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.
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.
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.
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.
One can get around Chennai in taxis, autos, buses and even local trains. The public transport is crowded but efficient
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.
Cool cottons to keep the heat away. An umbrella to protect you from the sun and occasional rain, a good sun block and sunglasses.
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.
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.
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|
|American Book Centre||Anna Salai||8520792|
|Book Shop||Anna Salai||8522701, 8523526|
|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|