Karaikudi Antique Furniture
The Bangala is conveniently located in the heart of Karaikudi and offers excellent heritage walks covering some of the magnificent mansions around the area and some ancient temples. Two to three days can be easily spent wandering around the area, and one can make short trips to Pudukkottai, Athankudi, Kanadukanthan and Devakkottai.
The Bangala arranges local guides who can give you an insider's view of Chettinad.
Around Karaikudi there are at least a dozen easily-accessible villages that together host the region's architectural heritage, the Chettinad residences that have been built over the last 200 years. All villages have their own temples, which are worth seeing.
The Chettinad region and Karaikudi especially is a treasure trove of antiques and well-crafted hand-made products ranging from jewellery to furniture.
THE VILLAGE SHANDI
The quaint and rustic village shandi is the local market that rotates between the villages on a daily basis.
Ravi Varma lithos, Tanjore paintings, stained glass, Burmese lacquer ware, Swedish enamel, Austrian kerosene lamps, European lamp shades and old photographs are part of an enormous range of antiques that are slowly trickling into the market, making Karaikudi a major source of antiques in south india.
With a steady supply of seasoned Burma Teak from the old buildings and highly skilled carpenters who can copy colonial designs, Chettinad has become a major source of fine furniture, no veneer or plywood used.
One of the open secrets of Southern Tamil Nadu is that Karaikudi is the place to buy diamonds. Over many generations a Seth family has settled here and supplied the Chettiar community with fine stones and jewellery, earning a reputation for quality and trust that is rarely found in the cities.
Chettinad cottons are hand woven in bright colors and designs and are truly something to take home.
Athangudi tiles are ideal for hot climates. You can visit the workshops and even design your own tiles.