Chennai is one of those cities that should be on everyone's travel bucket list. From week-long festivities and beach retreats to temples and mouth-watering food, the automobile city of India or "the Detroit of India" - as it's so aptly nicknamed - has everything for a perfect weekend getaway. Nativeplanet rounds up the ten best reasons why you should visit Chennai at least once in your lifetime.
Chennai is synonymous with South Indian cuisine. A pleasant way to spend a weekend is to stroll around the food streets. Being a tropical and coastal city, Chennai boasts a unique climate, which powers an array of exotic spices and fruits from soil to platter. And many who think Chennai is all about Idlis and Dosas, it has got more to offer than that. Well! It was ranked second in National Geographic's list of "Top 10 Food Cities" in the world. So, if you are a foodie, visit any random street in Chennai to taste the best dishes, it has to offer.
No trip to Chennai is complete without an experience of a Tamil-motion picture or Kollywood movie in a local theatre. The Tamil movie scene is unique; there's no denying that. However, the reasons why they are so inspiring and alluring is something that cannot be explained in mere words; you have to watch it. From its rich movie history to its ease of appealing the masses around the world, Kollywood has a world of facets to it. It is one of the first filmmaking industries to produce mass movies in India and God - status to heroes like, Rajanikanth, Kamal Hassan, Ajay and Vijay.
Chennai proudly holds the title as the city that hosts most festivals in India, which means it also has the most extensive street festivities. Over two weeks around Ganesha festival and Pongal, the town comes to a standstill as tens and thousands of people swarm the streets to dance, socialize and let go. Expect days, when kids, adults, and women, as people of all ages step into the streets to unite and light up the city.
4. Marina Beach
Marina Beach made a name for itself back in the 1880s when it was the stop-off point for most of the highly influential representatives of the British empire. They enjoyed a refreshing time and lounged the evening away at the stunning Marina Beach. Nowadays, it is a tourist hotspot and a thriving scene of activity, from celebrities to sunbathers, to beach vendors and small, beachside food stalls.
Since Chennai is the fourth largest metropolitan city in India, it hosts millions of people from across India. Therefore, it is natural to see people in Chennai to party and celebrate more than usual. Moreover, Chennai have nightclubs that are both abundant and lively. Since the 2000s, Chennai has undergone a massive transformation from working capital of Tamil Nadu to every clubber's destination of choice. Moreover, many eateries are open for late nights in Chennai, making it possible for residents and tourists to grab and enjoy some midnight snacks.
Besides, all the reasons mentioned above; many stunning heritage temples complete Chennai, making it a charming city like no other. With archaic Temples and sites dating back to 15 AD, tourists can expect a rich spiritual tour around marvellous architectures. These temples not only allure devotees and religious enthusiasts but also history buffs from across the world. Mystical and mesmerizing as it is, these heritage temples also have some fascinating mythological stories to tell.
7. National parks
While Chennai is a great place to enjoy nightlife and food, one can also explore nature at its best. It has an excellent set of natural parks, and most are them located in the outskirts of Chennai, but a visit to these national parks is worthwhile. These national parks offer safari too. So, if you like spotting wild animals, trekking and simple natural bounties, Chennai is the place to be.
8. Tourists Attractions
From archaic to contemporary architectures and natural bounties to important heritage sites, Chennai has umpteen number of places to inspire and entertain tourists. Places to visit in Chennai include Marina Beach, Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Mahabalipuram, Birla Planetarium, San Thome Church, Birla Planetarium Kapaleeshwar Temple, Fort St. George, Thousand Lights Mosque, Connemara Public Library, Guindy National park, ancient and divine temples of Gods and Goddesses and this metropolitan city welcomes people from all walks of life, religion, caste, creed and age with arms wide open. The Tourists attractions in Chennai never stops with a small list.
9. Amma Canteens
Late J Jayalalithaa initiated Amma Canteens in 2013 as a food subsidisation programme, to aid economically disabled section of the society. It has become a huge hit ever since and ensured nobody in Chennai sleeps hungry. These outlets offer food starting from Re. 1 to Re. 5. They serve Idli, sambar; curry leaves rice and curd rice. This initiative has been applauded across the country, and many cities in India have started implementing this idea to empower people
In today's world, Weddings are all about making personal statements and breaking free from age-old traditions. However, in Chennai, a wedding is very traditional. From vivid colours, vigour, joy, laughter and customary cuisines, weddings have their own beautiful significance in Chennai. In the end, it is the tradition that makes a wedding, a beautiful and memorable event, and Chennaiains know the importance of their culture and roots.