Once a tiny fishing village, Chennai (formerly Madras) is now a lively metropolis and the state capital of Tamil Nadu. It is situated along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal and deemed the “Musical and Cultural Capital of India.” The Westin Chennai Velachery is strategically located on Velachery Road, close to major commercial areas including Guindy and OMR. Chennai Madras (Meenambakkam) International Airport (MAA) is less than 9 kilometres away.
Catch a glimpse of Chennai’s rich history at Fort St. George, India’s oldest surviving British construction that was erected in 1640, and St. Mary’s Church. Find serenity at the exemplary 7th-century Kapaleeshwarar Temple, typifying Dravidian architecture. Peruse the treasure trove of artefacts at the Government Museum Chennai. Its 46 galleries display everything from art, archeology, and anthropology to botany, zoology and geology. Inside the Birla Planetarium, visitors can watch a spectacular show featuring the cosmic world and astronomical mysteries on a computerised projector; interactive exhibits are also worth seeing. Created by the Chennai Crafts Foundation, Dakshinachitra showcases different Southern Indian lifestyles and traditional arts and crafts. Just 60 kilometres away, the historical seaside destination Mamallapuram is also intriguing. Kanchipuram, located 75 kilometres from the city, is known for its exquisite temple architecture, stunning saris, and fine local exports.
Recharge with some enriching and elevating entertainment with Chennai’s highly regarded classical dance shows, music, and arts. January visitors should attend the annual Chennai Sangamam arts festival showcasing myriad forms of Tamil Nadu arts. Hundreds of artists also perform here during the six-week Madras Music Season held each December and January. Dubbed Kollywood (after Kodambakkam) and producing over 150 films per year, Chennai is also a leader in the Tamil movie industry. After a full day, re-energise your body and savour some of Chennai’s authentic South Indian cuisine and famed filter coffee.