Skip to content


Intangible Heritage

Chettinad living Heritage in South India

Chettinad is known for its countless palaces, but the living heritage of this region is just as exceptional. Whether in the clan temples of the Chettiars, or in the animist and shamanic sanctuaries of the Tamil Gods.


Chettiar Clan Temples:

Chettinad is a region where a strong culture has been preserved by the Chettiar community. The community is organized around 9 clan temples. Each member of the Chettiar community belongs to a clan and each clan has its own temple run by its committee.

Ayannar Shrines:

Ayannar is the Tamil God “of everything “: rain maker, god of children, cattle, villages, earth, nature and villagers. He is present in rural areas.  His abodes are not necessarily temples but outdoor shrines that are filled with terra-cotta offerings. The season of offerings is between April and September and the ritual lasts usually 3 days.

Mariamman Temples:

Mariamman, the Goddess of smallpox, is the deity of life, especially of women and children. She grants children and cures them. Though every day is dedicated to her, the main festivals take place during the months of March and April.  There is great fervor during these festivities, with thousands of devotees gathering in her honor.