THE CHENNAI

    Chennai is divided into four broad regions: North, Central, South and West. North Chennai is primarily an industrial area. Central Chennai is the commercial heart of the city and includes an important business district, Parry's Corner. South Chennai and West Chennai, previously mostly residential, are fast becoming commercial, home to a growing number of IT firms, financial companies and call centres. Chennai can also boast of Marina Beach, one of the longest beaches in the world.

Population:


Chennai has a population of about 7.5 million people, making it India's fourth largest city after Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata.

Airport Information:


The Chennai International Airport is very conveniently located only 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of the city center. It's well-connected in terms of transport. The best way to get to the city centre from the airport is by taking a pre-paid taxi from the arrivals Terminal (the booth nearest to the door is Government-regulated); However, it's also possible to take the train. There's a train station (Tirusulam) across the road not far from the airport, and suburban trains run from there to Egmore Station. Travel time is around 40 minutes. Alternatively, Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus services are also available.

Transport:


Three-wheeled auto rickshaws offer the easiest way of getting around, but unfortunately, fares are relatively expensive and rarely charged as according to the meter. Foreigners are invariably quoted excessively high rates (often more than double) and should be prepared to negotiate hard before the journey. Taxis in Chennai are known as "call taxis". These are private cabs that need to be phoned in advance and cannot be hailed from the street. It's a good idea to hire one of these taxis to go sightseeing, as attractions are spread out over large distances. Buses are cheap and cover most of the city. A local train service also exists.

Bus route info

Food & Dining:

Food and dining has a different notion at Chennai. The metropolitan city caters to any taste and the menu here is marked by popular cuisine served throughout the world. There is plenty to eat and plenty to taste. The popular food of Chennai feature the characteristics of South Indian dishes. The locals are very fond of vegetarian dishes which are tasty as well as inexpensive. Chettinad is the popular non-vegetarian dish. The typical breakfast in Chennai consists of Idli, Dosa, Vada, Pongal and Upma. Idli and Dosa are similar to rice cakes, Vada is a doughnut made from lentils. Pongal is a blend of rice and lentils.

These dishes are served with Chutneys like Sambhar and Coconut Chutney (kinds of dips). Rice and lentils are two essential ingredients of meals consumed here. The region also relishes a variety of sea food and fish is popular in the coastal regions. Chennai, like the rest of the region, is famous for serving spicy treats. South Indian food includes plenty of chilli, peppercorns, garlic and tamarind.

Besides popular dishes, the restaurants of Chennai are known to serve several cuisines, including continental, North Indian, Chinese, Italian and others. Restaurants are graded according to the popular cuisine served or based on the multi-cuisine recipes offered.

Music:

Chennai is an important centre for Carnatic Music and hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season, which includes performances by hundreds of artists. The city has a vibrant theatre scene and is an important centre for the Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form. The Tamil film industry, one of the largest film industries in India, is based in the city; the soundtracks of films dominate its music scene.

Weather:

Chennai has a hot and humid climate, with summer temperatures in late May and early June often reaching an extreme 38-42 degrees Celsius (100-107 degrees Fahrenheit). The city receives most of its rainfall during the north-east monsoon, from mid September to mid December, and heavy rains can be a problem. The temperature decreases to an average of 24 degrees Celsius (75 Fahrenheit) during winter, from November to February, but doesn't drop below 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit).

Health and Safety Information:

Chennai is a relatively safe destination that experiences less crime than most other major Indian cities. As Chennai is also one of the most conservative major cities in India, it is important to dress in a manner that respects this. Revealing or tight-fitting clothes, both on men and women, should be avoided even at the beach. Lightweight clothes that cover the arms and legs are preferable.

Chennai's climate requires special consideration to be given to health during the summer and monsoon seasons. Dehydration and other heat-related illnesses are a concern in conditions of extreme heat. You are advised to visit your doctor or travel clinic well in advance of your departure date, to ensure that you receive all necessary immunizations and medications.

It is absolutely not advisable to drink or use water straight from the taps in India. Instead, use bottled mineral water (even for brushing teeth), usually generously-supplied by upper-end hotels. Alternatively, bottles of mineral water may be purchased inexpensively at several reliable outlets in Chennai

 

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