Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
Chennai which is also known as Madras is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and is India's fourth largest metropolitan city. Popularly known as Gateway to South India, it is well connected internationally and to other parts of India. A conglomeration of several overgrown villages, Chennai has no single centre, but can be divided into numerous urban districts, connected by four main roads. George Town is to the northeast of Periyar EVR High Road poonamallee high road, while Egmore, Triplicane and Mylapore are to the south. The city's main thoroughfare, Anna Salai Mount Road , links Fort St George with Mount St Thomas, to the south. Chennai's other main roads, Rajaji Salai North Beach Road , run along the seafront, along the popular Marina promenade towards Kalakshetra. Some of the attractions of this city are, Fort St. George, Marina Beach, Anna Memorial, Light House, Elliots Beach, Valluvar Kottam and Government Museum, etc,
Chennai Quick facts
Chennai Geography and Climate
Geography : Chennai is located at 13.04° N 80.17° E on the southeast coast of India and in the northeast corner of Tamil Nadu. The city is classified into three regions based on geology, sandy areas, clayey areas and hard-rock areas. Sandy areas are found along the river banks and the coasts. Clayey regions cover most of the city. Hard rock areas are Guindy, Velachery, Adambakkam and a part of Saidapet. Climate : Most of the year, the weather is hot and humid. The hottest part of the year is late May and early June. The coolest part of the year is January. Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal sometimes hit the city.
Best time to visit Chennai
Chennai Near Getaways
Chennai Central Train Station : It serves as the main gateway for all people who travelled to South India during British times. Chennai Central has been greatly instrumental in earning Chennai the famous sobriquet "Gateway of the South".
How to reach Chennai by Road
An extensive network of roads connects Chennai with major cities and towns in Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country. The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, Koyembedu is regarded as the largest bus station in Asia.
How to reach Chennai by Rail
Chennai has two major railway stations, Chennai Central and Egmore. It is well connected by rail with all the major cities in India.
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How to reach Chennai by Air
The domestic and international airports are located at Meenambakkam, about 20 kms from the city center. Chennai is conveniently connected to all major cities in India and major international destinations. Domestic carriers like Indian, Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines, Spicejet, Kingfisher and other airlines connect Chennai with Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram and other major Indian cities.
How to reach Chennai by Water
Ships ply regularly between Chennai and Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Chennai Festivals and culture
Fairs and festivals have always been an integral part of life in Chennai. These festivals are popular occasions for social interaction and enjoyment. Some festivals are linked with the lives of the people, change of seasons and harvesting. All major religious festivals such as Deepavali, Eid and Christmas are celebrated in Chennai. Music and Dance festival, Chennai. (December) Chennai music and dance festival is a celebration of classical music and dance of South India (Carnatic Music) held during mid December to mid January in the capital city of Chennai. The festival is held at a number of venues around the city by various sabhas or organizations. The music includes songs in various South Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada and instruments like Flute, 'Veena' (a large string instrument) 'Nagaswaram' (pipe), 'Mridangam' (drum), and even 'Ghatam' (a mud pot).
Chennai, a beautiful blend of the traditional Tamil Hindu culture and modern British culture, is a major tourist destination. Having a cosmopolitan attribute, it is the mirror of all the diverse cultures, which are nourishing within its boundaries. Chennai is one of the fourth metropolitan cities of India. This has brought many people to the city, from the all the corners of the nation,which has given rise to a number of different languages being spoken. The city is an important centre for the Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form. Being a cosmoplitan city, almost all major religious festivals such as Deepavali,Eid and Christmas are celebrated in Chennai. Pongal, celebrated over five days in January, is the most important.
Chennai Religious Places
For St. George : Fort St. George is a colonial reminder. The fort is still one of the finest specimens of India's British military construction. Britain's first bastion in India, the nucleus from which an empire grew, was established in a banana grove owned by a farmer called Madrasan. The official grant for the land, however, was given by Venkatadri Nayak, the deputy of the Raja of Chandragiri. The first factory within the fortified enclosure was completed on St George's Day, 23 April 1640, and named Fort St George. The first building to be seen on entering the Fort through the Sea Gate is the Neo Classical Secretariat, which is today the seat of the government of Tamilnadu Behind it lie the Legislative Council Chambers. Standing to the south of the Legislature building is St. Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican church in Asia. It was built between 1678 and 1680 by Streynsham Master, then the governor of Madras. Memorials, paintings, Bibles and silver are displayed in the church. Fact : Fort St. George has grown into George Town, the commercial heart of the city throbbing with life from dawn to dusk. Basilica of San Thome at Mylapore : In the 10th century, a group of Nestorian Christians from Persia (Iran) discovered the saint's burial site and built a church and tomb. The Portuguese, following the trial of the saint, established the settlement of San Thome in the early 16th century. The present Basilica of San Thome, over the tomb of the saint, is an impressive Gothic-style structure built in 1898. It has an ornate interior with magnificent stained-glass windows and a towering steeple. The crypt is said to contain a small bone from the saint's hand and the weapon that killed him.
Chennai Entertainment and Night Life
Tarsha Water Sports Complex, which is located at 15 km from Mahabalipuram, on the East Coast Road, is one of the adventurous places of Chennai where you can find lots of water sports facility available like Water Skiing, Wake Boarding, Knee Boarding, Double Tube rides, Banana Boat Rides, Speed Boat Rides and Para-sailing. Children, youngsters, adults, and people of all age groups can enjoy alot in this place.
Nightlife in Chennai is growing with nightclubs, bars, movies halls, theatres, to liven up things during dark hours. There are many nightclubs where the DJs spike up the atmosphere. The fascinating display of lights and colors and the full blast of the music, chill bars is enough to make you mad. Many youngsters visit the clubs with their friends to have fun.
Kidding around Chennai
Natesan Park : Natesan Park, in T.Nagar, spread over 4 acres,was opened to the public on September 13, 1950, by the then Minister of Agriculture, A.B.Shetty. This park attracts hundreds of visitors everyday. The park has a variety of trees and plants. It is the only park that has a separate tennis court for coaching children. There is also a plant propagation centre and play zone for children.
Mylapore is today one of the busiest parts of the city. It has lively markets, where you can shop for typical Madras saris and temple jewellery. Victoria Technical Institute at Anna Salaai offers handicrafts from all over the country. For the women who loves wearing silks, Vardharams at Harrington Road, Chetput is the right place for Kanchipuram silk. Chennai also has numerous shopping malls, the most notable one and the biggest being the Spencer Plaza on the Mount Road. It is home to over 100 shops and retail outlets ranging from eateries and cosmetic shops to electronic goods showrooms, cloth merchandise, music, sports showrooms, and currency exchange outlets. Shoppers Stop and Chennai Citi Center at Radhakrishnan Salai are other popular retail stores in the city.
Famous To Eat at Chennai
Chennai is famous for its Madrasi cuisine or the Idli, Dosa, and Filter coffee. Dasaprakash on Poonamallee High Road has some of the best dosas in the city, and excellent South Indian Filter coffee. Punjabi - The Dhabba, Dhabba Express (Besant Nagar) Basera - on ECR serves excellent North Indian, limited South Indian and Chinese fare. Recommended for those who want to try out dining in a 'machan' (tree house). Lovely natural ambiance. American/Italian - read Burgers - Gallopin Gooseberries on Greams Road & ECR, rustle up some of the juiciest burgers found anywhere. Check out their special 'Billy Bunter' burger!
Chennai Museum and Hill Stations
Yelagiri (Hill Station in Tamil nadu) : This hill is otherwise called javvadhu hills. It is 4-5 hours journey from Chennai by car. It's just 1 hour to reach top of hill from Jolarpettai Railway junction. It is an ideal place to breath pure oxygen and to stay away from our current busy world for atleast two days. The climate here is cool through out the year. This place is considered as the best place for trekking and rock climbing. There is also a man-made lake which is more or less like a pond. Honey vendors are seen in all over the places and also nursery gardens too. Government Museum: This museum houses showcases exhibits belonging to the major South Indian dynasties. The National Art Gallery is also located within the same complex. It also displays Mughal, Rajasthani and Deccan artworks. Cannimara Public Library : (Egmore) It is one of the oldest & biggest library in Chennai, it was build by then Governer of Madras state, Lord Coniemara 1890 and was opend for public on 1896. Its next to Government Egmore museum.
Gardens and Parks at Chennai
Lake at Chennai
Deccan Chronicle, the Hyderabad based newspaper, has come up with its new Chennai Edition. Irrespective of how much people hate summer, flowering plants of a few genus look forward to the season to flaunt their blooming hues.
Chennai Travel Tips
If you are looking for a pollution-free, crowd-free, non-commercial holiday, Yellagiri is enchanting. Away from the hustle of city life, anywhere you turn, you could see the lush green of the nature.... Always carry a route map along with you, in case if you are confused with the routes then the route map guides you correctly. Leave the footwear before entering into mosques and temples and respect the culture and tradition of the place.
Chennai Tourist Offices
Tourist Information Centre: Central Railway Station, Chennai Ph: 044 - 25353351 Egmore Railway Station, Chennai Ph: 044 - 28192165 Domestic Terminal, Airport Ph: 044 - 22560569 International Terminal, Airport Ph: 044 - 22560437 Government of Tamil Nadu Tourist Office Ph: 044 - 25368358
Anna Nagar Onsite AC-16, II Avenue, Anna Nagar, Chennai - 600 040. S.S.N. College of Engg. Offsite S.S.N.College of Engineering, Old Mahabalipuram Rd., Kalavakkam, Chennai - 603 110. T. Nagar, Onsite 25, Venkatnarayana Road, Park Center, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600 017.
Must do at Chennai
A visit to MGR Film City during Chennai tour, is a must as it is considered as second in film production after Mumbai.