Chidambra Villas

Chidambra Villas

Chidambara Vilas is a 110 year old heritage Chettiar home that provides an authentic showcase of the luxurious Chettinad lifestyles of the last century.

Authentic restoration
The luxury is truly in the details, made possible through a 3 year restoration effort by the Sangam group which manages this heritage property. You can now experience one of the best examples of authentic Chettinad architecture, furniture, glasswork, tile work and paintings.

Beautifully recreated rooms
25 rooms have been recreated and restored to the smallest details. At the same time the rooms have been subtly enhanced with all luxuries and amenitiesto offer a personalized experience that gives the best of both worlds, a full century apart.

Cuisine
Savour the world famous Chettinad cuisine through three unique dining experiences at Chidambara Vilas – Interactive, Experiential and Fine Dining.

Indoor and outdoor activities
Enjoy a complete Chettinad experience through the custom designed inddor and outdoor activities. Relax in the international standard swimming pool and lounge area within the property.

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History

The History
The history of Chidambara Vilas begins in 1884 with the members of a powerful Chettiar family leaving for abroad. Construction on the mansion was started on a one acre plot which was gifted by the Maharaja of Pudukottai. It took 7 years from 1900 to 1907 to complete the house at a princely sum of 7 lakhs over 110 years ago. The wood was imported from Burma, lights and mirrors from Belgium, chandeliers from Daman and Diu and tiles from Italy.

Golden age for Chettinad houses
During the heights of the Chettiar era, they were powerful bankers and financiers whose empires stretched across India and South East Asia. This coincided with the time of the British Raj, and the house has played host to powerful members of the princely, political and business communities. This golden period was the time at which the most opulent Chettinad houses were constructed.

Restoration by Sangam Group
Today, Chidambara Vilas is projected to visitors as an authentic experience of the rich Chettinad heritage, as a result of the restoration project conceived by the Sangam group who manage the property. The restoration took 3 years, which is almost half the time it took to build the actual home, to ensure that the authentic heritage of the house is preserved.

Pioneering luxury heritage in Chettinad
The Chidambara Vilas is one of the pioneering examples of the concept of heritage Chettinad luxury. The painstaking restoration ensured that many heritage aspects have been preserved which are found rarely even in this region. Chidambara Vilas today stands apart as a rare way to experience luxury from the pre 19th century era and relive the life of a Chettiar from over a century ago.

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Interiors

Standing apart through unique details
Chidambara Vilas is an exquisite specimen of Chettinad Houses. Although governed by similar aesthetic and planning concepts, the grandeur of the Chettinad house was determined by the power and social standing of the merchant who owned it. As with all things Chettinad, the luxury was in the details, and powered by the financial influence of the merchant. The house was built over 100 years ago at the peak of Chettinad dominance and the opulence of the era can be felt in every aspect of its interiors. Imported materials are used liberally in Chidambara Vilas, as the Chettiars were well known for. Built at the time of the British Raj, Chidambara Vilas fits the format of the perfect Chettinad house – an amalgam of traditional and western design sensibilities. For its sheer details, Chidambara Vilas boasts interiors that stand out from among the other houses in the region. From furniture, to ornate carvings, paintings and unique elements like the carved 3D dolls in the Bomma Kottagai, Chidambara Vilas represents Chettinad at its finest opulence.

Grand Reception – “Mugappu”
Standing apart through unique detailsThe Mugappu is the reception area at the threshold of the entry to Chidambara Vilas. A key element of the reception is the Kallupetti which is the accountant’s desk. The origin of this desk hails back to the days when the Chettiars were running finance and banking operations in the last century. A striking element is the numerous pillars which are done up in materials like wood, granite, terracotta and decorated by ornate woodwork.
 

The Courtyard – “Valavu”

The Courtyard – “Valavu”

The courtyard following the Reception and lobby is called the Valavu. The courtyard is framed with rooms on two sides. The doors to these rooms are intricately carved with auspicious images of Gods and Goddesses. Each married male member of the family is given one of the rooms surrounding the Valavu or upstairs.

 

Bomma Kottagai

Bomma Kottagai

Bomma Kottagai literally translates into Doll house, and this is reflected in the intricate carvings and installations of dolls in this hall. The use of the hall hails back to the Chettiar tradition of inviting neighbours and relatives to pooja and lunch during the time of the festival of Golu. During this festival several intricate dolls were displayed to the visitors in the hall and this tradition has translated into the use of dolls in decorating the hall.

 

Visiri hall
The Visiri hall was reserved for the women in the family. The hall has now been converted into the experiential dining hall which serves authentic chettinad leaf meals. The hall is decorated with paintings depicting mythical scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. The paintings were done using organic colors created through combining various natural dyes and elements. These dyes and organic elements were ground together to create the various shades and colors. This hall is also known as Panka Hall. Before the use of electricity the Fan (Panka) was operated manually. Exquisite chandeliers which used candles are also seen in the hall.

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Exteriors
Opulent Exteriors

Exteriors

As a result of the specific requirements and multiple influences, the exterior design and layout of Chidambara Vilas is an astute mix of the traditional, the practical and the opulent.

Golden age of Chettinad architecture
Chidambara Vilas was built at the prime of the Chettiar era, when the most grandest Chettinad homes were built. As a result it represents one of the finest examples of Chettinad homes in terms of the scope of architecture, interiors and detailing.

Unique exterior features
The exterior design that stands apart with several distinguishing features, primary among which is the minarets and towers that adorn the heritage home. The minarets provide a beautiful view of the town and adjoining paddy fields. The Thirumayam fort is also visible from the towers.

Exquisite detailing
Beautiful carvings featuring gods and mythical scenes from the Hindu epics decorate the exteriors of the house, particularly the entrances and the doors.

Amalgam of colors and influences
The exterior design stands out by the use of liberal amount of colors, which stands out against the white background. The high windows are stylistic elements from the European influence.The exteriors are a mix of art deco, south Indian and colonial styles. The mix of colors and styles is difficult to achieve and is unique to Chettinad architecture.

Layout and key design elements
The use of imported materials was a key element of the architecture. While the inner parts of the house were designed to afford intimacy for the communal interactions, the outside and the semipublic guest areas were designed to impress through opulence. Legend has it that the Chettiars built their homes on raised platforms, and added additional floors to protect themselves in the eventuality of a flood, which is said to be the original reason for their migration from their original settlement in Poompattinam during the 13th century.

Scientific approach to design
Situated at the gateway region to Chettinad, Chidambara Vilas also imbibed all the authentic qualities of exterior design prevalent in Chettinad architecture, including open space within the structure. Ventilation and flow of air is given priority in the design of the openings. The inner walls of the house did not have direct exposure to sunlight, which helped in managing the heat.

 

Location

Benchmark Hotels Pvt. Ltd.

141, 2nd floor Sant Nagar

East of Kailash,

New Delhi - 110065, India.

 

Contact Us

Give us a call at +91-11-4162 0674 / 4162 3449 / 2643 6572 / 2643 6573

Email us at : bhotels@gmail.com ,  budgethotels@sapta.com ,  budgethotelsindia@yahoo.co.in