The Leela Palace Chennai gardens

Chennai

Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the largest city in the southern part of India and the fourth largest in India, it is also the state capital of Tamil Nadu. The city has its eastern boundary with the Bay of Bengal which stretches for about 17km thereby making Marina, the second largest seashore in the world.
Among Chennai’s greatest assets are its people, known worldwide for their hospitality. Despite being a major hub to the south, it’s well worth a stay with several museums, temples and coffee shops to explore. Chennai is particularly well known for its tasty idly dosa and filter coffee breakfasts.  End your day with a sunset saunter along the famous Marina Beach.

A new layer of cosmopolitan glamour has recently shaped the city, with a spate of luxury hotel openings, international restaurants and a smattering of swanky bars and clubs open well into the night.

Chennai has a strong artistic side, well known for its dance and music performances and recently has been included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Index.   There are several main sites including the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, possibly Chennai’s most impressive.  The Government Museum housed in the splendid Pantheon Complex is home to a resplendent array of Chola Bronzes.  Fort St George established by the British in 1653 and San Thome Cathedral founded by the Portuguese in 1523 both highlight the cities colonial past.

The city of today has an intriguing history and the early prosperity was closely tied to its geographical location and man-made harbor, attracting seafarers, merchants and spice traders throughout the ages from all over the world.  The Portuguese arrived in 1522, closely followed by the Dutch and in the 17th century unhappy with the rising price of spices the British East India company established an outpost a few kilometers north of the Tamil port of Mylapore, building Fort St George.  Despite several thwarted attempts by the French to overthrow the British, in the 19th Century it became the seat of Madras presidency one of the four divisions of the British Imperial India and has remained an important gateway into India ever since.

Guide To Chennai

Itineraries in Chennai

Tamil Nadu & The Andaman Islands – Temple Towns & Barefoot Beaches

Puducherry, Mahabalipuram, Chennai, Havelock Island, Kolkata

Hotels in Chennai

On the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Adyar river is the magnificent Leela Palace, Chennai’s first and only seafront city hotel. Drawn from the inspiration of the Chettinad Dynasty, the architecture of the Palace Hotel exudes the regal and opulent style. The ITC Grand Chola is another feat in Indian architecture and despite is size offers an intimate lavish stay, with some of the best restaurants in town.

Taj Coromandel, on the other hand is one of Chennai’s best known landmarks, and presents a rich fusion of South Indian design and classic elegance.

If you want the heritage touch why not stay at the Vivanta by Taj – Connemara, Chennai’s only heritage hotel. Initially sporting the Art Deco look when it opened in 1937, today the hotel is infused with the spirited style of Vivanta by Taj giving it a fresh new vibe without dampening its tradition.

And if you want to escape to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city head to Vivanta by Taj Fishermans Cove, built on the ramparts of an Old Dutch fort, a charming beach resort that's almost one with the Bay of Bengal.

ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Outside view of the ITC Grand Chola and gardens

Taj Coromandel, Chennai, Tamil nadu

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The Leela Palace, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

The Leela Palace Chennai gardens

Trident, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Trident Chennai seating area

Vivanta By Taj Connemara, Chennai

Vivanta By Taj Fisherman’s Cove, Chennai

Sea view at Vivanta by Taj, Fisherman's Cove
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