Patterned floor tiles are a feature of most hotels and mansions in Chettinad. They come from the town of Athangudi, where you can still watch artisans making them. Blobs of oxide paint the consistency of custard are first brushed on to a glass square, then framed by a mould. This is covered in sand, backed with cement and left to cure. No firing is required, only an occasional wipe of coconut oil to keep the shine. Factory visits are all accompanied by our own expert guides.

You can add this experience to any tailor-made itinerary that includes a night in Chettinad.

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