Strange, largely abandoned palaces can be found in the villages of the Chettinad region around the town of Karaikudi. Some seem haunted and others, more rare are still inhabited. These are the residences of the Chettiar, these traders who made their fortune through trade with the English and their colonies in Southeast Asia.

 

According to legend,  the Chettiars were originally fishermen. A tsunami would have ravaged their island where they thought they were safe.

They then decided to settle inland and tried their hand at farming. Unfortunately the land was not fertile enough, so they started trading.

They established a solid reputation and inspired confidence. This trust was given to them both by the locals (who distrusted the English) and by the English (who distrusted the locals.

The expansion of the British Empire to the East was extremely beneficial to them. They played the role of traders and bankers and made a fortune.

They then began to build splendid palaces which are falling into ruins nowadays, their source of income (the British Empire) having dried up.

 

about the place, Chettinad:

In the south of India in the state of Tamil Nadu, in the region called Chettinad, the Nattukottai Chetiar were a thriving business and banking community. Their activities in Asia were so successful that they built palaces in their villages.

 

Music

 - English Chamber Orchestra - Brandenburg Concertos Nos 1, 2, 3 - Bach Brandenburg Concerto #2 in F, BWV 1047 - 2. Andante, IMP (PCD830)

 - Suresh Prajapati (Inde)  - Indian Classical Instrumental - Flute Tabla Raga 1, Suresh Prajapati

 

 

Chettinad, Tamil Nadu, India