Chennai is a city where all your senses will be exposed. It is a melting pot of spicy food, colorful temples and crowded streets. Rickshaws are zig-zagging inbetween eachother and the smell of gasoline is in the air. Chennai is an extremely exotic place that will give you the true feeling of India.
The giant metropolis Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu, overlooking the Bay of Bengal. Its two ports are among the most important in India. The area is known to host a large part of India's automobile and technology industry and since the late 1990s, Chennai's economic impact has grown increasingly.
However, not all the city's about eight million citizens have had good experience with this development. There are still plenty of poverty and beggars on the streets. Nevertheless, Chennai - or Madras as it was known until 1996 - is characterized by a friendlier atmosphere than what normally characterizes cities of such volume and for all fans of the South Asian culture, a trip to Chennai is certainly worth considering.
What happens in Chennai?
As a traveler it can be hard to get an overview of what happens in this huge city. When you arrive, buy magazines like "Hello! Madras" or "Chennai: This Fortnight", which is a guide to a wide range of cultural events in Chennai. An event to consider is the traditional Chennai Music & Dance Festival, for which the city is famous for. It is the biggest music and dance festival in the Tamil Nadu region, and it takes place every year from mid-December to mid-January.
History of Chennai
If you are interested in history you should take a look at Fort St. George, which was built in the 17th century by the British East India Company. Today, the place seems more like a kind of walled city, which features the Supreme Court. There are also museums with British and French military memorabilia.
Temples in Chennai
A trip to Chennai should also include a visit to some of the city's magnificent temples. Don't miss out on a visit to Temple Kapaleeshwar, which is the most impressive. The distinctive towers are covered with carvings of gods and goddesses in all colors. Between them there is placed a large neon sign with the temple's name, which creates a very special effect if you visit the place at night.