CHENNAI Travel Guide, Tourist places, Chennai Hotels, Chennai Tourism
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Chennai

, Tamil Nadu

(Chennai is also known as Madras)
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On this page: History, Culture, Travel within city, Food, Nightlife, Shopping, Hotels, Packages, Articles
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Fast Facts
State: Tamil Nadu
District: Chennai
Famous for/as: City
Languages: Tamil, English
Best Season: Nov - Feb
Weather: Summer 22 to 42°C, Winter 18 to 32°C
Altitude: 6 m
Pincode: 600xxx
STD code: 044
Elegantly placed in the shores of Coromandel Coast, Chennai boast of a rich heritage, which is elaborately intertwined with the culture, traditions and living style of the people through generations. One of the prettiest metropolitan cities in India, Chennai perfectly mixes the elegance of past with the vibrancy of modernism. This contemporary city is often referred as the Gateway to the South India. Chennai was formerly called as Madras and to the rest of India, Madrasis represents the entire south Indians.

An ancient city, which has got a rich history of long 350 years, Chennai has been able to preserve its ethnicity and charm. In between the long busy sandy beaches, parks, sculptures and historic landmarks, one can see a vivacious and lively city which is ever growing, sprouting, mounting and shifting in harmony with the modern trends. One of the oldest cities of India, Chennai is a melting point of culture and tradition. The harvest festival - Pongal is seven day event, showcases the art of Tamil Nadu.

When we think about Chennai, the first place that comes in to our mind is the Marina Beach whose long expansion of sandy beaches with its alluring charm enthralls the spectators for a long.The pious among the visitors can go for a short trip to Milapur where ancient shrines like Kapileswara temple, St. Thomas Basilica, St.Thomas Mount and a Portuguese church are located.

One can start the sight seeing from Fort St George, where a museum awaits its visitors to unfurl the richness of the past. Then the Clive House stands proudly as a true testimonial to the British legacy. Another important place to be visited is the St Mary’s Church, which is considered as the oldest Anglican Church in Asia.

An intrinsic network of so many industrial, software and automobile sectors in the 200 square kilometers expansion of Chennai shows the progressiveness of an enduring society. Without loosing its traditional vigor, this metro has been able to establish a good name as a new entrant in the field of software and sophisticated technological arena.

A genuine blend of diverse cultures, people with distinct features, varying viewpoints, beliefs, values and morality has shaped the culture of the famous city. There is combination of cultures and ideas that make the cosmopolitan nature which tourists can experience on their Chennai holiday packages. With its charismatic monuments, temples, mosques and churches coupled with the deep sense of ethnicity and tradition this metropolis offers exciting activities to the visitor. For tourists Storytrails service (91-44-42124214) is a great way to know the city, which unveils facts and stories that many locals don’t know. Taking up Ooty tour from Chennai is a good way to reah this popular hill station.
To visit and experience Tamil Nadu hassle-free, view tamil nadu tour packages.

It is best to take a TTDC conducted tour of the city to cover the main tourist spots, before you can venture onto the offbeaten track. TTDC is safe and reliable.

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Articles

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India – Holidaying Within Limits

  by Afia Ahmad  on Mar 01, 2013
India is a myriad country and the people of the country completely believe in the saying – ‘Atithi Devo Bhava' – meaning Guest is God

What You Should Know About the Chennai Turtle Walk

  by Madhav Srinivasan  on Nov 14, 2011
Turtles may look very tough, but they are an endangered breed of species. The Chennai Turtle Walk is a movement to save this unique creature from extinction along the coastal lines of India.

Celebrating all things Madarasi

  by Shwetha  on Aug 25, 2010
A day to look back on the city's history,heritage and humble beginnings as a small settlement - Celebrating Madras Day

Travel News

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Chennai’s Second Airport Project may get Green Signal by April 2012

   Feb 15, 2012 03:45 PM
Chennai is all set to get an approval for the second airport in the city by April 2012. This airport is supposed to be near the Sriperumbudur area. Read on to know more about the developments in the project…

Tamil Nadu allotted Rs 550 crore for development of tourism Infrastructure

   Dec 26, 2011 05:46 PM
Tamil Nadu is taking up the task of improving tourism in the state with special focus on the cities of Tiruchirapalli and Chennai. The state Government has already sanctioned an amount of INR 550 crore for the development of infrastructure in the state.

History


A playground of mighty kings of Chola, Pandya, Pallava and Vijaynagar kingdoms, Chennai embraces a vast and a long history. Due to its strategic position in the coastal area it has become a major point of Naval administration since the first century. Most of the earlier dynasties had ports in and around the city. The might and valor of the illustrious rulers of various regimes has engrossed the foreign traders like the Portuguese, the French and finally the British.

An erstwhile settlement of the colonial forces, Chennai has attained the prestigious status as one of the presidencies under the imperial power. St George Fort, which captures the attention of the onlookers, was built in the year 1640 by the British as their seat of administration. Later this was captured by the French in 1746. By the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, the British regained its control and they fortified the bastions to prevent any further attacks. From that date onwards till India get freedom, this city was ruled by the British under whom the city has shown dynamic development.

After Independence, the city has become the capital of Tamil Nadu and it is this city, which has changed the political equations of the whole nation. Chennai has witnessed violent agitation against imposition of Hindi as the national language in the year 1965 and after that the city has been the hub of regional politics.

Culture


Tamil culture is renowned for the warmness and generosity of the people. Daily routine starts with putting kolams on the courtyard and performing religious rites. Among the various festivals, Pongal is celebrated with great fervor in Chennai. This thanksgiving festival is celebrated in five days, each day is charaterised by special poojas dedicated to sun, nature and the cattle. Mattu Pongal is the most colourful event of all the fiestas, in which beautifully decorated cattle steal the show. Other festivals encompass the harvest festival, Christmas and Eid.

Aptly called as the cultural capital of South India, Chennai represents the richness of classical and traditional art forms. A flourishing center of the traditional dance forms, Chennai presents a perfect ambiance for the toddlers in this field to flourish. Evenings in the city are marked with enthralling performances of veteran dancers and vocalists. Overwhelming participation of the general public is a unique feature of the cultural festivals in the city.

Tinsel world influences the lifestyle of the Tamil people to a great extent. Kollywood, as the Tamil film industry is popularly called, has provided three popular chief ministers to Tamil Nadu. Tamil movies have a large number of spectators around the world, which is famed for its exquisite music and marvelous cinematography.

A five day music extravaganza, which commemorates the annual celebrations of the Madras Music Academy features performances of traditional Carnatic music by hundreds of artists in and around the city. An arts festival called the Chennai Sangamam held in each January showcases various arts of Tamil Nadu.
A visit to oldest and most renowned dance accademy in India Kalakshetra is enough to know the depth and significance of classical culture

Travel within city


Among the fastest growing cities in the country, Chennai has a host of travel options that are available to the traveler. These include bus services, an extensive sub urban rail system, auto rickshaws, shared auto rickshaws, and cabs.

Bus


The most extensive intra city transport system in Chennai is the bus service. This is government controlled and run by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation. Bus services extend to most parts of the city and suburbs. Volvo air conditioned buses also ply in the city. The bus fares range from Rs. 4 to Rs. 40.

Local Train


The Sub urban rail system is extensive and connects most of the city, the tickets are inexpensive and the trains ply till midnight. The Chennai metro is expected to begin its services by 2012.

Auto Rickshaw


The most common mode of transport in Chennai is the auto rickshaw. However they might not run on meter i.e. approximately Rs 7 per km, and the traveler is advised to negotiate the fare well in advance. They charge special night fare which might be considerably higher than the normal fare.

Cycle Rickshaws


In order to experience a hint of the colonial past, travelers may opt for cycle rickshaws which are still available in certain parts of the city. However they are open to the sky and the heat of the city might become overwhelming. A ride on the city rickshaw is best for short distances and their price ranges from Rs 10 - 20 per km.

Cabs / Taxis


Cabs or taxis are also available extensively and most hotels maintain contact with local cab offices. They run on meter in most cases. Cabs are the best mode of transport during the night. Some of contact numbers of the local taxis are -
Comfort call taxi - 044-28460614
City cabs - 044-2815775

Airport to City Network


The Chennai international and domestic airports are located about 15 Kilometers from the city and the traveler has easy access to the city. Pre paid auto rickshaws and cabs are available from the airport and train stations. Both the terminals have many booths set up and various private taxi companies run shuttle services from the airport to the city. They charge approximately Rs. 450 to the city for an SUV. Airport Taxis available at the airport are cheaper and most of them are air conditioned.

One can use the suburban trains which operate from just outside the airport is also good. It is advisable to buy a first class ticket as the trains can be crowded.
Auto rickshaws are the best way to get around the city, but ask locals about how much it would cost to your destination before you hop on to one, otherwise they will ask two times more.

Food


In the culinary map of India, the gastronomy of Tamil Nadu dominates among other South Indian Dishes. One among the popular cuisines of India that is liked by the natives and foreigners alike has been able to establish its own position in the food habits of the entire nation. Idli, Dosa, Sambar, Chutney and Vada, the breakfast dishes of a typical Tamil family acquires popularity as a delicious and healthy food.

A variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine that smells delectable is the specialty of Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai. Coconut, asafetida, and tamarind, the chief ingredients of vegetarian foods make the dish yummier. Almost all the food items get its flavor from the spices in a coconut base.

The Tamil lunch includes of cooked rice with so many vegetable dishes like Sambar, Rasam, chutneys, curd and pickles. Crispy Pappadams are inevitable part of a Tamil meal. Filter coffee is the favourite drink of Tamilians. All visitors in a typical Tamil family in Chennai would be treated with this refreshing drink, the taste of which would loiters for ever in your tongue if tasted once.

With out describing Pongal the briefing about Tamil cuisine would be incomplete. Make sure that the restaurant you choose would serve this luscious cuisine. It is quite sure that the mouth watering recipe of Tamil Nadu would certainly provide you with a delightful time of eating.
To expereince South India in all its colors and flavors, one cannot miss eating a traditional meal at Sarvanabhavan.

Nightlife


Night Life in Chennai revolves round in the trendy Bars & Pubs. Late night activities in Chennai would provide a gala time of merry making with perky music, vivacious dancers and an array of exotic hot drinks. All posh hotels in this capital city of Tamil Nadu have their own dancing floors and bars, which compete with each other in providing the best facilities to its customers.

Even if dancing is not your passion, the lively music, the perky dance numbers are definite to tempt you to do something on the dance floor. Some of the hot spots of night crawlers in the city are Pasha, Dublin, EC 41, Flame Le Club. These pubs would be crowded with youngsters who dare to dance to the tune of the fast numbers. Intriguing flaunt of illumination and wonderful display of colors amidst the full flare of live compositions makes this nightclubs a hot favourite of the modern generation

Those who prefers a cool ambiance of excellent bars can opt luxurious hotels like Ashok Residency, Hotel Connemara, Geoffrey's at Hotel Radha Park Inn, Park Sheraton and Towers. Those who want to spend their time with their family would also have lots of options. Some nice restaurants in this metro offer pleasant and quiet evenings where you can have dine with your beloved ones.

Shopping


Flooded with a large variety of world-class shops, shopping in Chennai turned to be highly rewarding and thrilling. A wide option of traditional and stylish goods such as stone, carvings on brass, leather bikinis, wood and ivory, shoes, bags etc, are offered in each shops. These items are mostly available in the shopping centers at T Nagar, Rannganatha Street and Anna Salai.

You can purchase bits and pieces with traditional and antique touch from Chennai. Palmyra-fiber handicrafts and Pattamara Mats, leaf from Tirunellveli, bronze and brass casting and conventional jewelery from Kumbakonam, Metal works from Tanjavur, stone figurines from Mamallapuram and Silks from Kanchipuram are very popular among the shopping buffs.

In Chennai you would be able to meet the traditional traders who are concentrated in the trade of a particular object for generations Traders around the fort region are doing the same business for so many years. While you shop do not hesitate to bargain with the traders.

From the cheap fabrics that are exhibited on the footpaths to the exquisitely furnished malls, Chennai presents a wide range of options to the customers. When wandering through the streets and shopping markets, one would be bewildered to choose from the artifacts.
This coastal city is known for its silk weaves and gold ornaments, a visit to Sarvanan Store in T-Nagar will leave you gasping at the array of offerings for any Indian occassion.

Hotels


You can find 316 hotels in Chennai under following categories:
Comments (14) Reviews (5)
its good for chennai thanks sharing
Posted by v.sathyamoorthy 9 months ago
chennai is the city which has most visit spots like seashore beaches, veg cuisine restrt n temples n site seeing spots around chennai are very beautiful like kovalam, mahabalipuram, vandalur, muthukadu etc in one word CSC (CHENNAI SUPER CITY)
Posted by satish 1 year, 31 days ago
Thanks for sharing the information. Its nice place to visit. I visited last week for that i Book Bus Tickets through online.
Posted by nithi 1 year, 2 months ago
Thanks for sharing the post...The Marina beach The famous Marina Beach, the pride of Chennai, is second longest beach in the world and has a wide sandy foreshore.
Ticketgoose.com will help to get the detail information about the bus schedules, type of coaches ,and the boarding points also.
Posted by snigdha 1 year, 3 months ago
nice and thank uuuu
Posted by TamilVel 1 year, 3 months ago
hi... dudes,
i'm newly comes to chennai. so, pls help me .... how can i know the chennai tourist places?
Posted by manikandan 1 year, 7 months ago
useful information to chennaites!!!! Grab this opportunity and save money.its true! true!!visit storesondoors.com the best online shopping store in chennai and compare the price and feel the difference.
Posted by Deepa 2 year, 49 days ago
auto rickshaw is bloody costly .........its not 7 rs per km......please edit that part
Posted by serious sam 3 year, 3 months ago
such a beautiful place s chennai..................
Posted by akshaya 3 year, 8 months ago
i don't like chennai at all.
Posted by ankita 4 year, 46 days ago
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