Chennai Tourism

Beaches, Hills Valleys

Ideal Duration : 2-3 days Best Time : Oct-Mar
Visit 34 Places
"A magnificent past and an early metropolitan dream" Chennai Tourism Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is the fourth largest city in the country, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South India. A city that has a rich cultural history, Chennai perfectly balances its heritage with its thriving modern lifestyle. A metropolis with a heart, Chennai?s skyline is famous for its towering skyscrapers which form a scenic vista along the coast, but the heart of Chennai still remains in the multitude of old temples and churches dotting various parts of the city. Steeped in rich South-Indian culture, Chennai is a city that has a plethora of dimensions that one can explore, and regardless of where you go, the city has an old-world charm to it that refuses to be overshadowed. Chennai is home to the second largest beach in the world, the Marina Beach, which is one of the most happening spots in the city. At any hour of the day, Marina Beach is filled to the brim with people ? both locals and tourists ? basking in the soft warmth of the sun and the sand, with the crystal clears waters of the ocean lapping at their feet. The beach is lined with eateries and stalls where you can go for a quick snack, or for some souvenir shopping. Chennai has some of the oldest temples in the country, such as the Parthasarathy Temple, the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and the Ashtalakshmi Temple. All of these temples have very colourful facades with towering spires that are as intimidating as they are impressive. Seeing as Chennai had an important role to play in the colonial era, the city has its fair share of historical museums and monuments which are a testament to the days gone by. The most important of these is Fort. St. George, which is considered one of the first British establishments in the country. The monument is more than just a throwback to the colonial age; this fort also houses t What's Great? Accessible from all over the country and has excellent transport facilities. What's not so Great? Temperatures are very high from March to October. Most of the people do not speak Hindi and English, knowledge of basic Tamil may be required. Auto drivers are known to charge higher rates to non-locals For Whom Chennai is ideal to be used as a base for people looking for a trip to South India. Chennai is also suitable for beach lovers.If you?re a nature lover, or even if you just want to escape the bustle of the city and find some peace and quiet, a visit to the Pulicat Lake (and Bird Sanctuary) is a must. Home to a vast variety of rare species of birds, including egrets, herons, flamingos, and sandpipers, this lake is one of the most famous bird sanctuaries in the country. Tourists can opt to go on boat rides and cruises and watch a beautiful sunset amidst the melodious chirping of the birds.

History of Chennai The city of Madras, started out its journey towards becoming modern day Chennai - capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, manufacturing hub of the country and hence the ?Detroit of India? ; as a part of the famous Vijayanagara kingdom. The 400 year old city thus has a colorful history which has contributed to its rich heritage, grandiose architecture, culture and traditions. It has been ruled by all major South Indian dynasties such as the Cholas, Pandyas, Pallavas and the Vijayanagaras. Due to its ideal location on the Bay of Bengal coast, it tempted not just the British, but also the Portuguese and the Dutch before them. The Portuguese were the first to come in 1522, and constructed the beautiful church Sao Tome. The land was part of the Vijayanagara kingdom when the British arrived, who quickly established their supremacy over the city, with the support of the diminished Dutch and Portuguese forces. The Madras Presidency was thus established in South India in the late 18th century. The development of railways and ports thus made the city an important linchpin for the British, and it was the only Indian city to be bombed by the Germans during the First World War. Following India?s independence in 1947, the city was named as the capital of Tamil Nadu. Madras also played a major role in the Tamil agitation against the Centre?s attempt to impose Hindi as the main language for communication in the 1960s. In the 1980s, the city was engulfed in political violence during the Sri Lankan civil war. In 1998, the city was renamed Chennai, in honor of Damarla Venkatadri Nayaka, who was the chieftain of Chennapatnam when the British arrived in India over a century ago, thus retaining in its name a legacy of its historical roots. Shopping in Chennai Chennai is famous for being one of the best shopping destinations in the country, and be it street shopping or shopping in the classiest of malls, Chennai has everything you could possibly need. If you are someone who loves shopping, then Chennai won't leave you disappointed. T Nagar, also known as Thyagaraya Nagar, is the most famous shopping district in the town, and you buy anything starting from trinkets and junk jewellery to expensive Chennai Silk Sarees. Some of the important and famous shopping destinations in Chennai are Pondy Bazar, Anna Salai, T-Nagar, Anna Nagar, Egmore and Mylapore. For the people looking for high-end branded shopping, there are also several malls in Chennai like the Spencer Plaza, Chennai Citi Centre, Express Avenue and Phoenix Market City. Nightlife in Chennai Despite being a metropolitan, Chennai's nightlife is not as happening as you would expect it to be. Though the nightlife scene has been improving in the recent years, yet most of the bars and pubs only regulate in high-end hotels due to some regulations. The bars and pubs are prohibited from regulating after midnight. Some of the mid-range hotels also have drinking room where you can have a nice time. Some of the famous bars and nightclubs in Chennai are The Westminster, Zara's 10 Downing Street, The Leather Bar, Pasha and Elixir. Make sure to dress neatly as most of these places have a strict dress code. Read more aboutNightlife in Chennai

Itinerary Day 1- Reach Chennai by morning. Start your sojourn South-Indian style by having Chennai's famous idlis, vadas, and dosas at one of the popular restaurants like Sangeetha's or Murugan Idli shop. Team it up with a glass of steaming hot filter coffee. Next, head out to Mylapore to get a flavor of traditional Tamil culture which includes the famous Kapaleshwara temple, and shops selling local artefacts and jewellery. In the evening, pay a visit to the bustling Marina beach and perhaps even catch a local performance or play if you're lucky, in addition to the beautiful sunset! Day 2 - Take a day trip to Dakshinchitra museum, located around 25 km to the south of Chennai city. After a scenic ride along the ECR coast, revel in the museum's portrayal of South Indian culture, art, and craft. Further, explore some local South Indian cuisine for dinner at restaurants in Alwarpet or Adyar. Day 3 - Devote this day to satisfy your shopping cravings by visiting some of the city's famous shopping areas like T. Nagar and Pondy Bazar, where you can find traditional Kancheevaram silk and other local goodies. For a relaxed afternoon and evening, take a ride through Guindy National Park, and check out the Government Museum and the Birla Planetarium. If time permits, a stroll through IIT Madras would offer you glimpses of deer and peacocks amidst the lush green foliage of the campus. End your trip with an experience of Chennai's nightlife at Besant Nagar beach with a dinner and drink at one of the lovely restaurants there like BOATs (Based On A True Story).

Restaurants and Local Food in Chennai Chennai?s local cuisine consists of traditional South Indian food such as sambar, dosas and idlis. Ranging from street side stalls to upscale restaurants, you can enjoy a complete gourmet experience in Chennai. Chennai like any sparkling city that is constantly growing and expanding in all its spheres, fosters a cuisine that provides countless options. The city has a vibrant street food culture as well as well laid out and flattering fine dining experiences. While you can try a number of cuisines and foods here, one must not miss what Chennai is known for- traditional and authentic South-Indian cuisine. Hence do not miss the filtercoffeeas well as items likeIdli, Dosa, Appam, Vada, Upma, Sambhar, Parotha, Chettinad Chicken, Pepper Chicken, Chicken Stew, Sweet Pongal, Kesari, Payasamand much more.Read more about Street Food in Chennai. Here is a list of some amazing Cafes in Chennai View 7 Restaurants in Chennai >>

Oct-Maris the best time to visit Chennai The weather of Chennai is known to be hot and humid as it lies close to the thermal equator and is also on the coast. The best time for visiting Chennai is from November to February as the weather is pleasant and you can roam around freely and keep away from sunstrokes. Weather in Chennai Loading... Chennai in Winters November to February are the most pleasant months of the year here. The weather is cool and pleasant with occasional rainfall. The classical arts festival also takes place during this time. Hotel rates are usually high this time of the year as people from different parts of the country and the world Chennai in August-September August - September is perfect if you want to avoid the monsoons. Hotel prices are usually low at this time of the year as it is considered to be the off-season. The weather is usually dry and sometimes sultry with the sea breeze blowing in the evenings. Chennai in Summers (March-July) A trip to Chennai in the summer months from March- July is not for the faint-hearted. The days are blazing hot and the nights are swelteringly warm. Try to avoid these months if you are looking for a comfortable trip in and around Chennai. Monthly Weather in Chennai Month Avg. Minimum (°C) Avg. Maximum (°C) January 22 30 February 22 31 March 26 34 April 28 37 May 30 39 June 29 38 July 27 34 August 27 36 September 26 34 October 26 34 November 23 31 December 22 30