Popularly regarded as the...
Popularly regarded as the 'Gateway to the South', Chennai presents culture that is distinctly different from that of northern India. Music, dance and all other art forms of the South are cherished and nurtured in this city which, though industrialized, continues to be traditional and conventional in many ways.
Chennai is a city where the traditional and the modern blend in life everywhere. From traditional vegetarian fair to fast foods, from nine-yard sarees to the latest in fashion, from ancient temple architecture to modern high-rise - with Indo-Saracenic and Victorian as stops along the way - from classical music and dance to discos throbbing to heady beats, Chennai has them all and many more vivid contrasts that are a pleasant surprise .....
Indians do Mexican
This restaurant is situated opposite the Chola Sheraton, above the bakery.Theres only one mexican restaurant so you wont miss it.Haha this is funny ...after my 5th sangria I realise that they were non alcoholic, as were the margaritas.The food though was excellent. The shrimp and avocado, cheese fajita thingie and their nachos, are possible the only things I miss about India. Nachos, with sour cream, hot salsa, and pickled chillies..fajitas,burritos etc
The fresh indian produce really shines here.
Romulus Whittaker's 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.
The place is worth visiting if you are traveling to Chennai. Situated on the East Cost Road, the road to Mamallapuram, this Crocodile bank was created will almost all Crocodile species of the world to save them from getting killed, as slowly they have become extinct. It has crocodiles and alligators from Africa, Australia, South America, Asia. This is also a breeding centre.
Our tour operator ( TTDC) did not stop at this place but they preffered to take us to VGB Golden Beach, what a sheer waste of time. We do have this kind of amusement park in almost all the cities in India or abroad. Their hurried call did not allow me to see it properly, all I can say I missed it. I will have wait for my next trip to Chennai.
Chennai (Madras) - Tamil Nadu
Agra --- Belur --- Goa --- Gwalior --- Halebid --- Kumbakonam --- Lachen
Lachung --- Panipat --- Satna --- Bodhgaya --- Gaya --- McLeod Ganj --- Hampi
Mysore --- Kochi --- State of Kerala --- Kovalam --- Munnar --- Quilon (Kollam)
Khajuraho --- Orchha --- Sanchi --- Ellora Caves --- Mumbai --- Gangtok
State of Orissa --- Chennai --- Kanchipuram --- Kanyakumari --- Madurai
Mamallpuram --- Vellore --- Jhansi --- Sarnath --- Varanasi
Kolkata --- Chandigrah --- Delhi
More Destinations In India
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Shimla --- Thanjuvar --- Tiruchirappalli(Trichy)
Chopta Valley, Sikkim
Hampta Circle Trek
Spituk to Hemis Trek
Konark & Bhubaneswar
State of Sikkim
Gezying --- Yumthang Valley --- Namok Village --- Loser (Tibetan Festival)
February, 2009. The life of the Indian street dog still sucks.
March, 2008. The life of the Indian street dog still sucks. I haven’t seen any puppies lately, but judging from the street fights between the males and the hunted look of the females it’s breeding season (again). I can’t take any puppies in this time.
June, 2007. I’m much less optimistic about the fate of dogs here now than I was a year ago. As recently as 2002 a New York Times correspondent wrote: “No creatures on the planet live more wretched lives than Indian dogs.” I can vouch that it’s still true in 2007.
May, 2007. Gudhi, (Tamil for "jump" - he bounces rather than walks) was lying in a driveway, too weak to get out of the way of a car. (Which, in true Indian fashion, was honking at him.) He was about 6 months old, the vet said he probably hadn’t eaten decently in 6 weeks or more, and he had a full-blown case of mange, so he had almost no fur left and in some places had scratched himself bloody. He had the graceful long, lean lines of Asian hounds, coloring much like a collie, and huge, sad eyes. He perked up with food, and was self-housebroken, which was really nice.
My rant from below still holds true, down to everyone thinking he was worthy of living only after I picked him up. When I took him to the vet a woman was there with an elderly purebred lab, telling the vet that the dog had stopped eating, started losing weight, “was no longer nice and plump.” I heard her go on at length, but when they came out, if anything, the dog looked overweight. I do wonder what she thought when she saw my little guy.
Update: It turned out he was a Rajapalayam hound, a native Indian breed originally for hunting boar and once the companion dog of South Indian royalty, and suddenly people think he's special again. He's probably not "purebred," although almost none of the "purebred" Rajapalayams are either. I did find a home for him, and saw him several months later, happy and healthy and as bouncy as ever.
July, 2006. I wouldn’t usually have this kind of page, but I wanted to add what I’m hoping will turn out to be an animal happy-ending story. There are so very few in Chennai.
I found the little guy in the photo on the left when he was at most 8 weeks old. He was a tiny, scruffy skeleton sniffing the garbage at the feet of a group of people who didn’t even notice him. The vet said the severe dehydration and obvious malnutrition indicated that the puppy hadn’t had a decent meal in at least two weeks (1/4 of his life). He’s recovering now, and I hope to have a home for him soon.
September, 2006. Well, it didn’t turn out as happily as I’d hoped, although he recovered health and is now at the no-kill, free-range shelter People for Animals. By the time I had taken him there I had two puppies (the second [Otto] side-swiped by a car as I was going to the vet anyway – shaken and hungry, but otherwise okay) and had run out of babysitters and work I could do at home. Given the abundance of puppies and the low numbers of people looking for them I don’t hold much hope of them finding homes.
July, 2007. Chota (now called Socks) is still with PFA – they were kind enough to send a photo, and say he’s "all love and play." Otto died last winter of distemper.
I know you can’t save them all, but what really bothers me is this: as soon as I picked the puppies up, everyone thought they were just wonderful. On the ground and starving to death or hit by a car not worth looking at, let alone caring about. In my arms, adorable, and gee, they’re kind of skinny, aren’t they? This shift in attitude was across the board, with the notable (and disappointing) exception of a few colleagues who know they’re “just street dogs” and still think I’m crazy for picking them up at all.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere in these pages that in Chennai animals are largely disregarded. This is painfully obvious where dogs are concerned. More specifically, where street dogs are concerned. Purebreds are status symbols, desired and cared for, even when the breed is completely inappropriate for Chennai weather and available space. Like German Shepherds with their thick double coat, or Labs that need room to run. Street dogs are perfectly adapted for Chennai, and they’re smart, loyal, hardy and healthy, and available in large numbers, for free. But no one gives a damn about them*.
Yes, I know there are humans here who are as disregarded as dogs, and I’ve watched them rummaging through the same piles of trash. The difference is that there are places the humans can go to get food, necessities, and education if they want it. And I haven’t yet seen a human dying of starvation or disease in the street. I wish I could say the same for dogs.
*With exceptions. I know a number of people who own or feed many street dogs. And there are some organizations that take care of animals – I’ll add contact info as I find good ones.
People for Animals: ABC Unit, Basin Road, Pulianthope
Help Line* 99 62 800 800
* You can call the help line if you see an animal in distress - they send people out to many parts of the city to pick them up.