The Chettinad region region is well known for its 18th century mansion, whose wide courtyards and spacious room are embellished with marble teak. Construction materials, decorative items and furnishings were mostly imported from East Asian countries and Europe. The marble was brought from Italy, chandeliers and teak from Burma, crockery from Indonesia, crystals from Europe and wall-to-wall mirrors from Belgium. Many of these mansions were built using a type of limestone known as karai. Local legend has it that the mansion walls were polished with a paste made out of egg whites to give them a smooth texture.
The temples of Chettinad were originally constructed by early Tamil dynasties like the Cholas. Temples are built per Vaastu Shastras which stand testimony to the spiritual beliefs of local people. Each temple has its own tank called Oorani where water lilies are grown and used for holy rituals. Even today, most of Chettinad's daily activities are centered on the festivities of the temple. Among the many famous temples are: Vairavan Kovil, Iraniyur, Karpaga Vinayakar, Kundrakudi Murugan, Kottaiyur Sivan temples, with each having its own unique deity.