A delightful discovery we made this year was the interesting Chettinad region. It is located in Tamil Nadu, a day trip south/west of Pondicherry. It is an area rich in culture and stunning architecture. It has very strong eastern Asian influences. This is due to merchants from this region travelling to trade their goods in cities such as Burma and China in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many old Chettinad houses are filled with teak carvings. We saw some exquisite teak doors that took one man a year to carve.
Due to the the distinct character of the architecture these Chettinad houses and palaces are often used in Bollywood films.
Unfortunately many old houses are going to rack and ruin due to the high cost of maintenance.
Over the next few days I will give more details about where to stay and what to do while in the Chettinad region.