Chennai International Airport is also known as Madras International Airport. It is located at Tirisulam, 7 km south of Chennai. The airport is India’s 3rd busiest after Delhi and Mumbai and has 2 terminals. The Kamaraj terminal handles all domestic flights that connect to all major Indian cities and the Anna Terminal, which is the international terminal that connects to major cities in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and the Middle East.
What to See and Do
Chennai is the capital city of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a coastal city that looks out on the Bay of Bengal. The city was formally known as Madras and is the cultural hub of Tamil Nadu. Tamil is the official language of the state. The city was founded by the British in 1639 and had a somewhat turbulent time as the French wrestled for control of the city and the rich state of Tamil Nadu.
There are several notable temples and shrines in Chennai. The Kapaleeshwar Temple is probably the city’s most famous temple and most reconcilable landmarks. It has a long history with lots of stories attached to it. Inside the temple many colourful depictions of a pantheon of Hindu deities are on display.
For a relaxing evening, escape to Escape by SPI Cinemas – the city’s new multiplex -- for the latest Tamil movie – and lose yourself in the song and dance sequences that accompany all Indian blockbusters. So you've seen the city, its temples its shrines, its cinemas and its museums, why not check out its crocodile bank? Originally set up as a conservation centre, it is now quite a popular spot for weekenders. The centre offers everything from hand feeding to education about this fascinating species of reptile.
The cheapest way to get to the city from the airport is by taking the suburban train, although it may be impractical depending on your intended destination, so please check if your hotel is close to one of the stops. There are prepaid taxi booths outside the arrivals gates at booth terminals, although the pricing system is different depending on the terminal, as the taxis at the domestic arrival gates tend to be cheaper. Always remember to haggle for the best price and try to ignore any taxi drivers demanding your business. A good firm ‘no’ should send most away.
Chennai is known for its heavy traffic congestion, but things should get easier in the coming years with a metro system underway. There is also a one-way system in place for most of the city. Taxis and auto rickshaws may seem a little bit more expensive than other places in India.
The Suburban train network is not the most convenient system in the world, as it only consists of 4 lines; Western Line, North Line, South Line and MRTS Line, but it is a handy connection to the airport, the Zoo and the Beach.
Auto-rickshaw drivers in Chennai are known scam artists, so always decide on a reasonable price before boarding and don't be fooled by them when it’s time to depart and they’ve raised the price, stick to the intial price and wish them a good day.
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