Visalam Hotel Chettinad

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2016

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Entrance to Visalam Hotel. We drove into Karaikudi Chettinad from Thanjavur. Visalam is in village Kanadukathan ie about 30 minutes drive from Karaikudi. We had to get permission to shoot, so met the hotel general manager late evening who confirmed within an hour it was ok. So we landed at about 7.15 am. The simple entrance does not give u an indication what awaits you. Top of pic is an image of a Goddess with elephants on either side.

Entrance. Doors of homes and woodwork in Chettinad homes is always impressive. Room 1 is reception after which it opens into a courtyard with rooms on both sides. "The Nattukottai Chettiars were merchant princes, with business interests as far-flung as Vietnam and Malaysia."

Wooden panelling of door at entrance. Right of pic is reception and where you see the brass ghada is the courtyard. "K.V.A. L. M. Ramnathan Chettiar was amongst the pillars of the community in the period between the wars. Visalam was built as a gift from this doting father to his daughter Vishala."

Reception room. Note the woodwork on the ceiling. However the house was rarely used except for family weddings. It lie for nearly 50 years before the current owners bought and restored it.

Courtyard has rooms on either side, saw a few one better than the other.

Corridor on one side of the courtyard.

Pillars in corridor that you saw in earlier pic. Notice the woodwork. Unlike the MSSM House in Karaikudi where the doors had exquisite woodwork this one is relatively simpler - yet in simplicity it looks very nice.

First floor of courtyard area - again rooms on either side.

Corridor on first floor.

Typical entrance door - notice the tiling.

One of the rooms. Wish we could stay there, a bit too expensive for us.

A typical room KEY. Huge by todays standards.

Walk through the courtyard into this hall where you can play chess, read the newspaper or just relax.

U walk into the swimming pool area.

On the 1st or 2nd floor is a huge hall where the family chat. Very different in style from what one sees elsewhere in India.

Amazing work on ceiling and very well maintained as well.

Area outside the hall - rising sun rays falling on the area.

Steps that take us into another room.

Inside area of room.

Local lady drawing KOLAM at hotel entrance. To read briefly about Chettinad architecture Click here

Dining hall. Notice the tile design. To know about mansions of Chettinad and what to see Click here

Entire area is a biggish village. Typical road. U see driver Velu walking in the village where we stopped for tea. To know about Chettinad cuisine Click here

Table stand looks delicate, between windows are family paintings. Everything looks like made to order. To see pics of Bangla Hotel and more Chettinad homes Click here

Ramaswami Palace - night view. Very close to Visalam Hotel. Night view. To see pics of Palaces of Chettinad Click here

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