We got the 6am train from Bangalore to Chennai. The journey took 5 hours (and was very punctual) and we crossed the Indian countryside heading to the southeast of the country.
Straight away we could tell that Chennai was much busier than Bangalore and more what you’d expect in India. After dropping our bags in the hotel, we headed to Annalakshmi, a really nice restaurant serving yummy curries – and it’s also a charitable organisation (lunch for three for 1700 rupees).
We then headed to Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar, an impressive temple where we could watch different ceremonies and blessings (free to enter, but we were charged a fee to leave our shoes outside – which was definitely not how it’s supposed to work).
After that, we walked to Sri Ramakrishna Math, which has two other temples – these were much simpler, but we could get inside the temple to watch a ritual, which was interesting.
After a break at the hotel, we went to Tuscana Pizzeria for a nice (if not very Indian) dinner (1700 rupees) before heading back to the hotel.
HOW TO DO IT:
- Stay: We stayed at Taz Kamar Inn, which was very nice and centrally located close to the shops.
- Go: We ended up cutting our trip to Chennai a bit short as we didn’t really see the appeal of the city. It’s known for being a great place for shopping (particularly for sarees), but that wasn’t really for us. It was also the first place we visited where we got a bit more hassle, and taxis and tuk-tuk drivers were blatantly ripping us off.