Apart from mansions, the other major attraction in Chettinad are its temples. The temples in Tamil Nadu have long history and unlike other parts of India, a lot of them have survived the test of time. The Chettinad area has several temples with historic and religious significance. We could visit few of them during our recent trip to Chettinad area.
Pillaiyarpatti Vinayagar temple
The temple is built by early Pandyas but the idol was carved out in a cave much long ago. Since the main idol is in the cave formation, it is not possible to go around for pradakshina. Most of the temples in the area do not allow photography inside and hence it was not possible to capture nice paintings and sculptures inside the temple. While the front view of the temple does not give an impression of it size, but it is a huge complex.
Most temples has a Kalyani in front of it and Pillaiyarpatti is not an exception. The wide rectangular Kalyani surrounded by coconut trees gives a pleasant feeling.
Chidambara Vinayagar temple, Kanadukathan
A small temple near Chettinad mansion in Kanadukathan. I do not know about its historic or religious significance but it was present in a very serene place. I could resist to spend some time in this area.
Nagara Sivan Kovil, Athangudi
A nice temple next to Athangudi Palace. It is said to be recently renovated. A Kalyani in front of the temple is an attraction.
Sivan Kovil in Koviloor
This temple is situated in the outskirts of Karaikudi. It was surprising to see the Kalyani with full water even in summer season. Few people were also swimming. It was a very pleasant surrounding.
There were hardly any people in the temple during our visit and I could manage to take a photograph of the corridor. Some of the sculptures were very intricately carved. The temple is said to be 1000 years old and built by Pandyas.
There are many other temples but we could not visit due to paucity of time. Few prominent one are Then Tirupati at Karaikudi and Murugan temple but there are many other temples in the area. Even if you are not religious, these temples can be visited for its history and architecture.