Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, and is the country's fourth-largest city. It is located on the Coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal. With an estimated population of 7.45 million (2005), the 367 year old city is the 34th largest metropolitan area in the world.
The Horse and rider, Anna Salai.
Madras was founded in 1639 when the company(Represented by Francis Day and Andrew Cogan and aided by a local Translator(AKA Dubash) Beri Thimappa) was granted land to build a trading settlement by the local ruler(Nayak) of the suburb of Vandavasi, Damerla Venkatapathy Nayak. The document of the land grant is dated Aug 22nd 1639 and hence Madras celebrates its Birthday on Aug 22nd each year as Madras day. Madras was one of the first outposts of British East India Company. Colonel William Lambton, superintendent of the great Trigonometrical Survey of India, started his journey of triangulating India from St. Thomas Mount. The British built Fort St. George (today the legislative and administrative seat of the state). Fort St George was completed on St George's day in 1640(April 23rd) and hence was named after the Patron Saint. George Town then developed becoming the modern city of Madras, absorbing several nearby boroughs. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles is associated with Chennai. He is said to have come to India as an evangelist and died in what is now Chennai. Two suburbs, Santhome and St. Thomas Mount, are named in his memory.
In 1996, the Tamil nadu government renamed Madras to Chennai providing the reason that 'Chennai' was the city's traditional name while Madras was one derived during colonial rule. The reasons for this name change is somewhat ambiguous as by no means clear that "Madras" is of foreign origin.
Madras is derived from Madraspatnam, a name given to the area when the British negotiated settling there. The origin of the name is uncertain. Tradition suggests that a fishing village near to the location of the British settlement was called Madraspatnam. Others think early Portuguese may have called the area Madre de Sois after an early settler, or Madre de Deus after an early church (of St. Mary).
Chennai is derived from Chennapatnam, a name with almost equally uncertain origins. Tradition has it that Chennapatnam was the name of a fishing village near to the location of Madraspatnam. However it is not clear if the village was there beforehand or grew up around the British Madraspatnam settlement. There are some suggestions that the name was given to the developing Indian settlement honor a local Indian administrator.
As the settlements grew, the exact location of both Chennapatnam and Madraspatnam became confused as the two settlements merged into a single town.
Under the British, the then city of Madras grew to be a major city, It was the capital of the Madras presidency, a province that covered the parts of Southern India that were not governed by any of the other princely states. After independence, it became the capital of Madras state, and when the states were reorganized on a linguistic basis, it narrowly escaped becoming the capital of Andhra Pradesh and became the capital of Tamil Nadu. Since then, it has had an uneventful history, except that in the 60s, it was the centre of the "Anti-Hindi" agitation against the Central government's attempts to impose Hindi on the state's primary education system.
The Indian rupee (Hindi: रुपया) is the currency of India and is used for all transaction in Chennai. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. The most commonly used symbols for the rupee are Rs, ₨ and रू. The ISO 4217 code for the Indian rupee is INR. The modern rupee is subdivided into 100 paise (singular paisa).
In most parts of India, the rupee is known as the rupee, roopayi, rupaye, rubai or one of the other terms derived from the Sanskrit rupyakam  (Devnagari: रूप्यकं), raupya meaning silver; rupyakam meaning (coin) of silver. However, in West Bengal, Tripura, Orissa, and Assam, the Indian rupee is officially known by names derived from the Sanskrit ṭanka. Thus, the rupee is called টাকা ṭaka in Bengali, টকা tôka in Assamese, and ଟଙ୍କା ṭôngka in Oriya, with the symbol ৳, and is written as such on Indian banknotes.
In Jan 2008 the exchange rate was roughly Rs 40 to USD 1.
Chennai being the Capital of Tamil Nadu is home to a host of Tamil Culture art forms ranging from dance, literature, sculpture, music and cinema.
The season for Bharatnatyam and Carnatic Music draws visitors and aficionados from the world over. Being the capital of Tamil Nadu, the preferred language of communication amongst the local population is Tamil. However, English is widely spoken as the language of commerce and hence visitors should have no problem getting around. The city also has a fair number of people that speak telugu, malayalam and hindi.
Mamallapuram, an extension of the city which is known for its sandy beaches, Stone Carvings, food and resorts. It also hosts the Choloamandalam artists village which is fairly well known in Art circles both in India and abroad
The city has a thriving Tamil film industry. It is also known as Kollywood. It is the second largest film industry in India. Some of the most prominent figures of Tamil Nadu like M.G. Ramachandran, M. Karunanidhi, J Jayalalithaa, Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Mani Ratnam, AR Rahman are currently, or have at some stage of their career, been associated with Kollywood.
Amonst sports, Chennai is also a major centre for Cricket, motorsports and tennis.
Chennai like all the other metropolises in India, experienced signifant economic growth in the last 15 years. It has several options for mainstream entertainment with malls, multiplexes, restaurants and Hotels at nearly every major commericial district. Pubs and lounges however are restricted to only hotels in Chennai, due to legal restrictions on the sale of liqor.
Chennai has mainly two seasons - Summer and Monsoon. It does not enjoy the South-west monsoon, but gets its bountiful rains from the North-east monsoon from October through December, thus amounting to about 125-150 cm of rainfall annually. December to February are the mildest months temperature-wise.Climate is humid pretty much throughout the year because it is on the coast. Summers are very hot and humid.
Chennai has an international airport and is the transport hub of South India. All international flights arrive at the Anna Terminal while the domestic flights arrive at the Kamraj terminal. The two terminals are on the same road and are 150 meters away from each other.
Europe and the United States: Lufthansa (Frankfurt), Air France (Paris), Jet Airways(Brussels) and British Airways (London-Heathrow), fly nonstop to Chennai with connecting service from their European hubs to points in the United States. Air India offers direct (as opposed to nonstop) flights to Europe and the US but be aware that these direct flights often involve a change of plane in Mumbai or Delhi. Jet Airways flies to Toronto, Newark and JFK via Brussels.
South-East Asia: Thai Airways offers nonstop service to Bangkok from where it is easy to get connections to almost anywhere in South-East Asia. Singapore Airlines and Malaysian offer nonstop service to Singapore an Kuala Lumpur respectively. Jet Airways flies non-stop to both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Sri-Lanka: Chennai is a hub for flights to Colombo with SriLankan Airlines, Jet Airways and Indian Airlines serving the route.
Domestic: All the major Indian domestic carriers (Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Spice, Go Air, Indigo, Air Deccan) connect Chennai with multiple flights to points all over India and most use Chennai as a hub for flights to smaller cities in South India. Paramount Airways is a low cost all business class airline that offers flights from Chennai to points in South India. Chennai is also a staging point for flights to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands.
Important phone numbers
Indian Airlines General Enquiry 140
Indian Airlines Arrivals and Departures (Recorded) 142
Indian Airlines Reservations 141/+91 44 22561971
Jet Airways +91 44 2841 4141
Jet Lite +91 44 5211 0202/ +91 44 3498 0688
Air Deccan +91 9840377008
Airport to City connection
Use the pre-paid taxi to get to the city, each terminal has several booth for several taxi companies when you exit the airport, outside before you meet the crowd. The fares are different for the domestic and international terminals though both the terminals are next to each other. You can either choose the standard Taxis (Black with Yellow tops) which are usually the ancient Ambassador cars or the private call-taxi ( which can come in any model and in any color). It's better to keep small change in hand as the counter staff very often don't seem to have change! Note the taxi number written on your charge slip (one copy is for the passenger and the other is for the driver to collect the fare from the counter). Once out of the terminal you'll have a tough time warding off all the touts and taxi drivers soliciting passengers. Make your way through this crowd and across the drive to the taxi stand. Get the taxi number alloted at the designated desk. The helpful drivers offer to take your luggage and guide you to the taxi that drives up quickly near the allotment desk.
You can also get to the city center by train. Just get outside of the airport, cruising by the hordes of touts and taxi and autorickshaw drivers, and keep walking to the main road. Cross the road carefully between many vehicles and get to the station. Buy a ticket to the city center and "enjoy" traveling in a real Indian short-distance passenger train. Use this way to the city center only if you want to experience the real India.
Chennai is also reachable by train, run by Indian Railways from other Indian cities. Chennai Central and Egmore stations are the main hubs for all long-distance trains. There are daily trains from/to Bangalore, Bombay, Coimbatore, Delhi and all other Indian cities. For train timings and on-line reservations (within India) visit the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation's website. For Railway enquiries call 131 or 132
For local travel there is a broadgauge suburban railway - from Beach, and Central. The frequency of these trains is about 10 minutes. The metre gauge section from Tambaram to South has temporarily been closed for Gauge conversion.
There are some train services from Beach railway station to Velacherry to cover south Chennai. The frequency of these trains is about 10 minutes (in peak hours) and 30 mins (non-peak hours). Velacherry and the near by areas are famous for IT companies. Thiruvanmiyur (one station before Velacherry) has the proud to have Tidel Park, which constitutes a major part for IT boom in Chennai.
If you happen to arrive at the Central Station, you'll have to hand over your journey tickets to the Ticket Collector waiting at the exit. You'll have a tough time warding off all the touts and taxi drivers soliciting passengers the moment your are out of the concourse. Make your way through this crowd and reach the 'pre-paid' autorickshaw / Taxi stand.
Several private players also operate buses between most southern destinations. During the weekends most buses are fully occupied and it's better to reserve a ticket in advance. All buses terminate near Koyambedu but there are different stands for state owned(CMBT), and private buses (Omni bus terminus). Both these terminuses are near each other, and it is better to tell your exact destination to the taxi/autorickshaw driver. Buses usually drop passengers at various points in the city before reaching the terminus. So feel free to ask the driver or fellow passengers the closest drop-off point to your destination.
CMBT Enquiry : +91 44 2479 5547.
Chennai is very well connected and to other parts of India by road. Five major national highways radiate outward towards Kolkata, Bangalore, Tiruchy/Madurai, Tiruvallur, and Pondicherry. With the progress of the Golden Quadrilateral project, driving down from Bangalore is actually an option, but driving in India is still dangerous if you are a foreigner unused to the Indian Laws.
Getting around in Chennai often takes a long time, due to traffic and heavy congestion; plan accordingly. Travel within Chennai is expensive by Indian standards, but still extremely cheap by typical Western standards.
Chennai has a suburban train  network. There are four routes - Chennai Central - Arakkonam, Chennai Beach - Tambaram and Chengalpet,
Chennai Beach - Velachery, Chennai Central - Gummidipoondi-Sulurpet-Gudur. The suburban trains are generally reliable and fast. However, tourists are strongly advised to take first class (it is not expensive to the average tourist) as second class suburban trains at times are notorious for overcrowding and having passengers hang off the edge of the train while it is moving.
Metropolitan Transport Corporation  buses ply throughout the city. These are government-run and extremely cheap. You can buy bus tickets online at redBus  or realIndia  or RathiMeena . Extreme caution is advised in using these buses as they are often out of shape, will begin moving before passengers are fully boarded, and are, like second class suburban trains, notorious for passengers having to hang off the edge or outside of the bus while in motion. But now state corporation introduces New Type Deluxe, A/C Buses for Chennai Passengers. Also introduced new 2500 buses for Chennai.
Auto-rickshaw drivers in Chennai are notorious for overcharging, rigged meters, and general harrassment of foreign passengers, although they are ubiquitous and possibly the easiest form of transportation to locate. Use Auto-rickshaw's only for short distances (If you know exactly how far you are going).
If you do want to travel by the auto, stick to these rules
Don't go by the meter (if they have one), the meter is rigged to show a higher fare.
Negotiate a rate with the driver beforehand. Try to stick to the agreed price, though the driver may attempt to ask for more. Consult local friends beforehand to find out reasonable market prices for the distance you intend to go.
Try to hail individual rickshaws in traffic which are heading in the general direction of your destination and avoid those parked in groups as they may try to gang-up on you.
Make sure you hold on tight and keep all parts of your body inside the vehicle. If you have asthma, allergies to smoke, or generally do not fair well under traffic pollution, it is highly unrecommended to take an auto-rickshaw.
As a general rule, expect to pay about Rs.10 for every kilometre you travel.
Some auto-rickshaws will also try to tell you that you have to pay more, usually after the ride and even sometimes during the ride itself. Typical scams they run are:
They ask you to pay for the return trip, citing the distance traveled from where you started. You don't have to pay for any return trips.
You tell them to go to a landmark near where you want to go, and upon reaching the landmark, ask them to go a little further along a particular road to your destination. They cite the extra distance traveled and ask for more money.
During the ride, they go to a petrol station for more fuel and ask you to pay for the petrol.
A variation on the previous: they say that if you have no change, to pay for petrol to get change to pay them (and they conveniently do not mention that what you paid for petrol should be subtracted from what you finally pay them)
Your destination is along a one-way road. They claim that they cannot return the way they came and therefore should be compensated for it.
Getting to your destination requires making a U-turn, which they claim they were not aware of when quoting to you. Therefore you are asked to pay more.
The call taxis are better regulated and can be ordered air-conditioned, although unlike auto-rickshaws, advance reservations are needed and they cannot usually be flagged on the street.
Visit this link for an idea of pre-paid auto fares from Chennai Central to various parts of the City.
Taxis (locally called "call-taxis" since they must be pre-arranged) are available by phone. They are mostly reliable, can be ordered air-conditioned, and have digital fare meters, although time-based hire is also possible with some companies.
S.R Call Taxi +91 9444833331
P A Travels +91 9841914140
Kasi's Call Taxi +91 9841652109
Bharati Call Taxi, +91 44 2814 2233.
Chennai Call Taxi, +91 44 2598 4455.
Fast Track, +91 44 2473 2020.
Rajesh Call Taxi, +91 98408 15058.
Sruthi Call Taxi, +91 44 4211 0044.
Zigzag Call Taxi, +91 44 2474 9966.
There are several other call taxi companies operating in Chennai, which send taxis to your place, on a phone call. They charge by the distance. The minimun fare is Rs. 100/-, which is for 5 km and for every subsequent km they charge Rs. 10/-. It is advisable to book your taxi a few hours in advance and call shortly before your trip to confirm, if your trip is time-sensitive.
You can call these taxis from any location within the Greater Chennai City area. Perhaps they are much reliable than the auto-rickshaws.
Tourist Cabs - Are the best choice in case you want to tour the city all day or visit nearby places like Mahabalipuram, Tirupati, etc. Costs about INR 10/-Rs per KM and 50 Rs per hour as hire charges. Also generally there is special price if you need to go Chennai Central or Chennai Airport.
S.R Travels - +91 9884239756
SATHYAM TRAVELS - +91 44 42046289 / 24837686
Kasi Travels +91 9841652109
Bala Tourist, +91 44 2822 4444
Tiruvalluvar Travels, +91 44 2474 5807
Sharmila Tours and travels, +91 44 2827 4177
Driving in Chennai is even more of a nightmare than the average Indian city because the two-wheelers and autos have no fear of death and no knowledge of rules. It is a common sight to see an auto-rickshaw go in the wrong direction on highways, large trucks making dangerous double-passes on narrow streets at high speeds, motorcycles with four people, and pedestrians across when you least expect them. That said, the roads are better maintained than the average Indian road. The main highway is Anna Salai also known as Mount road. Driving is highly unrecommended for tourists unless you come from a country with similar traffic nightmares!
Hertz, Counter at the Petrol Bunk (Gas Filling station) next to Spencers Plaza
Acting Driver Service - If you have a vehicle, but are not sure about how to get around the city, you can avail the service of an acting driver. Charges are about Rs.150/- for an 8 hour shift, if you use the services beyond 8 hours, you are charged Rs.25/- per additional hour.
Chennai Rental Car, +91 44 282 24949, Operating from Haddows Road, Nungambakkam first floor of ABEEJAY Business Center
Manpower Services, +91 44 2825 2526
By share auto
This has emerged in the recent years as an alternative mode of transport in Chennai. They are oversized three wheelers running on diesel and charge slightly more than the bus. Travelling in them is quite a risky thing, as they often overload and are unstable on three wheels. They also cause extreme pollution.The only advantage is that it is cost effective.
Private or unshared autos
They can literally take you for a ride if you are not aware of the the local rates.The rule states that autos should run on meter.But drivers bargain and insist on rates that are too high.
Tamil is the official language in Chennai, and is very popular. Almost all people speak Tamil, and picking up some knowledge of the language is useful to get by in Chennai.
English education is widespread in Chennai, thanks to an excellent network of well-known schools throughout the city. Most educated people in Chennai can speak English. In most schools, the medium of instruction and communication is English. All important signboards are in English.
Hindi is spoken by some, but in general, even those who understand it quite well may be reluctant to use it, and attempts to speak Hindi are often met with varying degrees of hostility from locals. Other South Indian languages like Telugu and Malayalam are also widely spoken here. Now a days you can see a bit of Kannada as well.
Elliots Beach, is in the Besant Nagar suburb of Chennai. Sometimes called Besant Nagar beach, after the area it is located in. It popular a place to cool off from the city heat. It is a very nice beach, safe and good place for picnicking.
Breezy Beach is located in the quiet neighbourhood of Valmiki Nagar. It is smaller and less popular than the Elliots beach. This beach is not as commercialized as the Elliots beach, and is hence more quiet and peaceful.
Ennore Port,and Ennore foundaries
Fort St. George, built in 1653 by the English Company of the Eastern Indies (CAIO), houses the Secretariat and the legislative Parliament of Tamil Nadu . There is a museum presenting of the objects of the time of the domination of the CAIO, and a banquetting suite going back to 1802 where the portraits of the governors of the fort are hung. The fort comprises also the oldest church Anglican of India, the church of St Mary.
Government Museum, or National Art Gallery on Pantheon Road, comprises an interesting archaeological collection and a room holding a significant and superb collection of Chola bronzes. One building has modern works, while the other has historical works.
Guindy National Park, The smallest national park in India and one of the few located in a metro. The park is an extension of the grounds surrounding the official residence of the governors of Tamilnadu.
Guindy Snake Park, next to the Guindy National Park. See the deadly King Cobra, pythons and vipers as well as other reptiles. There is a Children's Park adjacent with collections of animals and birds.
Marina Beach, one of the worlds longest beaches is 13 km long. The tsunami on December 26, 2004, caused massive death and destruction along the beach. It has been difficult to recover, but the community is working hard to make the area attractive to tourists and vacationers once again.
Integral Coach Factory- The Railway Coach manufacturing unit of Indian Railways, which has a Rail Museum.
National Shrine of St.Thomas Basilica Christians believe that one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ came to India in A.D.52 and died in A.D.72. His body was buried in Mylapore and the national Shrine of St.Thomas basilica, Santhome, Mylapore is built over the tomb of the Apostle.
St. Thomas Mount The hill where it is said St. Thomas died. It is a wonderful sight to see the flights take off and land - since the airport is very near to this hill
Valluvar Kottam, Nungambakkam An auditorium built in memory of the poet Thiruvalluvar. All of the verses of the poet's 'The Thirukkural' are inscribed on the pillars around the auditorium.
Vandalur zoo, Tambaram A zoo which is largest of its kind in Asia.Just a 17 km drive from the heart of Chennai.See the large number of species found there,some endangered species.For details, visit www.aazoopark.gov.in
Ashtalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar (Kalakshetra Colony). The temple is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. It looks different then other South Indian temples as it is of modern construction, less then 20 years old.
Ayya Vaikundar Nizhal Thangal, Manali Pudunagar.
Big Mosque, Triplicane, Chennai
CSI Church House Of Prayer, Adayar.
CSI Church, Near Gemini fly over.
CSI Wesley Church, Royapettah.
Guruvayurappan Temple, Nanganallur.
ISKCON (Hare Rama Hare Krishna) Temple, Injambakkam.
ISKCON Temple, Perumbur.
Jain Temple, Kutchery Road, Mylapore.
Kaalikaambaal Temple, Parrys.
Kapaleeshwara Temple, Mylapore.
Kaaraneeswarar Temple, Saidapet.
Luz Anjaneyaar Temple, Mylapore.
Madhya Kailash Temple, Adyar.
Mary's Church, Built in 1680 it is the oldest Anglican Church in India. Robert Clive and Governor Elihu Yale (who later formed Yale University in the USA, were married here.)
Varasidi vinayakar Temple, Besant Nagar (near bus terminus).
Visvaroopa Baktha Anjaneyaar Temple, Ramnagar, Nanganallur (The idol is 32 ft in height.)
During summers it becomes too hot and humid to venture out during the day. So go out for a stroll during the night (7-9pm) on the Marina beach and Elliots Beach (Besant Nagar). It's a nice idea to pack dinner and have a picnic on the beach as most locals do. If you happen to drive a car you can also consider taking along a few foldable chairs. Beyond 10pm, no one is permitted to be on the beach. There are policemen on the beach to ensure people follow this rule, and on some occasions they tend to shoo people out by 9pm.
Stroll along the over crowded Pondy Bazaar and Ranganathan Street and try your skills in bargaining for stuff and knick-knacks. Be warned that it is an intensely crowded place, where you have elbow your way through. However, if you do enjoy local flavour in all its madness, you must visit these two places.
You can visit VUYIROLI old age home, to cheer up a few people, if that is the kind of thing you enjoy. The old people would be happy for your company.
The Tamil Baptist Church in Kilpauk is worth a visit. It is a 107 year old monument.
Music and Dance
Chennai is famous for its concerts and peformances that take place in various auditoriums and temples throughout the year, which are announced in the Hindu and other local newspapers. During the Tamil month of Maargazhi (December - January) there is a series of classical Carnatic music concerts and classical dance performances in various parts of the city, but the best are organized in various Sabhas (loosely translates to "concert house"). You will see mostly older celebrities, although occasionally there will be some world-class young virtuosos.
Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall , Madras Seva Sadan premises
No 7, Harrington Road , Chetpet . Chennai 600031 Call for details Ph:43561198 and 42146632, Email: email@example.com
VDS Arts Academy, MOP Vaishnava College for Women, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600034. Music and Bharatanatyam dance concerts throughout the year at 6.30 p.m., every Friday, Saturday and Sunday by young artistes. Admission: free.
Brahma Gana Sabha, Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium, M.Ct.M School, 179, Luz Church Road, Chennai - 600004, Phone - +91 92821 06425, +91 98412 96684
Indian Institute of Music and Arts, R.K Swamy Auditorium, Sir Sivaswamy Kalalaya, 5, Sundareswarar Street, Mylapore, Chennai - 600004,
Kartik Fine Arts, Narada Gana Sabha Hall, TTk Road, Chennai - 600018. +91 44 2499 7788, +91 44 2495 2695 (30th Year Art Festival),
'Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, "Dr. Nalli Gana Vihar, 20. Maharajapuram Santhanam Road, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600017. Phone - +91 44 2814 0806 (The 49th Art and Dance Festival & Pongal Nagaswara Isai Vizha And the 24th Natya Kala Conference), Rs. 50 to Rs. 500 (daily rates)
Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Vani Mahal, 103, GN Chetty Road, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600017. +91 44 2815 2166 (The 25th Isai Iyal Nataka Vizha)
GK Parigi in Cine Abinayam star night programme.contact:firstname.lastname@example.org
Nungambakkam Cultural Academy Trust
Chennai is a major centre of Bharata Natyam with over 1000 dance performances a year. More dance forms are now encouraged and taught like Kuchipudi(Traditional dance form from Andhra Pradesh), Mohini Attam, etc. Some other dances like OdissiManipuri can be found, but are rarer.
When in Chennai, do not miss a chance to watch a movie. There are several cinemas in the city. Check out any local newspaper or websites to get to know the movies running in and around Chennai. Visit http://www.chennaionline.com/film/movielist2.asp to get the details of movies currently running in Chennai. Some of the cinema halls are
Ega theatres,p.h road,Kilpauk (only Hindi movies always).
Chennai has literally dozens of different insitutes of higher learning from arts to engineering. The city also offers plenty of opportunities to learn Yoga, Bhartanatyam, Carnatic music and The Bhagavad Gita.
Anokhi, “Chamiers”, Old #47 (new #85), Chamiers Road, R A Puram, Chennai 18
Brass Tacks, 77/13, Corporation Shopping Complex, C.P. Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet, Chennai 600018, Ph - +91 44 4208 1767. Contemporary clothing from natural fibres for women.
FabIndia. . The Ilford House location at 3 Woods Road is probably the best in terms of choices and selections (at least as of Dec 2007). This is the place to go for all your natural-dyed, hand loomed and hand made textiles. The prices have been going up the last few years, but FabIndia is the only source for this sort of textile in Chennai at any retail outlet.
Just Casuals, Nungambakkam, 1, Sterling Road, 044 28273882. If you're in the mood for the Banana Republic/Abercrombie/Old Navy/Gap type stuff. They seem to get all the export rejects or overstocks. You'll find that all the brand tags are cut out due to some agreement with the manufacturer. The quality and prices are good, but unfortunately there's no bargaining possible.
Handloom Exhibitions. Year-round there is always a handloom exhibition profiling the work of one state or the other. These temporary installations (you'll have to check the local papers to find out where they set up) generally have a good selection of interesting fabrics and textile products. And there is always the option to bargain, which makes it a better bet than oft-overpriced retail stores. The Royapettah YMCA (across from Royapettah Hospital) seems to have a regular handloom exhibition.
Vardhrams and son's silks (you will get the original kanchi Silks here),Harington Road, Chetpat, Chennai.
Nalli Silks, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
Kumaran Silks, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
Pothys, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
Chennai Silks, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
Hayagrivas, GN Chetty Road, Near Panagal Park - Sarees
RMKV Silks, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
Radha Silk Emporium (Rasi), #1, Sannadhi Street, Mylapore Ph - +91 44 2494 1906; #827, Dhun Building, Mount Road, Ph - +91 44 2852 0251; #23, 1st Main Road, Nanganallur, Ph - +91 44 2232 4176 - Silk Sarees, (also in anna Nagar, opp Ayappa temple) Ethnic Wear, Arts & Crafts
Shilpi, 29, C.P. Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet. Chennai 600018.
Joyalukkas *, 39.North Usman Road, T'Nagar, Chennai-17. India's Largest exclusive Jewellery mall, housing the worlds largest jewellery showroom of international retailer joyalukkas amongst other world renowned retailers.
In addition to these there are several exhibitions that happen at Das Community Hall (Cathedral Road), Shankara Hall (TTK Road) where artisans display there wares. Check the local newspapers for details and timings.
Tamil Nadu is famous for its hospitality and its deep belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity, so eating-out in its capital city Chennai, is a great experience and provides a glimpse of the unique lifestyle of the city .
Chennai, Indian Cuisine.
Tiffin or Light meals is served for breakfast or as a snack. The staple diet for most of the population is rice. These Tiffin items are usually one or more rice based dishes like idli, dosai, pongal, vadai along with with coconut chutney, sambar and mulagapodi. Tiffin is usually accompanied by hot filter coffee, the signature beverage of the city.
A typical Tamil meal (Lunch or Dinner) will be served on a banana leaf. It consists of steamed rice served with about two to six vegetable dishes like sambar, dry curry, rasam, kootu along with curd and buttermilk. For a non-vegetarian meal, curries or dishes cooked with mutton, chicken or fish are included. Meals are often accompanied by crisp appalams. After a final round of rice and curds or buttermilk or both, a traditional meal is concluded with a small banana and a few betel leaves and nuts.
An Indian meal in fast food restaurants is called 'Thali'. Its usually served on a round tray made of either stainless steel or Silver, with a selection of different dishes in small bowls.
While North Indian Thali starts with Pooris, Chappattis(Rotis), South Indian Thali comes with rice. The rest of the items like different Curries, Sweet and other miscellaneous items (Applams, Papad, Pickles and Beeda) is similar for both North Indian and South Indian Talis.
Thalis sometimes go even by the regional characteristic of the items they have. For example one may encounter Rajasthani thali or Gujarati thali. In some restaurants, a thali may include "bottom-less" refills on all components of food; the idea is that one eats until fully satisfied. Such thalis are referred to as 'unlimited' thalis. In some places the term means that everything in the plate excepting a few items like the sweet preparation or dahi wada is open to unlimited helpings.
Restaurants near Music Academy and those on the Beach coast are well maintained and serve 'Indian Cuisine' with an ambience to match, while most others cater South Indian Cuisine at very reasonable prices. . Usually the check includes a service charge, written next to 'S.C.' If no service charge is added, it is customary to leave a moderate tip.
Chennai has a fair share of stores selling organic food.
Arogyam, Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems, +91 4114 230625, 04114-570855 B45 Alagesan Nagar, Opposite Govt. Hospital, Chengalpet - 603001. Organically grown indigenous rice varieties
Naturally Auroville, +91 44 3833 0517. Kombucha (a beverage made by fermenting tea and sugar using the yeast kombucha), Spaghetti, ragi, spirulina and bread
Organomix - from the Farms at Neelamangalam and Alamadhi, +91 44 2446 3178. Call Sankaran for Fresh Organic Vegetables, Organic Raw and Boiled Rice, Peanuts, Oil. Mangoes during season. Every Sunday at the Besant Nagar Elliots Beach, opp. Barista.
RESTORE * health . livelihoods . nature  - Organic Bazaar 4-7 p.m. EVERY SATURDAY at 4, MGR Road, Kalakshetra Colony, Besant Nagar, Chennai 600090. We are a collective / community organisation selling organic VEGETABLES (both local and Ooty varieties) & FRUITS, STAPLES (rices, dals, oils, millets, sweeteners), nuts, spices, natural fibre bags, natural-dyed handlooms, organic garden inputs, etc. Email: email@example.com Phone: 0-98844-09566 Join our mailing list by signing up the form at  We also organise farm visits, talks, discussions and health food melas.
Simply mmmm, AnnaNagar (near Blue Star). Organic vegetables available every Saturday and Wednesday, after 2 p.m.
Sunday Shandy, +91 44 2499 1203. Weekly fair of organic vegetables, milk and other farm produce, direct from the farm. New 177, Old 77 Luz Church Road; Every Sunday 9AM to 12PM
The Eco Nut, +91 44 2491 9592. Sesame butter and homemade jams
PRO ORGANIC -The emerging certified organic Brand ( organic cereals-rice-Atta , organic pulses-dals,organic spices etc) from chennai.for details visit us at http://www.proorganic.in mail us to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Hot soup stand outside Santhome, Chennai
All these budget eateries serve only vegetarian food and are very cheap.
The Spice Box, Thiruvanmyur - Lunch deliveries and gourmet outdoor catering. Thier concept of a wholesome, well packed and innovative lunch / dinner in 6 options is great to try out. call on 044 43042365.
Geetha Café , Pondy Bazaar - South Indian tiffin.
Hot Chips, T.Nagar and Anna Nagar for budget priced South Indian tiffin, including North Indian chat (snack) items
Karpagambal Mess, Opposite the Kapaleeswarar temple, Mylapore. Do visit this place if you have a craving for cheap and authentic South Indian Food.
Komalas, Kodambakkam High Road. Cuisine - South Indian Fast Food.
Mansuk's, T.Nagar - Best for Bombay Chat, Lassi and an unlimited Gujarati Thali.
Palimar, Parsn Complex, Anna Salai (Mount Road). Cuisine - South Indian.
Rathna Cafe, Triplicane for fluffy hot idlis, piping hot vadai, delicious pongal dripping in ghee and accompanied by sambhar. Quality maintained for more than 100 years. Recently opened at Thiruvanmiyur, opposite the RTO. More expensive than Murugan Idli shop.
Sangeetha, chain of vegetarian restaurants. Sangeeta offers a mix of good-quality and tasty South Indian, North Indian, and "Indo-Chinese" cuisine at very reasonable prices. A chain restaurant, including one shop at the intersection of Valluvar Kottam High Road and Nungambakkam High Road in Nungambakkam. Cuisine - South Indian.
Sri Krishna Sweets, Spencers Plaza, Adayar, Anna Salai (Mount Road)(also at MG Road, Shastri nagar) Indian Sweets & Salad Bar. Visit "Sri Krishna" for a unique assortment of North Indian "chat" (snack) items as well as well-made Indian sweets
Vasantha Bhavan chain of vegetarian restaurants, one near Vadapalani Bus stand titled Vasantha Bhavan 'Namma Veedu' is quite famous.
Woodlands Drive-In, Gemini Circle for good South Indian Tiffin.
Saravana Bhavan the most popular chennai based international chain of Vegetarian Restaurants where you can get South Indian foods.
The beach cafee, new no. 2, elliott beach road, besant nagar, chennai. new restaurant serving the finest coastal inspired cuisine from Goa, Mangalore, Tamil Nadu coast, Bengal, South east Asia and Italy. Unique presentations, family style service, large portions, live cooking stations - the works. It is open all day, and a innovative range of mocktails like the 'pomogrnate & ginger margarita' and the 'mango & tamarind splash', great place to chill all day. Call 9952922277 ( opening soon )
Aiwo, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, located next to Barista Cafe. Cuisine - Fusion and health foods. Aiwo features a 14-course meal served on a conveyer belt that moves around the room; various dishes are served, and the food is very good and rather expensive.
Amaravathy, No.1, Cathedral Road, Gopalpuram. Andhra Special and also Tandoori, Chinese 28116416, 28110305.
Amethyst, Sundar Mahal, Padmavathi Road, Jeypore Colony, Gopalapuram Ph - +91 442820 3582. Garden and patio cafe and restaurant with a mix of western (pastas, burgers) and Indian fare. The patio is a cool place to while away a hot afternoon.
Amma, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar. Cuisine - Chettinadu (Region of South India).
McDonalds, Ascendas IT Park, Taramani Road,Taramani
Marry Brown, opposite to Vadapalani Bus Stand
Dominos Pizza, Near ashok pillar and many other places
Pizza Corner, Nugambakkam and other places
Murugans Idli Shop, 2 locations: GN Chetty Road T. Nagar and Besant Nagar. Murugan Idli Shop is a chain restaurant, and the GN Chetty Road shop in particular is a well-kept secret among locals as a purveyor of high-quality food; on weekends, there is a long line for entry. The price for one meal is around 20-40 rupees, or around $1. South Indian.
Noodle House, A chain restaurant, whoese locations include: 1. Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road) and 2.the Intersection of Sterling Road and Nungambakkam High Road in Nungambakkam. Chinese.
Pizzaurant, Velachery Road, Little Mount, Saidapet. Cuisine - Pizza & Pasta.(Without MSG) Home delivery for nearby areas, Very Indian.
Rangis, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Chinese.
Swati and Swayam, at Saravana Bhavan, Peters Road. South Indian.
Sparky's, located in Egmore, is an "American diner" operated by an American expatriate settled in Chennai. Mexican, Italian and American food. Prices range from 70-150 rps for a meal.
Pergola - High Altitude Dining. At 164 feet above ground level it is Chennai's heighest open-to-sky restaurant , The Accord Metropolitan, Ph - 28161000
Seasons - All Day Dining restaurant, The Accord Metropolitan, Ph - 28161000
Akasaka, Suraj Towers, Ground Floor, 128 L.B. Road, Behind Jayanthi Theatre, Thiruvanmiyur. Japanese Chef, Own fishing boat, excellent sushi and sashimi
Arirang, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Korean.
Bella Ciao The Italian Restaurant, 4, Sree Krishna Enclave, Kottivakkam, Chennai - 600 041 - Phone:+91 4424511130 ---- 140, Nungambakkam High Road, Chhotabhai Center Chennai - 600 034 - Phone:+91 4428330085 ---- Italian: Roman owner, Excellent Food and Real WoodFire oven Pizzas, lovely setting.
Copper Chimney, Cathedral Road. Mainly North Indian with the odd Iranian inspired dish on the menu. Opposite the Chola Sheraton.
Dakshin, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet. +91 44 2499 4101. Rose wood furniture, antique tanjore paintings, bronze idols, fresh water lilies and flower garlands create a festive mood. Live Carnatic Music. Excellent food - Starters include traditional fare like Kuli Paniyaram. Try the Idi Appam or Appam and Mutton Stew. Finish off with a Kulfi.
Don Pepes, Cathedral Road, Gopalapuram. Mexican. +91 44 2822 1461
Kayal, Le Royal Meridien, #1, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount. +91 44 2231 4343, Seafood
Little Italy, 12, Eldorado, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600034, ☎ +91 44 42601234.
Mainland China, Tulip Inn, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam. Chinese
Navaratna, Le Royal Meridien, #1, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount. +91 44 2231 4343. Indian hotel coronet, LB road, Adayar, serves Kerala malabar non=veg dishes
Peshwari, Chola Sheraton, Cathedral Road. +91 44 2811 0101, North Indian, Afghan.
Shansi Chinese & Tandoori Restaurant, AnnaNagar - Indian and Chinese - 26213109
Shanghai Club, Chola Sheraton, Cathedral Road. +91 44 2811 0101, Chinese
Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. +91 44 5500 2827. South Indian
The Great Kabab Factory, Radisson GRT Hotel, #531, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount. +91 44 2231 0101. Mughlai.
The Patio, Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. +91 44 5500 2827. Gourmet dining
The Residency, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet. +91 44 2499 4101.
Vijays, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet. +91 44 2499 4101. Multicuisine Sports Cafe
The Westminister. Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet. +91 44 2499 4101.
Emilio's Gelateria, 362/1 , Injambakkam, ECR , Chennai (On the way to Mahabalipuram , opp to VGP), ☎ 24496090, . 1030 am to 11 pm. Great Italian gelato! Absolute low fat and natural flavours. Wide spread of sandwiches, pasta, etc. Moderate +.
The liquor trade in Chennai and rest of Tamilnadu is now run by the government. Most liquor shops have been taken over by the government. To get branded liquor at these "Wine Shops" one might have to cough up some extra cash. However bars and pubs in the city's major hotels are managed by the hotels.
The Pub, Liberty Park Hotel, 1st Main Road, Kodambakkam, Ph - 24725950
Aruna Bar, 20,South Usman Road, T Nagar, Chennai - 600017, Ph - 24346565/0834
Bike and Barrel, Residency Towers, T.Nagar.
Champagne & Cider, Grand Orient, Anna Salai (Mount Road).
Crystal, Hotel Ranjit, Nungambakkam High road, Nungambakkam.
Grammy, Hotel Sabhari, Thirumala Pillai Road, T.Nagar, Ph -
Platinum, (Formerly HFO), Hotel Quality inn Aruna, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam
Tender Coconut Definitely try a tender coconut on a hot summer's day. Available on roadside stalls at Rs.15 a coconut.
NeerMoar Spicy butter milk, with local seasoning. Available at most South Indian restaurants.
Dasaprakash, Poonamalle High Road
Kanchi, C-in-C Road, Egmore
Old Woodlands, in Royapettah. Phone: +91 44 2848 2150, +91 44 2848 2152. Little known, but an excellent place to stay. The hotel building is at least one hundred years old and stands in the middle of sprawling grounds. The building has some connections to the old nawab of Arcot. Very old world! The auto-rickshaws / taxis will not tell you about the place as the hotel does not pay a commission to middlemen. Pay no more than 40 rupees to get there from the railway station.
New Woodlands Hotel,  It is sometimes crowded and a tad busy. There is a nice quiet art gallery and cafe nearby, the ashvitha cafe. Recommended for those wanting to slow down, and soak in the pace of life in Chennai. Theaters and shopping arcades are close by.
Sri Krishna Residency, Ph: 044 24643617 South mada street , Mylapore.
Hotel Karpagam International, Ph: 24613701, South mada street, Mylapore.
Hotel Regent, 11 Kennet Lane. Phone: +91 44 2825 3347.
BSNL and Airtel are the two main providers of terrestrial telephone lines in Chennai. You can make long distance calls from one of the many booths that display NSD/ISD i.e. National Subscriber Dialling (National Long Distance) and International Subscriber Dialling (International Long Distance). Rates are cheaper during the nights: sometimes one-half of what its costs during the day.
Cell phone rates are one of the cheapest in the world. There are four GSM service providers:
CDMA service providers are Reliance and TATA Indicom. Starter packs and top-up cards can be picked up from numerous outlets. Note that top-up cards generally only work within the home network: you can't use a Bangalore Airtel top-up card in Chennai, for example. Some providers offer roaming capabilities for that purpose which must be activated first.
There are several internet cafes from where you can access the internet for sending email or uploading your digital photos.
Reliance WebWorld, incorporating JavaGreen coffee shops, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road); TTK Road, Alwarpet, Besant Nagar, L.B.Road, Adyar. The TTK Road branch has free wifi if you use the coffee shop.
Chennai is generally one of the safer areas of India in terms of crime, although pickpocketing, muggings, and robberies occur. Keep your doors and windows shut and locked at night and do not carry or display large amounts of cash if possible.
The greatest dangers of visit Chennai are in the day-to-day hazards such as crowding and spreading of sicknesses, fire hazards left on the pavements especially near temples from services, and close approaches with motor vehicles. Be alert to your surroundings and watch where you step, especially if you get caught in a large crowd where it is difficult to look at what is in front of you. Cross streets with extreme care as traffic is very unregulated and drivers and especially motorcycles will NOT yield, and organized pedestrian crossings are nearly absent and ignored. On major roads, use the underground crossings (locally called "subways").
And be aware of the auto rikshaw and cab drivers as they might fool you and charge a lot thinking you are new to the city. Even the meter taxi is not safe as they are known to manipulate the meter.
While in Chennai it is advisable to drink only bottled water. Do not trust water from restaurants as it may be from the tap, and avoid cold or iced drinks that are not commercially sold. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits that have sat outside in the presence of insects can also be unhealthy, although bananas and coconuts are usually safe because they are opened only immediately before eating. Hot drinks in restaurants such as tea, coffee, and other local specialties are safe, as are packaged/bottled drinks such as Aquafina water, Pepsi, Frooti (a popular local mango drink) and others. If you have access to a stove, boiling tap water before drinking is also an option.
Chennai summers are humid and sultry; it's better to step out with an umbrella, bottled water and some oral rehydration salts (available from pharmacies, the brand name is Electral). These come in handy if you happen to get dehydrated.
Chennai is the medical capital of india.
All Smiles family and cosmetic dental centre, new no.121 Alwarpet street, Cenotaph road 1st street, Alwarpet (Teynampet), Chennai-18, Tel: +91-(0)9381027132, 42110161
Apollo Hospitals, Greams Lane, Off Greams Road, Nungambakkam Tel - 28293333
Aysha Hospital, 91A Millers Rd., Tel: 26426930.
Balaji HospitalG.S.T Road,Guindy, Tel - 22345282
Bone and Joint, Anna Nagar, Tel - 26212137/1026
Child's Trust Hospital, Nungambakkam, Tel - 28277487
New Hope Medical Centre, Kilpauk, Tel - 25321532, 
Many hotels will change money for you at the front desk. However, they may not have the best rates.
It is best to change money at the city based money changers than the ones located at the airports. The ones at the airport offer much less for exchanging forex into Indian Rupees and sell forex for a much higher rate than the market rate.
American Express, Spencers Plaza, Anna salai
Thomas Cook, Spencers Plaza, Anna salai
Beauty parlors & hair salons
Ayush, Anna Nagar (Ph - 26223102/26223446/26203862), Kilpauk (Ph - 52179635/26472298), Mylapore (Ph - 52067071/30907691) - Therapy includes Abhyangam, Abhyangam with Pichu, Abhyangam with local Pizhichil, Abhyangam with Thalam, Udvartanam, Abhyangam with Nasyam, Abhyangam with local Navarakizhi, Muka Lepam
Body ConceptsTriplicane High Road,Triplicane, Chennai - 40
Ateliers Fitness Center37, Velachery Main Road, Vijayanagar, Chennai - 600 042.
Mr. Pronto's, Spencers Plaza (Phase 3), Mount Road.
C.K Devchand Opticians, Mylapore (Near Devaki Hospital) Chennai Tel - 98846 86959
Photo Optic, Perumbur Barraks Road, Near Doveton Clock Tower, Purushwalkkam, Chennai Tel - 26421479, 26428245
Mehta Optiks, Perungudi (Opp Perungudi Bus Stand), Chennai
Post & telegraphs
The telegraph office on Anna Salai (Mount Road), near higginbothoms accepts letters and parcels up to 8pm with a small late fee. Snail Mail in India is by a Post Card (25Ps), Inland Letter (5Rs) or Envelope (5Rs). The 'Speed Post' facility allows you to send mail more conveniently than a courier service.
'Telephone Booths' or public telephones in India are available on almost every street usually painted with the letters PCO (Public Call office,local calls), STD (Subscriber Trunk Dialling) and ISD (International Subscriber Dialling). All booths have electronic metering and you pay what's displayed on the meter. (Included in the metering is a nominal INR 2 as service charges)You'll also get a receipt if you insist on one.
Libraries & Cultural Centres
Alliance Française - College Road, Nungambakkam, Phone - 2827 9803/1477. 
British Council - Anna Salai, Phone - 52050600 Ext 350/351. 
American Information Resource Center Library (located within the American Consulate - see list of consulates)
American Consulate - 220, Anna Salai (Near Gemini Flyover). 
British Deputy High Commission - 20 Anderson Road, Nungambakkam, tel:+91 44 42192151 (fax: +91 44 42192322, ) Open Mon-Fri 0830-1300 and 1330-1600.
Consulate of Finland - 202 Anna Salai, Chennai, Tel: +91-(0)44-2852 4141 (Fax: +91-(0)44-2852 1253, ) Open Mon-Fri 1000-1200. 
German Consulate - Commander-in-Chief Road (Ethiraj Salai), Egmore
Malaysian Embassy - Old Location: Off TTK Road, Alwarpet, Behind Park Sheraton moved to new office opp. Loyola College, Nungambakkam
Russian Consulate - Santhome High Road(Next to St. Bedes School), Santhome
Even as recently as about ten years ago, the ECR, which was then known as the New Mahabalipuram Road, had nothing much to offer by way of entertainment, except for VGP Golden Beach and Romulus Whittaker's crocodile bank. Further down, the road led you to Mahabalipuram, and that was that.
The scenario that meets a traveller today is entirely different. The East Coast Road could very well be termed the entertainment highway of Chennai. The road is brand new, flanked by the sea on the left and dotted with amusement spots through the entire stretch. Driving down ECR is an experience. Really!
You can pick and choose from Amusement Parks, Water Sports Centres, Beaches, Eco Conservation, Cultural and Religious Centres, Restaurants or Resorts to spend your day in. The road caters to practically every type of pastime that one could think about.
Amusement Parks, Water Sports Centres, Beaches:Prarthana Drive In Theatre: Approximately 10 Kms out of Adyar, this complex offers both a drive in theatre and a drive in restaurant VGP
Golden Beach: The first amusement park in Chennai, just about 11 Kms away from Adyar. Still a landmark of Chennai, this park offers over 40 odd rides for the fun seeker. The only park with an access to the beach
Ahaa Water Park: A spot for frolicking in water, the Ahaa Water Park offers a variety of water sports and fun activities. It has a wave generator, which can generate waves of upto 3.5ft.
Kart Attack: A centre dedicated to fulfilling the speed maniac's desire for thrill in a safe and secure environment. The first go karting centre of Chennai, this has placed Chennai on the go karting map of India, and has been instrumental in creating a few go karting champions also.
Mayajaal: 100,000 sq.ft of air-conditioned space. A multitude of activities and entertainment avenues, including movie theatres, bowling alleys, video games parlours, multicuisine food courts, and much more. This is Mayajaal, a multidimensional entertainment centre, on par with any entertainment zone found abroad. Open from 11 am to 11 pm you can easily spend the entire day here. It offers that much and more.
MGM Dizzy World: Spread over 27 acres, this theme park offers joy rides, food stalls and other games. It features one of the first roller coaster rides of Chennai, and many of the rides offered could make your hair stand on edge. On the softer side, you have the dashing car drives, and the swimming pool with its water slides.
Little Folks & Dolphin City: Specifically aimed at providing entertainment for the children, this park has a longer history than MGM. Dolphin city was closed after all of it's dolphins and sea lions had died. It is no longer operational now.
Muttukadu Boat House: Located at 23 Kms from Adayar, this backwater area is maintained by the Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation, and offers rowing and speedboat riding.
Eco Conservation, Cultural and Religious Centres:Marundeswarar Temple is the first temple that one comes across on the route. A Shiva temple having a rich sthala purana or location history.
Sai Baba Temple: Approximately 8.5 kms from Adyar, the temple is peaceful, clean and breezy.
Jagannathan Temple: An exact replica of the Puri Jagannath Temple. Those who have not been to Puri can take a look at this temple.
Cholamandalam Artists Village: Set up by a group of artists to serve as a recluse for artists of all genres. This village offers the ambience needed for creativity to flow and is inhabited only by artists. The village offers guesthouse facilities exclusively for artists from elsewhere so that they could also benefit from the environment provided by the place. A must visit for those who appreciate the finer things of life.
Tiruvidanthai Nithya Kalyana Perumal Koil: As the name denotes, a temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara found on East Coast Road.
Crocodile Bank: The brainchild of Romulus Whittaker, the acknowledged specialist on reptiles, this centre has gained fame as an endeavour for the preservation and propagation of endangered species of crocodiles. The centre also houses a large variety of snakes.
Dakshinachitra: A venture of Deborah Thiagarajan and her associates from the Madras Craft Foundation. Dakshinachitra is an amazing place to visit, as various kinds of traditional houses have been transported to Chennai from interior parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala and rebuilt here piece by piece.
The internationally recognized heritage monument of our country, personifying the art and culture of the Pallava kings. One of the most famous temples here is the Shore Temple and is next to the beach. If coming from Chennai ensure you reach this temple between 6 am to 6 pm, as it is shut down after 6 pm. Also, keep in mind that it takes roughly an hour to reach Mahabalipuram from Chennai.
Hotels and Restaurants in ECR: The ECR road abounds with restaurants and eating spots, which offer a wide range of cuisines and tasteful ambience. And you can plan your dinner or lunch in one of these hotels.
A few of the food outlets are listed below:
-Blue Lagoon -Thanjavur Restaurant
-Food Village -Coastal Kitchen
Beach Resorts: Another convenience that is found in plenty on the East Coast Road is the presence of several comfortable, pleasing, beach resorts, which enable you to take a break, and enjoy a seaside environment. Take your pick from those mentioned below:
-Green Country Resort
Drive your way to fun and thrill. But be prepared to pay a small toll fee on the East Coast Road.
Krishna's Butter Ball
Pondicherry — Go on a spiritual trip down to the Auroville ashram. The drive down the East Coast Road (ECR) is delightful, with lovely beaches all along the way, and on the way you can stop over at...
Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) There are several things to see on the way and in Mamallapuram 60 km south of Chennai.