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About Chennai

Chennai (formerly known as Madras), is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest metropolis in India. Modern Chennai grew out of a small fishing village called Madraspatnam, when the East India Company chose the location for a new settlement way back in 1639.

Quick Facts

Area: 426 sq km

Population: 8.2 mn

Altitude: Sea Level

Language: Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, English



From Asia Pacific

If you are visiting from Asia Pacific locations, there are daily flights from South East Asia, North Asia and Australasia via key Asian gateways - Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand and Australian capital cities. The airline choices include Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways.

From Europe

If you are visiting from Europe, there are daily non-stop flights from London, Paris and Frankfurt. The airline choices include Air India, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Delta.

From North America

If you are visiting from North America, there are daily flights from all major US cities to Chennai via Europe or Asia Pacific.


Average temperature in Chennai in Celsius.

  • Jan to Mar
  • Apr to June
  • July to Sep
  • Oct to Dec
  • 30-40°c
  • 35-45°c
  • 25-35°c
  • 20-26°c

There are many distinct languages and dialects in India. However, in Chennai, English and Tamil are widely spoken. Road signs and directions are posted in both languages.


The national currency is the rupee. It is divided into 100 paisas. Traveller's cheques are easy to cash and there are ATMs throughout the city. Please see for currency exchange rates.


Visas are required. For business visas, enquiries should be directed to the nearest Indian embassy or consulate.


Chennai has several modern general and specialist hospitals. Reasonable precautions should be taken against hepatitis-A, malaria, cholera and typhoid. Drinking boiled or bottled water is often an adequate precaution against water-borne illnesses. You should consult your doctor and arrange travel insurance prior to departure.


Mobile telephones use the GSM standard and global roaming is active.


Electricity is 230 volts/ 50 cycles.


India is plus five-and-a-half hours Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Please see