|About Chennai||Travelling in Chennai||Getting to IMSc||Suburban trains|
Located at 13.04 deg North and 80.74 deg East, Chennai, (formerly Madras) is a comparatively new city. The erstwhile villages of Mylapore, Triplicane, Ezhumbur (Egmore) etc. all now a part of Chennai, have a recorded historical past centuries older than Chennai. Chennai, the present gateway to the South of India, is itself, however, only about 350 years old. The city is spread out as a westward semicircle of radius 15-20 kilometres, with the Bay of Bengal on the east. The population of the urban area is over 65 lakhs (6.5 million).
"Madrassis are zealous guardians of Tamil culture which they regard as inherently superior to the hybridized cultures further north. They have, for instance, been among the most vociferous opponents of Hindi being made the national language, and Chennai is the film center of Tamil Nadu - even the State Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, is an ex-movie star."
Lonely Planet Travel Guide to India
Particularly charming features of Chennai are its allegiance to ancient traditions, no matter how modernised it has become, and its willingness to spread out further rather than develop into a multi-storey concrete jungle. The result is a widespread city still open to skies; a green, airy city with several vestiges of its rural past; a city that adheres to the leisurely tempo of life of a world of yesterday; a city whose values of another day still survive midst of the humdrum bustle of today; a city that still retains the charm, culture and courtesies of the ages.
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There are several taxi companies where you can call and get a taxi. At peak times, there may be a delay in despatching a vehicle so it is best to call and fix up your taxi at least half an hour in advance. These taxis run by meter. The meters are accurate and reliable. The rate is a flat Rs 30 for the first 2 kilometers and Rs 9 for each additional kilometer. There is a 25% night surcharge between 11 pm and 5 am.
Here are the phone numbers of some of the more popular taxi companies.
For a more complete list, visit the call taxi page at Chennai Online.
The other type of taxi is the three-wheeled autorickshaw, which you flag down on the street. One autorickshaw can accommodate upto three passengers. Autorickshaw drivers are notorious for haggling. Meters are unreliable and it is best to settle for a flat rate when you get in. Of course, for this you need to have some idea of what the rate is ...
The easiest way is to take a pre-paid taxi from Madras airport. The taxi fare is to be paid inside the airport. IMSc is located in the CIT Campus (sometimes called the CPT Campus) in Taramani. This is not very well-known, so when you pay at the counter, you should say that you have to go near Tidel Park, a big software complex that everyone knows.
If the driver needs some more directions, this is what you need to tell him: From the airport, go to Raj Bhavan, drive past IIT towards Adyar, and at the Madhya Kailash Temple traffic light, turn right on to the Old Mahabalipuram Road (sometimes referred to as Taramani Road). Drive down this road, towards Tidel Park, for 1.2 km and then turn right at Women's Polytechnic (WPT) bus stand, just after the Indira Nagar railway station. IMSc is three buildings down this road on the left while the Hostel/Guest House Complex is facing it on the right. The total distance from IMSc to the airport is about 15 km.
At the exit from Platform 11 to the car park, there is a booth where you can pick up a call taxi.
There is also a pre-paid autorickshaw service. Look for a booth near the front of the station.
Tell the driver you need to go near Tidel Park.
The route the taxi or autorickshaw is most likely to take is to come south of the station onto the Beach Road and drive straight down along the Marina beach, past the Light house, across the Adyar bridge to Adyar signal. From here, proceed towards IIT and turn left onto the Old Mahabalipuram Road (sometimes referred to as Taramani Road). At corner where you turn left, there is a railway station called Kasturba Nagar and a temple called Madhya Kailash. section. The distance along this route is a little over 16km.
After turning left, drive down about 1.2 km towards Tidel Park. Turn right at Women's Polytechnic (WPT) bus stand, just after the Indira Nagar railway station. IMSc is three buildings down this road on the left while the Hostel/Guest House Complex is facing it on the right. The total distance from IMSc to the airport is about 15 km.
The bus service 1 cut (1 with a slash across) takes you from the Central railway station to Adyar bus depot (and beyond). It leaves from the parking lot in front of the station and has a fixed schedule. The buses have have extra space for luggage, cushioned seats etc. The ticket costs Rs. 11 from Central to Adyar Bus Depot, inclusive of luggage. From Adyar Bus Depot, you have to walk about 15 minutes to reach IMSc. The earliest 1 cut bus to Central starts from the Depot at 4:45 a.m. After which there are buses to Central at 5:15 a.m., 6:30 a.m. going on until 8:45 p.m. The buses from Central are 30-45 minutes after these times.
Suburban trains: If you are lucky, you can take the newly commissioned suburban train service from Park Town station to Indira Nagar. The service is infrequent and only on weekdays (Monday to Friday). The station for IMSc is Indira Nagar, one station before the final stop Tiruvanmiyur. IMSc is a few minutes' walk from Indira Nagar station. The journey from Park Town to Indira Nagar takes a little more than 20 minutes. Here is the train schedule.