"CHENNAI ( MADRAS)- GATEWAY OF SOUTH INDIA." Top 5 Page for this destination Chennai (Madras) by goutammitra

Chennai (Madras) Travel Guide: 455 reviews and 931 photos

Chennai : The Cultural Capital of India!!

Tamilnadu( A rich Cultural Heritage)

The history of the Tamils presents an exciting pageant of a powerful civilization whose origin dates back to ancient times. It is clear that the Tamils, who belong to the Dravidian race, were the first major occupants of the country and settled in the North-Western part of India long before the coming of the indo-Aryans. Excavations have revealed that the features of the people of Indus Valley Civilization bore a strong resemblance to this race. However, with the advent of the Aryans, the Dravidians were pushed back into the Deep South where they ultimately settled. As is the case with most of the early history of the state, it is impossible to pin-point the exact period, when the great Tamil Sangam (Academy) flourished, though it can be said with some certainty that two Sangams were held before the Christian Era and the third between 100 and 250 A.D. The Tamil Sangam, which marks the Golden age of Tamil literature, is the one major source of knowledge about the administration, art, architecture, and economic conditions that existed then. Among some of the greatest compositions of the four centuries of Sangam age are Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukkural which consists 1330 couplets about morality in private life and public life combined with some of life’s greatest truths, compositions of the saint-poetess Avvaiyar, Pathupatu or ten Idyls which is a compilation of the work of several authors on philosophy, intermingled with descriptions of natural world and Ettuthogai or the eight anthologies. Of these, the last historically the most important as it contains a description of daily life of the people. This collection of poems is the earliest record record of its kind as far as the history of the Tamils is concerned. Even after the end of Sangam age, Tamil writers, under the patronage of the Royal Dynasties, continued to produce excellent literatures.

Chennai: (Madras)

Chennai (Madras) is the capital of Tamilnadu, besides being an important district. The first Grant of Damarly Venkatpathy Nayak makes mention of the village of Madraspatnam. Both Venkatapathy and his brother Ayyappa desired that the name Chennapatnam should be given to the new Fort and settlement of the English after their father Chennapa Nayak. The district city is one of the metropolises of India and serves as the gateway of the culture of South India. Inspite of being the capital of a Tamil speaking state, it has emerged as a Cosmopolitan city playing an important role in the historical, cultural and intellectual development of India, representing still the distinct components of the highest form of Dravidian civilizations. In addition, it holds out an interesting fare of South Indian architecture, Music, Dance, Drama, Sculpture, and other arts and crafts.

Modern Chennai and Polite People.

Chennai is undoubtedly the cultural capital of India. This city used to be thought as one of the backward cities of India but this is now emerging as rapidly expanding cities of India, which is equally modern yet it has that orthodox values.
In my view the people of South India is more educated, polite, down to earth than rest of India. It has emerged as one of the great learning centres of India with it's modern collages, medical collages, engineering collages it offers very good education to Indian youth. Many boys and girls from East India travel to South India for education in Engineering, Medicine, Computer Science etc.

Not only this, besides being centre of education it also offers the best medical hospitals in the country. The hospitals of South India has earned the reputation of offering honest treatment to the people with care and value for money. Now many European coutries and US are also sending their patients to the hospitals of South India. The CMC Vellore ( Christian Medical collage) and Apollo Group of Hospitals are perfect examples of this. They are getting many patients from Middle East, South East Asia, Europe and America.

As is everywhere, no city can be always perfect, the general South Indian is very helpful, well educated, very respectful to women, speak English, and do not flaunt his wealth. It is always associated with an Indian traveller to visit South India at least once in his life time.

Many people complain about food there but it is due to ignorance. It is perceived that in South India you get only Dosa, Idli, Rasam, Sambhar and Rice. How untrue! We never had any problem ther as far as food is concerned. We had the best Dosa in Chennai and Pondicherry. There are two types of food you get mostly in South Udupi and Chettinadu. Udupi food is mostly vegetarian and Chettinadu is mostly Non-Vegetarian. It is spicy full of aroma and almost like North India. In our ten days stay there we had Chettinadu food almost everyday! We had the best Chettinadu food there!( more on Restaurant tip)


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  • Last visit to Chennai (Madras): Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated Jun 17, 2009
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Reviews (17)

Comments (16)

  • asiantraveler's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2012 at 1:29 AM


  • mehulraj's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    great warning tips of chennai.even my frn opted for tamilnadu tourism.there are lot of place i will put some in future.Meet u someday if u plan tour of south india.i think its missing in ur pages

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    Thank you for your tips! I will be in Chennai this week.

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    have heard a lot about Madras. you have decent tips on this page. i liked them a lot. your tip about food is great. :-)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2009 at 11:58 PM

    Madras sounds like a great place to visit, indeed...bit scared of snakes though, hehehe...

  • Aug 15, 2009 at 3:54 AM

    Great and a lot of information !!! Lovely picture from KAPILESHWAR !

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2009 at 9:55 AM

    Beautiful page with stunning scenery. Your tips are most helpful!

  • abi_maha's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    My dad studied at ramakrishna :D Nice page ji..

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    Good page on Chennai, Goutam. I have seen a documentry about Romulus Whittaker, and the snake farm. Interesting that there is also a Ramakrishna Mission here. Is it as good as the one in Kolkata??

  • bike_packer's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2006 at 8:27 PM

    incredible artwork on the building sculpture/designs here. wish to see the place soon. hope Rakhi is fast recovering. our prayers for her! God Bless!!! -boyet and mayet.


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