Chennai is referred to as the entry point to South India. With a population of around 10 million, this city ranks fifth in size among Indian cities, after Bangalore & Mumbai. Chennai is the key hub for healthcare, IT, and industry.
The city is vast and bustling, yet it maintains its traditional customs and culture, influencing you to book a Mumbai to Chennai flight for vacation. Check out the travel guide to Chennai here.
Ideal Time to Go
The weather in Chennai is hot and humid. Summer temperatures can reach 8–42 °C in late May and early June.
From mid-September to mid-December, you can enjoy the monsoon vibe. To enjoy winter, visit Chennai between November and February when the temperature is 24 degrees Celsius. You can explore Cleartrip to find ideal flights during this period.
Traditions and Customs
Chennai is becoming popular as an industrial city because of its excellent infrastructure and space.
Chennai is one of the most traditional cities in India, so try to dress appropriately. Clothes that are too revealing should be avoided. Compared to other significant Indian cities, Chennai is a reasonably safe travel destination.
Where to Stay
Chennai’s luxury hotels are not as costly as those in Delhi and Mumbai. Here, you can find worthy hotels.
It is advised to book cheap Chennai hotels early because, during the peak season, it can be difficult for you to find suitable accommodation, whether you are travelling with your family, friends or alone.
Due to its prime position and abundance of culture and history, the hotels are booked in advance.
Things to do
To truly understand and appreciate this city, one must invest time and energy in getting to know it.
You’ll get a sense of Chennai’s distinctive heritage that makes it unique by visiting these must-see locations. There are several interesting locations close to Chennai that you can visit to explore-
Explore The Marina Beach
You can sense Chennai’s heartbeat at Marina Beach, which is one of the world’s longest beaches, spread over 13 kilometres.
It provides a broad-spectrum view of the Bay of Bengal. It’s a captivating sensation because of the warm sand, the waves, and the salty sea. For both locals and tourists, Marina Beach is a must-see.
The Temple of Kapaleshwar
In Mylapore, the Kapaleshwar Temple is more than a temple. This ancient temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, has beautiful architecture. It’s an amazing sight, complemented by the beautiful sculptures and a sense of spirituality.
Mahabalipuram is a historical tourist site famous for its historic structures, statues, and monuments.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated along the East Coast Road. Some nearby spots you can roam near the temple are Arjuna’s Tapas, Pancharathas, and the Shore Temple.
Fort St. George
This 400-year-old fort is recognised as the first British fortress in India, founded in 1644 AD. The fort showcases remarkable Indo-British architecture with classic Tuscan columns, arched gateways and porticos.
Major highlights are St. Mary’s Church – the oldest Anglican church in India, the Fort Museum exhibiting British memorabilia, including Robert Clive’s sword and Wellesley House, named after Richard Wellesley.
This unique chariot-shaped temple monument was built in 1976 in honour of the legendary Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar.
The highlight is a life-size statue of Thiruvalluvar encased in a 39 m-high stone chariot. The epic Tamil literature Thirukkural, with 1330 couplets inscribed on bas-relief panels in the front hall, is captivating.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
Located 50 km from Chennai, this is a 30-hectare sanctuary that has served as a safe breeding ground for migratory birds since the 18th century.
Over 40,000 birds arrive here during November-February, including pintail, garganey, grey wagtail, blue-winged teal and more. The ideal time for birdwatching is early morning or late evening.
Showcasing the rich cultural heritage of South Indian states, this living museum features 18 authentic traditional houses brought from regions like Chettinad, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Art forms, crafts and architecture specific to each region are depicted here.
Cholamandal Artists’ Village
India’s first self-sustained colony of painters and sculptors was established in 1966. The peaceful greens and artistic surroundings house several art galleries exhibiting avant-garde contemporary paintings, woodwork, and pottery created by eminent and upcoming artists.
What to Sip and Eat?
Chennai offers a delicious variety of cuisine to indulge your tastebuds:
- Idli, Dosa, Vada: Fluffy steamed rice cakes, crispy lentil crepes and fritters served with chutney and sambar. Enjoy Masala Dosa stuffed with spiced potatoes.
- Uttapam: Thick savoury pancake with onions, tomatoes, chillies and coconut chutney. Try the popular Onion Uttapam or Tomato Uttapam.
- Pongal: Quintessentially Chennai dish made of rice, moong dal cooked in jaggery and ghee, infused with nuts and raisins.
- Filter Coffee: Iconic sweet milky coffee blend with chicory served in a traditional dabarah and davara tumbler set.
- Kothu Parotta: Flaky parotta shredded and stir-fried with vegetables, eggs or chicken. A hot favourite evening snack.
- Chettinad Cuisine: Fiery, robust, non-vegetarian dishes like Chettinad Pepper Chicken and dishes cooked with exotic spices.
- Biryani: Be it Ambur, Thalappakatti or Dindigul, Chennai biryanis are distinct with aromatic spices and served with raita.
- Murukku Sandwich: Flavorful snack stuffed with onion, tomatoes and chutneys between two crunchy murukkus.
- Adhirasam and Seedai: Sweet and crispy deep-fried snacks, a must-have during festive occasions.
Alongside, try out fruit juices like Watermelon, Sugarcane, and Tender Coconut that provide relief from the heat and humidity.
The best time to visit
The ideal time to enjoy the pleasant weather is between November and February. Avoid going during the very hot summers from March to early June.
Chennai has an extensive public transport network, including buses, trains and auto rickshaws. Ola and Uber cabs provide convenient transportation within the city.
Chennai is a dynamic place with a distinctive fusion of culture, modernity, and history. We hope this guide will help you discover Chennai & make travel plans with your friends and families.