Architectural Heritage Safeguarding
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Chettinad Cultural Region
Chettinad, a unique and little known cultural region
Chettinad is a semi-arid zone of 1,550 square kilometers in the heart of Tamil Nadu, inhabited by some 110,000 Chettiars who are spread over two cities and 73 villages.  Since the time the community was founded, the Chettiars have upheld a vision of urban planning and development which makes this area an outstanding cultural region. More

Chettinad Unique Architecture
The Palatial houses
The territory the Chettiars once occupied bears witness of the past glory of the Chettiar families, with their emblematic palatial homes, traditional Tamil and French Art Deco style houses and remarkable sense of urban planning. More

Water Management System
The Eris and Ooranis
The region of Chettinad is home to some of the most interesting traditional water management systems and drainage patterns. Water management was devised by Chettiars and agricultural communities to control the flow of water which was entirely dependent on rain water resources. More

Living Heritage
The Chettiar Family Celebrations
The extended Chettiar families used to celebrate or commemorate a host of lifecycle rituals. These rituals marked every event from birth to death. They used to gather extended family as well as the members of the clan, the Pangali. More

Endangered Heritage

Current situation in Chettinad
This region went into decline about sixty years ago as a result of major economic difficulties following the independence of Burma (Myanmar) and Malaysia.  This in turn led to the gradual disappearance of the urban and architectural heritage. More