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This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with Girin Nayak, the founder of XOtoXO games as he takes us on a trip to the Chettinad region!
Today's destination: Chettinad region, Tamil Nadu!
Nearest Airport: Madurai Airport, IXM
Nearest Railway Station: Chettinad Railway Station, CTDN
Prerequisites - N/A
Packing - Pack light clothes and sunscreen if travelling in summers
Time of the year - December to Feb
Length of the itinerary: 3-4 days
- Girin is the founder of XOtoXO games that brings stories from India to the world, one game at a time.
- We cover the very popular but less explored region of Chettinad with Girin - Chettinad is a region in Tamil Nadu that covers over 90 villages and is the home of the prominent and enterprising Chettiyar community covering the Shivaganga and part of Pudukottai districts.
- The Chettinad region is peppered with over a 11000 mansions built by the Chettiyar community between the mid 1800s to 1900s - these mansions were built by procuring materials from all over the world, thanks to the trading roots of the Chettiyar community who were seafaring merchants travelling all across Southeast Asia for trade.
- We begin the journey in one of the main towns of the region - Kanadukathan, which serves as a good base, given its strategic location. Make sure to visit the popular mansions in the town - Chettinad Mansion, Vishalam by CGH group.
- Girin also describes the architectural features, and structure of these mansions along with the front yard, courtyard, rooms and kitchens along with open roofs. Other things to check out in Kanadukathan include the markets, temples and the abandoned airfield!
- The next stop on the itinerary is Karaikudi, one of the most developed towns in the region. The Aairam jannal veedu or 1000 window bungalow, The Bangala are two popular mansions in the region. There are also vibrant markets for textiles, souvenirs as well as antiques.
- Another of the towns in the vicinity is Thirumayam - the popular attraction in the area is a fort known as Oomayan kottai or dumb man’s fort, named after the brother of a famous Tamil freedom fighter who was executed here. The most famous mansion here is Chidambaram Vilas.
- Athangudi is the next town on the itinerary and also happens to be the protagonist of today’s episode, as it is also the source of inspiration for XOtoXO games’ first board game. Athangudi not only has beautiful mansions but is also popular for its handmade tiles that are made in small factories. Girin also explains what goes into the making of the tiles and how this has inspired his first board game.
- We also talk about important temples in the region including one where terracotta horses are offered to the deity.
- Finally we discuss one of the more popular exports of the region - the Chettinad cuisine!
XOtoXO games on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xotoxogames/
XOtoXO games on Twitter: https://www.instagram.com/xotoxogames/
XOtoXO games on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100077484262331
Link to website - https://www.xotoxo.com
Cover Photo by Nakkeeran Raveendran on Unsplash
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