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This article was the Collaboration of the week between 20 Feb 2006 and 26 Feb 2006.

I've heard of Madras. I've never heard of Chennai . Is this really the most common English name for the city? Or the official, unused name? I'm adding a redirect at Madras, but I'm wondering if it shouldn't be the other way around. -- Evan 13:05, 6 Nov 2003 (PST)

IMO, the article and redirect are exactly where they should be. I have a few remarks concerning article naming. I have no time right now, but I'll try to write them down later today or during the weekend on Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions. D.D. 22:38, 6 Nov 2003 (PST)
Chennai is the politically correct name. Its derived from 'Chennapatinam' the original name, The british called it Madras. In 1995 when Bombay was renamed to Mumbai, the ruling political party renamed Madras to Chennai! However the locals still prefer to call it Madras! All business correspondence should nevertheless carry 'Chennai'
I'm in India now, and everyone in talking about Chennai, and in the press it's also refered to as Chennai (also in the ads we saw it as Chennai). Anyway the official nam isn;t Madras, so the redirection shpuld be the other way around. (Some how wikitravel got affected from wikipedia in not mattering what the country decides, i.e. - Jeruslam is a disputed capital, even the arabs don't think it's disputed, they want it to be capital for both the future Palesine and Israel). F16 06:07, 28 Feb 2004 (EST)
Hey, that's great that you're in India! Do you live there, or are you traveling? It's great to get reports "from the field".
As to Chennai vs. Madras: please see the Wikitravel:article naming conventions. We use the most common English language name for a place, even if it's not the official name, nor the local name. Our job is to serve travelers, and specifically travelers whose native language is English. English speakers will look for the most common English-language name of a place, not its official or local name. We're not out to dis the locals -- we're just trying to provide the best service to travelers.
w/r/t Jerusalem -- the Israel page has been changed several times to make the capital Tel Aviv (or "Tal Abib", which I'm guessing is another name for that city). The "disputed" name is there to kind of keep down the controversy. Given that people change it regularly, I figure the word "disputed" is warranted.
If you think using the local or official name for a place serves travelers better, please explain why on Wikitravel talk:article naming conventions. Until then, let's keep this article at Madras. --Evan 08:18, 28 Feb 2004 (EST)

the counter staff perinially don't seem to have change
"perinially" is not a word, and the closest word, "perineally", means "like the groin" and is unintelligible here. What is this supposed to mean? -phma 19:12, 22 Feb 2004 (EST)

Will have the word removed. Incidentlly its common usage in this part of the world and is used to mean 'very often'!. Thanks, will stop using it. -Sridhar Pandurangiah 13:45, 23 Feb 2004 (IST)

Yes, that's spelled "perennially". Pierre is ruthless when it comes to puns. --Evan 07:36, 23 Feb 2004 (EST)
Thanks! -Sridhar Pandurangiah 10:05, 24 Feb 2004 (IST)

Why Chennai and not Madras...[edit]

See Talk:Bombay for more explanation but basically, all cities in India should be moved to their correct English names, even if they are not the most common. Ronline 04:26, 6 May 2004 (EDT)

Eat and Sleep[edit]

The eat and sleep sections have been removed. Cant identify the person! only the IP address is displayed. Any particular reason? Dont you think this should be put back? Sridharpandu 13:00, 23 June 2005 (IST)

Eat and Sleep[edit]

I brought back the eat section. Wonder why somebody put a list of engineering and other colleges. Will bring back the sleep sections sometime during the weekend. This page is for travellers so eat and sleep sections are a must not engineering colleges Sridharpandu 11:30, 1 November 2005 (IST).

Well I wondered the same thing and I was told that the "learn" section is not just for things a tourist might be interested in learning on his sojourn (yoga, handicraft, etc.) but exchange students are also treated as a class of travellers and listing major universities is fine. But you know how it is with colleges. People see a list of colleges and if theirs is missing, they want to add theirs. As you are a local, it might be a good idea to pare it down to the bone and keep only the 2-3 major ones that an exchange student will actually be interested in --Ravikiran 05:28, 1 Nov 2005 (EST)
Maybe Jpatokal has a point but looking at the list I wonder if all these colleges draw students from other countries. You are right when you say it would trigger people to include their college in the list. So guess we should pare it down to colleges with special interests e.g. Kala Shetram, IIT, National Institute of Ocean Technology, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and research institute and maybe a couple of them more. What do you think? Sridharpandu 10:15, 5 November 2005 (IST).
Agree --Ravikiran 00:12, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)
That seems like a good idea. Just like with hotels and restaurants, we're not looking for an exhaustive list, just a sample. I think having 5 or so specialty schools will give readers the idea that there are a number of schooling options... thanks for tackling this! Majnoona 00:22, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)

Drink[edit][add listing]

Chennai, and the whole of Tamil Nadu for that matter has this govenment imposed restriction that only liquor manufactured inside Tamil Nadu can be sold here. So except for only a few bars (mostly the ones in the splurge section, who I believe have a permit), the selection of liquor brands is very limited.

This is know only from hearsay from the places that I have visited. If somebody can confirm this or provide links confirming this, we can add this information to the page. -- Ra.Ge 00:10 9 September 2006 (IST)

Do[edit][add listing]

Chennai is the capital of Barathanatyam - found this sentence on the page. Always thought it was Tanjore that was the capital of this dance form. Will check and correct this. Sridharpandu 14:15, 5 November 2005 (IST)

There are wine shops. But they look like the type of places you might go blind drinking from. Doc Risk

Is Chennai the most common English name?[edit]

Our article naming conventions say that we put the article at the most common English name for the place. The official name change from "Madras" to "Chennai" is relatively recent and I think that "Madras" is still the most common name for this place. If someone has some reason to dispute this (Google News can be an easy way to find stats on these things) please post. Otherwise, I plan to move this page back to its original place. --Evan 13:24, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)

Here's my Google news data:

Country "Madras" "Chennai"
All 2080 10100
USA 844 1280
Canada 54 77
UK 94 245
Australia 33 252
New Zealand 5 20
South Africa 17 77
India 889 7830

For fairness, many of these hits are for the "Chennai Open". When I removed "tennis" and "Chennai Open" from the search, I got this:

Country "Madras" "Chennai"
All 1,640 8,430
USA 472 421
Canada 9 20
UK 92 157
Australia 26 137
New Zealand 4 9
South Africa 10 53
India 885 7,250

Google search shows 8,990,000 English pages for "Chennai", 4,480,000 for "Madras". We should probably check a few more sources, but as best I can tell, "Chennai" has penetrated far enough in the media that we should consider it the "most common English name". --Evan 13:48, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)

Huge city?[edit]

This place seems more than ready to make the move to a huge city. It looks like a lot of the listings already indicate some sort of district so maybe it wont be too hard. Comments? Majnoona 11:32, 24 Jan 2006 (EST)

An old topic, but time to come back to it. The stand-alone "Anna Nagar" article was VFD'd and eventually redirected to Chennai/Anna Nagar as a district. Jani rightly objected that districting should be done in a reasoned, rather than ad-hoc, way. Could we use this one ad-hoc district article as a springboard to do what Maj long ago recommended? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:46, 12 August 2007 (EDT)


It's in Mamallapuram and should probably be pictured there, not here. Jonboy 21:42, 21 Feb 2006 (EST)

OK, let me be stronger. It should definitely be pictured there, not here. I'll move it unless someone explains. It's not on the way to Mamallapuram, it's in it. It's less than a 5-minute walk away from Arjuna's Penance. To me, it makes less sense to have this here than to have the Naval Academy (Annapolis) listed for DC. Jonboy 11:31, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
I am looking over all the "Do"'s in Chennai right now and the Butter Ball is one, among others, that I am planning to move to a "Get out" section. But, if you feel the need to take it out now it is okay. -- Tom Holland (xltel)
That's fine. It's probably best subsumed in Mamallapuram, given that it's literally around the corner from Arjuna's Penance, a spectacular sight and part of a World Heritage Site. Jonboy 11:46, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)

Questions and Comments[edit]

  • The Drink section appears to be operating under the misapprehension that the section should only contain bars. It needs other types of entertainment listed too.
I'm going to move the cafes from the eat section Majnoona 15:39, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
There is discussion pertaining to this topic. If food is what would draw the traveler/patron, put the cafe in Eat. If it is more helpful to list a cafe because it's primarily known for offering beverages or is a night spot hangout, Drink. There is no requirement that listings in Drink serve alcohol--the emphasis is on nightlife. Wikitravel:Where you can stick it Zepppep 10:35, 13 July 2011 (EDT)
  • I see addresses written in a form unfamiliar to me like "#12, Cenotaph Road" or "12, Khadar Nawaz Khan Road". If the comma separating the street address from the street name is common throughout India, perhaps there should be an explanation of it in the India article. Also, is there a difference between "#12" and "12" in these cases? In the US, we use the pound sign (#) to designate an apartment number in an address rather than a street address. If "#12" and "12" mean the same thing in India, we should pick one format and be consistent.

Is it necessary to be so anal? I'm sure it makes no difference if there is a comma after the number or not. It doesn't matter in a sentence if there is, a comma, or, not? The message is still understood.

  • The "Get out" section needs to be reduced to a small number of places with text explaining why one would go there — preferably by someone who knows which of the getouts would be most enjoyable.
  • The text takes a rather cavalier attitude towards capitalization. Is the text correct that place names and such are frequently both capitalized and uncapitalized, or is this just an error that should be copyedited away? Or is there some India-specific rule for the capitalization. I could work on it, but I have to know it's wrong first.
Needs to be copyedited!

-- Colin 21:42, 21 Feb 2006 (EST)

Good luck trying to standardize postal addresses in India :) Our postal department hasn't gotten around to it yet. The differences between #12 and No. 12 seem so trivial when there are people starving right now addresses which go: B-127, Carrarra, Hiranandani Estate, Ghodbunder Road, Opp. Suraj water park etc. all because the concept of numbering blocks on streets is alien to us. See this [1] for more.
I'll get around to get out. Right now, I am on get around... It'd be great if you can fix the capitalization mess. It's not thought through. --Ravikiran 22:31, 21 Feb 2006 (EST)
That's astounding, and very educational. There doesn't seem to be a standard for how to write the last eight digits of the phone number. I see both "12345678" and "1234 5678" used. The latter seems more readable to me, but do you have a preference? -- Colin 21:50, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)

Again Mr Colin - is it necessary to be so anal? A phonenumber is a phonenumber - it's not like you're going to misread it if the space is here or there...

I've been using 1234 5678 all over the India pages. There's no standard for that either. The number of digits for a local phone isn't standardised. So the big cities have 8 digits, the smaller ones may even have 5. --Ravikiran 22:05, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
Thats true, however the total of the local number and the area code is 10 digits for any number throughout India (including all fixed and mobile numbers, omitting the zero in the area code). A Mumbai number is 22 28931122 whereas a Jaipur number might be 141 2345678 -- AmitBoob 20:38, 24 February 2006 (EST)
  • I just went ahead and killed the whole list of universities. If someone has information on 3-5 places which it might be common for a visitor to study short-term, please add them back in. I just dont think the list was providing anything useful... Majnoona 15:39, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
  • I am a new user ,I dont know why sites like realindia .in/ are added in "Get around" 'by Bus' section?I found it not giving any useful information. Hope some page editors will notice. Gkaruppa 06:54, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

I think kpn(,parveen travels(,setc( offer better booking and coverage. Gkaruppa 07:10, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

  • I own I was searching for my website on google (like all webmasters would do) and found this link right on the first page. I did not add my website to wikitravel. However I am getting a negative result on Google because of the above comment by Mr.Gkaruppa. I also notice that RIGHT BEFORE my website is listed another site called - which offers EVEN LESS information OR OPTIONS than mine as far as Chennai is concerned. It makes me suspicious then as to why Mr.Gkaruppa has singled out my website for his negative remarks. I feel pained that some stooge of a competitor can so easily defame my site through a genuine initiative like Wikitravel. I hope some page editor will remove the above mentioned comment of people like Gkarrupa who have no better business than defaming others.
  • I am sorry if i have singled your site (www. realindia. in) . During April 2007 I tried booking with your site and it did not lead me to booking page at all.I just expressed my honest opinion, at that time.Now I am able to see credit card payment options and your site seems to be good now. One thing is I put it in discussion and not in main article and wanted this to be passed to wikitravel chennai admin and not for all public.During June 2007 I booked a ticket with redbus and really hate it. They charge heavily and allow to book tickets only after speaking with executive who have a website lock which they unlock just while you have an agreement.In short Redbus is not a very standard site to go for booking,but can be used while tickets are not available in other bus services like kpn and parveen ( I have named only few which i regularly use) .

Gkaruppa 07:10, 11 January 2008 (EST)


I found a few images, but am graphic-tarded, so if someone else can size and upload that would be great:

If we use an image, I will let the photographer know with a comment (all images in this set are CC Share Alike) Majnoona 18:31, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)

Many of the photos in that set are marked "All Rights Reserved," so be careful. Also, I've written a question to Evan which he hasn't answered yet regarding using CC-bySA 2.0 images because I thought that didn't play well with our current licensing regime. -- Colin 18:40, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
Oops! I found those image with a CC search and the ones I looked at were OK... I didnt realize some might not me... It would be nice to have a list of good places to get images from-- or do we already have one? Majnoona 15:16, 23 February 2006 (EST)
The one that I used is in fact cc-by-sa, so it's okay. We just have to be careful. --Ravikiran 16:14, 23 February 2006 (EST)

I want to say that it is very rude to delete all those photos (they are under GDFL or something) from this page. 21:08, 6 March 2006 (EST)

Rude or not, it is illegal to violate copyright, so any images that aren't released under the CC-SA 1.0 license, or any images that we can't verify the license, have to be deleted. See Wikitravel:Copyright details for more info. -- Ryan 21:14, 6 March 2006 (EST)
Yes, unfortunately that's a problem. We cannot use any work unless it is in the public domain or has a cc-by-sa license. I would really like to have an image of a Bharata natyam dancer here, but it has to be properly licensed and probably also accompanied by a model release, because we will presumably be showing her face. --Ravikiran 21:55, 6 March 2006 (EST)
Can't we use the same images that wikipedia uses? Cos most of them have already been checked for fair use etc. For example, the Bharatnatyam page on wikipedia has a few pics. 23:12, 25 February 2009 (EST)

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). My grandmother's maiden was Madras and we have been told our family built the first church there. So town was named after them...they were Portugal originally.

Temples and churches[edit]

Would it be worth dividing these up into different religions?! It just seems to me that its a huge long list at the mo, and it might be easier to use if it were broken up a little... What do you think? Tsandell 19:20 24/2/06

Help Offered[edit]

I recently came across this very useful/informative page. I currently live in Chennai, but I cant really contribute as I don't belong here and there is actually very little I know about the place. However, if there is a list of places/areas of interest, I might be able to get the pictures, upload and release them under CC. Is there any such wish list? -- Ra.Ge

Welcome Rocky, thanks for the offer. It would be cool to have a picture of the Marina Beach or Elliot's beach. Or maybe Mount road, Ice house (Vivekananda Memorial), Police headquarters, Fort George, the Mylapore temple.... Basically check out the "See" section for list of places you can visit and may be get a photo. :)
Also, don't let the fact that you are new to Chennai stop you from contributing. If you use this guide and visit some place, you can update it with addresses and other details. Check out Wikitravel:Attraction listings for what kind of details will be needed. Similarly, if you visit any restaurant, you can edit the entry for the restaurant and mention the price range, what is recommended and what is not. Check out Wikitravel:Restaurant listings. — Ravikiran 11:54, 3 September 2006 (EDT)

Price Ranges for food[edit]

I edited the placement of Sri Krishna Sweets from medium range to budget. I and 2 other people were able to try almost everything on the menu and spend only 165 Rupees for everyone. Also changed the placement of Murugan Idli Shop so the list was alphabetical. Coastline restaurant which is placed in medium range may qualify for high range. The food for just myself cost 1000 rupees. Barramundi was fantastic but perhaps was the most expensive thing on their menu, Ill let others decide on this. Doc Risk 7:44 Feb 13th, 2007


Why has no one used the "Restaurant" template here? Any reason? -Shreyasjoshis 01:20, 6 June 2007 (EDT)

Probably because the restaurant template was introduced fairly recently, while the Chennai article was started quite some time back. However, there is no reason to prevent anyone from using it for future additions or from transferring the present information into template format if they so wish. WindHorse 01:25, 6 June 2007 (EDT)

Madras is always Madras, no matter whoever changes it or calls it otherwise.

Changes are so much irritating and make life more difficult . I always say Madras as I'm used to from childhood but people around me frown as I've uttered some obscene word.

Well, If you don't like british names or anything done by british then, why do you still celebrate Jan 1st as New year? We have seperate Tamil New Year right? Why don't you destroy the high courts, railway tracks constructed by british & reconstruct from the start? Sounds stupid right... Same way, It sounds stupid to change from Madras to Chennai when both co-existed without any problem. Now , only Chennai exists . where's my magnificent Madras? My DOB Certificate lists it as Madras. A'm I born in a city which does not exist? These changes promote regionalism & not nationalism… which will ultimately result in a separate Country ThamizlNadu(Once known as the State of Madras).

Don't know where will it End?


The currency section has a lot of unnecessary information. The paragraph starting with "In most parts of India" is irrelevant and unnecessary. I dont see any reason for a traveller to Chennai to be informed about how the Rupee is called in Orissa and Bengal. It would suffice, in this article, to mention that the rupee is called "roobai" in Tamil and be done with it. 13:43, 19 May 2008 (EDT) Vikram.

Status of this article[edit]

I really do not think it is guide standard and I have downgraded to usable. Key reasons:

  • The see section is very thin on useful information and very long on lists. Many more addresss, directions and phone numbers required.
  • The eat listings are unwiedly and I suggest they are sorted into types of food - even into Indian and Other would be a start.
  • A long list of hospitals with no contact details is not helpful. Suggest deleting the ones with no addresses and no phone numbers (there are far too many regardless).
  • A long list of ATMs with no addresses? Again, not very helpful and probably unneccesary when there are so many. Delete I would say and replace with a short paragraph of prose.
  • Get out. Unwieldy. This section should be a short list of destinations to go to after Chennai.

--Burmesedays 01:36, 6 January 2010 (EST)

I put a "style" markup at the top of the article for reasons listed above as well as a poor Buy section. Lots of issues with contact info in several sections (lack of abbreviations, stating the listing is in Chennai, ph number formatting, etc.). Zepppep 10:20, 13 July 2011 (EDT)
I attempted to remove historical info. in the Parks subsection that is not relevant to a reader, as well as benefactor info., etc. Keep descriptions limited to info. a traveler would find helpful, as well as attempting to limit the length to 1-5 sentences per Wikitravel:Attraction listings. Give a flavor of species one can view without listing 10 species by name. Zepppep 10:26, 13 July 2011 (EDT)


Are all the temples considered as tourist sites?! Like can't you only put the ones which are the most interesting of all? It's really bad to see a list like that without a bit of information of the certain temple. -User:SnappyHip 23:01, 8 March 2010 (GST)