Suitable for wheel chair users, visually impaired, hearing impaired, amputees, intellectual and cognitive disability and the non-disabled travelers
Aptly regarded as ‘The gateway to South India,’ the city of Chennai showcases South India’s rich culture of arts, classical dance, music and food. In the past the city has served as a trading outpost for the Armenians, Portuguese, French, Jews, Americans and finally the British with Madras as its conferred name. Explore Madras’ multicultural roots and how it has shaped modern Chennai, an urban metropolitan standing side by side with diverse European neighborhoods and architectural marvels. Soak up intriguing stories about armed exploits, love trysts, and events which were historical turning points.
Mahabalipuram, situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, is a UNESCO world heritage site famous for extraordinary 7th-8th century monuments including intricately carved granite temples, battle headstones, rock cut cave sanctuaries and one of the largest open-air sculpted rock reliefs in the world. It is an outstanding relic which chronicles numerous narratives of ancient India.
Weather is typically hot and humid through the year while the months December through February see a drop in temperature by 3-4 degrees in general. The monsoon season is between October and November that comes with torrential downpours. Average temperatures are 24°C -34°C. May is the warmest and best avoided.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit is from December to February when the temperatures are lower. December sees the fag end of the monsoons and is the perfect time to enjoy the annual Music Festival with the best Classical musicians performing through the month. February is the driest month.
The official language of the state is Tamil though being a metropolitan city English is widely spoken.
Idli, dosa, uthappam and vada need no introduction as they are now eaten all over the country. Chennai focuses more on vegetarian, rice/millet based foods. Some dishes to try are variety rice (or sadam) like lime rice, curd rice, tamarind rice, paniyaram, pongal(sweet and savoury) and kothu porotta. There are several famous non-vegetarian joints as well. But while in Chennai, don’t miss out on a meal on a plantain leaf with a dose of the filter coffee.
City-breaks, temple tours, vegetarian food escapades, culture trip
Duration of stay
- Place of origin of the Indian Army! Explore Fort St. George, the first British Fortress built in India which also houses the oldest Anglican Church in the country
- Peek into the soul of Chennai – George Town with its bustling bazaars and multihued wares teeming with historical allusions and folklore
- Stroll along the Marina Beach, the longest natural urban beach in India, which offers evenings of golden sunsets on foamy waters, delicious local food carts and native handicraft stalls. The stretch also houses the Victory War Memorial and memorials for former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu
- Tour the stunning heritage temples scattered all over Chennai, including the magnificent Kapaleeshwarar Temple, rich with spiritual history and marvelous Dravidian style architecture
- Treat yourself to an exquisite Kanjivaram silk saree woven with magical motifs in gold thread.
- Visit the Maritime Heritage Museum replete with memorabilia, souvenirs and chronicles of lighthouses, ships, bridges, canals and as well as amazing boat replicas.
- The Madras Crocodile Bank is an exceptional opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts for interactive experience with over 2500 reptiles including alligators and crocodiles.
- Experience the majestic Mahabalipuram shore temple with intricate carvings and sculptures with 2 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and one to Lord Vishnu
- Visit the Pancha Rathas that translates to ‘The five chariots’, five monolithic temples with intricate ornamentation built in the 8th century named after the Pandavas
- See Krishna’s butter ball, a massive granite curved boulder balancing on the top of a slope for over 1200 years.
- Explore the December ‘Madras’ music season which is one of a kind event with the best classical music, predominantly Carnatic, (and dance) concerts that sees artists and audience coming from all over the world. Each Sabha organizes concerts from noon until night- where children, amateurs and stalwarts perform.
Add a trip to the famous beach town of Pondicherry, a charming destination with it’s French and Tamil influences seamlessly interwoven in the fabric of its culture, architecture and lifestyle. Read more