During the Nayakar rule, a fishing village called Madrasapattinam or Madras was sold to the British by King Vijay Nagar. Years later after the British leaves, the state of Tamil Nadu was formed under the democratic nation-state of India, with Madras becoming its capital city. In 1996, following other states, the government of Tamil Nadu renamed Tamil Nadu and Madras as Chennai. Today Chennai has grown to become India’s sixth most populous city with a population of 46,81,087 according to a 2011 census, making it a major hub of cultural, economic, commercial, educational, and industrial activity in South India. With some nicknaming Chennai, the Detroit of India, due to a large number of automobile industries located in the city. With such a rich history, it is not surprising to find Chennai, a favorite among tourists.
Best time to visit Chennai
The tropical climate of Chennai makes for hot and humid days. A tourist might find it quite bothersome during the summer months, with temperatures ranging from 38 degrees Celsius up to 42-degree celsius, the city is visited quite often with heavy rains during the northeast monsoon period which is from mid-September to mid- December. For tourists flight ticket booking to visit the city, the best time would be between November and February, with lower humidity levels and temperatures around 20-24 degrees celsius and rarely dropping below 20.
Culture in Chennai
As one of India’s metropolitan city, the city host a diverse population with residents speaking in different languages like Tamil, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Telugu, Bengali, Urdu, Kannada, Punjabi and Malayalam. Home to several religions, the cosmopolitan city of Chennai is renowned for being very hospitable to its guest, something you can trace back to their value systems and orthodox beliefs
Religious respect in Chennai
Despite rising religious and communal tension in the nation, Chennai has not changed its stance on religious tolerance, and still coexist in harmony with different faiths. An attribute of the city religious diversity which is home to several religions, with the largest being Hinduism, other religions include Islam, Christianity, Zorashtrain, etc.
Historical places of Chennai
- Fort St George according, to popular opinion, is considered the first establishment of the British in India. First built to function as a trading post which, later became a military establishment, this military architecture is the origin of the modern army of India.
- San Thome Church is a shrine dedicated to Saint Thomas. The shrine is built over the saint’s tomb, one of Jesus’s 12th apostles. He came to India in A.D.52 and was martyred in A.D.72. The church is also known by several names like ‘Santhome Cathedral Basilica’ and the ‘International Shrine of Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica’.
- Government museum, founded in 1851, is India’s second oldest museum and the tenth oldest in the world. The museum is located in the neighborhood of Egmore.
- The Higginbothams Library, founded by Abel Joshua Higginbotham, is India’s oldest bookshop. The library is located on mount road has been running since 1844.
- Arignar Anna Zoological Park/Vandalur Zoo, established in 1855, is India’s first public zoo.
Food culture in Chennai
Chennai loves food, with famous local dishes like ‘mulligatawny soup’ or the ‘atho’. You can also find Chennai love for food in the streets, with street snacks sold in almost every corner of Chennai, popular snacks like idli are eaten for breakfast and dinner in several parts of the city. In recent years, Chennai has shown a boom in residents showing interest in trying different cuisines and incorporating them into the already diverse and rich food culture of Chennai.
Popular tourist attractions in Chennai
- Marina Beach – the longest-running natural beach in India, it is located in the Bay Of Bengal and runs from Fort St George to Foreshore estate, about 6kms in distance.
- St Mary Church: located in Fort St George, this Anglican church is the oldest British building in India, also commonly known as the ‘Westminster Abbey Of The East’
- Kapaleeswarar Temple: dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the temple is located in Mylapore.
- The Chennai lighthouse was previously known as the Madras lighthouse and houses the meteorological department. It was opened to the public on 16 November 2013.
- Victory War Memorial was made to commemorate the victory of allied forces in World War I and was turned into a memorial for soldiers from the Madras Presidency after World War I.
Shopping places in Chennai
- Burma Bazaar located at Parry’s Corner is an unorganized market run by Burmese refugees. The market was set up in 1969 by the Tamil Nadu Government.
- T. Nagar shopping district is the shopping centers in Chennai, dealing from gold to food, you can find a varied amount of items sold here. Don’t forget to bargain.
- Spencers plaza located in Anna Salai is the oldest plaza in India. Built-in 1863, Spencers is now a famous franchise with branches all over the nation.
Where to stay in Chennai
- Chennai unlike most Cosmopolitan cities is not as expensive, with good accommodation available in almost all parts of the city at various prices. For people traveling for the first time, places like T. Nagar are good first choices in searching for accommodation.
Traveling to Chennai
The city of Chennai is well connected, with four main railway terminals, a functioning metro system, an international airport and two major ports, one of which is the largest artificial port in India; The Chennai Port. the Chennai International Airport is one of the busiest airports in India, handling about 400 flights a day.
Prepare your trip to Chennai with adequate research on transport fares and price rates of hotels etc. For starters, contact a trusted and reputed travel agent to assist you in flight ticket bookings or in booking accommodation. If you are traveling without hiring the services of an agent, it is always safe to travel via reputed and trusted brands like ‘Indigo’ to avoid any inconvenience.