Chettinad, Tamil Nadu, India

At a Glance

  • Visalam exudes peace, relaxation and beauty

  • Lovingly restored without compromising on modern amenities and service

  • Exception service and comfort- not easily found in this less visited part of India

  • Get a real feel for Chettinad traditions

  • Combines the South Indian and colonial styles in a very unaffected and tasteful fashion

  • Excellent Chettinad cuisine

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

The climate in southern India shows only slight seasonal variations unlike northern India. Temperatures and humidity remain relatively high all year round in Tamil Nadu, but the best time to usually visit is from November until March. Please note that rainfall is common at any time of the year but the monsoon season has only marginally more precipitation than at any other time.

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Insider's View

Visalam is very popular so book well in advance.

Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Visalam or take a look at our itineraries to India


Located between Trichy and Madurai in the heart of the Chettinad community, Visalam is a lovingly restored mansion and an ideal stop over during an off the beaten track tour of Tamil Nadu. The 15 heritage rooms are elegant ensuring a peaceful stay.

The Chettinad region is famous for its excellent cuisine, beautiful temples and extravagant mansions built over the years by the Nattukottai Chettiars, a prosperous banking and business community. A couple of nights here will allow you to experience their legacy - an area now rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture, alongside the quiet and rustic charm of the now predominant farming community.

Vislam is the latest addition to the CGH Earth group of hotels and so guarantees a level of service and comfort that is not easily found in this less visited part of India. Built during the war and, very unusually for the daughter of a local merchant, the property exudes the simple grandeur of the period’s elite. Renovated with care and now benefiting from modern comforts such as air conditioning and a swimming pool, the 15-room property still benefits from an elegant heritage feel.

There are three dining spaces; the breakfast lounge, lunch room, and terrace deck offering traditional Chettinad cuisine. The staff are welcoming and invite you to get involved in Chettinad traditions such as morning ‘rangoli’, sprinkling coloured rice powder in geometric decorative patterns in the hallways; making 'Poomalai’ or flower garlands; or learn to play the traditional Tamil board game, 'Pallanguli'.

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Visalam offers 15 en-suite air-conditioned rooms which have been lovingly restored. Rooms are simple in design but comfortable and feature locally made furniture and textiles in keeping with the rich culture of the area. The bathrooms are equipped with modern amenities but retain modern touches such as original ornate floor tiles.


Children are welcome to come and stay at Visalam. However, there are no specific facilities available for them at the hotel.


Facilities at the hotel include a swimming pool and three dining spaces; the breakfast lounge, lunch room, and terrace deck offering traditional Chettinad cuisine.


The hotel is well positioned to explore the rich cultural heritage, art and architecture of Chettinad with its temples, mansions, bazaars and artisan's workshops. The town is also well known for its distinctive cuisine - the spiciest and most aromatic curries in India! The surrounding countryside is also a great place to go birdwatching, horse riding and take boating trips.



Daniel Smith (Staff)

Visalem is run by the excellent CGH Earth group of hotels, who always have hotels that are sensitive to the local destination. Visalam is located away from the larger cities of Tamil Nadu, and as such breaks up an itinerary very nicely. If you don't add an experience like Visalam onto an itinerary, the route becomes very 'temple heavy'. By staying here for 3 nights you can really get a sense of what rural life is like in Tamil Nadu.

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Location & directions

Chettinad, Tamil Nadu, India

Visalam is located in the small town of Kanadukathan, a mere 16km from Karaikudi, in Tamil Nadu, south east India.

How to get there

Fly into Chennai's International Airport, followed by a 1-hour 20-minute domestic flights to Madurai. Visalam is a 2-hour road transfer from the airport. More suited to part of a wider itinerary.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Visalam or take a look at our itineraries to India

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