Karaikudi and the neighboring towns hold excellent examples of Chettinadu architecture. The people of Chettinadu were traders and financiers who valued high living and maintained old traditions. They built all-embracing houses, which today stand testimony to their taste and love for beautiful things. They brought back Burmese teak and European tiles for their mansions, as well as the inspiration from ceremonial and palace architecture, they incorporated the wealth of wood sculpting and craftsmanship from local craftsmen in their homes. The minute carvings on the doors, carvings of idols on wooden blocks, placed above the doors, named as Surya Pallakai, is the first greeting to any visitor, who enters in to any Chettinad house.