ABOUT CHENNAIElegantly placed on the shores of Coromandel Coast, Chennai boasts of a rich heritage, which is elaborately intertwined with the culture, traditions and living style of the people through generations. One of the prettiest metropolitan cities in India, Chennai perfectly mixes the elegance of past with the vibrancy of modernism. This contemporary city is often referred as the Gateway to the South India. Chennai was formerly called as Madras; It is also known as the "Cultural Capital of South India” and was declared as the most livable city in India by the Institute of Competitiveness on account of economic, social, security and medical conditions as parameters.
AVAR 2013 - Chennai Tour Options - 7th December 2013
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Large shops and department stores generally operate seven days a week, from around 10:00 AM to 09:00 PM. Snacks, drinks, stationary, and all other things can be bought any time of the day. 24 hours convenience stores can be found in select places. Banks are open from 09:00 AM to 03:30PM, Monday to Friday. Post offices generally operate 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM only on weekdays. Temples, museums and other tourist attractions are open from 09:00 AM - 09:00 PM. Temples and shrines do not have regular worshipping hours. So visits can be made any day of the week.
The currency of India is known as 'Rupee' and it is widely accepted in Chennai. There are a number of banks, travel agencies, and money exchangers that will solve your purpose of acquiring local currency. Besides liquid cash, you can also use other mediums for carrying out your transactions; like credit cards, traveler cheques etc. Cards that are widely accepted in Chennai are American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard (Debit Master Cards, Maestro) and Visa (Visa Debit and Visa Electron). Though these mediums are convenient, they have their own limitations. They can only be used at established places and Merchant establishments. ATMs are present at every 200m distance and are active 24 hours a day. ATMs nearby ITC GRAND CHOLA are :
- ICICI ATM
Race Course Rd, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- CITIBANK ATM
Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Balaji Nagar, Ekkatuthangal,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- SBI ATM
Velachery Main Rd, Guindy,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- CANARA BANK ATM
Jayaram St, Nandanam,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- LAKSHMI VILAS ATM
Sardar Patel Rd, Guindy,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- VIJAYA BANK ATM
Door No.1/3, Velachery Road, Little Mount, Saidapet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
CLIMATE AND CLOTHING[+]
BEST TIME TO VISIT CHENNAI
NOVEMBER TO FEBRUARY
Comfortable climate with cool breeze and moderate humidity.
Cotton would be the most preferred fabric to wear in the city. The lighter shaded your clothes are, the better it is.
Do not forget to carry an umbrella as there maybe unexpected showers.
Do not burden yourself with heavy woolen clothes.
Tamil culture is renowned for its warm and generous people. Daily routine starts with putting kolams on the courtyard and performing religious rites. Among the various festivals, Pongal is celebrated with great fervor in Chennai. MattuPongal is the most colourful event of all the fiestas. Aptly called as the cultural capital of South India, Chennai represents the richness of classical and traditional art forms. A flourishing center of the traditional dance forms, Chennai presents a perfect ambiance for the toddlers in this field to flourish.
Though Tamil enjoys the status of being the prime language in the city and the mother tongue, popularly articulated by the citizens of the city, however, people belonging to different regions have brought their native languages with them. Other spoken languages here are English and Hindi. Some useful websites which would help communicating in tamil are given below:
Post and courier offices are located in every neighbourhood making the service very easy to use. Chennai GPO (General post office) operates from 08:00 AM to 08:30 PM from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, the GPO functions from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM. Facilities such as speed post, registered post, parcel, insurance, e-billing, and e-posting are also available. Chennai GPO has a 24-hour telegraph office. The nearest Post Office is
- Guindy Post Office
GST Road, Guindy Industrial Estate, Guindy, Chennai- 600032,
Tamil NaduLandmark: In Avin Milk Booth
The following are some of the international and domestic courier services at Chennai:
India uses 220-240volts, 50 Hz alternating current as the power source. Plugs and sockets have either grounded/earthed 3 pin connections or ungrounded 2 pin connections. The three pin plug is rated at 6A / 250V. It has three round pins in a triangular pattern. The earth terminal is slightly larger than the live and neutral terminals. For Higher current, there is a 15 Amp version of the same 3 Pin plug, usually called the Power Plug or the M Plug. Typically, refrigerators, heaters and other high power devices are connected to this 15 Amp socket. Will a standard European electric plug (2 round pins) fit into a power point in India? Yes. To insert the 2 pin plug into a 3 Pin socket which in some cases may be closed by default, push a pen into the Ground/Earth terminal. This opens up the protected 2 Pin terminals and you can insert the 2 Pin plug. Will a standard American electric plug fit into a power point in India?No. But any electrical store will sell you an adapter (picture below) for around Rs. 200 aprox or less.
All water, and even ice, should be considered contaminated; and only properly-sealed bottled water should be considered potable. Both fish and meats should also be considered suspect, unless thoroughly cooked and served hot in one of the better restaurants. If you contract something minor like an upset stomach, a pharmacy such as Health and Glow can give you what you need. Pharmacies can be found on nearly every street, don't hesitate to ask your hotel for a little help retrieving the medicine you need. For serious problems, there are adequate hospitals right in Chennai that should be able to cure any of the locally common diseases.
Take complete information about the places you will be visiting. Do not forget to carry all your personal identity proofs.
Indian Standard Time is the time observed throughout India and Sri Lanka, with a time offset of UTC+05:30. India does not observe Daylight Saving Time or other seasonal adjustments.
ARRIVING AT CHENNAI
AIRPORT TO CITY NETWORK[+]
The Chennai international and domestic airports are located about 15 Kilometers from the city and the traveler has easy access to the city. Pre-Paid auto rickshaws and cabs are available from the airport. Both the terminals have many booths set up and various private taxi companies run shuttle services from the airport to the city. They charge approximately Rs. 450 to the city for a Taxi. Airport Taxis available at the airport are cheaper and most of them are air conditioned.
MOVING AROUND CHENNAI[+]
Taxi Services available at Chennai airport are as follows : Chennai Airport Prepaid Taxi Service Tariff: AC- Rs.400, Non-AC – Rs.300 Fast track prepaid services Tariff: AC- Rs.450 Along with the above, AVAR provides subsidized rates
AVAR help desk at the airportTariff: AC- Rs.350
SIGHTSEEING AND FOOD
PLACES TO VISIT[+]
One of the best things about Chennai is its lengthy 12 kilometer (eight mile) stretch of Marina Beach. The Kapaleswar Temple and Sri Parthasarathy Temple are captivating examples of South Indian Hindu temples. Fort Saint George, the building housing the museum, is one of the oldest surviving buildings built within the fort. The building was completed in 1795 and served as the location for Madras Bank. The museum building has a history of its own. Mahabalipuram is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.
When it comes to hospitality and traditional food, Chennai beats many of the cities easily. Do not forget to taste the rich Tamilian filtered coffee. SOUTH INDIAN CUISINE: Hotel Saravana BhavanShanthi Theatre, 44, Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600026 Murugan Idli ShopRamanathan St, CIT Nagar, Thiyagaraya Nagar Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017 CHINESE CUISINE: Golden DragonTaj Coromandel Hotel, Nungambakkam High Rd, Nungambakkam, Chennai,Tamil Nadu 600026. Mainland ChinaPhoenix Market City 142, Velachery Main Rd, Velachery Chennai,Tamil Nadu 600042. NORTH INDIAN CUISINE: The Great Kabab FactoryRadisson Grt Hotel, 531, Grand Southern Trunk Road, St Thomas Mount, Chennai,Tamil Nadu 600016. Khansama15, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600034 Copper ChimneyPhoenix Market City, 142, Velachery Main Rd, Periyar Nagar, Velachery,Tamil Nadu 600042. GREEK CUISINE: KRYPTOSKhader Nawaz Khan Rd, Thousand Lights West, Thousand Lights, Chennai,Tamil Nadu 600034. THAI CUISINE: BenjarongNo 537/146, T T K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai,Tamil Nadu, 600018 LotusThe Park Hotel, 601, Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600034 EUROPEAN CUISINE: The ResidencySheraton Park Hotel and Towers, 132, T.T.K. Road, Alwarpet, Chennai,Tamil Nadu 600018 MainstreetThe Residency Towers, North Boag Road, Thiyagaraya Nagar, Chennai,Tamil Nadu 600017
Chennai, being one of the metropolitan cities of India and important commercial destinations in South India, has a lot to offer to the tourists who come here. So, if you are a shopaholic then you don't need to worry at all, for there is a lot in store for you in the lanes of this ethnic city.Poompuhar Handicrafts : It was with the view to preserve and foster these art forms that Poompuhar, the handicrafts development corporation of the Government of Tamil Nadu was formed. It is a repository of the best handicrafts from the stateAddress: 108, Anna Salai Mt Rd, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600002 Express Avenue : South India's second largest mall, is designed keeping in mind the 'shopper-tainment' concept and this green building developed on 11 acres of land has many architecture splendor and has been designed by ace designer - Mohit Gujral.Address: Whites road, Royapettah, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 600014
http://www.expressavenue.in/PHOENIX MARKETCITY CHENNAI : Phoenix Market City Chennai is one of the biggest malls in the city with its contemporary design and it is revolutionizing the retail & entertainment experience in the city. It is strategically located in Velachery and spreads over 1 million square feet.Address: 142, Velachery Main Road, Velachery, Chennai 600042.
http://phoenixmarketcitychennai.com/Radha Silks : Radha emporium understand the aspirations of a new generation exposed to global influences and have on offer the very latest in fashion and accessoriesAddress: No. 827/B, Dhun Building, Mount Road, Chennai-600002.
Nalli Silks : Nalli, synonymous with Silk, was established in the year 1928 and has been a leader in the textile and retail business for over 80 years. An icon of South India, Nalli has become synonymous with silk or kanchipuram sarees.Address: #100, Usman Road, T. Nagar, Chennai -600017
Hotel, airport and train station porters should be tipped approximately Rs.20/bag. In restaurants, if the service is good, tip anything between approx 5-10 % of the bill. Depending on the category of the hotel, and the bill amount. It’s not mandatory; you may not leave a tip if you don't want to.