There was a time when Chennai was simply a throughway to the south. Now, thanks to a steady rise in the number of cultural, shopping and dining hot spots – as well as a thriving arts and dance scene – Chennai is an exciting destination in its own right.
A lot of people still know Chennai as Madras (its former name during colonial times). India’s fourth largest city is also one of its fastest growing. It's a cosmopolitan place that's welcoming to visitors, which means that you can find your way around easily, whether you're visiting Fort St George, built by the British in 1644, or watching a Tamil film in one of the many cinemas. And while there are some laws in place to curb late night socialising, various nightlife venues are popping up for those who want to unwind after dark.
And, while it’s not India’s most well known beach destination, Chennai is actually home to some of the largest and loveliest expanses of sandy coastline in the country. The fact that this isn’t common knowledge means you're likely to feel a lot more peace and quiet as you sunbathe by the sea and plot how else you can enjoy this stunning corner of the country.
When you’re not soaking up the sun, visit Chennai’s many cultural attractions. It’s one of the best places to experience the unique Tamil culture of the region, particularly the love affair with dance and the arts.