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Chennai (Madras) Tourism And Travel Guide
20° C / 68° F
December to February
3 to 5 Days
Chennai Airport (18.6 kms)
Puratchi Thalaivar Dr.M.G.Ramachandran Central (2.7 kms)
Chennai, erstwhile called Madras, is one of the most noteworthy tourist places of Southern India. More than being called a tourist place, Chennai is a city that in spite of becoming one among the trendiest cities of the country, still follows its own unique traditions and cultures and has so many breathtakingly beautiful places like the beaches, sanctuaries and museums that draw tourists to the city. And that is not all. Chennai is the gateway to the Group of Monuments at Mamallapuram.
Chennai is known as one of the IT hubs of the country and is fast emerging as a significant region for medical tourism, thanks to a well developed medical infrastructure. If you would love to visit Chennai, our travel and tourism guide will help you plan a trip.
How to Reach
Chennai is well connected to all major cities of India. The easiest and fastest way to reach Chennai would be by flight.
Chennai has flights from most Indian cities and from overseas too. The domestic and International terminals lie close by and from the airport you can board an airport metro or suburban train to your destination.
The Egmore Railway Station caters to trains from the south, while the Central Railway Station has trains from all over India. Both stations have metro service. Otherwise there are the taxis and auto rickshaws.
Private and Government buses run between Chennai and the neighbouring states. You could also self-drive or hire a cab to reach Chennai.
There are metro trains, suburban electric trains, regular and ac buses, auto rickshaws and cabs that can be used to travel in the city. If you are travelling solo, you could even rent a two wheeler.
Weather and the Best time to Visit
Chennai has a tropical climate throughout the year. The best time to visit Chennai would be from the months of December to February, when it is winter and the days are pleasantly calm and are perfect for sightseeing and touring the city.
Summer months can occasionally get the heat-wave. Chennai gets hot and sweaty and you are likely to spend the day indoors. Nights get cooler as the sea breeze blows inward and it’s lovely to sit up on the beach and watch the sun set, beyond the waves.
Southwest monsoon sets in by June and quickly passes away, followed by the northeast monsoon with torrential rainfall, cyclones and floods. Monsoon is definitely not a time for tourism in Chennai.
There are light December showers. Weather clears up by January and a pleasant season sets in with mild foggy mornings and warm, pleasant days. Winter’s the right time to pack up and arrive at Chennai.
Things to Do
Arts of Chennai:
Cholamandalam Artists Village is an artists’ community of contemporary art and sculpture at Injambakkam in Chennai. Visit the art gallery, amphitheatre and the museum in the village.
DakshinaChitra is a living heritage museum of the lifestyles, art, architecture and the cultural traditions of Southern India. Spend a day at DakshinaChitra and you’ll have your hands full, attending ceramic and pottery making classes, art and craft workshops for kids and grownups and visiting the crafts bazaar for garments, traditional toys, jewellery and folk crafts.
If you’re travelling to Chennai by train, your journey as a tourist begins with Chennai’s railway stations. The Egmore Railway Station was built in 1908, in a Gothic style with imposing domes and corridors while the Central Station built in the Gothic Revival and Romanesque styles was opened way back in 1873. Check out the 136 ft high Clock Tower in the main Heritage building of Central Station.
East Coast Road:
Take a long drive on the SH49 or East Coast Road along the Bay of Bengal all the way from Chennai to Kanyakumari. The landscape is amazingly beautiful with a view of the sea alongside and a number of heritage monuments, temples, resorts and tourist towns on the way.
Visit the Dutch Fort:
Visit Sadras or Saduranga Pattinam, an ancient town near Chennai which has the remnants of the glorious Sadras Fort built by the Dutch. Check out the cemetery with tombs dating sometime between 1620 to 1769.
Go for a leisurely stroll along Mylapore on the Peacock Trail Walking Tour. Discuss stories on traditions and customs, about local life and about Mylapore and Chennai as you walk along.
Spend an evening at Muttukaadu, the beautiful backwaters of the Bay of Bengal. Go skiing, rowing or ride a water scooter on the lake. It’s fun time for the family.
Visit T. Nagar for clothes and jewellery, you’d find some of Chennai’s most popular showrooms in T. Nagar. Go to Mylapore near Kapaleshwara Temple for devotional stuff like prayer beads, incense holders, books and a wide range of bronze ware like idols and lamps, costumes and jewellery for traditional dances that would be the most charming souvenirs.
For traditional arts and craft items visit Victoria Technical Institute, and check out branded stuff in Phoenix Marketcity, Express Avenue, Spencer Plaza and Forum Vijaya Mall. Visit The Grand Sweets and Snacks and Suswaad for sweets and spiced snacks. Don’t miss out on the age old artefacts, daggers, Pashmina Shawls, sculptures, jewels, caskets etc in the Old Curiosity Shop in Mount Road. The State Government’s Poompuhar showrooms have handicrafts and handloom materials. Visit Moore market for books, gramophones, antiques, and ancient coins etc and Pallavaram Friday Market for plants and pets.
Hotel Saravana Bhavan for dosas, and vadas soaked in sambhar, Murugan Idli for idlis, Adyar Ananda Bhavan for sweets, Dindugal Talapakatti for Biryani are some of the brand names of Chennai. Try Pongal and Vadai from Rayar Mess, Keerai Vada and Pineapple Rasam from Mylapore Sri Karpagambal Mess and Kozhukattai or sweet dumplings from Maami’s Mess and Rose Milk from Kalathi Newspaper Mart.