Chennai (Madras) tours and excursions
Chennai (Madras) tours
Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) offers a wide range of tours, including a five-hour Chennai sightseeing tour visiting Fort St George, the Government Museum, Valluvarkottam and Kapaleeswarar Temple. TTDC also runs day trips to Mamallapuram and Kanchipuram.Tel: +91 44 2533 3444.
A tour around the spices and ingredients of South India, Chennai Magic takes foodies to a local's home where they can learn to make a fried starter with chutney, a main meal consisting of parota (bread), korma (a chicken or vegetable curry dish), a rice dish and accompaniments, plus a dessert. Walking and car tours are also available.Tel: +91 98677 07414.
Chennai (Madras) excursions
About 80km (50 miles) southwest of Chennai, Kanchipuram is one of Hinduism's seven most sacred cities, and it has been a pilgrimage destination for centuries. Its historic temples cover a staggering range of South Indian architectural styles, built over more than 2000 years. The Ekambaresvara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is famed for its exquisitely carved Thousand Pillar Hall (although it has fewer than 1,000 pillars today). Kanchipuram is also famous for its weavers.
50km (31miles) south of Chennai, Mamallapuram is world renowned for its carved granite temples, created by the Pallava kings in the 7th century. Spread out along the beach is the Shore Temple, a masterpiece of ancient stone architecture, and Arjuna's Penance, one of the largest bas-reliefs in the world. The temples are UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the town is still a famous centre for stone carving – artisans can still heard chipping away all over the city.