Chennai On the Road

Chennai, India
Chennai was once known as Madras, but is now a port city with a beach that stretches for 12 kilometres. It is the fourth largest city in India, with about 7 million inhabitants. The temperature ranges from about 60-110 F. through the year - it’s best here in spring and autumn. Chennai loves to dance and celebrate but is becoming known for its beaches, sites and automotive constructing.

There are many ways to spend your days in Chennai. I‘d recommend starting off with going the beach, Anna Park or walking along Chennai’s streets to get a feel for the city and the people. The temples would be my next recommendation. The best may be the Kapaleeswarar Temple, was built by the Pallavas, in honour of a lord who was named Kapaleeswarar, meaning skull lord. Another piece of Pallava art would be the shore temples in Mahabalipuram, a costal village about 50 km south of Chennai. It was built in the 7th century! There are also the Parathasarathi Temple and the Meenakshi Temple. If you'd like to see a church, than walk through the San Thome Chruch, with a war memorial inside.

If you want to see a museum I would suggest Fort Museum and the National Art Gallery. The city has a number of parks such as the Zoological Park and Botanical Gardens. There is also shopping and the cinema. For cheap shopping I would recommend Specer Plaza. If you’re a science type of person who enjoys learning about the skies, than soar through the heavens at Birla Planaturium.

If this is still all is not enough for you, try taking a day trip to Mattukadu city, about 36 km from Chennai. There, you can row boat, pedal boat, wind surf, rent a motor boat or water scooter. And don't forget to bring your bathing suit!

For food, try taking a few tiffins (light meals) throughout the day. They include rice dishes with dosa (indian crepe), idli (steamed batter patties made from lentil or rice) or vada (doughnut made from lentil or potatoe).

For nightlife, there are various options as well, try the vibrant theatre scene. If you catch a show I would suggest that it include Indian dancing, which is quite colourful as well as beautiful. The city doesn't offer too many pubs or bars but there are some good dancing places such as EC:41 and Hell Freezes Over (HFO) which has a good crowd on the weekends. I would also suggest strolling along the beach at night when the cool breeze blows in from off the ocean.

Chennai is an exciting city with lots to offer, but make sure you are aware of dogs and pickpocketers. Also another tip would be to drink lots of bottled water to make sure you stay hydrated.