Chennai is the 4th largest city in India and is neither ancient nor picturesque, then what makes it hit the 11th position in the top 25 destinations in India? Likewise Bangalore and Hyderabad, this city is thriving. It was the first city to have witnessed the British settlement in India and was established in 1639 by the East India Company on Chennaipatnam, the site of a fishing village. It is formerly known as Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu and today, is a packed, extensive, lively industrial metropolis and a manufacturing hub of India.
Occasionally referred to as the “Detroit of the South,” dotted with numerous IT companies, Chennai is a place to be in if you want to experience the distinct contrast of a booming metropolis against the calm beaches of Chennai; all in one city. Unless you visit Chennai on business, the city itself is marginally appealing. The ideal blend of Portuguese churches, British-era monuments, Hindu temples, and 21st-century buildings are barely striking to the locals. But, as a tourist, you may find the city fascinating enough, especially for those who wish to enjoy in its urban beaches that may just hold much of your attention.
Chennai forms the ideal base from where you can plan excursions to Kanchipuram, a city of a “thousand temples.” This is a day-excursion from Chennai and the en route trip to the beach resorts near Mamallapuram which is also a World Heritage Site, lies just 2 hours south of the city. You can also visit pleasant Pondicherry which is only a 3-hour drive, making Chennai one of the apt destination of choice to stay and enjoy excursions to nearby places of interests.