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Traveller Tales from Chennai


Udit Sethi

07 January 2016

We went to this resort this new year. It has become one of the most memorable new years of my life. It is located in such a beautiful place..the sea, sand, the pristine beach. Everything was perfect. T...

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What You Should Know More About Chennai

  • Q. About the destination:

    Chennai, the state capital of Tamil Nadu has a colonial and a rich history and heritage. Known for its food, beaches, films, music, arts, crafts, religion, and spirituality, this is a hub where ancient traditions meet the urban living. It is a cusp of modern and ancient times dwelling together. Known for many tourist places like sandy beaches, historical monuments, temples, parks, and more, it has always been known for arts and heritage.  Though, Chennai is traditional, you will find diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities across Chennai. The world famous filtered coffee and other delicacies are the primary components that make Chennai distinct in its food, arts, and culture from the rest of the India.

    Tamil music, commercial or classical is one of the most melodious music you can hear. This place is a hub of music festivals and there are many places to see in Chennai. Beaches and beach hiking is something you cannot miss when in Chennai. It has skyscrapers and modern architecture and buildings that showcase urban development is roaring in this city. Also, now called as the ‘Detroit of India,’ it is a hub of many international automobile manufacturing companies. Chennai has umpteen cinema theaters and is the second largest hub of theatres in India, and there are many things to do here.

  • Q. Travel advice

    • Chennai is cosmopolitan, but there are some strict rules with regard to smoking in public places. It is against the law in Chennai to smoke in public areas.

    • Learn a few words in Tamil to negotiate better in the native language of people in Chennai. People in Chennai are passionate about Tamil, and prefer to speak in this language only.

    • Do not travel by autos in Chennai, they will charge you multifold times, and never use the meter attached to the auto.

    • Chennai is super hot, and always carry a water bottle along with you, and stay hydrated, wherever you go within the city.

    • Nightlife in Chennai is still at a primary stage and you have a few bars and pubs at this place.

    • Resort stays are only available on the outskirts of Chennai. For accommodation, you will find many budget hotels.

    • Do not wear short or skimpy clothes in Chennai, else you will invite unwelcome stares from public.

    • Never ever poke fun at the gods of Chennai who are movie stars. Especially, Rajinikanth, and other actors are revered like holy deities in this city.

    • When in temples, do not ask too many questions and disturb the pilgrims in the temples.

    • Most of the restaurants in Chennai do not serve alcohol, and you cannot buy liquor from shops either.

  • Q. Drinking Laws

    Chennai has been a dry state for the longest of time, so do not expect flowing imported liquor in the city. Only solo seller of liquor is available in Chennai, you are not allowed to buy liquor anywhere else.

  • Q. Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    Beaches and amusement parks
    You can wake up early morning and go to the Marina beach and enjoy the view of the sunrise while you take a walk there. There are no water sports or any other activities available within Chennai. People come here either in the morning or evening to spend some quiet time. The Marina beach ends at the Edward Elliot’s beach at the Besant Nagar in Chennai. You can also take family trips to the Queensland amusement park in Chennai. At the Arignar Anna Zoo park, you can take the deer safaris, and get a view of white tigers, otters, chimpanzees, and go on lion safaris. 

    Temple tours and cathedrals
    Chennai is a sacred place for pilgrimage as well. You will find temples like, Kapaleeshwarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvathi. It is said that Goddess Parvathi worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of peacock at this place. The Parthasarathy Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. This is an 8th century old vaishnavite temple. The Church of Our Lady of Light is a Roman Catholic shrine built with Portuguese architecture. The San Thome Basilica in Chennai was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Vadapalani Andavar Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva. 

    Mini excursions and water sports
    You can visit museums, crocodile bank that is close to Mahabalipurm, 44 kilometers away from Chennai. For water sports like canoeing, boating, and all backwater activities, you can visit Muttukadu which is only 36 kilometers away from Chennai. It has a lot of greenery and landscape that you can go sightseeing. You can spend your holidays here amidst peaceful atmosphere and serene nature. 60 kilometers from Chennai is Pulicat, also known as a seashore town. At Pulicat, you can enjoy bird watching of many migratory birds, the Dutch Fort, and enjoy the view of Bay of Bengal. The Covelong beach that is 40 kilometers away from Chennai offers many water sports and adventure activities as well. 

    Historical and heritage tours
    You will find many historical buildings spread across Chennai and also places near this city. Thanjavur district near Chennai has sculptures and monuments from the Chola dynasty. You can find many significant temples and monuments that have an esoteric architecture from 13th century AD. 

  • Q. What you will like there?

    Beaches and mini excursions

    Chennai has many weekend getaway options for tourists and people living in the city to relax and enjoy these activities. The beaches are serene, and only beaches away from Chennai have water sports activities. You can also take mini trips to places near Chennai.

    Shopping and eating out

    You can go shopping for authentic and a variety of silk and cotton fabrics and clothing. They are famous for ethnic kanchiveram sarees. You can gorge on the rice dishes, sambar, idli, snacks, and many other spicy dishes served across Chennai. There are also many restaurants that serve continental, European, and cuisine of other ethnicities.

    Religious tours

    You can visit temples and cathedrals as they are considered the most revered and sacred in Chennai. The architecture and the rituals here are entirely different from that of other places in India. Elaborate pujas are performed by the temple pundits and sanctity is maintained at all the temples.

  • Q. Recommended reads for destination

    Website :

    Tamil Nadu Tourism

    Forum :

    Chennai Attractions

    Books :

    Madras Rediscovered by S Muthiah