Chennai Travel Guide
Formerly known as Madras, always known as the Gateway to South India and recently popular as the location of the blockbuster Bollywood film, 'Chennai Express', this is the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also the fourth largest city in India. Located just off the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is a major economic, educational and cultural hub in South India.
What to See / Do
Enjoy classical Tamil dance in the home of Bharata Natyam, visit Vollywood (the equivalent of Bollywood), stroll through British built architecture in the Pantheon Complex, visit the impressive Kapaleeshwarar Temple, the ancient shrine to Shiva or how about making the trip to the Kalikambal Temple where the powerful Kali resides! For cricket fans, why not visit the hallowed home ground of the Chennai Super Kings? Or how about the world famous Shirdi Sai Bai Temple is also here where thousands of pilgrims queue for hours daily for a few seconds glimpse of the statute of the Saint. Listen to beautiful bhajans (hymns) in the background as you pay your respects to the tomb of St Thomas the Apostle behind the soaring San Thome cathedral or simply kick back and head to the beaches and backwaters visiting lush landscapes. The longest beach in Chennai is Marina Beach and runs for 6km. So whether its culture, beaches or a spiritual journey you're after, visit Chennai...you never know, you may just witness a miracle!
Chennai enjoys a tropical wet & dry climate all year round. As the city lies on the coast, there's always a bit of a sea breeze coming in to the city but, we must be honest, not a lot! In fact, when travelling around the city in a rickshaw, the wind that hits your face is hot. Not warm and pleasant but actually hot! The most sweltering time of the year is from May to June and the locals aptly call this season 'Agni Nakshatram' (fire star). The monsoon hits the city from October to December, later than most other regions in India and leaves January feeling pretty cool.
Tamil, Madras Bashai, Hindi, English
Where to Stay
Whether you're a backpacker on a budget or a seriously extravagant jet-setter with no budget, Chennai has something for everyone. However, whichever type of accommodation you're looking for, a word to the wise....make sure it has air-conditioning! If you're just looking at stopping in Chennai overnight, staying near the airport in Pallavaramy would be a convenient option. The Radisson Hotel is also very close to the airport. There are plenty of budget accommodations available near Egmore train station and on Triplicane High Road or you could opt for serviced apartments. The top-end hotels such as the Taj, Park Plaza and Sheraton Park Hotel & Towers are generally found in the south.
How to Get Here
In less than 10 hours, you could be in Chennai with direct flights from the UK. British Airways flies non-stop to Chennai around six times a week.
If travelling in from a domestic point, you can bus it to Chennai from almost any point in India. Or you can take actually take the Chennai Express train a la the recent Hindi film which popularized this particular mode of transport!
Book your flight to Chennaiwith Tickets to India and ask about our generous luggage allowances in all classes. Ask our reservations staff for further details now.
Book your hotel in Chennaiat the same time as your flights and take advantage of our fantastic flight+hotel deals. We can also arrange your airport transfers and excursions.