Chettinadu is a region which includes Karaikudi and 74 other villages in Sivaganga district of southern Tamil Nadu state. Karaikudi is known as the capital of Chettinadu. Chettinadu is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars, a prosperous banking and business community, many of whose members migrated to South and Southeast Asia in the 19th centuary. Chettinadu is famous for culinary delicacies, Chettinadu mansions which are rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture, antique shopping and also famous for temples originally built by early Tamil dynasties like the Cholas. Sightseeing include visit to Chettinadu palace, Tirumayam fort, Chettinadu Museum, visit to near by temples like Kunakudi, Nemam, and Pillayarpetti, visit to the weekly Chettinadu Shandy, the local market and Shopping trip to Karaikudi where Antiques, Chettinadu Sarees and silver wear.
Rock Fort Temple
The temple tops an 83 m high outcrop. This smooth rock was first hewn by the Pallavas who cut small cave temples into the southern face, but it was the Nayakas who made use of its naturally fortified position. It's a stiff climb up the 437 steps cut into the stone to the top but well worth it for the views. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the Vinayaka Temple at the summit nor the bigger Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple dedicated to Siva, halfway up. Occasionally temple priest waive this regulation.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
This superb temple complex at Srirangam, about three km from the Rock Fort, is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably the largest in India. Most of it dates from the 14th to 17th centuries, and many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagars. The largest gopuram in the first wall on the southern side was completed as recently as 1987 and now measures an astounding 73m. The temple complex is very well preserved, with excellent carvings throughout and numerous shrines to various gods, though the main temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Even the muslims are said to have prayed here after the fall of Vijayanagar Empire.
IMP: Temples remain closed from 1200 hrs till 1500 hrs.