DakshinaChitra is a unique Heritage Centre located on the east coast road in Muttukadu on the way to Mahabalipuram which offers the visitor an unforgettable & authentic insight into the lifestyles of the diverse peoples of South India. Traditional craftspersons & folk artists work & perform in the reconstructed period settings of 19th century streets, homes & workshop-spaces in the TamilNadu & Kerala sections. These are presently open to the public.Enter the TamilNadu section through a majestic carved wooden doorway of a century-old merchant house from Chettinad. An exhibition on Tamil culture is on display here. Proceed to the 150 year old agriculturist house from the fertile delta region of Thanjavur. Next, see a potter's house from Tiruvallur with its terracotta exhibition. Step into the humble adobe-and-thatch huts of the basket-weavers, and on to the shrine of Ayyanar, the village guardian-deity.
The weaver's house from Kanchipuram, the famed silk-town of India, is the next stop. An exhibition hall with displays of TamilNadu textiles, is annexed to this house. The austere homes of the Brahmins of Tirunelveli also house the gallery for religious art & craft. Other exhibits on Tamil culture, folk & classical craft, kitchen utensils, demonstrations of artisans at work in their traditional environments, also from part of the experience.
The Kerala section has reconstructions of domestic architecture in the distinct styles of north & south Kerala: a 200 year-old wooden Hindu house from Travancore, a Syrian Christian house from Kottayam, and a double-storeyed Hindu house from Calicut. These houses also have contextual exhibits displayed in them.