A magnificent past and an early metropolitan dream

Travel Blog

Vibrant, vivacious and vivid - Chennai's amazing amalgamation of the classical Tamil aestheticism with a new layer of cosmopolitan culture is definitely a treat for every traveller who decides to explore this coastal metropolitan city. Spanning a wide range of diverse attractions, the ample places to visit in Chennai will enthral travellers to the core.

History

Armenian and Portuguese traders were living in the San Thome area of what is now present-day Chennai before the arrival of the British in 1639. Madras was the shortened name of the fishing village Madraspatnam, where the British East India Company built a fort and factory (trading post) in 1639–40. At that time, the weaving of cotton fabrics was a local industry, and the English invited the weavers and native merchants to settle near the fort. About 1801, by which time the last of the local rulers had been shorn of his powers, the English had become masters of southern India, and Madras had become their administrative and commercial capital. The government of Tamil Nadu officially changed the name of the city to Chennai in 1996.

Culture

Chennai is gateway to the South, and its culture is distinctly different from that of any other city in India. Tamil tradition and culture are indigenous to this region and is essentially the celebration of the beauty, which is exemplified through dance, clothing, and sculptures. Chennai is both an orthodox and a modern cosmopolitan city; the culture of the city reflects its diverse population. Chennai culture is a blend of unique dance, traditions and customs along with exclusive food and lifestyle. Chennai is famous for its classical Indian dance Bharatnatyam. The dance is generally believed to be a reconstruction of dance forms of the devadasis in the ancient time.

5 Interesting facts

  • Chennai is the second oldest corporation in the world after London. It was started in 1687.

  • Chennai is the only Indian city to get featured among the Top 10 Best Cities to Travel in the World by Lonely Planet group.

  • St. Mary’s Church inside Fort St. George is the oldest Anglican Church in India and the oldest British building in India, constructed in 1678.

  • Chennai region has the oldest rocks in the country dating back to a billion years.

  • Marina Beach is the second longest beach in the world.

Climate

Its geographical location on the beautiful coastline mostly keeps the city's weather hot and humid. Hence, the best time to visit Chennai is the pre-monsoon and the winter season, i.e. between October and February. 

Best Time
  • October - February

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