KARAIKUDI / CHETTINAD
No of rooms: 24
On the outskirts of Karaikudi, Chettinad’s largest town is “The Bangala”, the Tamil pronunciation of “The Bungalow”. The Bangala belonging to a local Chettiar family is a quaint mix of buildings, built over the last ninety - five years. It has been restored and renovated and now serves as a Heritage Hotel for visitors to Chettinad. With its cool and traditional interiors, colourful gardens and rustic settings, The Bangala will be a very pleasant surprise to any visitor.
The Bangala offers 24 air-conditioned guests rooms with attached bathrooms. It is furnished with antique furniture and decorated with vintage family photographs. The Bangala specializes in authentic home cooked Chettinad cuisine and with prior notice you can enjoy the traditional Banana leaf lunches, which are very popular. Groups of upto 60 people can be accommodated in a lunch sitting. Cooking demonstrations are given on request. The Bangala is the ideal Hotel for the discerning traveler and is also ideally suited to small groups and family or corporate get togethers.
A swimming pool, a small gym and massage rooms have been added. A colourful garden is an added attraction.
The kitchen is very special. Having evolved from the family kitchen, it probably serves the finest Chettinad Cuisine available anywhere. Today it is the reputation of our food that keeps us busy around the year. Many in the surrounding areas make it a point to have their celebratory meals here.
Responsible tourism policy/practice
The management of The Bangala is very keen to promote awareness of Chettinad and hopes that with the increasing arrival of visitors there will be a greater effort to preserve the legacy, left behind by Chettiars of yore, that is now fast disappearing. A ‘Preserve Chettinad Society’ has been formed for this purpose.
The Bangala employs only persons living within a 50 kilometre radius of the hotel. They are all trained by the management itself. Hence the hospitality is warm and courteous and a feeling of being in a home stays with the visitor all the while that they are at The Bangala.
The restoration of The Bangala and the new additions have been done with materials sourced locally. They are mostly recycled from old buildings. The restoration and construction work were all carried out by local masons, carpenters, plumbers and electricians. All this work leads to more business in the market and more employment for the people of Karaikudi.
Paper bags are used for the laundry and in the craft shop. Lunch is always served on a banana leaf. These leaves are put into a compost pit, which after some time disintegrates into organic manure. All the buildings have rain water harvesting.