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Chennai (Madras) tours and excursions

Chennai (Madras) tours

Bus 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.

Foodie tours

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.

Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

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.

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Featured Hotels


The Park Chennai

Converted from the old Gemini Film Studios, this 5-star deluxe property offers sleek modern design with a spattering of movie magic. Original film posters fill the stylish lobby and the movie theme extends to the rooms and hallways. Rooms are modern and stylish, with wood flooring, frosted glass and sumptuous fabrics. There is also a rooftop pool and stress-banishing spa, plus several bars and restaurants.

Hilton Chennai

Smart and modern, the Hilton is conveniently located close to Marina Beach, as well as shopping districts and tourist attractions like Guindy National Park, the old town of Mylapore, San Thome Basilica and the Government Museum. The hotel offers fantastic value, with smart, well-appointed rooms, an infinity pool on the 10th floor and five restaurants and bars.

Pleasant Stay Guest House

This comfortable guesthouse offers homey suites and self-contained apartments in an attractive modern building close to the airport and St Thomas Mount. The owners have an arrangement with several local restaurants and can have vegetarian and non- vegetarian meals delivered to your room. Add in excellent service and friendly owners and you have a great package.

Hanu Reddy Residences

For a relaxing change of pace, the Hanu Reddy Residences are a selection of rooms and apartments set in tastefully decorated apartment buildings in the upmarket districts of Wallace Garden and Poes Garden. Rooms have TVs, Wi-Fi and air-con and the properties are set in attractive green compounds with good eating options nearby.

ITC Grand Chola Hotel

Vast and opulent, the Grand Chola lives up to its ostentatious name, with 522 rooms and 78 luxurious serviced apartments in a veritable palace with lush grounds in the heart of Chennai. The décor evokes the wealth and luxury of the Chola Dynasty, the greatest maritime power to rise in South Asia, with carved columns, curving stairways, granite statuary and vast open spaces.

Vivanta by Taj Connemara

There are several lavish Taj properties in Chennai, but Vivanta by Taj Connemara is the closest the city has to a proper heritage hotel. Set in an art deco mansion, the hotel was founded in 1854 but remodelled extensively during the colonial period. Rooms are calm and sophisticated, the dining options are top notch and there's a gorgeous palm-shaded pool.