Fun things to do in Chennai (Madras)

  • Egmore Station
    Egmore Station
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  • crocs crocs everywhere!!!
    crocs crocs everywhere!!!
    by abi_maha
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Chennai (Madras)

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    Sowcarpet- Heady mix of tastes & sights

    by abi_maha Written Oct 21, 2013

    f you yearn for some authentic chaat and street food while in Chennai then Sowcarpet is the go-to place. Starting at Mint Street this is a beginners guide to exploring the area Upon some sound advice, we drove up to the high court complex and managed to find a parking there. From here it is a mere one KM walk through an amazing density of people, pedlars, merchandise and sights! Every street is known for a commodity (Broadway for spectacle frames, The parallel road for wedding invitations, a slew of stationary shops and so on) In typical Indian style a bit of asking for directions and voila- we were at Mint Street.
    Our first stop was at kakada sweets- a multi storeyed sweet shop that also houses a restaurant on the first floor. We asked for aloo tikki and unfortunately first round he added dahi to it! But a second round of aloo tikki was ordered without the dahi and ooh-la-la, the tikki deep fried in pure ghee was a flaky sumptuous delight indeed. Follow it thru with a dahi kachori and the popular Badam Milk and your meal is almost done! A stroll inside revealed some irresistible goodies that we packed up for home. As we left the kakada kadai other aromas and sights beckoned, we walked up further and the Diwali fervor is already tangible- the streets are full of diya pedlars and just outside the Jain temple you find other items for pooja as well. A little further up you arrive at Golden Chaats Stall- a chaat 'vandi'- he serves up some yummm paani puris. On the way back at Lassi Point a meetha beeda is a must- turned out to be the highlight of the gastronomical feast we had indulged in! All in all, Mint Street is a heady combination of tastes, sights and experiences unlike any in Chennai, and if you are seeking an authentic street food experience, it sure is bulls eye!

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    Chennai-The City of Joy

    by SasmeerG Written Jul 10, 2013

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    As we know that the Chennai is an awesome city here is lot of amazing things to see. Now i am going to write something about my last trip,which i had enjoyed last month. At last month i had visited Chennai and stayed in Le Royal meridian by online booking through "www.chennai5starhotels.com". The hotel had provided excellent services everything of that hotel was well maintained and amazingly decorated. Overall the trip was outstanding and i can't forget that trip. Thanks to the site whose given me unforgettable moments. You should also visit this site and take the advantage of it.

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    Go to eat in a five star hotel

    by Kaarina Written Jan 31, 2012

    Rather near to our hotel there was a five star hotel called Taj Coromandel. We used to go to eat in that hotel and to see it otherwise.

    I think it was worth to see with it's piano music and well clothed guests. The food wasn't always excellent, but safe, I think.

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    An ally of alligators!

    by vpas Written Jan 16, 2012

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    You could visit the Crocodile Bank in the outskirts of Chennai on the way to Mamallapuram. The alligators are bred in captivity and there is ample information regarding the various species. There are also some snakes, turtles and other reptiles. There is a small shop selling souvenirs such as T.shirts.
    +91-9840542337

    E: mcbtindia@gmail.com

    Regular Hours
    08:30hrs – 17:30hrs

    Weekly Holiday
    Monday

    Gate Fee
    Adults: Rs 35/,
    Children10 yrs: Rs10/-

    Other

    Camcorder: Rs 100/-
    Still Camera: Rs 20/-

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    Get Charmed by snakes!

    by vpas Written Jan 16, 2012

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    The Guindy Snake park is adjoining the Children's Park.It has a variety of snakes and information regarding them.There is a snake show every evening. On appointed days, there is a show where venom from snakes are extracted and used for medicinal purposes.
    The park is open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays.There is a nominal entrance fee and additional fee for cameras and video cameras.This well worth a visit.

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    Visit the Anna Centenary Library

    by vpas Written Jan 16, 2012

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    The Anna Centenary Library is one of the biggest libraries in Asia.It has books and periodicals covering a wide range of subjects. The children's section is quite well furnished and its a good place for kids to spend a whole day.There are coffee shops in the ground floor, but you could carry a short snack if you want.All bags except money bags need to be deposited at the entrance.No photography is allowed inside.
    It is built in a land area of 8 acres and has 9 floors.

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    Cholamandal Artists Village

    by abi_maha Written Oct 31, 2011

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    We have been seeing this place everytime we go on the ECR from Sholinganallur to Thirubanmiyur..but was waiting for an occasion to step in. What better occasion than when my friends were here last weekend? :-)

    Established more than four and a half decades ago, we didn't realize this place had such historical significance. It is credited as being the heralder of modernism in Chennai Art. There are many artists who have their house within this gated community, it is fun to watch them at work. They are all friendly and hospitable, willing to answer our curious questions. Named after an erstwile dynasty- the 'Cholas'- that all Indians have read about in their history lessons, for this king encouraged art in every form! Some of the sculptures in the garden are very very interesting and contemporary in nature...some of them even surpassed some of the works I have seen in the USA!

    In the main building photography is not allowed we respected that and didn't click any pictures.

    The cafe is awesome, I shall write a separate tip on that in the restaurants section.

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    Cultural showcase at Dakshinchitra

    by abi_maha Updated Oct 31, 2011

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    On the ECR road is a quaint place called Dakshinchitra that showcases the various cultures and lives in the 5 southern states of India. It makes for a very interesting way to spend a day at Chennai, a place on ECR that show cases all the south indian ways of living. Most things are very reasonably priced- the entry fee is only Rs 75. Once in their craft shop has many interestings things on sale. They also have a craft bazaar inside that makes for some amazng shopping- they have stalls from all over India. So don't be surprised if you go home with some colorful paintings from Rajasthan or some vivid lanterns from Orissa! :-) Went there with some of my friends and needless to say we all loved the place!! The most fun activity was getting my 'future read'- there is this lady who claims to read your palm, it is a lot of fun!! Not sure she can tell your fortune in English though, she told mine in Tamil, but what fun!!
    The best display is the Tamil Nadu section- they have a display area that showcases the ways of life of people from across this state!! The Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka displays could be better.
    Dakshin Chitra closes by 6 PM, so do get there atleast by 2 PM if you want a leisurely trip. You cna also get Mehendi Designs done on your palm there! All in all, a good place to spend an afternoon in.

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    Play or Dance recital at Kalakshetra

    by abi_maha Updated Oct 17, 2011

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    This is a nice cultural center in TN, housed in a quiet corner near the beach! Kalakshetra is famous world over for dance, music and other cultural activities. This also houses a brilliant auditorium and it is used to hold a variety of cultural events and shows.

    Check the calendar of activities at Kalakshetra and head there to watch a nice play or a bharatanatyam(classical dance of Tamil Nadu) recital.

    During the 9 days of Dussera the city plays host to many cultural activities, including dance recitals. We managed to watch an awe inspiring Kathakali Performance at the Kalakshetra. They requested us not to photograph the performance itself, so I only got a couple of pics outside the auditorium.

    It was a rendition of the story of Narakasura- the guy whole played the role of Narthaki demon was fantastic!! His portrayal of getting presentable and combing his hair and wearing a saree etc was so so good!! Gosh I couldn't stop admiring how well he carried off his role as a female demon!!

    All in all it was an evening to remember, the costumes were marvelously grandiose, the event itself was free, not even an entry fee. The audience turned up in their ethnic best and the projection of the scene being enacted on the walls by the auditorium helped us understand the performance even better!

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    Thiruvanmiyur beach

    by abi_maha Updated May 4, 2011

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    What was erstwhile an isolated beach is now swarming with people!! With the lights and the volleyball courts this is now an awesome place to spend the evenings.

    My niece and nephew were happy building sand castles once their swim in the sea was done! There is a small temple on the beach as well. I can never stop marvelling at how long the chennai beaches are.. the sand stratches almost half a mile to the sea! Everytime I travel abroad and people show me 1 foot long beaches I feel like laughing! Throughout Chennai and Karnataka we are truly blessed with some awesome beaches.. another realization post stepping out of this country! :0

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    Guindy park- Fun for kids

    by abi_maha Updated May 4, 2011

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    Recently made a trip to this park with my 3 year old niece and 5 year old nephew. They had an awesome time running around the play ground and sliding down "the big slide". The snake park had a venom extraction session at 11 AM on that Saturday and abviously both the kids found that to be an ""awesome experience!!

    That apart there are a couple of otters in a very small water tank, it was fun watching them frisk around the place! Another great thing is the free roaming deer! They even let themselves be petted by the kids!

    The crocodile on display was something that my nephew was thrilled with!! To the extent that before we left alte in the evening he went back all the way to bid it a goodbye! Atleast 4 varieties of monkeys were on display and many birds including Pelicans, peacocks and sarus cranes.

    All in all for Rs 10 it was great 'paisa vassool'!!

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    Theater

    by tayloretc Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Contemporary theater isn’t supported much, so it’s almost all either traditional (focused during the Dec/Jan festival season), or amateur. There are some professional theater troupes around, although I know at least one of them doesn’t actually get paid for their work. The couple of amateur performances I’ve seen have been very good. You can sign up for alerts at the website below. Also, check the bulletin boards at bookstores.

    You may have to do some research into the venue location - they can be out of the way, and the average auto or taxi driver probably won’t know where they are.

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    • Theater Travel

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    Fort St George Flagpole

    by illumina Written Dec 9, 2010

    Another fascinating structure here is the Flagstaff at the front of the fort, where the National Flag flies with all its glory at a height of 150 feet. It is the tallest flag pole in the country. The Pole, now made of metal, was originally made entirely of teak wood and was a post rescued from a 17th century shipwreck.

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    Fort St George Clive House

    by illumina Updated Dec 9, 2010

    This photo shows The Clive House, also known as the "Admirality House", which is the place where Robert Clive stayed with his wife in 1753 and later. The Clive House is a brick and mortar structure and is about 300 years old. The Clive House has wooden floors, beautifully carved wooden staircases and high ceilings. The centerpiece of the Clive House is a huge hall situated on the first floor with Corinthian columns. This was a banquet hall, meant for parties and celebrations.

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    Fort St George Church

    by illumina Written Dec 9, 2010

    St. Mary's Church is the oldest Anglican church in India. It was built in 1678-80 AD. The tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India. This ancient prayer house solemnized the marriages of Robert Clive and Governor Elihu Yale, who later was first benefactor of Yale University in the United States. The church is popularly known as the 'Westminster Abbey of the East'.

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