettinadu cuisine which is very famous and also to enjoy the hospitality of the Chettiyar community. There are many buildings in the town itself, some dilapidated, some sparingly used and some having huge dusty locks which means they have not been opened for ages.
The Kanadunkathan palace, on my last trip, I heard, was under renovation hence had not visited ,but this time I was turned away at the gates by a curt reply by a snoozing watchman as he felt we were interrupting his afternoon siesta. A dusty road leads one to this heritage village. The roads are totally deserted no human beings in sight. Some houses here look maintained well with its old splendour intact. Those who are heading towards Karaikudi to see this village, make sure it is open for public as some restoration work is still in progress.
But all this didn’t deter me from getting a few nice snaps of the place. After all I travelled 100+ Kms to visit it and I also believe there is always a next time.
Chettinadu is also famous for its hand woven , bright cotton and silk sarees. Pick up one if you happen to visit this place.