The Chettinad Culture Fest

The Chettinad Culture Fest

Expert from feature on Design Pataki 
Contemporary artworks meet everyday objects at the Palimpsest House in Madurai. Earlier this year, beautiful heritage properties and mansions opened their doors to guests for the second edition of the Chettinad Heritage and Cultural Festival. 
This year, the festival extended its geographical reach and included programming in Madurai as well. In partnership with the Sumanth Ram Collective, Design Pataki co-hosted an art and design showcase that brought together talented designers from around the country working with material and design in interesting new ways. Set against the backdrop of the castle-like Palimpsest House– located on the banks of River Vaigai in Kochadai–the showcase took place marked the closing of the heritage festival. The showcase was one of the many elements that went into curating an unforgettable evening in Madurai. 

It was a five-day event that took place from the 29th of September to the 5th of October and was hosted by the Chettinad Heritage and Cultural Trust instituted by the author Mrs Meenakshi Meyyapan. The festival showcased the rich heritage and traditions of the Chettinad region and allowed visitors to explore the town’s art, architecture, culture and cuisine through guided tours, cooking demonstrations at The Bangala, and Carnatic music performances and dance recitals by Leela Samson’s students. The festival was a harmonious blend of history, art, and flavours, making it an event that truly encapsulates the essence of Chettinad’s cultural legacy. 


With stunning views of the city, two courtyards and its seamless harmony with nature, Palimpsest was like a living canvas of architecture, tranquillity and beauty. Sumanth Ram, the architect uses an Indo-Sri Lankan style that combines elements of history, sustainability, and design. For instance, the home uses a refurbished palace door from Hyderabad, which stands tall against a white lime-plastered wall. The floor of the house has been designed using colourful granite circles salvaged from the tombstones at Madurai Arkay Rock Produce or MARP India. 

The showcase included brands like Rhizome by Rebecca Reubens, Floating Canvas Company by Rahul Singh Yadav, Shakti Swarup Sahu and Agam Mehta, Eina AhluwaliaBlack Cube by Sanya Malik, Arjun Rathi- Rural Modern GlassYasanche by Yashesh Virkar, Nama Home by Namit Khanna, Cocoon Fine Rugs by Ayush KasilwalShailesh Rajput Studio, and artists like and Ajay Patil.

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