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Tourism of India

Citylife

Chennai

What to See

ABOUT THE CITY

Chennai is India's fourth largest city and the capital of Tamil Nadu. Formerly known as Madras, the city's history dates back to more than 2000 years. Being a port town it has always attracted traders and merchants and these included the French, the Portuguese, and the British. When the British established their supremacy in the 19th century the city became the Madras Presidency, one of the four divisions of British India. Today, Chennai is one of India's booming cosmopolitan city. It is the center of the Tamil film industry - the slickest in the country. In fact, the hoardings and the billboards in the city are possibly the most gigantic that one will ever come across anywhere in the country. Chennai is also known for its good educational institutions and some of India's hottest retail outlets.

GETTING THERE

By Air
Chennai's Anna International Airport is a good entry and exit point for South East Asia. You can also get flights to Europe and the Middle East. All domestic airlines operate flights in and out of the city and flights are available to almost all Indian towns and cities.

By Rail
Chennai is connected by rail to virtually all parts of the country. Most superfast and passenger trains terminate and start from the Chennai railway station.

By Road
Chennai is also well connected by road. Being the capital it has roads connecting it to most of the country and the rest of the state. The state transport bus service and private bus operators operate buses in and out of the city.

GETTING AROUND

One can get around Chennai in taxis, autos, buses and even local trains. The public transport is crowded but efficient

WEATHER

Chennai is hot almost all through the year. Temperatures hover at a scorching 40 degrees C in summer. During the monsoons between June and September, the showers make the atmosphere humid and sultry. Though Chennai has no winter it is relatively more pleasant between September and January.

What To Carry

Cool cottons to keep the heat away. An umbrella to protect you from the sun and occasional rain, a good sun block and sunglasses.

FESTIVALS

Pongal, the four-day Harvest Festival, is celebrated all over the state in January. The festival begins on the last day of the Tamil month. On the second day Chakkara Pongal, a delicacy made of harvested rice cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts is offered to the Gods. Pongal ends on the fourth day with a bullfight.

SHOPPING

Chennai leads the rest of the country when it come to the retail experience with some of the swankiest and largest retail stores setting up shop here first. These stores sell western and ethnic wear. For traditional arts and crafts visit Cottage Emporium, Poompuhar Emporium and Victoria Technical Institute all of which are at Anna Salai. For exotic Kanjeevaram silk sarees Nalli's Rasi and Kumaran silks at T Nagar are a delight.
Both plastic and paper currencies are widely accepted.

EATING OUT

There is much more to Tamilian cuisine than idli, dosa, vada, and sambhar. Worth a try is a vegetarian Tamil thali that's simple, sumptuous and inexpensive. In Chennai one can also savour non-vegetarian Chettinad cuisine that is hot, spicy and delicious.

Name Cuisine Address 1 Address 2 Telephone
Raj Restaurant Indian Veg Egmore Poonamalee High Rd 6412222
Highway Abu Palace George Town
Madras cafe Indian Veg Nungambakkam High Rd 8270521
Opal Inn Multi-cuisine Pantheon Rd 8527535
Sanjha Choolha Cathedral Rd 8280101
Peshawri St Thomas Mt 2314343
Sea Food Restaurant-Kayal Indian Non-Veg M.G. Road 4911058
Sea Rock Restaurant Multi-cuisine 31St Cross St Ttk Rd 4991067
Stop At Sam's Fast food Salzburg Square 8272514
The Red E (Food Court) Multi-cuisine Harrington Rd T Nagar 8253434
The Right Place Multi-cuisine The Residency 49 G.N. Chetty Rd Binny Rd 8520123
Verandah Multi-cuisine Hotel Connemara

Bookstores

Name Address Tel Fax
American Book Centre Anna Salai 8520792
Book Shop Anna Salai 8522701, 8523526
Connexions 3rd Avenue 6260429
Fountain Head Dr Radhakrishna Salai 8544892
Higginbotham Ltd Anna Salai 5341295
India Book Distributors Anna Salai 6423385, 6412314
India Book House Ethiraj Salai 8280867
Landmark Nungambakkam High Road 4953188
Madras Book Centre Anna Salai 4346244, 4346266 4346529
Madras Book House Ranganathan Street 8522420