Travel and Local Information
Chennai is a metropolis in the South of India, capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. It enjoys the mildest weather (20 to 30° C) during the months of December and January. The skies are usually clear, except when there is a storm brewing! The humidity is around 60%. Look here for more details.
Chennai boasts of a number of beaches, the largest one being the Marina Beach. The other attractions in the city are various old temples, notable being the Kapalishvara temple and the Parthasarathy temple, both of which date to the 8th century.here for see more tourist attractions in and around Chennai.
Events in Chennai
Chennai plays host to the annual Madras Music festival, featuring Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam performances during December and January. You can find concert schedules, and other news on the music scene in Chennai in Kutcheribuzz and Madras Music Season 2012-2013. Music academy hosts Dance Festival 2013 which will give a glimpse of various dance styles from India.
January 14 is Pongal, the harvest festival, and perhaps the most ancient festival of Tamil Nadu. There will be lot of events around that. It is also celebrated as Makara Sankranti, the beginning of the sun's movement northward for a six-month period.
The Chennai Open tennis championship is happening at Nungambakkam from December 31 to January 6. It features many of the top Indian players, including Mahesh Bhupathi, as well as international stars like Daniel Nestor and Janko Tipsarevic, Tomas Berdych.
DakshinaChitra is a center for art, folk performing art, craft and architecture of South India. It holds many theme-based events throughout the year. January 2–31 sees the Margazhi Chennai Village Festival at DakshinaChitra, with Village Mela being the theme.
Cholamandalam Artist Village is a great tourist destination for people who love paintings. They have two galleries of paintings and sculptures. On Sunday mornings, you could meet the painters and sculptors, see them working, and do some painting yourself.
The Chennai book fair, is an annual event organized by BAPASI. It is massive in scale, and features a lot of English publishing houses as well as Tamil publishers, and is definitely worth checking out. This year it happens from January 11 to January 23 at YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandnam, Chennai.
Eating out in Chennai
When it comes to food, there are more options in Chennai: from traditional South Indian cuisine to international cuisine. Finding appropriate restaurant for ones taste and budget might be difficult, and to help visitors here we provide some links and suggest some restaurants around IMSc.
Here is a list of restaurants worth trying out and please also check out Chennai Best for (almost) all the restaurants in Chennai. Eating out guide for Chennai gives the personal experience of Professor Rahul Basu. This link is not updated for some time, still it is worth looking to find a suitable place for dining. Here are the links for more restaurants around Besant Nagar and Adyar.
For street food, desserts, cafes check out Gangotree and Shakes and Creams near Adyar signal(Adyar Flyover), The soups and salad cafe in Indira Nagar, High on Caffeine on LB Road in Adyar. While, Jelly-belly and Fruit Shop on Greams Road are in Besant Nagar.
Local Transport in Chennai
Chennai has a plenty of local buses which connect every corner of the city. It might be very crowded and might not be pleasant to use during the peak hours. But fortunately IMSc and the hotels suggested by us are near some suburban train stations. So it is convenient to take the train to visit some parts of the city. While there is a train once in ten minutes during the peak hours, during the middle of the day (about 10:30 am to 3:30 pm) there could be a gap of 20 minutes between successive trains. It is useful to consult the timetables for week days service and Sunday service.
There is a lot of information on the web about Chennai. Try this site, for instance.