The Chithirai Chatram on South Mada Street is a heritage spot in Mylapore.
The Chatram remains closed throughout the year except on the days of ‘Duvadasi’, twice a month, and during the Panguni festival in March. The hall is decked up during the Arubathumoovar Thiruvizha
Built on an area of 2000 square feet, the Chithirai Chatram resembles a typical zamindar home with two huge haIls on the ground floor, and a wedding hall on the first floor. It has pillars in the centre of the hall and a central opening on the roof that separates the two floors.
The Chatram was owned by Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar who lived nearly 100 years ago. He is believed to have wanted people to come and see his huge collection of paintings and dolls during the Arubathumoovar festival of Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple.
The Chatram is currently managed by The Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Charities.
Some of the dolls on display include four feet high statuettes depicting scenes from the lives of Yama Dharmaraja, Lord Muruga of Palani, Gajendra Moksham and Geetopadesham.
Some of the dolls are about 150 years old. Antique teakwood paintings depicting stories from the life of Lord Krishna, Kailasam of Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu’s Vaikuntam, the war between Rama and Ravana, and so on are also on display.
On the days of Duvadasi, the Trust provides food to those who visit the Chatram, as part of its philanthropic activities. The Trust also donates books to poor students and supports hospital projects and renovation of temples.
This time the Chatram will be open from March 30 to April 6 between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. depending on the type of celebration held on the each day.