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    CHETTINAD

    Origin

    Trade

    Evolution

    Settlement Character

    Character of houses structure, Material

    Exterior

    Interior

    Ornamental features & furnishings

    Occasions

    Conclusion

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    ORIGIN

    Located Predominantly in the area called

    Chettinadu or Naattukottai Bhumi ,i.e., present day

    districts of Sivaganga and Pudukottai, they took a leading

    part in the trade and commerce not only within but also

    ouside india especially Burma,Malaysia and other

    South-East Asian countries.

    Explanation of various sub-groups like

    Illuppakkudi Nagarathar, Devokkottai Nagarathar,

    Onbathu-Koil Nagarathar will be found interesting. They

    made special endowments for creating or marinating

    Maths, Feeding houses (Annachatram), Gosalas,Patasalas, Chatrams ( rest-houses for pilgrims), Tanks

    and Ponds in many Pilgrim centres.

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    Their services to education especially those of Raja Sir

    Annamalai Chettiar (founder of the Annamalai

    University), Alagappa Chettiar and Karumuthu

    Thiagaraja Chettiar are noteworthy. Nagarathars

    munificent patronage to the development of Tamil

    Language and music and also to Tamil poets and

    scholars are equally impressive.

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    TRADE DEVELOPMENT

    This enterprising community of businessmen saw

    its bold men crossing the rough seas a century ago,

    migrating to unknown and undeveloped lands. Jungle and

    swamp,unknown oriental races, language, food, climate,

    none of these deterred the Indian Chettiar gentleman, in

    his determination to make a home and live in these

    faraway lands. He was probably spurred on in his

    endeavours by the fact that Chettinad, a dry and barren

    region deep in Tamil Nadu, South India, offered no career

    opportunities for him.

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    TRADE DEVELOPMENT

    The Chettiars went to the East, some as plantation

    workers, while others as bankers. Gradually, this

    community became wealthy. Having left families behind in

    their native land, it was customary for the Chettiars to

    make periodic visits home to preserve family ties, and to

    build palatial homes.

    These mansions stand out even today in the barren

    region, a testimonial to riches, to the conglomeration of

    various cultural influences and building styles. Above all,

    the Chettiars indulged in immense ornamentation, with

    Gods and Heroes, Ancestors, Flora and Fauna, all playing

    a role in the decor.

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    SETTLEMENT CHARACTERISTICS

    Its always grouped around a water body

    The houses are created to suit the trade and banking

    activities.

    Most of the houses were aligned linearly to reach the

    other side of the street

    The storm water is let into the pond

    The concept of microclimate is learned form their

    ancestors.

    Toilets are aligned on to the rear either separate or

    attached

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    CHETTINAD HOUSES

    Chettinadu:96 villages distributed in Ramanathapuram,

    Pudukottai and Trichy districts. These houses are built by

    Nagarathars or the Nattukkotai Chettiar (one of the

    Tamilndus mercantile groups)

    Evolution of these house could be divided into four

    periods:

    1. Up to 1880

    2. 1860-1920

    3. 1920-1950

    4. After 1950

    Social aspect and security seem to have played an

    important role in determining the form of these houses.

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    DEVELOPMENT OF HOUSES:

    1. UP TO 1880

    It is a three partite unit with

    the following Spaces:

    Thinnai

    Koodam

    Mutram(Courtyard)

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    DEVELOPMENT OF HOUSES:

    2. 1880-1920

    Vertical expansion one or two floors added

    Building elements decorated

    A front room called MUGAPPU between the outside

    verandah and inside thinnai was added.

    Kitchen area expanded so that a separate room could

    be given to each of their married son for cooking

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    DEVELOPMENT OF HOUSES:

    3. 1920 1950

    Paid attention to interior design, imported materials

    were used.

    British styled furnitures were found

    Courtyards and halls multiplied important one was

    the addition of dining hall added directly behind the

    main courtyard.

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    4. 1950 ONWARDS

    Extensive decoration.

    Addition of modern facilities such as Bath rooms etc.,

    The basic parts of the chettiar houses are as follows:

    Outer verandah for visitors.

    Raised platforms in the front & back of the main

    courtyard

    Main courtyard with a series of double chamber on

    either side of it along with the covered passage.

    A second courtyard for cooking, eating and sleeping

    of women

    Secret cellars were kept at the interior acting as a strong

    room

    Some houses have courtyards in a staggered manner to

    avoid vision to female areas

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    KITCHEN

    COURT YARD

    VITU ROOMS

    COURT

    YARD

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    CHETTINAD HOUSES- GENERAL FEATURES:

    1. Rooms grouped around courtyards

    2. Family occasions are planned in the court

    3. The second court acts as semiprivate space and the

    last for kitchen

    4. Materials:

    5. All have lovely teak, marble or granite pillars

    supporting a spacious verandah, and the inner

    courtyards, the domain of the sheltered women. The

    Burma teak for these lathe turned pillars came fromthe forests of Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia.

    6. Laterite stone, lime mortar, egg while, palm sugar etc.,

    7. Roof madras terrace, pitched roofs

    8. Wooden columns with broad base and capitals are

    remarkable.

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    PLINTH

    They raise their plinth to greater as the town is heard of

    floods in past years. Other reason is high ground water

    level.

    STRUCTURE

    1. Simple load bearing structure

    2. 12 deep foundation is laid

    3. Colored mosaic and stained glass windows are

    found at high-level people

    4. Cornice very immense run throughout to cover the

    beams laid for the madras terrace roof.

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    EXTERIOR

    The exterior is completely ornamented with teak, glass and

    tiles.

    The traditional ornamentation details are used throughout

    the exterior.

    .

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    RAISED PLATFORM IN THE FRON

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    CONCLUSION

    The basic style of architecture is that of traditional

    Chettinad, while the construction material, decor items and

    furnishings were mostly imported, from east Asian

    countries.