Chennai City Guide
Chennai is the fourth largest metropolitan city of India and is the state capital of Tamil Nadu. Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is deep-rooted to its culture and tradition thus becoming the land of artists and fine craftsmen. If you are a passionate explorer then, Chennai is a best option that has convenient accessibility to the rest of the state and other cities of India.
How to Get There
The Anna International Airport and domestic airline carriers are in the same building that makes it quite easy and comfortable for tourists. The airport is not too crowded and that makes departures and arrivals less ambiguous. Reservation for train services can be made at the Train Reservation Complex that is adjacent to the Central Station. There are trains that connect to larger cities of India. Tourist quota bookings can be made at the Foreign Assistance Tourist Cell at the Central Station.
Hotel New Victoria and Hotel Dasprakash are decent places to stay. Hotel Woodland’s and Nilgiri’s Nest are also economical. If you choose to stay in star hotels, Taj Connemara, Welcome Group Park Sheraton, GRT Grand Days are the best options.
Sights to See
The places to visit include Fort St. George and St. Mary’s church; this British church is oldest in India. Santhome or St. Thomas church is also a must-visit place. The high Court building is the largest judicial building in the world. You can drop by the Government Museum also. For the adventure sorts there is the Snake and Crocodile Park. The world famous big Banyan tree is at the Theosophical Society, Adayar.
Where to Eat
For vegetarian meals Sarvana Bhavan or the Vasanth Vihar will be a great choice. Hotel Ponnuswamy is good for Fish and some tasty finger-licking Biryani. The Gallopin’ Gooseberry serves American fast food and Italian cuisine. And Kabul is a good option for Northwestern food. Cascade serves Chinese and there are Cakes and Bakes where you can get oven-fresh yummy pastries.
Entertainment & Nightlife
Chennai is a conventional city and the nightlife is not as glamorous as other metropolitan cities of India. The Dublin at park Sheraton has an Irish pub and a nightclub is one of the hot spots. For traditional dance performances though, there is Kalakshetra Arts Village. Music Academy organises Bharata Natyam dance and Classical Music shows.
When to Go
Avoid the summer between March-May and the rains in the months of October and November. You can visit during the November-February, though they are hot and humid.
One day trips to Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram is quite convenient if you stay in Chennai for long. The shore temples of Mahabalipuram are going to enthral you beyond words. Kanchi temple is also just a 3-hours drive from Chennai and you can plan should you not be hard pressed with time. Cane n Bamboo and Naturally Auroville are spots for silks, handicrafts and textiles shopping.