India > Tamil Nadu > Chennai

Chennai (Madras) City, capital of Tamil Nadu

Chennai, short form of Chennapattanam, initially called as Madras, short form of Madrasapattinam. It was renamed as Chennai during the year of 1996 by the State Government of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is consider as the Gateway of South India, as it play a important role to connect south Indian states to rest parts of India Chennai is the one of economically faster growing cities (4th largest) in India which ranked 36th largest metropolis in the world with several large industries like automobiles, software technologies, hardware industries, healthcare etc. Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is the second largest exporter in software marketing in India. Automobile companies of the city produce about 61% of India's automotive exports with the companies of Ford, Hyundai, Renault, Nissan, etc.

Arinjar Anna Zoological Park

(Arinjar Anna Zoological Park, little away from Chennai city center)

Chennai Corporation is oldest Municipal Corporation in India established in 1688. Initially it was called as Madras Municipal Corporation. Now, it can be classified into four main divisions; namely, North, Central Chennai, South and West Chennai. Among these Central Chennai is the most important and busiest part of Chennai. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has determined to develop satellite townships around Chennai; neighboring towns include Mahabalipuram to the south, Chengalpattu and Maraimalainagar to the south-west and Kanchipuram, Sriperumpudur, Tiruvallur and Arakkonam to the west.

People and their lifestyle in Chennai

According to the census report 2011 India, approximately 4681088 people reside in Chennai which make the state 6th most populous city in India. The city initially was small about 174 sq km, but now it extended to 426 km². The people of Chennai use Tamil as their primary spoken language. English and Telugu dialects are also used by few inhabitants of the city. Hinduism is predominant religion in Chennai where about 82% of city population belongs to this religion. Rests are Muslims (9.3%), Christians (7.5%), Jain (1%) and some other religious groups.

Chennai is famous for its traditional classical dance and music. Every year in December a large music festival is celebrated in the city for five week. Classical dance form like Bharat Natyam is also very famous in Chennai. Traditionally, the women of the city wear a Sari or Salower Kamiz and Dhoti & Lungi (south Indian style) is most common for men. For official purpose usually a formal dress like pant, shirt, and blazer are used. Most common foods of Chennai are Rice, Uttapam, idly, Dosai, tamarind, asafetida, Sambar, Rasam, Ogurt, mutton, chicken, fish, Chutney, Sambar, Mulagai podi, coffee, etc.

Climate of Chennai

Usually the climate of Chennai remains hot and humid throughout the year due to the proximity of Torrid Zone. There have two main seasons in Chennai summer and monsoon. A short term of winter season is also found in Chennai during December to February when the average temperature varies from 20 °C to 29 °C.

Summer season of the city persists for a long terms from March to June. This season locally called as Agni-Nakshatra when average temperature varies between 32 °C to 42 °C. Monsoon season of the city usually influence by the south-west monsoon during June to September and the north-east monsoon during October to December. Average annual rainfalls of Chennai are about 143 cm.

Tourist spots in Chennai

Chennai is one of the finest tourist destinations in India. The city is an address of several beautiful beaches, religious sites, parks, gardens, etc. You will not be allowed to swim in the beaches, due to the under currents present along the shoreline.

Marina Beach is 12 km long world’s second longest beach famous for its lovely view. Many tourists come here during winter season when the weather around beach remains pleasant.

Edward Elliot's beach is located to the south of Marina Beach close to Besant Nagar. You can take a long walking to get Velankanni church and the Ashtalakshmi temple which are placed just next to the beach.

Breezy Beach is located near Valmiki Nagar. It is small beach remain quiet and peaceful throughout the year. This beach is perfect for picnicking during winter.

St. Mary's Church is one of the oldest (28 October 1680) churches in India built by the British Governor Streynsham.

St. Thomas Mount is a small hillock located at Chennai close to the Chennai International Airport. It was derived its name from St. Thomas who is believed to have reached South India in AD 52.

Big Mosque or Wallajah Mosque is located at Walajah Road in Triplicane. The mosque, a historical evidence of Chennai, was constructed by Wallajah dynasty in 1795.

Kapaleeswarar Temple is located at Mylapore. It is one of the best-known temples in Chennai. The initial structure of Kapaleeswarar Temple was constructed during 8th century.

Parthasarathy Temple of Tiruvallikkeni is considered be the oldest temple in the city and its origins date back to the 8th century AD. It was originally built by the Pallavas and dedicated to Lord Krishna.

Sri Ramakrishna Math is located on 31 Ramakrishna Math Rd, Mylapore. Swami Vivekananda on his return from the west was requested by the devotees in Madras (now Chennai) to start a Math here.

Government Museum of Pantheon Rd, Egmore was established in 1857, the Government Museum of Chennai is one of the popular tourist destinations in the city.

National Art Gallery The building of National Arts Gallery was built in the year 1907. This Art Gallery was built by T. Namberumal Chetty.

Birla Planetarium is located at Kotturpuram. It is the most modern planetarium in India. It is a huge attraction for students and science scholars.

Arinjar Anna Zoological Park is one of the biggest parks in India. You will find more than 170 species of mammals; birds and reptiles in this park.

Guindy National Park is located on Sardar Vallabhai Patel Rd, Guindy. The park covers an area of 280 hectares and it is the smallest national park in India.

Guindy Snake Park is located close to Guindy National Park. You will find here lots of snake species, lizards, crocodiles, turtles, etc.

How to reach Chennai?

Chennai, capital city of Tamil Nadu, is main destination city for a tourist to visit the state. There have several ways to reach the city. 

Travel by Roadway
There have a good road network throughout the Chennai with four national highways and several state highways. NH 4 has directly connected the city to Bangalore and Mumbai; NH 5 is connected to Bhubaneswar and Kolkata; NH 45 has connected Chennai to Tiruchirapalli and Theni; NH 205 is directly connected to Tirupati, Anantapur and Andhra Pradesh. Several state highways of Tamil Nadu run through this city and these highways create a link to every corner of the state.

Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) is one of the best bus stations in India where seven neighboring state authorities (especially south India) have provided several buses to get the city. Tamil Nadu Government bus operator, known as Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), serve a well transport throughout the Chennai City including some neighboring city and states like Tirupati, Pondicherry, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, etc. There have many private car rental agencies such as Clear Car Rental, Avis and Hertz. You can hire also a private car from these agencies. CMBT Enquiry Number is: 044-24794705.

Travel by Railway
Chennai is the headquarters of the Southern Railway. The city has two main railway stations namely Chennai Central Station and Chennai Egmore Station. You will get several daily trains from Bangalore, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, etc to Chennai Central Station. Other hand, the Egmore Railway Station has trains which mainly cover all the parts of the state Tamil Nadu. Some other important railway stations of the city are Tambaram and Perambur Railway Station. For internal communications the city Chennai has four routes. These are the Chennai Central - Arakkonam route, Chennai Central - Gummidipoondi-Sulurpet-Gudur route, Chennai Beach - Tambaram and Chengalpet route and the Chennai Beach - Velachery route.

Travel by Airway
Chennai International Airport is the third busiest in India (after Mumbai & Delhi) comprising the Anna international terminal and the Kamaraj domestic terminal; Anna terminal receive all international flights from London, Frankfurt, Singapore, Malaysia, Middle East Countries, New York, Hong Kong, Europe and North America, South-East Asia, Middle East, Sri-Lanka, etc. Kamaraj domestic terminal of Chennai operate all the major Indian air service like, Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Spice Air, Air India, Go Air, Indigo, etc and these operators provides multiple flights to other major cities of India.

Travel by Water way
There have tow major ports in Chennai; one is called as Chennai Port which is one of the largest artificial ports in India and another is Ennore Port.

Hotels and Restaurants in Chennai

Benzz Park Hotel
T,Nagar, Chennai
Telephone: 044-26413334
Mobile Number: 9840060616
Hotel Le Royal Meridien
St. Thomas Mount, Chennai - 600016
Telephone: 044-22314343
Hotel Radisson Chennai
St. Thomas Mount, Chennai - 600016
Telephone: 044-22310101...
Hotel President Chennai
Mylapore, Chennai - 600004
Telephone: 044-28472211 / 28473683
GRT Grand Days
T. Nagar, Chennai - 600017
Telephone: 044-28150500 / 28236789
Hotel Trident Chennai
1/24, G.S.T. Road, Chennai - 600027
Telephone: 044-22344747.
Ambassador Pallava
Egmore, Chennai - 600008
Telephone: 044-28554476 / 28554068
Radha Park Inn
Inner Ring road, Chennai - 600016
Telephone: 044-24757788
Quality Inn Sabari
T Nagar, Chennai, 600 017
Telephone: 044-28258888.
New Victoria Hotel
Egmore, Chennai - 600008
Telephone: 044-28193638
Adithya Hotel Chennai
Vadapalani, Chennai - 600026
Telephone: 044-24880488 / 24881803
Hotel Shelter Chennai
Mylapore, Chennai - 600004
Telephone: 044-28472211 / 28473683
NIL Girls’ Nest
Mylapore, Chennai - 600004
Telephone: 044-28115111 / 28110716
Ambica Empire Best Western
Vadapalani, Chennai - 600026
Telephone: 044-23621818

General Information Chennai, the capital city

Country India
State Tamil Nadu
District Chennai
Area 174 sq km
Population census 2011 4,681,088 (aprox)
STD Code 044
ISD Code +91
Best time to visit in Chennai Best season is November to mid-March.
Tourist attractions Major tourist attractions in and around the city are Marina Beach, Edward Elliot's beach, Breezy Beach, St. Mary's Church, St. Thomas Mount, Big Mosque, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Parthasarathy Temple, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Government Museum, National Art Gallery, Birla Planetarium, Anna Zoological Park, Guindy National Park and Guindy Snake Park.
Languages Tamil, English and Telugu.
Tourist Enquiry Government of India Tourist Office
Address: 154, Anna Salai, Chennai
Telephone: 044 - 28524295 

Tourist Information Centre
Near Domestic Airport, Chennai
Telephone: 044 - 22340569 

Tamilnadu Government Tourist Office
LLA Building, Anna Salai, Chennai
Telephone: 044 - 28514850