Formerly known as Madris, Chennai is the gateway to the South Indian Peninsular and it is the country's fourth largest city. Developed as an important commercial hub under British colonial rule, the city was born out of a collection of fishing villages and it is still divided into these districts today. Boasting pleasant beaches and bustling markets, there is plenty to attract visitors to Chennai. Despite being best known as a popular transit city for reaching the ancient temples and quiet beaches of southern India, Chennai has its own unique attractions to offer on an Indian travel adventure.
Monsoon season drenches the city of Chennai between June and August with rain common right up until November. The winter months, November to February can be considered the most favourable times to visit when temperatures are warm but not stifling.
Chennai International Airport is situated eight miles to the south west of the city. Flight time from London is in the region of 11 hours with flights typically including one layover. The airport has a train station that is part of the city's Suburban Railway Network although taxis are recommended for easy transportation. The journey by road takes around 30 minutes. Cheap flights to Chennai make it a popular option for those wishing to explore India's southern region so compare flight prices today using our search tool (above).
Before you head off to the ancient temples and beaches further south, stick around to enjoy some of Chennai's historic buildings and neighbourhoods. Fort Saint George was built by the British in the 1600s and it was one of the first seeds of empire to be sown in India. Now the seat of Tamil Nadu's government, visitors can still explore the grounds of this historic complex and St Mary's Church on the south side along with the museum.
Fruit vendors line the streets of the historic district of George Town where several buildings and sites of interest can be found, including a 38m high lighthouse! Meanwhile walking along the marina and relaxing on Marina Beach is a good way to get to the heart of local life.
Combine sightseeing and the beach in Chennai
Visit the tree-lined avenues and marvel at the carvings at the Kapaleeswarar Temple
Valluvar Kottam is a memorial to famous Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar
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