of silk, whiff of jasmine, crowded market streets, big malls,
and even bigger cutouts of politicians and film stars.Chennai
is the fourth largest metropolis in India.It is also called
land od Dravidians.The city have rustle of silk, whiff of
jasmine, crowded market streets, big malls, and even bigger
cutouts of politicians and film stars . Friendly people, steaming
idlis and dosas, honking and music blaring auto rickshaws,
busy walkways, East Coast Road, beach house parties, the infamous
smell of the Coom river known as Madras, Chennai captivates
everyone who comes her way.
Chennai has an international airport at Meenambakkam with
flight connections to the US, UK, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia
and the Middle Eastern states. Domestic airlines connect Chennai
with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Trivandrum, Bangalore and Cochin.
Chennai?s three stations?Central, Egmore and Tambaram?connect
the city to all metros and to leading towns and cities in
southern India. There are daily trains to Bangalore, Tirupati,
Trivandrum, Hyderabad, and Cochin.
Chennai is a gateway to south India and is well connected
to the rest of the country by road. There are regular buses
to Bangalore (331kms), Madurai (445kms), Tirupati (152kms).
There is a sea line to the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Cruise
liners too operate out of here. The harbour is in George Town,
north of the Fort. Contact the Chennai Port Trust (Ph.25362501;
Rajaji Salai) for more information.
How to Get Around
Autorickshaws are the favoured mode of transport. Make sure
that the meter works. The Chennai drivers are known to fleece
commuters. So opt for a prepaid, if not, haggle shamelessly.
The roads from Mount road to Nandanam has been made four lanes,
but lane traffic rules are not strictly followed. But be warned,
a traffic cop might just stop and fine you for flouting the
rules! Have a look out for some unique ?mini flyovers? dotted
around the city. Some of these have colourful tile work! You
could even try the suburban electric trains that run from
Beach Station to Tambaram and from Chennai Central Station
to Gummidipoondi and Arakkonam.
new options are call taxis and share autos. Call taxies as
the name implies are on call! It is advisable to stay clear
of the share autos, because, they try to pack more people
going in one direction and are usually jam packed. Here are
a few call-taxi (both AC &Non-AC) numbers that you may
This ancient Shiva Temple in Mylapore is a classic Dravidian
temple complete with gopurams and a tank. The 8th century
Pallavan architecture and inscriptions dating back to 13th
century found on its walls are noteworthy. The streets and
shops around the temple sell everything, from flowers and
vegetables to silver and gold.
Devoted to Lord Krishna, this temple found in Triplicane,
is another original Pallavan piece of the 8th century. It
was renovated by the Vijayanagara rayas in the 16th century.
This temple at Vadapalani is dedicated to Lord Subramanya,
who is believed to reside in the Pazhani Hills and hence,
is worshipped as Pazhani Andavar (Lord of Pazhani). A picture
of Lord Subrahmanya was brought here 125 years ago from Palani
(a variant of ?Pazhani?) and is considered very auspicious.
Thus the place where the temple is located, in the north of
the city, acquired the name, ?Vadapalani?. Ashtalakshmi temple
Situated in Besant Nagar, this temple is a must-see in Chennai
for the beautiful view of the Bay of Bengal that it affords.
The larger-than-life vigrahams (idols) of Mahalakshmi and
Mahavishnu, the presiding deity here, are a treat for the
eye. The temple is of more recent origin than the others mentioned
before, being built on the request of Sri Mahaa Periyavaal
of Kanchi Mutt.
Near Kapaleeshwar Temple, this neo-Gothic Catholic Church
is said to house the remains of St. Thomas, the Apostle.
St. Thomas is believed to have lived here around AD 58. Perched
on a hillock, close to the airport, the Church on the Mount
houses the paintings of "The Holy Lady, The Child? and
"Our Lady of Expectations". The apostle was chased
and he had to take refuge in a cave on a hill during his last
days. The entrance to that cave is now through a Portuguese
church built in 1551. You can reach the top of the mount by
road or the steps. For the young and romantic at heart the
top of this hill is beautiful place to sit and watch the planes
take off and land as the hill overlooks the Chennai airport.
The first English Church in Chennai, it is also the oldest
surviving British Church in Asia. It was built between 1678-80.
Walk down the pews and you feel like you are walking down
the alleys of history. The names of visiting English dignities
are etched into the pillars. You may be surprised to know
that Robert Clive was married here. The Visitors Book, dating
from 1903-1947, has interesting references too which you may
check out. The church is also called the Saint Andrews Church.
Tuesdays are special here due to the special services to the
patron saint, St Andrew. If you do not want to get caught
in the crowds, it?s advisable to avoid Tuesday for a visit
to this church.
Big mosque in Triplicane, built by the Wallajah family in
1795, is a massive and magnificent structure in grey granite,
without any steel or wood used in its construction!
An important landmark in Chennai?s busy Mount Road., this
mosque was built around 1880 on the land donated by the Nawab
of Wallajah. It also houses a library, a burial ground and
guesthouses and has a separate worship place for women. Legend
has it that over one thousand lamps had to be used to light
up the Assembly Hall, which stood here, from which, the mosque
naturally got its name.