Athangudi tiles are among the few choices available today to create an ethnic ambience.
Athangudi tiles are made mainly in and around Athangudi village of the Chettinadu region in Tamil Nadu. The traditional mode of production continues till date, maintaining a legacy and grandeur. Athangudi tiles are basically cement tiles like mosaic, but unlike the machine pressed and produced mosaics; they are handmade over glass surfaces.
Other names for Athangudi tiles are handmade tiles, Flower tiles , Chettinad Tiles and Ethnic Tiles.
Nattukottai nagarathars popularly known as chettiars are artistic bent of mind. All the domestic articles (wooden furniture, cash cum account box, cradle , brass, silver and gold articles etc) used by them and the homes build by them are with the touch of artistic quality.
The affluent Chettiar community brought home ideas and artefacts from their trade travels, resulting in European and Asian items finding their way to Chettinadu. Until then South Indian floors were clay or stone based and plain in finish. It can be hypothecated that the patterns of carpets, easy to handle 10”x10” sizes of European tiles and glazed surface finishes of Chinese ware might have influenced the local masons to produce the Athangudi tiles.
The chettinad based floor tiles(traditionally called athangudi tiles) were exclusively being laid in their homes by chettiars in the past. At the present time these tiles are widespread being laid in house, hotels, resorts and homes across our country not only because of their artistic quality but also because of their conduciveness to health. These tiles are suitable for all weather conditions. They are cooling during summer and warm during winter. They protect our joints from pain and feet from fissure.
Athangudi tiles are among the few choices available today to create an ethnic ambience. However, unlike red oxide, these tiles come with greater smoothness and shine. In designs, finish, quality and durability, Athangudi tiles can compete with any of modern manufactured flooring materials,Used in the right place and context, Athangudi tiles are among the sustainable solutions ahead of us.
At present time the chettinadu based athangudi tiles are being manufactured apart from athangudi in the area of in and around chettinad zone.