THIS HERITAGE VILLAGE, On the Coromandel Coast, provides a fascinating glimpse into the homes and lifestyles of the people of South India. The village features reconstructions of traditional houses, including, so far, six from Tamil Nadu, three from Kerala and one from Karnataka. The handsome Chettiar mansion on view, with its elaborately carved wooden door, reflects the wealth of the Chettiar merchant community, while the homes of priests, farmers, weavers and potters are simple, utilitarian yet elegant structures. Within the complex is an Ayyanar shrine and an open courtyard, where folk and classical dance performances and craft demonstrations are held.
ENVIRONS: Cholamandal Village, 12 km (7 miles) north of Dakshina Chitra, is an artists’ village established in 1966 and the first of its kind in India. For nature lovers, the Crocodile Bank, founded by an American zoologist, Romulus Whitaker, is 15 km (9 miles) south of the village. It includes a snake farm and a cooperative of Irulas, a community of rat-catchers.