ABOUT CHENNAI

History

Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is known as the gateway to south India. Despite being an important city for manufacturing, healthcare, and IT, Chennai has managed to retain a spaciousness that's lacking in other major Indian cities. It's a sprawling and busy, yet conservative, city with deep traditions and culture that are yet to give way to the growing foreign influence there. The largest of the four metropolitan cities in India, Chennai is a vibrant gateway to the south Indian culture. Chennai is known for the infectious exuberance of its Tamil-speaking people and its wonderful cosmopolitan way of life. Also known as the Detroit of Asia - the auto hub of India - Chennai displays a mix of cultural heritage blended in by the Portuguese, Dutch, French and the British.

Chennai was originally a cluster of small villages until English merchants of the British East India Company selected it as the site for a factory and trading port in 1639. The British developed it as a major urban center and naval base, and by the 20th Century, the city had become an administration hub. In recent years, Chennai has achieved booming industrial growth across a range of sectors, encouraged by the city's favorable infrastructure and availability of space.

Location

Chennai is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, on the eastern coast of India.

Timezone

Chennai uses UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) +5.5 hours. Chennai does not have Daylight Saving Time.

Population

Chennai has a population of about 9 million people, making it India's fifth largest city after Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore.

Climate and Weather

Chennai has a tropical climate, but being on the coastline, it is humid through the year. With mainly two seasons in a year, Chennai can get hot in summers; however, monsoons & winters starting from October bring respite. The best time to visit Chennai is from October to December.

Airport Information

Chennai International Airport is very conveniently located only 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of the city center. It's well connected in terms of transport. Distance from our Venue i.e. The Leele Palace Chennai to Airport is approximately 15 kms / 35 minutes.

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Transport

Three-wheeled auto rickshaws offer the easiest way of getting around but unfortunately, fares are relatively expensive and rarely charged as per the meter. The taxis in Chennai are known as "call taxis". These are private cabs that need to be phoned in advance and cannot be hailed from the street. It's a

good idea to hire one of these taxis to go sightseeing, as attractions are very spread out. Buses are cheap and cover most of the city. There's the local train service as well. Nearest Railway Station (Chennai Central Railway Station) from the Venue i.e. The Leela Palace Chennai is approximately 13 kms / 25 minutes

You may also opt for Ola & Uber Taxis/ Autos which are available on your Mobile Phone Apps. At Chennai, your pickup location depends on your terminal and your ride option. Please download the OLA & Uber apps from your Playstore / Appstore and book your ride as soon as you land at the Chennai International Airport (MAA)\

Sight Seeing

Places to visit in and around Chennai are many. Pick from a colonial fort, its beaches, churches and temples, water sports and amusement parks, shopping centres and street markets, fine-dining and luxury hotels.

Among the tourist places in Chennai, Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is a must-visit. Head to the 6th century Hindu temple for Lord Shiva at Mylapore, the early 19th century Thousand Lights Mosque or the 16th century Roman Catholic Church at Santhome. Fort St. George, the first British fortress in India, promises an assortment of stories - real and fictional - for the history buff.

There are wonderful places to visit when you're near Chennai. The tourist circuit of Chennai, Mamallapuram and Kanchipuram is often referred to as Tamil Nadu's Golden Triangle.

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Cuisine

Chennai has the best of southern cuisines at its restaurants - luxury or otherwise. Breakfast items like soft idlis and crisp dosas fly off the stoves on the streets while a traditional meal served on banana leaves tempt your taste buds. Lunch comprises the staple, rice. If you love a spicy twist, dig into Chettinad food. Nungambakkam, T Nagar and Alwarpet host many famed eateries.