What are the different types of houses found in Tamil Nadu?

Table of Contents

Simple bungalow house design

Nowadays most people in Tamil Nadu are living in concrete houses and almost all the houses are constructed using bricks , steel and concrete just like elsewhere in India and we all live in such type of houses!- In cities and towns people live in individual houses or rented or in Apartments but in villages people live in individual houses.

,But before some 30 years ago , all people didnu2019t live in concrete houses cause of the social strata and the wealth was undistributed but everything has changed due to the IT boom, industries and economic change.

,So to make the answer more interesting lets go back and see what were the type of houses were present in this Modern Tamil Nadu!,I am going to speak about the caste and people of Tamil Nadu just to give a good perspective! If I am wrong correct me in comments(Suggestions are welcome),1.

Tamil Brahmin HousesTamil Brahmin houses were neither big nor small-They were average in size and all the houses had roofed tiles.

Brahmin always live near the temples of the town or near rivers because they used to work in the temples and thus its easy for them to commute.

In Tamil Nadu,the temples have 4 Mada veedis or 4 Mada streets and these streets had Brahmin houses(Called as Agraharams).

Brahmins live very close to each other and they live in communities(Now also in few towns like Kanchipuram or Kumbakonam or Sri Rangam we can find them living just like in olden times-I heard even in some areas of Palakkad they live like this.

),Brahmin houses have two doors-one in front and one in back and they had space in the back for washing clothes ,planting few flowering plants and they had wells.

In front of home there is no place and the houses had Thinnais( a platform to sit and talk in evenings).

,The houses had a central place which had a Tulsi plant with open roof.

Brahmin houses were mostly ground level homes in TN(There was no 1 or 2and level),There are many more details of Brahmin houses and to know about their houses you can read this post-,The unique charm of Agraharams2.

Large Land Owning Community Houses.

There are many land owning communities in Tamil Nadu and some of them hold huge tracts of land like the Some Mudaliars, Pillais,Some Goundars,Some Thevars,etc and the Telugu castes of TN like Kamma Naidus,Naickers,Balijas and Reddiars( Land owned ranges from 20 to 50 acres and few of them from 50 to 100 acres, Jamindars and their relatives lived in Bungalows and small palaces and had more land from 100 to even 3000 acres but after Independence 90% of land was taken back by the government),These people houses were bigger in area and space as the name tells they are land owning community thus they had ample space toconstruct houses .

They also had a Mattu Thozhuthu or Cattle Shed.

,Houses had 1 or 2 levels and the rooms were bigger with lot of space.

,There was enough space in all the four sides of the house and hence plants and trees were grown.

,Also these houses were constructed in their respective lands and were not congested-These houses were far from each other.

,All these castes are classified as OBC castes(except few) and I guess-Nearly 20% of the OBC castes belong to this category.


Medium Land Owning Communities.

Some Tamil Communities which own medium amount of lands like from 3 to 20 acres.

communities like Mudaliars, Thevars,Goundars, few Vanniyar subcastes,few Devendra Kula Vellalars,etc live in villages next to each other and these people had houses just like Agraharam houses but with many rooms and the houses were mostly constructed in Rectangular shape with breadth side towards the front.

Some people had Mattu Thozhuthu or Cattle Shed.

,In Case of the space, instead of a centre space, front side had a space -Back side didnu2019t have space and also roofs were tiled.

,Some houses had a space in the walk way and had rooms on either sides.

( In certain Tamil films we can notice this).

,These people always live together within the villages and thus it is little bit congested-Houses were either had 1 level or just ground level.

-Nearly 30% of OBC castes come under this category.


Small Land owning communities.

Small land owning communities like few Devendra Kula Vellalars ,few Vanniyar sub castes, few Thevars, Konars, Nadars,Edigas,etc come under this category who hold just 1 to 2 acres of farm.

,These people lived in simple mud houses with thatched roofs made up of coconut or palm leaves and again in villages-That means just ground level homes with just 1 to 2 rooms at max.

,Little space is given on four sides and people lived very simple- Nearly 50% of the OBC castes come under this category.


Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes/Fishermen HousesSC,Fisherrman and ST castes didnu2019t own any lands and many of them neither had land nor house and the place or area where these people lived were called as u201cChaeryu201d .

,As they had to move from one place to another place, they just lived with movable things and the houses were mostly build using simple materials like coconut leaves or dried grass that grows along the rivers.

,Special House TypesNot to forget , that certain communities in Tamil Nadu had special type of houses.


Natukottai Chettiar HousesChettiar Houses are the biggest houses of Tamil Nadu and they were constructed just like Jamindar houses.

,There is a region called Chettinad in Southern Tamil Nadu which consists up of 96 villages where these type of houses can be found and there many more details in these type of houses.

,I have written an separate answer about their houses-,Gautham Sampaths answer to What are some interesting facts about Nattukkottai Chettiars?Gautham Sampaths answer to Whats so special about chettiar community in india?7.

Weaver/Craftsman/Trader Houses/24 Telugu Manai ChettiarsThe style and form of this house is common to many communities who do trading,weaving,goldsmith,etc.

The traditional craftsmen, including the weavers, do not separate their workspace from their home and that means there was a space for these people to work .

These spaces were even used to do functions at times.


Potters HousesThe houses of pottery caste are very simple and these houses were constructed either in mud with roofed tiles or were thatched with 1 or 2 rooms.

,There was some space left in front of the house such that potters can do pots and stock them.


Basket weaveru2019s housesBasket weavers houses are more simpler houses with thatched roofs build using mud.

,Note:- Only few people still live in such houses in Tamil nadu and nowadays most people live in concrete houses and many things have changed from past 30 years.

Sources:-,Tamil Nadu Merchant HouseTamil Nadu Traditional House Designs - HomeLane BlogTraditional Homes of South India, Culture of GenerationsTour traditional houses of the aristocratic Chettiars community - ELLE DECORhttps://housing.

com/news/south-indian-traditional-house-decor/Thanks for reading!