Chennai, Tamilnadu - PaintMyTrip Travel
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Welcome to Chennai

Chennai-Gateway to the South

It hugs India’s longest sandy shores, and is home to almost 4.5 million people; a city that can guarantee a holiday of the senses, mainly visual. But Chennai’s true assets are its people, whose zest for life rubs off on any avid traveler.

Chennai boasts of a long history from the English East India Company, through the British Raj to its evolution in the late 20th century as a services and manufacturing hub for India. Not many Indians know that Chennai was once known as Fort St George, as part of the VIjayanagara Empire which based its headquarters in Andhra Pradesh. This area, or region, was a cluster of villages, of which one of them was Madrasapattinam. The region was home to merchants, traders from European communities. After India became independent in 1947, the city became the administrative and legislative capital Tamil Nadu in 1968.

Chennai, however, is the indigenous name given to Madras by the local state government after the British rule was overthrown. The city has much to offer the discerning traveler. It has the world’s longest beach, about 6 kilometers in length, called Marina Beach. As much as this theory is hard to believe, Chennai is becoming the third most important destination for settlement by expatriates after Delhi and Mumbai, thanks to its burgeoning automobile and mechanical industry.

Information & Facts

Activities

The activities one can do at Chennai includes, shopping, sightseeing, strolling through Marina Beach and of course savoring the fine South Indian food.

Climate

March to May: Summers with temperature going upto 40°C.

June to August: Monsoon and can expect heavy rain and strong winds.

December to February: Winter and the average temperature is around 18 degree 

Getting Around

The metropolitan has an international airport as well as three major train stations, allowing for frequent trains from other states to arrive and depart from various points in the city. Chennai Central, Egmore, Tambaram. One can also rely on buses, taxis and auto rickshaws to travel through the city. Chennai is also home to arguably Asia’s largest bus terminus, Koyambedu. 

Kids Attractions

For activities for kids during a family holiday in Chennai, it is recommended that you skip the history and culture and show them some real fun on the beach. Make the most of the sunny weather for quick dips and ‘sand-castle’ time! Chennai has some well-known amusement theme parks include Kishkinta (Tambaram). MGM Dizzie World (ECR) and EVP World (Chembarambakkam.

Language

The most widely-spoken language here is Tamil, although working knowledge of Hindi and English of its residents are not hard to come by. For travelers, it is best to familiarize yourselves with some functional form of Tamil and mix that in with your English.

Night Life

Nightlife in Chennai may not involve the conventional pub or bar crawl but the city has plenty to offer in terms of theatre and music and dance shows. Before arriving, keep track of popular events at places such as Music Academy, Kalakshtra Foundation and Dakshinchitra. 

Restaurants

Given its name, ‘gateway of the South’, Chennai lives up to that name when it comes to cuisine. A fact that most travelers will immediately pick up on is the city’s obsession with biriyani, with every street hosting at least 2 biriyani joints. Here are some of the top restaurant picks in the city:

 

·         Saravana Bhavan: Ubiquitous and so famous that they even have outlets in the US, UK and other countries. Must visit for the idlis, vada, dosa legacy. Ideal for evening snack visit.

·         Murugan Idli Shop: As the name suggests, the modest-looking restaurant specializes in idlis with more than 40 varieties on the menu. Your go-to breakfast option.

·         Junior Kuppana:  Get your lunches here, packed with flavour. The mess gets crowded fast, so arrive early.

 

 

Shopping

Tamil Nadu is famous for its hand woven silk sarees, and a signature product of the South. One can find the best here:

·         T-Nagar: If you’re here for the kanchipuram sarees, then here’s where you need to be. Get all the types and kinds with a stroll down this area.

·         Chamiers: Popular cafe-cum-boutique-complex, Anokhi has wonderful, East-meets-West theme going on.

·         Egmore: It is the place for textile, Kanchipura silks, jewelry stores, designer boutiques, easily be called Chennai’s shopping district.

Sightseeing

Chennai is a major tourist destination in South India. It is famous for its temples and churches, considered fine examples of architecture and craftsmanship. Here are a few of the must visit places

·         Marina Beach: Work it into your evening itinerary and walk the 3-km stretch. Let the sea, sand and sun overwhelm you.

·         Theosophical Society:  Between Adyar River and the coast, this 100-acre stretch is great retreat from the city hustle and bustle.

·         Vivekananda House: Learn about the ‘wandering monk’ from this visit which is just across the road from Marina Beach.

·         Fort St George, Thosand Lights Mosque Kaapaleshwar temple, and Santhome Cathedral Basilica, are some of the famous religious attractions in Chennai.

·         If you are history buff and enjoys monuments and museum head to Victory War Memorial on beach road and The Government Museum (the Madras Museum or Egmore Museum)

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