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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in madras
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in madras, Bed and Breakfast!
Chennai, also known as Madras, is the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, and is the country's fourth-largest city. It is located on the coramandel coast of the Bay of Bengal. With an estimated population of 7.45 million (2005), the 367 year old city is the 41st largest metropolitan area in the world.
Chennai was considered to be very moderate and conservative but that is really changing nowadays. The official language in the city is Tamil - one of the oldest languages in the world. Chennai is relatively safe compared to other parts of India. it is also called the Detroit of India due to the number of car manufacturers in and in the vicinity of the city. If you are visiting Madras for the first time, you could check with the Tamil Nadu Tourism department for more information. If you do not know Tamil, it is advisable to speak English rather than Hindi, as there is a huge English-speaking population in Madras. All boards and public-utility signs of significance in Madras are in English.
In 1996, Madras was renamed Chennai. This name change happened because the name Madras was perceived to be of Portuguese origin and also had associations with both the British colonial and Hindu control over the city in the past; while Chennai was considered to be of more local origin. However, the former name is still widely used.
Madras is derived from Madraspatnam, a name given to the area when the British negotiated settling there. The origin of the name is uncertain. Tradition suggests that a fishing village near to the location of the British settlement was called Madraspatnam. Others think early Portuguese, in the area from about 1500, may have called the area Madre de Sois after an early settler, or Madre de Deus after an early church (of St. Mary). Madrassa is also the name for an Islamic teaching institution and some suggest this is another possible origin.
Chennai is derived from Chennapatnam, a name with almost equally uncertain origins. Tradition has it that Chennapatnam was the name of a fishing village near to the location of Madraspatnam. However it is not clear if the village was there beforehand or grew up around the British Madraspatnam settlement. There are some suggestions that the name was given to the developing Indian settlement honor a local Indian adminstrator.
As the settlements grew, the exact location of both Chennapatnam and Madraspatnam became confused as the two settlements merged into a single town. However, Madras was associated with the British while Chennai has Indian associations.
Madras was one of the first outposts of British East India Company. The city was founded in 1639 when the company was granted land to build a trading settlement by the local Indian administrators. Fort Saint-George, built by the English, is today the legislative and administrative seat official of the state. George Town developed then becoming the modern city of Madras, absorbing several close boroughs.
Thomas, one of the twelve apostles is reputed to be associated with Madras. He apparently came to India as an evangelist and died in Madras. Names of two suburbs of Madras, Santhome and St. Thomas Mount, are named in his memory.
Colonel William Lambton, Superintendent of the great Trignometrical Survey of India started his journey of triangulating (dividing a land into several triangles to determine the precise longitudinal position of cities and towns) India from St. Thomas Mount, the Grand Stand of the Race Course relative to a point at sea level in the Marina Beach. This process was carried forward by his successor Lieutenant George Eve-rest upto the North and ended up in Andrew Scott Waugh and his team precisely measuring the height of the lofty himalayan peaks and establishing indisputably the highest mountain in the world, MOUNT EVE-REST (named in the honour of the Lieutenant George Eve-rest)
Chennai has an international airport. All international flights arrive at the Anna Terminal while the domestic flights arrive at the Kamraj terminal. Chennai is serviced by 14 International airlines and five Indian carriers (Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara and Air Deccan). Most large European airlines such as Lufthansa and British Airways and many Asian airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Malaysian and Thai Airways serve Chennai. Delta Airlines will be initiating daily service to New York starting May, 2005.
Chennai is well connected to Bangkok, Fujirah, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Muscat, Ras-al-Kaimah, Sharjah and Singapore by Indian Airlines. For flight timings visit the Indian Airlines (http://indian-airlines.nic.in) website or Click here For Free Air Travel Enquiry and Ticket Booking (http://www.dewpointtravels.com)
Oman and Gulf Air have daily flights from Muscat and Bahrain. Srilankan Airways connects Chennai to Colombo with multiple daily flights. Singapore airlines flies daily between Madras and Singapore.
Indian (formerly known as "Indian Airlines"), Jet Airways , Air Sahara, Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines, Go Air, SpiceJet and Paramount Airways connect Madras with daily flights to most other Indian cities. Important numbers are:
- Indian Airlines General Enquiry 140
- Indian Airlines Arrivals and Departures (Recorded) 142
- Indian Airlines Reservations 141/+91 44 22561971
- Jet Airways +91 44 2841 4141
- Air Sahara +91 44 5211 0202/ +91 44 2498 0688
- Air Deccan +91 9840377008
Use the pre-paid taxi to get to the city. The fares are different for the domestic and international terminals though both the terminals are next to each other. You can either choose the Government Taxis (Black with Yellow tops) or the private cabs (more comfortable and more expensive). It's better to keep small change in hand as the counter staff very often don't seem to have change! Note the taxi number written on your charge slip (one copy is for the passenger and the other is for the driver to collect the fare from the counter). Once out of the terminal you'll have a tough time warding off all the touts and taxi drivers soliciting passengers. Make your way through this crowd and across the drive to the taxi stand. Now its up to you to locate your taxi. You can ask the other drivers (clothed in khaki shirts and trousers) to help you locate the vehicle which usually is parked out of view right at the back of the line of cars. Drivers will offer to tow your luggage cart or help you put them in the dickey (trunk) but do it yourself to avoid missing luggage.
Chennai is also reachable by train from other Indian cities. The central station is the hub for all trains reaching Madras. There is another station called the Egmore station that is used for trains going to other parts of Tamil Nadu. There are daily trains from/to Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi and most other Indian cities. For train timings and on-line reservations (within India) visit the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation's (http://www.irctc.co.in) website. For Railway enquiries call 131 or 132
If you happen to arrive at the Central Station like at most Indian railway stations you'll have to hand over your journey tickets to the Ticket Collector waiting at the exit. You'll have a tough time warding off all the touts and taxi drivers soliciting passengers the moment your are out of the concourse. Make your way through this crowd and reach the 'pre-paid' autorickshaw / Taxi stand.
Chennai has one of Asia's largest bus stations, CMBT. Seven different state owned corporations ply buses to and from various destinations within South India. There are hourly buses for places like Tirupati, Pondicherry, Coimbatore. You will get the option of A/C or Non-A/C coaches for cities like Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad.
Several private players also operate buses between most southern destinations. During the weekends most buses are fully occupied and its better to reserve a ticket in advance. All buses terminate near Koyambedu but there are different stands for state owned(CMBT), and private buses (Omni bus terminus). Both these terminuses are near each other, and it is better to tell your exact destination to the taxi/autorickshaw driver. Buses usually drop passengers at various points in the city before reaching the terminus. So feel free to ask the driver or fellow passengers the closest drop-off point to your destination.
CMBT Enquiry : +91 44 2479 5547.
Private Bus operator info (http://www.inchennai.com/contents/travel/bus_omni.htm)
Chennai is very well connected and to other parts of India by road. Five major national highways radiate outward towards Calcutta, Bangalore, Trichy, Tiruvallur, and Pondicherry. With the progress of the Golden Quadrilateral project, driving down from Bangalore is actually an option, but take all necessary precautions for driving in India.
Getting around in Chennai is cheaper than most Indian cities.
- Suburban Trains (http://www.srailway.com/arr_dept/suburb/up1.htm) - There are three routes - Madras Central - Arakkonam, Madras Beach - Tambaram and Chengalpet, Madras Beach - Thiruvanmyur (There are plans to link this line to the Tambaram line)
- MTC (http://www.tn.gov.in/transport/MTCchennai.htm) (Metropolitan Transport Corporation) Buses - These Government run busses ply from nook and corner of the city. This is one of the cheapest transport in the city.
- Call Taxis - They run by the meter
- Bharati Call Taxi - 28142233
- Chennai Call Taxi - 25384455
- Fast Tack - 24732020
- Auto Rickshaws - Don't go by the meter (if they have one), the meter is rigged to show a higher fare (usually twice the normal fare). It's better to negotiate a rate with the driver beforehand. For example, it costs about 20Rs from Spencers to Amma Hotel on GN Chetty Road.
For other commonly used routes the charges are as follows:
- Railway station to Old woodlands hotel- 40 Rs
- Railway station to New woodlands hotel- 70 Rs
- Railway station to arumbakkam - 50 Rs
- Railway station to Mylapore - 60 Rs
- Stick to the price you quote. Do not pay anything extra at the end of the journey, auto-rickshaws also have a tendency to take you through bad roads to demand more money at the end of the trip. As a general rule, expect to pay about 8 Rs for every kilometer you travel. some auto-rickshaws will also try to tell you that you have to pay for the return trip. You don't have to pay for any return trips. stay confident while bargaining, autos will line up behind the one you are bargaining with to get the deal. The clincher is in walking away and looking back once, most times, the driver you were bargaining with will not want to lose the deal to the next driver in line. Also try and hail rickshaws from off the street (the empty ones that are moving in traffic). the ones that are parked in groups on road corners are unionised and will not allow other autos from elsewhere to deal with you. The slowly moving ones will deal with you efficiently and fast and in time to avoid being pushed around by the local unionised rickshaws.
- Tourist Cabs - Are the best choice in case you want to tour the city all day or visit nearby places like Mahabalipuram etc. Costs about 4.50 Rs per KM and 30 Rs per hour as hire charges. The minimum hire is for 5 hrs or 50 kms. i.e. (30*5) + running kms * 4.50 Rs. So if you travel say 50 kms then (50*4.5). So you would end up paying 150 + 225 = 375 Rs.
- Tiruvalluvar Travels - 24745807
- Sharmila Tours and travels - 28274177
- Hertz, Counter at the Petrol Bunk (Gas Filling station) next to Spencers Plaza
- ICF,INTEGRAL COACH FACTORY
- Perambur Locomotives
- Aavadi heavy Vehicles
- Ennore Port,and Ennore foundaries
- Manali Refinies,petrochemicals
- Fort St. George, built in 1653 by the English Company of the Eastern Indies (CAIO), houses the Secretariat and the legislative Parliament of Nadu Tamil. There is a museum presenting of the objects of the time of the domination of the CAIO, and a banquetting suite going back to 1802 where the portraits of the governors of the fort are hung. The fort comprises also the oldest church Anglican of India, the church of St Mary.
- Government Museum, on Pantheon Road, comprises an interesting archaeological collection and a room holding a significant and superb collection of Chola bronzes. The museum unfortunately suffers from insufficient maintenance.
- Santhome Cathedral basiclia,where the archdioscese of mylapore is present
- Marina Beach, the worlds 2nd longest beach
- Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane
- Ragavendhra Temple, Triplicane
- Kapaleshwara Temple, Mylapore
- Vinaayakar Temple Luz Corner, Mylapore
- Kaalikaambaal Temple,Parrys
- Luz Anjaneyaar Temple, Mylapore
- Mundakaneeyaman Temple, Mylapore
- Jain temple, Kutchery Road Mylapore
- Ananda Padmanabha Swaamy Temple, Adayar
- Ishtha Siddhi Vinayakar Temple, Adayar
- Annai Velankani Church, Besant Nagar
- Periaapaalayath Amman Temple, Adayar
- Thirupathi Gangai Amman Temple, Vannandurai
- Araalakeshi Temple, Besant Nagar (near RBI)
- Ashtalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar (Kalakshetra Colony)
- Varasidi vinayakar Temple, Besant Nagar (near bus terminus)
- Ratnagirishwarar Temple, Besant Nagar (near RBI)
- Sundara Vinayakar Temple, Adayar
- Aarupadaiveedu Temple, Besant Nagar (Kalakshetra Colony)
- Shiva Vishnu Temple, T.Nagar
- Qurasani mosque, Adayar (near new bus terminus)
- Thirumalai Thirupathi Devasthanam Temple, Venkatnarayana road, T.Nagar
- Sringeri Saradha Peetam Temple, Venkatnarayana Road, T.Nagar
- Shirdi Sai Temple, Mylapore Tank
- Puttaparthi Sairam Temple Sundaram, Chamiers Road
- Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar
- Madhya Kailash Temple, Taramani
- CSI Wesley Church, Royapettah
- Paul Dinakaran House of Prayer, Adayar
- Visvaroopa Baktha Anjaneyaar Temple, Ramnagar, Nanganallur (The idol is 32ft. in height)
- Guindy National Park
- St. Thomas Mount
- Connamera Museum, Pantheon Road, Egmore
- Valluvar Kotam, Nungambakkam
- Crocodile Bank (On the way to Mahabalipuram)
- MGM Resort (On the way to Mahabalipuram)
- VGP Golden Beach (On the way to Mahabalipuram)
- Maayajaal (On the way to Mahabalipuram)
- Dakshinachitra, Muthukadu (On the way to Mahabalipuram)
- Vadapalani Murugan Temple, Vadapalani
- CSI CHURCH HOUSE OF PRAYER, ADAYAR
- CSI CHURCH, NEAR GEMINI FLY OVER
- Chennai is the capital of Bharata Natyam. More dance forms are now encouraged and taught like the famous Kuchipudi(Traditional dance form from Andhra Pradesh), Mohini Attam, etc. Some other dances of indian rich cuture like odissi dance, manipuri dance, bangla dance, rajasthani dances, kollattam,folk from north india can be bought and taught in detail. If you are in Chennai during the months of December - January then you are in for a musical and dance extravaganza. During the Tamil month of Mazgazhi (December - January) there is a series of classical music concerts and classical dance performances in various parts of the city, but the best are organized in various Sabhas. You will see mostly older celebrities, although occasionally there will be some world-class young virtuosos, such as Medha Hari. The Concert calendar for 04-05 has just been published. Concerts are on at the following locations
- Brahma Gana Sabha, Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium, M.Ct.M School, 179, Luz Church Road, Chennai - 600004, Phone - 9282106425, 9841296684 (3rd december Art Festival), 3rd December 2004 - 2nd January 2005, Daily Rates Rs 50 to Rs 500
- Indian Institute of Music and Arts, R.K Swamy Auditorium, Shivaswamy Kalalaya, 5, Sundareswarar Street, Mylapore, Chennai - 600004, Phone - Not Available (Celebrations - Annual Music Festival), 19th December 2004 - 23rd December 2004, Daily Rates FREE
- Kartik Fine Arts, Narada Gana Sabha Hall, TTk Road, Chennai - 600018, Phone - 24997788, 24952695 (30th Year Art Festival), 2nd December 2004 - 1st January 2005, Free Admissions for 10am to 4 pm concerts. Concerts also at Kamaraj memorail Hall (14th December 2004), PSHS School (15th decemnber 2004 - 19th december 2004), Bharathia Vidya Bhavan Main Hall (16th December 2004 - 25th december 2005), Valliammal College for Women (26th december 2004 - 1st January 2005)
- 'Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, "Dr. Nalli Gana Vihar, 20. Maharajapuram Santhanam Road, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600017. Phone - 28140806 (The 49th Art and Dance Festival & Pongal Nagaswara Isai Vizha And the 24th Natya Kala Conference), 9th December 2004 - 16th January 2005, Daily Rates Rs 50 to Rs 500
- 'Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, vani Mahal, 103, GN Chetty Road, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600017. Phone - 28152166 (The 25th Isai Iyal Nataka Vizha), 9th December 2004 - 31st December 2004, Daily Rates : Call, Free Admissions for 10am to 4 pm concerts
- During summers it becomes hot and humid to venture out during the day. So go out for a stroll during the night (8-10pm) on the Marina beach and Besant Nagar Beach. It's a nice idea to pack dinner and have a picnic on the beach as most locals do. If you happen to drive a car you can also consider taking along a few foldable chairs.
- Stroll along the over crowded Pondy Bazaar and Ranganathan Street and try your skills in bargaining for stuff and knick-knacks.
- Hunt for rare books and maps in the many second-hand book stalls. Who knows, you might end up with a rare signed first ion.
- Alwar's roadside bookshop opp Kamadhenu theatre in mylapore.
- Bookfield, Opp. LIC building on Anna Salai (Mount Road)
- Vendors near the Central Station
- Vendors on Mount Road outside Devi Theatre and the GPO (General Post Office)
- D.P .Jain College-Thorapakkam
- Ethiraj College for women-Egmore
- Loyola College-sterling road
- Stella Maris College-Cathedral Road
- Pachayappas College
- Justice basheer ahamed college for women-teynampet
- Anna Adarsh College
- A.M Jain College-Meenambakkam
- Vivekanandha College-Mylapore
- W.C.C.College-College Road
- prince venkateshwara collegegowrivakam
- sivet collegegowrivaakam
- Madras Christian Collegetaambaram
- guru nanak collegevelacherry
- Meenakshi College for Women, Kodambakkam
- Queen Mary's College for Women
- Govt. Arts college, Nandanam
- Presidency College
Madras offers plenty of opportunities to learn Yoga, Bhartanatyam, Carnatic music and The Bhagavad Gita.
- Aurobindo Ashram
- Bharatia Vidya Bhavan
- Chinmaya Mission, #2, 13th avenue Harrington Road Chetpet, Chennai - 600031 Phones - 28265641, 28274046
- ISKCON (International Society For Krishna Consciousness), Hare Krishna Land Injambakkam, Chennai - 600041 Phones - 25019303, 25019147
21/5 Burkit Road, T. nagar, Chennai - 600017 Phones - 24343266, 24352332
- Kishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (http://www.kym.org), 31, 4th Cross Street, R.K. Nagar, Chennai - 600028 Phones - 24937998, 24933092, 24620202, 24620005 Fax - 2461334
- Krishnamurthi Foundation (http://www.kfionline.org), 124, 126 (Old #64/65) Greenways Road, Chennai - 600028 Phones - 24937803, 24937596 www.kfionline.org
- Theosophical Society
- sri ramana ashram thiruvannamalai.
There are a number of businesses in a large variety of industries.
Chennai offers a range of handicrafts, bronze ware, furniture, lamps, etc.
- Amethyst, Sundar Mahal, Padmavathi Road, Jeypore Colony, Gopalapuram Ph - 28203582 - Handicrafts
- Apparao Galleries, 7th Street, Wallace Garden Ph - 2827226 - Handicrafts
- Ashvita - Arts and Artifacts , 11, 2nd Street, Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, 600004 Ph:28476063.- Art, Design Jewellery, photo prints.
- Contemporary arts and crafts showroom, #41, CP Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet. Ph - 24997069, 24660159
- Crafts and Weaves, #1, 1st Main Road, CIT Colony, Mylapore Ph - 24660232 - Handicrafts
- Dakshinachitra, Muthukkadu - Handicrafts
- Giggles, Connemara Hotel Binny Road - General books from a friendly shop keeper
- Giri Stores, Adjacent to Kabaleeswarar Temple, Opposite to Radha Silk Emporium, Mylapore Tank - Hindu Spiritual Items like Rudraksha Garlands, Books, CDs & Tapes for chanting, incense sticks, camphor, lamps etc..
- Globus (http://www.globusindia.com),113/114, Sir Thyagaraya Road,T. Nagar - Lifestyle Store
- Heritage, The, A-7, Anna Nagar East, Ph - 2619409
- Hidesign (http://www.hidesign.com), Ispahani Centre, Nungambakkam High Road & Phase 3, Spencers Plaza - Leather Goods
- Hayagrivas, GN Chetty Road, Near Panagal Park - Sarees
- Higginbothams, Anna Salai - Books
- Jidoka Store, 1st Lane, Nungambakkam High Road Ph - 2822 3516, 2822 3317 - Handicrafts
- Jugalkishore jewellersCP Ramaswaamy Road Alwarpet
- Kalpadruma, Cathedral Road - Handicrafts
- Kennedys Book House, Anna Salai - Books
- Lakshmi Ethiraj Art Gallery, #70, 1st Main Road, CIT Nagar ph - 4359223
- Landmark, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road) - Books, Toys, CD's etc
- Landmark, Apex Plaza, Nungambakkam High Road - Books, Toys, CD's etc
- LifeStyle, Alwarpet Signal, TTK Road, Alwarpet - Lifestyle Store
- Manasthala, #12, Cenotaph Road Ph - 24332842 - Terracota Ware
- Music World, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road) - Music CD's, cassettes
- KKEV Creations (http://www.kkevcreations.com), Online Silk Sarees
- Nalli Silks, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
- Kumaran Silks, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
- Chennai Silks, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
- Pothys, Panagal Park
- RMKV Silks, Panagal Park - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
- GRT Thangamaaligai, South Usman Road T.Nagar
- Vairamaaligai, Mylapore Tank
- Swarnalaya Jewellery, Venkatnarayana Road, T.Nagar
- NAC -Nathella Anjaneyallu Jewellery, Mylapore Tank
- Keerthilal Kaalidas-diamond Merchants Gold and Silver, CP Ramaswamy Road Alwaarpet Chennai-20
- Bapalal Jewellers, Diamond Merchants,Kakani Towers Cathedral Road
- Planet M, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road) - Music CD's, cassettes
- Poppat Jamals, Opp. Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road) - Crockery
- Pot holes, Music College - Ceramics
- Raasi Art Gallery, #1, anna Avenue, Bakthavatsala nagar, Adayar Ph - 24410389
- Radha Silk Emporium (Rasi), #1, Sannadhi Street, Mylapore Ph - 24941906; #827, Dhun Building, Mount Road, Ph - 28520251; #23, 1st Main Road, Nanganallur, Ph - 22324176 - Silk Sarees, (also in anna Nagar, opp Ayappa temple) Ethnic Wear, Arts & Crafts
- Sapthaswara musicals, luz , mylapore, all musical instruments western indian classical music books hindustani instruments
- Shoppers Stop, KRM Centre, Spur Tank Road, Chetpet - Lifestyle Store
- Sixth Sense Gallerie, Heavitree, 23 Spur Tank road, Chetput - Artificial Flowers and Fragrance oils
- Shruthi Musicals, #10, Harleys Road, Kilpauk Ph - 26603630
- Sruthilayais, #93, Royapettah High Road, Mylapore Ph - 24994045 / 24982625 - Musical Instruments
- SSQ, #7, Wallace Garden Road, Nungambakkam
- Victoria Technical Institute, Anna Salai - Handicrafts
- Vimonisha Art Gallery, 12, Khadar Nawaz Khan Road - Handicrafts
- Vinyasa Art Gallery - Handicrafts
- WITCO , Usman Road,Pondy Bazaar,Mylapore,Adyar & Mount Road
In addition to these there are several exhibitions that happen at Das Community Hall (Cathedral Road), Shankara Hall (TTK Road) where artisans display there wares. Check the local newspapers for details and timings.
Chennai has restaurants offering various types of cuisine. Usually the bill amount includes a Service charge easily identified by 'S.C', this is the amount that goes to the waiters as tips! Though not all restaurants resort to this sort of billing. Leave a tip, only if it is not already included in the bill. Its better to tip moderately.
Beach coast restaurants are well maintained and serve great during evenings. Elliots beach near Adayar is place to stroll and find few celebrities.
- Aaavin, Near LIC, Anna Salai, Cuisine - Dairy (Flavoured milk, sweets etc).
- Cafe Coffee Day, Ispahani Centre, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Coffee.
- Cookie Man, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road). Cuisine - Cookies.
- Ganges, Kodambakkam High Road. Cuisine - South Indian.
- Java Green, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road). Cuisine - Coffee.
- Komalas, Kodambakkam High Road. Cuisine - South Indian Fast Food.
- Palimar, Parsn Complex, Anna Salai (Mount Road). Cuisine - South Indian.
- Aiwo, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Fusion.
- Amma, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar. Cuisine - Chettinadu (Region of South India).
- Anjappar, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Chettinadu (Region of South India), Ph - 26289344
- Anupama, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar. Cuisine - Andhra (State in Southern India).
- Barista, Khadar Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Coffee.
- Coastline, Radhakrishna Salai, Mylapore. Cuisine - Seafood, Ph - 28251128
- Dhaba Express, Cenotaph Road, Tenampet. Cuisine - North Indian, Ph - 24328213
- Dynasty, Harrisons Hotel, 315, Valluvarkottam High Road, Nungambakkam, Ph - 52222777, Cuisine - Chinese
- ECR Dhaba, On ECR Road, Next to Muttukadu Boat House, Muttukadu, Ph - 9840704050, Cuisine - Indian, Tandoor, Chinese
- Galloping Gooseberry, Greams Road, Cuisine - Fast Food
- Gyan Vaishnav, Mount Road, Near Anand Theatre. Cuisine - North Indian
- Kadalivanam (http://www.cholayilsanjeevanam.com/kadalivanam.html), Mogappair, 100% natural, fully vegetarian restaurant
- Karaikudi, VeeraRaghava Road, T. Nagar, Ph - 28151021. (also at Anna Nagar, Besant Nagar, Mylapore, Thiruvanmiyur) Cuisine - Chettinadu (Region of South India).
- Eden's, Besant Nagar,chennai.very good veg hotel and very good service.
- Kumarakom, Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Kerala (State in Southern India).
- Le Gourmet, Mowbrays Inn, TTK Road, Awarpet, Ph - 24982306
- Marry Brown, Ispahani Centre, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Fast Food.
- Murugans Idli Shop, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar. Cuisine - South Indian.
- Namma MTR, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar. Cuisine - South Indian.
- Noodle House, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road). Cuisine - Chinese.
- Pizza Corner, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Pizza & Pasta, Ph - 2687111
- Pizza Hut, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Pizza & Pasta.
- Poonamallee, Breeze Hotel, 850, Poonamallee High Road, Ph - 26413334/26430596, Cuisine - Multicusine
- Ponnusamy, Commander-in-Chief Road (opp Ethiraj College), Egmore. Cuisine - Chettinadu (Region of South India).
- Prime Roaster, Alwarpet Signal, Alwarpet. Cuisine - Continental.
- Rangis, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Chinese.
- Sri Krishna Sweets, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road). Cuisine - Indian Sweets & Salad Bar
- Subway, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road). Cuisine - Continental.
- Swati and Swayam, at Saravana Bhavan, Peters Road. Cuisine - South Indian.
- Akasaka, LB Road, behind jayanthi theatre, Thyruvanmyur. Cuisine - Japanese
- Japanese Chef, Own fishing boat, excellent sushi and sashimi
- Arirang, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Korean.
- Cafe Mercara, Chola Sheraton, Cathedral Road, Ph - 28110101, Cuisine - Multicuisine *Cappuccino, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet, Ph - 24994101, Cuisine - Multicuisine +
- Cedars, #29, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Kotturpuram, Ph - 55855111/24475073, Cuisine - Merranean
- Cilantro, Le Royal Meridien, #1, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount, Ph - 22314343, Cuisine - Chinese
- Citrus, Savera Hotel, Radhakrishna Salai, Ph - , Cuisine - Thai, Merranean
- Dakshin, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet, Ph - 24994101, Cuisine - South Indian
- Rose wood furniture, antique tanjore paintings, bronze idols, fresh water lilies and flower garlands create a festive mood. Live Carnatic Music. Excellent food - Starters include traditional fare like Kuli Paniyaram. Try the Idi Appam or Appam and Mutton Stew. Finish off with a Kulfi.
- Don Pepes, Cathedral Road, Gopalapuram. Cuisine - Mexican, Ph - 28221461
- Kayal, Le Royal Meridien, #1, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount, Ph - 22314343, Cuisine - Sea Food
- Mainland China, Tulip Inn, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Chinese
- Movenpick, Khadar Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam. Cuisine - Coffee, Icecreams.
- Navaratna, Le Royal Meridien, #1, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount, Ph - 22314343, Cuisine - Indian
- Peshwari, Chola Sheraton, Cathedral Road, Ph - 28110101, Cuisine - North Indian, Afghani
- Shanghai Club, Chola Sheraton, Cathedral Road, Ph - 28110101, Cuisine - Chinese
- Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Ph - 55002827, Cuisine - South Indian
- Tandoor, Aruna Hotel, 145 Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Ph - 28262626/2828366, Cuisine - Gourmet dining,
- The Great Kabab Factory, Radisson GRT Hotel, #531, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount, Ph - 22310101, Cuisine - Indian (Mughalai)
- The Patio, Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Ph - 55002827, Cuisine - Gourmet dining
- The Residency, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet, Ph - 24994101, Cuisine -
- Vijays, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet, Ph - 24994101, Cuisine - Multicuisine Sports Cafe
- The Westminister, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet, Ph - 24994101,
Chennai has a fair share of stores selling organic food.
- Future Food - Soya, dals and coffee powder, Ph - 24404937
- Ahumkaara - Five seed mix, buckwheat, fresh aloe vera and whet grass, Ph - 26611818
- Enfield Agrobase - Mangoes, dried bananas, cashew and coconut, Ph - 24420605
- Naturagros - Aloe vera tooth paste and soap, organic fruit juice concentrate, vegetables, greens, Ph - 55850122
- Naturally Auroville - Kombucha (a beverage made by fermenting tea and sugar using the yeast kombucha), Spaghetti, ragi, spirulina and bread Ph - 38330517
- Sunday Shandy - Weekly fair of organic vegetables, milk and other farm produce, direct from the farm. Every Sunday 9AM to 12PM Ph - 24991203
- The Eco Nut - sesame butter and homemade jams, Ph - 24919592
- Organic milk - Murali, New 177, Old 77 Luz Church Road, Ph - 24991203
The liquor trade in Chennai and rest of Tamilnadu is now run by the government. Most liquor shops have been taken over by the government. However bars and pubs in the city's major hotels are managed by the hotels.
- Cellar, Mowbrays Inn, TTK Road, Alwarpet, Ph - 24982306
- Bike and Barrel, Residency Towers, T.Nagar.
- Champagne & Cider, Grand Orient, Anna Salai (Mount Road).
- Crystal, Hotel Ranjit, Nungambakkam High road, Nungambakkam.
- Grammy, Hotel Sabhari, Thirumala Pillai Road, T.Nagar, Ph -
- HFO, (Hell Freezes Over), Hotel Quality inn Aruna, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, (Closed since 2000)
- Hudson, Harrisons Hotel, 315, Valluvarkottam High Road, Nungambakkam, Ph - 52222777
- Has two levels. Hudson Upper and H2O. Cramped seating providing very little privacy. The Liquor stable is limited to the local brands and a bottle or two of Scotch.
- Society, Hotel Ambassador Pallava, Montieth road, Egmore, Ph - 28554476
- Geoffreys, Radha Park Inn, Arumbakkam.
- Zara, Savera Hotel, Cathedral Road.
- Dublin, Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet, Ph - 24994101
- Durrants Bar, Chola Sheraton, Cathedral Road, Ph - 28110101
- Leather Bar, Park The, Nungambakkam High Road
- The largest liquor stable in Madras - includes hard to source Moet & Chandon, Glenfiddich and a variety of other scotch. Loud Music.
- Dasaprakash, Poonamalle High Road
- Kanchi, C-in-C Road, Egmore
- Little known, but an excellent place to stay is the Old Woodlands hotel in Royapettah. The hotel building is atleast a 100 years old and stands in the middle of sprawling grounds. The building has some connections to the old nawab of Arcot. Very old world!! The auto-rickshaws / taxis will not tell you about the place as the hotel does not pay a commission to middlemen. Pay no more than 40 rupees to get there from the railway station. You can also call up +91 44 2848 2150, +91 44 2848 2152 for a booking. This is different from the New Woodlands Hotel (http://www.newwoodlands.com/index.htm), which is crowded and a tad busy. There is a nice quiet art gallery and cafe nearby, the ashvitha cafe. Recommended for those wanting to slow down, and soak in the pace of life in Madras. Theaters and shopping arcades are close by.
- Elements Hostel (http://www.elementshostel.com) is a new place which has come up right in the heart of the city. It has both domitory style beds and suite's. . A very colourful, comfortable and clean place. Address: 26A , Wallace Garden . 3rd Street ,Chennai - 600034, Tamil Nadu. India
Phone : +91 44 5214 2552( India)
Calling From UK :02070783946 or 08000968832 (toll free)
Calling From US, Canada:646 536 3472 or 888 694 9257 (toll free)
- Dakshin, Venkatnarayana Road, Near Nandanam Signal, T.Nagar
- Dee-Cee Manor, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar
- GRT Grand Days
- Grand Orient, Anna Salai (Near Anand Theatre)
- Harrisons, 315, Valluvarkottam High Road, Nungambakkam, Ph - 52222777
The old harrisons was brought down to give place to a swank new building.
- Mowbrays Inn, TTK Road, Alwarpet
- New Woodlands, Radhakrishna Salai, Mylapore
- New Victoria, Kenneth Lane, Egmore
- Peninsula, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar
- President, Radhakrishna Salai, Mylapore
- Ranjit, Nungambakkam High Road,
- Residency, GN Chetty Road, T.Nagar
- Residency Towers, Boag Road, T.Nagar
The closest hotels to the airport are The Trident, Le Royal Meridian and Raddison GRT Hotel all five star properties.
- Ambassador Pallava, Montieth road, Egmore, Ph - 28554476 - reasonable value and friendly staff.
- ITC Chola Sheraton, Cathedral Road, Ph - 28110101, Poes Garden
- Le Royal Meridian, #1, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount, Ph - 22314343(Near Kathipara Junction)
- Raddison GRT Hotel, Radisson GRT Hotel, #531, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount, Ph - 22310101 (Near Kathipara Junction)
- ITC Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Chamiers Road, Alwarpet, Ph - 24994101,
- Savera, Radhakrishna Salai, Mylapore - dirtier than it could be.
- Taj Connamera, C-in-C Road, Behind Spencers Plaza
- Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Ph - 55002827
- Trident, The, GST Road
BSNL (http://www.chennai.bsnl.co.in/) and Airtel (http://www.touchtelindia.com/) (formerly Touchtel) are the two main providers of terrestrial telephone lines in Madras. You can make long distance calls from one of the many booths that display NSD/ISD i.e. National Subscriber Dialling (National Long Distance) and International Subscriber Dialling (International Long Distance). Rates are cheaper during the nights: sometimes one-half of what its costs during the day.
Cell phone rates are one of the cheapest in the world. There are three service providers AirTel, Hutch and AirCel (RPG has been taken over by AirCel). Starter packs and top-up cards can be picked up from numerous outlets. Note that top-up cards generally only work within the home network: you can't use a Bangalore Airtel top-up card in Madras, for example. Reliance and Indicomm, providers of WLL (Wireless in local loop) will soon be full fledged Cell phone Service Providers.
There are several internet cafes from where you can access the internet for sending email or uploading your digital photos.
- Reliance WebWorld, incorporating JavaGreen coffee shops, Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road); TTK Road, Alwarpet
- Dishnet DSL (http://ddsl.net), Above Murugans Super Market, Off GN Chetty Road, Tel - 28260190
- Open between 9am - 10:30pm
- 9am - 1pm -> 90 min - 30Rs, 45 min - 15Rs
- 1pm - 10:30pm -> 60 min - 30Rs, 30 min - 15Rs
- Sify iway (http://www.iway.com), Several of them in the city
While in Chennai it is advisable to drink only bottled water. There are several brands that you can choose from: Aquafina (Pepsi), Kinley (Coca Cola), Bisleri , Hello . It's advisable to avoid non-international brands and brands that you don't recognise.
Chennai summers are humid and sultry; it's better to step out with an umbrella, bottled water and some oral rehydration salts (available from pharmacies, the brand name is Electral). These come in handy if you happen to get dehydrated.
- Apollo Hospitals, Greams Lane, Off Greams Road, Nungambakkam Tel - 28293333
- Aysha Hospital, Tel - 26426930
- Balaji Hospital, Tel - 22345282
- Bone and Joint, Anna Nagar, Tel - 26212137/1026
- Child's Trust Hospital, Nungambakkam, Tel - 28277487
- CSI Rainy Hospital, Royapuram, Tel - 25951329
- Hindu Mission Hospital, Tambaram, Tel - 22262244
- Isabel Hospitals, oliver road, mylapore,
- Madras Medical Mission, Moggapair
- Malar Hospitals, Adyar
- RIGID Hospital
- Shankar Nethralaya (Eye Hospital),
- Sundaram Medical Foundation, Anna Nagar, Tel - 26268844
- Vijaya Hospital,Vadapalani
- Ramachandra Hospital,Porur
- General Hospital,Opposite to Central Station
- Stanley Medical Hospital
- Balaji Dental Hospital,Velachery
- Kalyan Hospital,Adayar
- Kalyani Hospital,triplicane
- Govt Hospital,Royapettah
- KMC College & Hospital,
- MIOT Hospital
- Devaki Hospitals,Opposite to Rangachari cloth store mylapore
- Madras ENT Research Foundation & Hospital,R.K.Salai,Mylapore Chennai
- Padmapriya Hospital,Adayar
- Shivasunder Hospital,Adayar
- Apollo Pharmacy, , GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar
- Health & Glow, Spencers Plaza (Phase 3), Mount Road
- Health & Glow, , Nungambakkam High Road
- ABN Amro, Opp Residency Hotel, GN Chetty Road*'
- HSBC, Adyar
- American Express, Near Anand Theatre, Anna Salai (Mount Road)
- Citibank, Opp Spencers Plaza, Anna Salai (Mount Road);Opp Hotel Parthan, GN Chetty Road
- HDFC Bank, ITC Centre, Anna Salai (Mount Road); Opp Residency Hotel, GN Chetty Road
- ICICI Bank All Over Madras
- Standard Chartered Bank, Haddows Road
- State Bank of India, All over Madras
- Corporation Bank, All over Madras
- American Express, Spencers Plaza, Anna salai
- Thomas Cook, Spencers Plaza, Anna salai
Beauty parlors & hair salons
- Ayush, Anna Nagar (Ph - 26223102/26223446/26203862), Kilpauk (Ph - 52179635/26472298), Mylapore (Ph - 52067071/30907691) - Therapy includes Abhyangam, Abhyangam with Pichu, Abhyangam with local Pizhichil, Abhyangam with Thalam, Udvartanam, Abhyangam with Nasyam, Abhyangam with local Navarakizhi, Muka Lepam
- Anushka,6,Thyagaraya Road,Pondy Bazaar, T.Nagar, Ph- 52179197
8,48th street ,Ashok nagar ,ph-24891818
- Black and White, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar
- Blue diamond, Near guhan studio, Sardar patel Road Adayar Chennai - 600020
- Bounce, Ishpahani centre, Gemini, Nungambakkam
- Chinese Beauty Parlour, gokul arcade basement,adayar
- Green Trends, 1576, 13th Main Road, Anna Nagar (ph - 26161534); Ashok Nagar (Ph - 52193636); Adyar (Ph - 24451759); Purusawakkam (Ph - 52174414); Taylors Road, Kilpauk (Ph - 26453331); T. Nagar (Ph - 28143886); Velachery (Ph - 22445590); Virugambakkam (Ph - 55511973) - Exotic natural treatments like Strawberry facial, Avocado Butter Massage Facial, Red Banana Facial, Baby-Corn under eye treatment! etc etc
- Green Trends, 13th Main Road, Anna Nagar
- Jazzy, North Boag Road, T. Nagar
- Lakme, Adayar (Ph - 24469730), Alwarpet (Ph - 24662481), Anna Nagar (Ph - 26268841), Ashok Nagar (Ph - 23750207), Kilpauk (Ph - 52179634), Nungambakkam (Ph - 28333050), T. Nagar (Ph - 28155577)
- Limelight, Off Greams Road
- Mahesh, Parsn Complex, Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam
- Molly Ann, Gandhinagar, 4th Main Road, Adayar
- Salon Nayana, GN Chetty Road, T. Nagar, Ph - 28256064
- slim line gym,kutchery road, mylapore,branches adayar
- Maverick gym,Indira Nagar 1st main road, Adayar
- madams corner,sastri nagar 1st main road, adayar
- Talwalkars,Near Khader Nawaz Road, Nungambakkam
- Talwalkars,23rd Cross Street, Indira Nagar, Adyar
- O2,Kader Nawaz Road, Nungambakkam
- Prime Fit Gym, Nungambakkam
- Clean Living, Opp Hotel Palmgrove, Kodambakkam High Road
- Clean Living, Near Ega Theatre, Poonamalle High Road
- Mr. Pronto's, Spencers Plaza (Phase 3), Mount Road
Post & telegraphs
The telegraph office on Anna Salai (Mount Road), near higginbothoms accepts letters and parcels upto 8pm with a small late fee. Snail Mail in India is by a Post Card (25Ps), Inland Letter (5Rs) or Envelope (5Rs). The 'Speed Post' facility allows you to send your mail with the convinience compared to that of a courier service.
'Telephone Booths' or public telephones in India are available on almost every street usually painted with the letters local calls, STD (Subscriber Trunk Dialling) and ISD (International Subscriber Dialling). All these booths have electronic metering and you pay what's displayed on the meter. You'll also get a receipt if you insist on one.
Libraries & Cultural Centres
- Alliance Francais - College Road, Nungambakkam, Phone - 2827 9803/1477
- British Council Division - Anna Salai, Phone - 52050600 Ext 350/351
- Connemera Library - Pantheon Road, Egmore, Phone 28193751
- Max Mueller Bhavan - Khadar Nawaz Khan Rd., Nungambakkam
- American Consulate (http://chennai.usconsulate.gov) - 220, Anna Salai (Near Gemini Flyover)
- British Deputy High Commission - 20, Anderson Road, Nungambakkam
- German Consulate - Commander-in-Chief Road (Ethiraj Salai), Egmore
- Malaysian Embassy - Off TTK Road, Alwarpet, Behind Park Sheraton