The South Indian Extravaganza – Chennai

Situated on the Bay of Bengal in the East, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. The city is home to some of the biggest names in the automobile industry and 30% of the automobile manufacturing in India happens in this very state, thereby giving it the sobriquet of the “Detroit of Asia.” Take a look at this fourth largest metropolitan city of India.

If visiting this dexterous city for the first time, keep in mind the points highlighted here to get more out of the trip.

Reach

By Air: the Chennai Airport is well connected to and has regular flights plying to and from the major cities of the country.

By Train: Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore are the two major long line railway stations which ply regular trains to the major cities across India.

By Bus: the city has a number of bus stations, with buses ferrying people from nearby and connecting cities regularly.

Stay

Being a metropolitan city, Chennai has a host of luxurious, mid range and budget hotels to fit the pocket of every type of traveller visiting the city. The people of Chennai are known for their warm hospitality and therefore, Chennai hotels leave no stone unturned to satisfy their guests, come what may. Some of the fanciest Chennai hotels are The Raintree Hotel – Anna Salai, Lemon Tree Hotel – Shimona, E Hotel, Ambassador Pallava, MGM Eastwood, Leela Palace, ITC Grand Chola, etc. Of course these aren’t the budget bets, but if one is ready to splurge and experience an extravagant stay in Chennai, then head for one of these.

Places to Visit

Fort St. George: this exquisite structure built by the British speaks volumes about the Neo-Classical construction style the British had adopted earlier. It is open from 9:00 am in the morning to 4.30 pm. Photography is strictly prohibited here. The fort serves as a storehouse of information related to the colonial past of Chennai and its inhabitants.

Kapaleeswarar Temple: the Kapaleeswarar Temple of Chennai is one of the ancient temples of Mylapore in Chennai. The tower of this temple is peculiar to all representative specimens of Dravidian architecture. The most striking features of this temple are the beautiful sculptures, among which the bronze idols of 63 Saivite Saints decorating the outer courtyard are elusive.

Marina Beach: the sight of kids flying kites, fortune tellers, food stalls and happy families enjoying the cool sea breeze make for an amazing spot to spend that quality time. The very recently opened Marina Lighthouse towards the southern end of the beach allows one to ascend up via lift and get some breathtaking views of the city and the sea. Some of the best budget hotels in Chennai can be spotted here, which make it easier for tourists to spend time at the beach as and when they want at an easy approach.

Government Museum – as a rich trove of the finest masterpieces of art, archaeology, anthropology, and much more, the Madras Museum is a delight for the lovers of art and history. The museum was established in 1851 and is one of the oldest museums of India.

Apart from the above mentioned, if one has a religious streak to them, then Chennai is a treasure house of architectural temples, quaint churches, and some mosques. It is upto the traveller what side of this South Indian cube do they want to explore, for Chennai has a myriad of options and sides to it!