Chennai Travel Guide
Chennai Travel Guide
One of the four metropolitan cities of India along with Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the city of Chennai is a major commercial, cultural and educational centre in India. Chennai is the Capital of Tami Nadu, the Southern State of India. Formally known as Madras, Chennai is a hub for westernization lovers but still has its roots attached with culture and traditions. The City is approximately 369 years old and is fourth largest city of India along being listed as the 6th largest city in terms of population.
The city is serving as the gateway to South India and has vibrant culture and art scene. The city is also known for medical tourism. Being one of the major tourist places, the city is standing at the 13th position in India in terms of cleanliness. Chennai has second largest beach fort of any municipality in the World. Through this Chennai Travel Guide you will get to know everything about this charming place like its rich culture and traditions, mouth-watering delicacies, festivels and glorious history. The city of Chennai has been the fortress of many dynasties of South India in the past.
History of Chennai
Chennai and it surrounded areas has been a part of various South Indian Kindgoms who reigned here successfully through centuries. The Cholas, The Pandayas, The Pallavas are soe of the renowned Dynasties who ruled the region. In 1639 British East India Company was granted this land for building a trading settlement, the document of grant land is dated 22 August 1639 and since every year Madaras celebrates it Birthday on 22nd August. After India gained Independence, Chennai became the capital of Tamil Nadu, one of the fastest growing states in India. With this it also emerged as an important center of Religion and Politics. Today, the city is the 6th populous city in India according to the census 2011. It is now a second largest exporter of IT and BPO.
Culture – Traditions – Festivals and Cuisine of Chennai
The city is the perfect blend of westernization as traditions. This metropolitan city is filled with establishment of umber of industries and technology giants. Not only in IT field, Chennai has a rich culture in form of music and dance. Famous for its classical Indian dance Bharatnatyam, the city is full of colors and life. Bharatnatyam is a Classical Indian dance which is believed to be done by the Devdaasi in the ancient time. Bharatnatyam is believed to be a version of celestial dance of aspara and often called fire dance that manifest the fire element in human body. This traditional dance can be learned at Kalakashetra, which is prominent institute that teaches this dance form to people of all ages.
Every Year in the month of December, Chennai organized 5 weeks long Carnatic music shows, with numerous Kacheries, performed by renowned musicians. Along with the dance and music, Chennai also has major association with theaters which are played in both language, Tamil and English. Mostly the plays are based on mythological stories, or history and also comedy. Many school and college students take part in theater actively.
Being one of the major melting pots of people from different culture and traditional backgrounds the city celebrates almost all the festivals with same high zeal and enthusiasm. To know more about the place you have to experience the festivals in Chennai.
The Main Festivals in Chennai Are -
Dance and Music Festival
Natyanjali Dance Festival
Food in Chennai -
Chennai has a delicious taste when it comes to food. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are equally scrumptious and finger licking. The one staple food in Chennai is Rice, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, Rice is featuring in every meal in vivid shapes and dishes. Typical South Indian start their day with filter coffee and in most of the houses and Hotels people have filter coffee with small tumblers.
Some other renowned food of Chennai includes Idli and Sambar, Dosa and Sambhar, Uttappam, Upumav which are mostly taken in the breakfast. In lunch, people generally have Rice and legumes along with classic meal like Saapadu, Rasam, Kootu and Appalam. The Chennaities generally complete their meals with curd and rice. Chicken, Mutton, Prawns and other sea food are popular as the non-vegetarian dishes. Your sweet tooth wills serve by Payasam a sweet dish of Chennai cooked with rice and mil with dollop of ghee and sugar.
Best Places to Visit Chennai
Listed among for metropolitan cities of India, Chennai is flourishing with rich culture and heritage sites. Some of the best places in Chennai are -
It is an ancient post well known for its stone carvings and stone temples. It was believed to be built between 7th and 9th centuries. This was also called port city of pallava which has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The literal meaning of the city is ‘City of the Great Bali’.
One of the most beautiful places in Chennai which means the picture of South. It is a heritage museum that illustrates the picture of south India. The place will offer you a picture of cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andra pradesh and Kerala.
The temple is dedicated to one of the Hindu trinity Lord Shiva. The temple was built in 7th century CE and features Dravidian architectural style. Devotees visit this temple in high number during the festival of Panguni Peruvizah, Brahmotsavam and Arupathimoovar.
Some other Chennai attractions are its monuments such as Fort St. George Faramasons Hall, Senate House and War memorial. Religious places in Chennai are Adeeswar temple, Velakanni Church, St. Mary’s Church, Parthasarathy temple and Kanadaswamy temple. You will also love to visit these beaches in Chennai like Covelong Beach, Elliot’s Beach and Marina Beach. It will make you feel as if you are enjoying your vacations in beaches of Goa.
Best Time to Visit Chennai
The city is located on the south east coast and comes in the tropical zone. The blend of these two makes Chennai indeed hot and humid. Summers are very hot with the temperature of 45 degree Celsius. You will enjoy visiting the city from the month of November to February. It is the best time visit Chennai when one can experience rejuvenating and relishing endownments.
How to Reach Chennai
The city has well cluster of roads which connect it with other major cities of India. The nearest destination from Chennai is Tirupati which is at a distance of merely 140 km. Chennai by road also connect to Mumbai via Hydrabad, Mahabalipuram, Cochi, Salem, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli.
Well connected through railways, Chennai is having two main railway stations Cheannai Central station and Chennai Egmore.
Two terminals are hosted by The Chennai International Airport tah connects Chennai to major cities in India as well as Asia, Europe and North America.