With imprints of history in every corner owing to a magnificent past, exploring the coastal city of Chennai is like a visit back in time. From mornings that begin with scent of jasmine in the streets to perfectly tailored sunsets of serenity along the beaches, waiting to be greeted with freshly brewed filter coffee; the simplistic charm of Chennai caters all.
Best Time to Visit
With the annual average temperature hovering around 28 degrees, the winter months starting from November to February make the best times for a visit. Winter also brings the city of Chennai alive and energetic with festivities of Pongal. The summer peak temperature can go up to 45 °C. However, the ample amount of rainfall received ensures a pleasant weather throughout the year.
Places to Visit
Adorned with rich cultural heritage, Chennai offers a vibrant mix of art, culture and leisure.
(i) Fine sand, calming sea breeze, long shore lines, fascinating sunsets, Marina Beach promises to deliver it all to its visitors.
(ii) Located on the eastern coast, one of the tidiest Elliot’s beach, is must go for those seeking tranquil evening walk. This popular yet less crowded beach is an absolute delight for leisure seeking tourists.
(iii) Situated in the northern part of Chennai, the Nettukuppam beach is the single symphony with high tides and enchanting scenic beauty. Usually, a quiet estuary, this beach is a fisherman’s land. Nettukuppam is the ideal location for all those photography enthusiasts.
(i) Situated in the traditionally revered suburb of Mylapore, the Kapaleeshwarar Temple allures every visitor with its majestic architectural grandeur. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ancient temple showcases architectural beauty of the Dravidian culture at its finest. Walking around the courtyard of the temple, one simply cannot ignore the splendor of Punnai tree which stands as a testimony of its ancient religious roots.
(ii) Devoted to various incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the Parthasarathy temple is located in the heart of the city. The temple complex houses a large number of inscriptions, sculptures and murals dating back to the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Forts and Museums
(i) Now serving as the headquarters for the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly, Fort St George is considered to be the first establishment of the British in India. The Fort is primarily divided into two sections – St Mary’s Church and Fort Museum. One of the oldest Anglican churches, St Mary’s Church offers a quaint inception history spanning over three centuries. However, one of the most remarkable buildings in the complex is Fort St. George Museum which houses the antiquities, artifacts and relics belonging to the colonial period.
(ii) The Government Museum showcases various archaeological and numismatic collections along with a vast collection of Roman antiquities. The museum exhibits world notable Amravati figures, Thanjavur armory, South Indian bronzes, and copper plates.
(iii) Located along the East Coast Road, Dakshina Chitra is cross-cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles and performing arts of South India. This living museum of art gives its visitors a chance to taste the inclusive culture of the state in an engaging manner.
Where to Eat
Chennai, famous for its traditional food culture successfully melds class South Indian food with regional and international cuisine. Filtered coffee earns the tag of being the signature beverage of the day and rice being called the staple food of South. With the traditional meal served on a fresh banana leaf, South Indian cuisine culture evolves from a well-balanced blend of all six different tastes including sweet, salt, sour, bitter and astringent.
- Saravana Bhavan in T. Nagar
- Balaji Bhavan in Nagar and Anna Nagar
- Adyar Ananda Bhawan in T. Nagar
- Murugan Idli Shop in Besant Nagar and T. Nagar
Where to Shop
From vibrant ethnic markets to bustling malls, a shopping spree along the streets of Chennai definitely won’t be limited to just window shopping.
(i) T Nagar Market: One of the landmark shopping areas in Chennai, T Nagar is fluttered with stores and street vendors selling the exotic collection of saris, jewelry, fancy footwear and more.
(ii) Pondy Bazar: This is the ideal place to hog at for an authentic local experience. From footwear to everyday clothing, ethnic bags and various accessories, this market proves to be one of the liveliest in the city.
(iii) Sowcarpet Market: The congested yet delightful lanes of Sowcarpet can be rightly added on the must go markets if shopping for elegant dresses, brocade saris with intricate embroidery and perfectly matching bangles. The lively atmosphere buzzes with energy making it hard to resist.
Explore the Rich Culture of the Coastal Town
A melting pot of many cultures, Chennai holds within its manifold, a fast-growing cosmopolitan city yet retaining its evergreen heritage and warmth in hospitality.
Come; dive in the rich culture of Chennai, the soul of South India.
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