Regarded as the gateway to South India, Chennai is a bustling metropolitan city with many accolades under its tropical belt. Nicknamed as the ‘health capital of India,’ the city has been ranked as the ‘hottest city’—worth visiting and for long-term living by the BBC, and the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet. Chennai’s predecessor—Madras, has had heavy Portuguese influence, and served as an important naval base and administrative centre for the British. The city is an exciting mix of arts, religion, food, cinema, sports, and politics; making it a culture-rich place.
Head to the Government Museum in which the Bronze Gallery houses ancient South Indian bronze artworks dating back as far as the 7th century. The Kapaleeshwarar Temple is Chennai’s most famous. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is built with pillared mandalas and a rainbow-coloured gopuram. The tall Saint Thom Cathedral is another popular sight-seeing destination among tourists. Founded in 1523 by the Portuguese, the Roman Catholic Cathedral was later rebuilt by the British in Neo-Gothic architectural style. Witnessing Chennai’s bustling populace is best done at the Marina Beach. This is the city’s favourite spot to enjoy the cool breeze during evening walks on an otherwise balmy day. Chennai’s identity for being a culinary paradise is popular not just in India, but around the world as well, especially after National Geographic ranked its food as the second best in the world. Chennai is also a delightful shopping destination, mainly for the much adored Kancheevaram silk sari that is crafted in nearby Kanchipuram. This fabric famed for the unique method of weaving applied during its creation makes for a perfect gift for lovers of the sartorial art.
Explore this historic city that has transformed into a large metropolis, with Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts and Safaris