The Indian city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is a major industrial center and the capital of Tamil Nadu. The city was established by the British in the 17th century and functioned as a large urban center and naval base. By the 20th century, Chennai gained more significance and has become India's fifth largest city.
A traditionally conservative city, Chennai has blossomed in the last decade into a burgeoning cosmopolitan metropolis, brimming with gleaming malls, chic restaurants, and buzzing bars and clubs. If you’re looking for a lively place to hang out on a rainy day, Chennai’s also scattered with cinemas.
Look between Chennai’s bustling metropolitan streets and you’ll discover golden beaches perfect for building sandcastles, a selection of wildlife-filled nature reserves and parks, and some fun kid-friendly entertainment spots. Plus when you’re feeling peckish, you can hunt out some tempting child-friendly eateries, too.
From ancient temples to colonial relics, Chennai’s brimming with architectural gems. Alongside the traditional Tamil style – think colourful Carnatic dance and music recitals – there’s a growing cosmopolitan breeze drifting over this beachside city, with swanky boutiques and glitzy restaurants popping up amid the religious sites, cultural institutes, and historic architecture.
Despite being one of India's largest cities, Chennai enjoys a slower pace of life compared to others. However, there are plenty of entertainment outlets for both locals and visitors alike.
Chennai is Tamil Nadu's dining capital. The city has an excellent selection of both Indian and international restaurants. The restaurants along the waterfront have unrivalled ambience, are the best maintained and serve the most authentic cuisine.
Due to the vast array of different cultures residing in the city, Chennai is a cosmopolitan city. It is also one of India's safest cities in terms of crime but like all big cities it has its fair share of pickpockets.
Chennai is gradually emerging as one of India's top shopping destinations. The city offers immense variety, ranging from glitzy malls to busy bazaars.
Aside from an exhaustive list of religious sites, Chennai's tourist appeal is rather limited. Most of the city's colonial buildings have been converted into offices, and the traditional Tamil territories of Triplicane and Mylapore are overpopulated and somewhat intimidating for visitors.
As India’s 4th largest metropolis, Chennai’s an undeniably bustling city of tooting, honking, and chattering, but amid the urban chaos there’s a hint of cosmopolitan glam thanks to glitzy bars, luxury hotels, and swanky malls. In Chennai you can enjoy gloriously golden sandy beaches, a cooling sea breeze, and a delectable dining scene.
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