Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dakshina Chitra - The Traditional Chettinad House

This is not the 1st time I'm going to Dakshina Chitra, but this time I went so i could share with you the pictures & the unique experience that this cultural heritage centre offers. This place is to my knowledge the only place which has 'recreated' the traditional South Indian homes. The attention to detail is mindblowing. 'Dakshina' in Sanskrit means south & Chitra means 'picture'.

"DakshinaChitra is a unique Heritage Centre located on the east coast road in Muttukadu on the way to Mahabalipuram which offers the visitor an unforgettable & authentic insight into the lifestyles of the diverse peoples of South India. Traditional craftspersons & folk artists work & perform in the reconstructed period settings of 19th century streets, homes & workshop-spaces in the TamilNadu & Kerala sections."

The Amphitheatre hosts regular folk performances and involves the performers in interactive programs and workshops. The craftshop has artisans from all parts of India demonstrating & selling their work. All in this quiet ambience.
Presenting the Chettinad House from TamilNadu (image by Ken)

The jewel like carved top of a pillar

The sculpted bottom.

The magnificiently carved entrance.

The courtyard (image by Ken)

Courtyard pillars

Threshold detail

Note the Iron Door Hinge and the design detail next to it.

Will be posting on the Kerala homes- Hindu & Christian, sometime soon :)


Anrosh said...

You would be surprised to know that (1900) older homes in the US have a closed inwalkway along the house. May be this was to protect themselves from the snow, I guess.

Arch said...

I absolutely love Dakshina's a must visit for me on all my trips to Chennai:-)

Had blogged long back, you can chk it out if you like...


Bhavna said...

Such intricate details! I do hope that we are able to preserve and keep actively alive this level of craftsmanship and skills!

vineeta said...

Anrosh, can u send/show me pics of what u are saying- it would be interesting to see :)

arch, I've left a comment on yr post- lovely photographs there!

bhavna, thats what i think each time i look at such amazing stuff. in the quest for minimalism- im afraid we might loose the ability to create such intricacy.

elavarasu said...

this is a lovely page..and talkin about these chettiand houses..i really love the work they put in..last week i did visit kanadukathan ..but it turned unlucky as these chetinad palace was closed for renovation..though i stayed in a heritage hotel ''thebangala'' ..lovely food too they give u in there..ajaydevgan and paresh rawal were in there in breakfast.u doing a great job..keep it going..

kamala said...

These pictures are beautiful. Is it possible to post another picture of the last one with the door fully visible and the door slightly ajar? Thanks,


arunachalam said...

we are doing a project in bangalore in chettinad style with all wood ceilings.Any one intrested to build this mansions can contact us

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