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Chettinad region of the Sivganga district in Tamil Nadu occupies a diverse position in South India, which is famous for arts and crafts. When you walk through the Chettinad region, one thing that every individual will do is stand to one side and observe the houses of the Chettiars. Some will measure the length by their feet or by measuring instruments. Where some will look to the huge doors of the house made of wood to get an entry to observe the interiors of the house of the Chettiar which is built on about 50 sq feet -100 sq feet area.
Chettiars were the people who lived in the Thanjavur region long years ago. These people were mostly the industrialists/traders who handled the industries and gave employment to the workers in need of job, which developed the skills of the people. They traveled to different regions of India and around the world where they had come across the best and the talented people in different crafts.
It was during the early 19th century tsunami hit the land of Thanjavur many people were washed away in the natural disaster and at that time the Chettiar Community had decided to relocate to another area where it doesn’t rain heavily. Therefore they selected a place, which is away from the seashore and water areas, which led to the building of their houses above the sea level, making sure that each house has either 7, 9 or 11 steps above from the ground level to their main doors.
The traditional wood carvers usually belong to the Vishwakarma community whose ancestors were the wood carvers of the Thanjavur Palace, Thanjavur Temple and the nearest temples. The Chettiar community encouraged these artisans to shift along with their families to the Karaikudi and the Chettinad region. The artisans have practiced this living art from many years. Traditional and experienced artisans make the wood products. The artisans majorly carves traditional idol, but now the styles have changed with time.