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.

Best time to visit Chennai in the next six months

  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January

Chennai Traveller Reviews

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Read 434 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 25241 Chennai reviews 434
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Rajendra Kumar

  • Tourist
  • Rajendra Kumar
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 1 Review
  •  42 readers

"Nice place to visit" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
Its a good city for family weekend purpose. There are so many place to visit likie Beach, Temples. Different variety of food especially south Indian (unique touch which can be felt in South-Indian restaurant). Shopping malls are good. There were so many things especially for children. Airports are good. Infact metro is also started.
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Natarajan n

  • Tourist
  • Natarajan n
  • 4 Reviews
  •  93 readers

"Excellent tourist place with lot of entertainments & outing options." new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Chennai - A true cosmopolitan city where you can meet people of all classes. You can get access from a local to hifi areas in less time. And Food, the true taste of South Indian Cuisine where the list didn't ends with only idli & vada. There are a lot of menus including international menus. And its the core part of south indian cinema. Tollywood, a world familiar cinema industry of quality Tamil cinemas. Instead of Reading my reviews, just get there & definitely you will fall in love with the city.
Only annoying thing is the weather condition! A little hot weather but its not a big thing on seeing other attractions!
Goahead & indulge yourselves in a true cosmopolitan of south india!
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Anita vashist

  • Tourist
  • Anita vashist
  • 2 Reviews
  •  87 readers

"Visit Chennai to Witness a Cleaner City with Good Roads, but Brace for its Weather (Hot Hotter Hotte" new review

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Chennai is a Well Maintained city.
I always wanted to visit, but my husband hated it because of its weather.
We in fact, planned for Mahabalipuram & I convinced him to stay & see Chennai for a day. He was like, Chennai is another capital of a state. What we see in Bangalore, would be same in Chennai, but with hot climate.
This time, we wanted to explore Chennai more by public transport, so we chose to Travel by Lalbagh Express. We reached in the afternoon.
Auto & Chennai Metro:
Prepaid Auto from Chennai Central Railway station to Royal Regency was 39 INR. But the driver demanded 50 upfront & its a common thing. It was just 750-900 Mts. We had luggage & we had to pass through Chennai Metro construction. So we decided to take Auto. My husband was like, what good are we seeing? Its Metro Here. Notorious Auto drivers etc. He was cursing the hot weather too.
Hotel Room:
Reached Royal Regency. Free ted by Front office for the sake of formality. They lacked spirit. No smile. It was like, take your keys & go to your room. We were given Room 507. We entered 5th Floor to be greeted by 2 fellow hotel residents seated at common area sofa smoking & loudly speaking on phone. We said, that's fine & entered the room. We found dirty bathrooms with stained & shoddy shower curtains & rusted fittings. Curtains were so dirty that we didn't even feel like pushing it aside with some aid. Faucet & towel holders were heavily rusted. Towels were rough that we didn't use them. There were some broken shelves with much dust in it. Wardrobes were had heavily rusted hanger holding rod & was badly designed. It was difficult to put hangers on to it as it had very less gap for it.
Food
Was OK, but the tax (VAT & Service Tax) are Heavy. If room service is taken, then it adds heavy service charge. For Ex: A Kinley water bottle of 20 INR coasted me 53 INR.
Staff:
Hotel Service & Travel Desk Staff are courteous & accomodative.
Management:
We showed them the snaps of Bathroom & Wardrobe only to get a response that they are aware of it & the renovation is going on slowly. We were able to hear some repair sound during our stay, however, we didn't go to evidence the same.
View From the Room
It was awful to see the drainage kind of some river or so.
Nearby Eateries:
Murugan Idly shop is just a few mts away. Its very good with tasty Podi dishes, its very expensive. A Podi (chutney powder) Butter Masala Dosa would cost 90+ INR. 2-3 times costlier than Bangalore.
Travel Nearby
OLA / Uber are good compared to Notorious Auto. Of late, we found Fasttrack is much better.
Sightseeing:
The best we had. My husband suggested Tamilnadu Tourism Dept Corporation's City Tour. We took half day (Only Half Day tour is available) by AC coach. It covered Secretariat Building, State Govt Run Museums & Monuments, Snake Park in Guindy National Park, a old & famous temple & Marina Beach.
We went to ancient Kapaleeshwara template, which was really good. We had lunch in the famous Saravana Bhavan near office & Dinner at another famous chain of Hotels in Chennai, Sangeeta. It was average to good, but again the prices with taxes were really heavy.
Finally, my husband started appreciating Chennai for its well maintained less traffic Roads (without humps & potholes), ancient museums & landmark places, he still regrets for going through the torture of Hot climate
Chennai to Mahabalipuram Travel Options
OLA out station for Mahabalipuram drop estimated 2250 INR. Travel Desk at Royal Regency was courteous to negotiate & quoted 1800 INR for Drop & for 1 day sight seeing 2500 INR. While returning from Mahabalipuram, we found the better option of Fast Track, which charges metered charge of 9 INR/ km & it was just 965 INR including driver bata & taxes. They also have 1 day package at almost half the cost of Royal Regencies travel desk ...
Chennai Centrail Railway station
While returning to Bangalore, we had a chance to explore the railway station. It was in deed better than Bangalore's. Railway IRCTC catering service is better compared to other options w. Are. T cleanliness & menu options. As we arrived 2hrs early to our same Lalbagh Express, we found AC prepaid waiting rooms. It was clean & charges were nominal 20 INR/ hr. One should have PNR number to use it. Only issue with it is, its in the first floor, difficult for people with considerable Luggage & for the elderly people.
Overall Experience: 3. 5 to 4 on a scale of 5, with 1 = Lowest & 5 = Highest.
My husband was happy with only Mahabalipuram resort. He was OK with Chennai except its weather.
Hope this review helps.
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Bharani Dharan

  • Tourist
  • Bharani Dharan
  • Lives in Madurai
  • 2 photos
  • 3 Reviews
  •  174 readers

"Acity with tropical climate" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
As for the weather, as the locals say, the weather is hot, hotter, hottest! Chennai has a tropical climate, and is dry and humid all year around with the sun being scorching during the month of May and temperatures ranging between 100-108 degree Fahrenheit. October and November are the monsoon months and the weather is pleasant during December-January.
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Vishnu vm

  • Scout
  • Vishnu vm
  • 4 Reviews
  •  197 readers

"Good place to visit" new review

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
Been to Chennai for 6 days. It was a good experience. There are so many places o visit. The climate is the only problem. Its too hot. You sweat a lot. Marina Beach, Parrys Corner, Mahabalipuram, Kabaleshwar temple, certain malls, barbeque centres, aasife biriyani etc.
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Theepakabi

  • Tourist
  • Theepakabi
  • 5 photos
  • 1 Review
  •  307 readers

"Excellent" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
Chennai .. Chennai is one of India's major metros and the capital of Tamil Nadu. Located along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is short for Chennaipattinam - the name of the town that grew around Fort St. George. It was Built by the British in 1640. The thriving metropolis is home to over 8 million people. So be prepared to see milling crowds wherever you go.
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Yuvaraja

  • Tourist
  • Yuvaraja
  • 2 Reviews
  •  837 readers

"Good customer services"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
I stayed in the hotel for the first time as my regular hotel was sold out ... And I never expected the service to be this good! First stay was really short and lasted two days, but the staff was attentive and helped me with every need of mine. I preferred to stay back at the hotelagain the coming week by choice. And I was thrilled to see the staff remembered my preferences and already had taken care of them for me. I had a very minor issue and mentioned it to a lovely lady called Aishwarya, who went to lengths to take care of it and made sure that the rest of the stay was nothing less than perfect. This was a long stay for me and everyday my preferences were taken care of breakfast, I was greeted warmly by everyone at the hotel, I was pampered and taken care of like I was in my own house. I never felt I was away from my cityor my people, everything was so good! A special thanks to Aishwarya for everything. She is simply a star, always smiling, warmand approachable, really kind and had a genuine knack to take care of people. The bell boy was also sweet and helpful ( sorry can't remember his name ). As I said thishotel was nothing short of a Hilton or Marriott I would usually stay at.
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Yuvaraja

  • Tourist
  • Yuvaraja
  • 2 Reviews
  •  837 readers

"Good customer services"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
I stayed in the hotel for the first time as my regular hotel was sold out ... And I never expected the service to be this good! First stay was really short and lasted two days, but the staff was attentive and helped me with every need of mine. I preferred to stay back at the hotelagain the coming week by choice. And I was thrilled to see the staff remembered my preferences and already had taken care of them for me. I had a very minor issue and mentioned it to a lovely lady called Aishwarya, who went to lengths to take care of it and made sure that the rest of the stay was nothing less than perfect. This was a long stay for me and everyday my preferences were taken care of breakfast, I was greeted warmly by everyone at the hotel, I was pampered and taken care of like I was in my own house. I never felt I was away from my cityor my people, everything was so good! A special thanks to Aishwarya for everything. She is simply a star, always smiling, warmand approachable, really kind and had a genuine knack to take care of people. The bell boy was also sweet and helpful ( sorry can't remember his name ). As I said thishotel was nothing short of a Hilton or Marriott I would usually stay at.
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Jayraj Chauhan

  • Tourist
  • Jayraj Chauhan
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 1 Review
  •  514 readers

"Extremely wonderful place to visit"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Extremely wonderful. Decent people and food is at its best. South Indian cuisines are amazing and a must try. Uber cab is very cheap and drivers are friendly than any other cities of India. Lot many places to explore. Madras pavilion is a must visit. Weather is wonderful and street food is awesome if you like bit spicy. Rice is their main ingredient and they make variety of dishes from it.
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Niranjan Kulkarni

  • Tourist
  • Niranjan Kulkarni
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 1 Review
  •  565 readers

"Chennai-Peace in a Metro City"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Being from northern India, we always have a curiosity about its southern counterpart. Chennai is capital of Tamilnadu and it is the centre of all the actions. People are friendly, but one thing I noticed here is if you cannot speak Tamil, then the things might turn little sour for you. Although localites tend to help you, due to the language barrier, one often ends getting frustrated. English can be considered as the second language for communication, but with its own limitations. If you have some localite with you, then things are good.
About Chennai city, its mainland is as same as any other metro city, but go suburban, township planning is fairly impresive. One can easily learn roamng in Chennai with basic understanding of its geography.
Overall, its good and Iam surely looking forward to visit it again.
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