Chennai Tourism
City

Chennai Tourism

Chennai Info

  • State: Tamil Nadu
  • Famous for/as: City
  • Altitude: 6 m
  • Pincode: 600001
  • District: Chennai
  • Language: Tamil
  • STD code: 044
  • Weather: Summer 23 to 37°C, Winter 20 to 28°C
Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu and the fourth largest city in India. Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is popularly known as ‘the gateway to the South’ as it is the seat of culture and learning in South India. Hailed as the automobile capital of India, Chennai is the third largest commercial and industrial hub of India.

As per folk lore, the name ‘Chennaipattinam’ arrived from the Chenna Kesava Perumal temple. It is also believed that the region was named after Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, who was the Nayaka of Kalahasthi and Vandavasi. Several tools related to the Stone Age recovered from Pallavaram of Chennai, by the Archaeological Survey of India, points to the fact that Chennai region held a megalithic cultural establishment.  

The recorded history of Chennai can be dated back to 1st century AD, when it was regarded as an important military and economic hub. Later Chennai was ruled by many South Indian dynasties like the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and Vijayanagara. The Portuguese arrived at Chennai during 1522 and they were followed by the Dutch in 1612.  

The British East India Company came to Chennai in 1639. It was the adjacent village of Madraspattinam that was chosen as the place to settle in by the British. The town of George Town, with the fort of St. George became their stronghold in the South. George Town was granted its first municipal charter in 1688, which makes it the oldest municipal corporation in India.

In the 17th century, Madraspattinam and Chennaipattinam were merged by the British and it was renamed as Madraspattinam. By the end of 18th century, most of Tamil Nadu came under their control. Under British rule Chennai was transformed to become a major urban centre and naval base in South India. It was in 1996 that ‘Madras’ or ‘Madraspattinam’ was renamed as ‘Chennai’ by the Tamil Nadu State Government.

Chennai, today, is one of the major tourist destinations in South India. Chennai is famous for its temples and churches which are considered as fine examples of architecture and craftsmanship. Parthasarathy Temple, Kaapaleshwar temple, Ashtalakshmi temple, Santhome Cathedral Basilica, Velankanni Church, etc. are some of the famous religious attractions in Chennai.

The highlight of Chennai tourism is its beaches. Chennai is home to one of the longest urban beaches in the world, Marina Beach, which is 12 km long. The months from November to March are the best time to visit Chennai, when the weather is pleasant.

The city also enjoys a vibrant culture, which is an amalgamation of the old and new. Of the many festivals celebrated, Tamil New Year is one of the biggest. It is celebrated by locals with great pomp and fervour. Festivities, feasting and giving gifts mark the occasion. The festival is also known as Puthandu in many parts of Tamil Nadu. Tamil New Year is considered an auspicious time by Tamilians to start something new. 

The vicinity of Chennai to Mamallapuram, Pondicherry, Kanyakumari, Chidambaram, Tiruvallur, Tirupati, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Swamithoppe, Kanchipuram, Thanjavur,   Tiruvannamalai and Tiruchirapalli makes it a hotspot among tourists.

Anna International Airport lies 7 km south of Chennai. The airport is connected by several international airlines including Air India, British Airways, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Air Lanka and Malaysia Airlines. Pre-paid taxis and airport coaches are available at the airport.

Chennai has three major railway stations - the Chennai Central is the biggest, Egmore station and Tambaram station. For quick access across the city, the recently introduced north-south MRTS (Mass Rapid Transport System) can be boarded. Chennai Central and Egmore are the main railway stations that link north and west India, respectively with south India.

At Chennai, most government bus services for Tamil Nadu which is TSTC and other private buses ply to all the cities in the state. The interstate bus service now operates from the newly opened Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, Koyembedu and is believed to be the largest bus station in Asia. Private bus services along with deluxe Volvo bus services are available from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin and Coimbatore.

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Chennai Traveller Reviews

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Read 413 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 18160 Chennai reviews 413
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Vikram

  • Tourist
  • Vikram
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 3 Reviews
  •  129 readers

"Good Place to Stay" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
Wonderful place to stay. Shopping Complex near by, easy to reach i.e not in the remote place. Good accommodation place with respect to the cost. Food and beverages were nice. Only one draw back is no entertainment facility like swimming pool etc are not present.
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Vipul

  • Tourist
  • Vipul
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 6 Reviews
  •  300 readers

"Okay but hot" new review

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Busy city. Language can be a bit of problem but you can manage with english. Average beaches. Decent markets. Good malls. Make sure you take an Ola.
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Srinivasa Gupta

  • Explorer
  • Srinivasa Gupta
  • Highlander
  • 15 Reviews
  •  18 helpful votes
  •  9487 readers

"Good place to visit during winters" new review

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Experience was good, with the help of google maps I was able to drive in the city without much discomfort and people were quite helpful in many places. Traffic was very smooth and you don't have to spend much time on the road. Places I visited were very well maintained. There are so many activities to do either spiritually or visiting museums there. Shopping was good in Pondy bazar and we were not able to visit Ranganathan street which is also good for shopping as said by my friends. Best time to visit is during winters as it is very hot and humid.
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Monish j babu

  • Scout
  • Monish j babu
  • 4 Reviews
  •  290 readers

"Historical city" new review

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
From my childhood I am visiting Chennai. There are great educations institutes, colleges, good hospitals, filmmaking city famous marina beach and business centres, shopping malls and great hotels, totally I love singara Chennai but now this season is very hot.
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Balasubramaniam r

  • Tourist
  • Balasubramaniam r
  • 2 photos
  • 4 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  22284 readers

"Very hot & humid for most part of the year" new review

  • 4.0/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu state. Many consider it as a tourist unfriendly place because of language and local transport difficulties. Chennai can also be very hot and humid for most part of the year. December and January is best time to visit Chennai. All amenities are available in Chennai and costs are reasonable but a tourist can easily be taken for a ride by touts. It is always better to get good advice and guidance on how to move around the city.

Main tourist attraction of Chennai is the beaches. Marina beach situated within the city is one of the longest stretches of beaches in the country. Go to this beach early in the morning to enjoy it as it is crowded in the evenings and hot once the sun is up. It's not a beach where you can go for a swim or surf.

Chennai has a number of temples notable among them are the Kapali temple in Mylapore and Parthasarathy temple in Triplicane.

Visitors to Chennai make a beeline to T-Nagar to buy sarees. There are innumerable shops get the famous Kanjeevaram silk saree. Prices can vary from Rs 1000/- to Rs 20, 000/- depending on the quality and workmanship. Shops like Nalli, Kumaran and RMKV are reputed and can be relied upon to buy sarees.

Chennai has different types of eating options both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Chettinad cuisine is very popular for its uniqueness and adored especially for its non-vegetarian preparations. There are innumerable vegetarian restaurants of different types to satiate your taste buds. It would be a good idea to do some study and take ideas from those who know the place to get you to the right place.

If you are a classical music lovers Chennai has a annual music festival during December with concerts all over the city. The concerts are mostly based on Carnatic style of music. This is followed by a Bharatanatyam dance festival as well.

If you are visiting Chennai as a tourist you should not miss visiting Mahabalipuram Beach temple. It is a heritage site and a beautiful place situated 60 Kms from Chennai. You will need to keep a day for this visit. If you have time you can visit the temple town of Kancheepuram before returning to Chennai. You can also shop for silk sarees at Kancheepuram (Tip: get shop references before you visit) where these sarees get their name from.

Most difficult part in Chennai is the transport. The city has a well connected bus transport systems but it is slow and too crowded most of the time. However bus transport in Chennai is the Cheapest and can be preferred when you wish to travel from point to point during non-peak hours. Auto rickshaws are available but the drivers are known for their unreasonableness. One needs to be very good at bargaining to use this mode of transport. Take advice on how much one should bargain for to the place you wish to visit. It is better to take a Call taxi (as radio cabs are called in Chennai). OLA cabs are available in Chennai. Study the map before you start your trip so that you are not taken on a merry go around. Chennai also has metro trains that cater to certain segments of the city, if you happen to be there I would recommend this mode of transport as the crowd during most periods of the day is manageable.
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  • 1 vote

Arindam Roy

  • Explorer
  • Arindam Roy
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 11 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  1228 readers

"Perfect for Beach bath" new review

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Chennai is always hot through out the year. so if you are keen to beach activity you can visit always. Mahabalipuram is good place nearby Chennai. You can get enjoy beach as well as food. You can try sea food, which you do not get anywhere else. If you can also go little bit further to Pondicherry. There you can enjoy evening walk beside the sea. Both the places are well-connected by train & bus.
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  • 1 vote

Fayyaz Mohamed

  • Expert
  • Fayyaz Mohamed
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 45 Reviews
  •  67 helpful votes
  •  21454 readers

"Great place to visit"

  • 4.5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
A safe city to live in, great south indian food and a few popular tourist spots. Marina beach, Mahabalipuram on ECR road and the many malls of the city are worth visiting. Marina is the second largest beach, Mahabs for it's ancient relics. There is the museum in Egmore and fort museum near Marina beach. South Indian food like Idly, dosa, pongal and must have filter coffee. The weather is hot on most parts of the year. Pondicherry is around 150 km from the city, is an interesting place to visit.
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Sivarajan Siva

  • Tourist
  • Sivarajan Siva
  • Lives in Nagercoil
  • 1 Review
  •  468 readers

"Nice place"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Very nice place to see many modern amenities, we can absorb variety of people. We can as per our financial wellness, peoples are very good with kind hearted. Many places to visit, we can get variety of food as per our budget. We can see a very rich as well as very poor people in same area.
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Debanjan senguptha

  • Tourist
  • Debanjan senguptha
  • 5 photos
  • 2 Reviews
  •  584 readers

"Nice to be here"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
We visited just two places : Marina Beach (twice) and Loyola Institute of Business Administration, to meet my cousin who studies there.

The Loyola campus is awesome, and we couldn't cover it all on foot. Being the good Friday weekend, the church inside the campus was decorated well.

Marina Beach is a 'mela' of people, food stalls, rifle shoots, rides etc. , so if you are looking for a quiet beach trip where you can sip your drink and stare at the sea, then you should move towards Mahabalipuram.
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Kiran sood Sood

  • Scout
  • Kiran sood Sood
  • Lives in Dehradun
  • 28 photos
  • 57 Reviews
  •  48 helpful votes
  •  37177 readers

"Colourful Chennai for relaxation"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Grand old city with historical mysteries has its own charm of Guindy snake park. Fortunately I got chance to stay at the park only. Little scary but I enjoyed every moment alongside chirpy children. Language-barriers were broken as smiles of innocent children speak in volumes. Getting frames of snakes in the evening and meditating upon them till late night cleared fears of my mind. Fearless mind can only live and survive crisis. Chennai has significant place in my spiritual journey. Grandeur of beech and vastness of ocean helps relaxing our mind, body and soul. Like conventional people I worshiped varun devta with coconut and kumkum. Memories of arriving at Chennai and clicking photographs from above is exciting. From the land of rivers I have seen birds flying over flowing waters. And here crow quenching its thirst from tiny spot of water. The spirit of survival made me stronger from within as my faith in Divine Grace is confirmed. Life becomes much easier and relaxed with faith.
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