A street bazaar in Chennai
Chennai is a cultural hub and thriving metropolitan city, which is situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu and is widely acknowledged as the epicentre of Tamil culture and heritage in India.
The city’s booming economy has given rise to a variety of industries ranging from textiles to hardware manufacturing and today its stands as one of the largest commercial centres in South India. From 25 October, Mihin Lanka is offering three weekly direct flights from Colombo to Chennai every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, which connect more passengers to this vibrant city in South India.
Home to a rich culture and heritage: Chennai is famous for its rich cultural and historical heritage, the city has been a place where artists have been able to thrive and offers travellers a glimpse into age-old arts including classical dance, music, sculpture and crafts. Travellers can visit a Bharatanatyam dance school during their stay and learn this unique and traditional dance form which is often featured in Bollywood and Tamil films.
The city’s architecture showcases a blend of traditional ethnic structures from the Dravidian civilisation, and also features remnants of the city’s colonial past. Chennai is believed to be up to 400 years old, it was first colonised by the Portuguese and then the Dutch. Finally the British established it as a leading urban location and naval base.
An economic hotspot: Chennai’s economy is built on the automobile sector, software services, hardware manufacturing, textiles, healthcare and financial services. Chennai has been dubbed ‘the Detroit of South Asia’ due to its strong automobile manufacturing industry. Due to its continued growth and development, the city remains a commercial hub and economic hotspot in the region.
Historical and religious places of interest: Chennai has so many different historical attractions and places of religious interest, which you can tour with a guide, in small groups or on your own. Fort. St. George was constructed by the British East India Company in 1653 and remains a popular historical attraction to date.
The fort is also home to St. Mary’s Church which the oldest surviving British church in India. In the neighbourhood of Mylapore, the Kapaleeshwarar Temple stands as one of the most active places of worship in the area and features brightly coloured pillars, decorative work and statues. The Government Museum in Chennai showcases many collections of artwork and artefacts from a variety of historical eras. Other interesting sites in the city include Vivekananda House, San Thome Cathedral and Ramakrishna Math.
The best of food and shopping in Chennai: Vegetarians and food enthusiasts will enjoy the flavourful and spicy dishes that are featured in the restaurants and canteens of Chennai. Scrumptious treats that can be enjoyed include idlis with chutney, masala dosas, crispy hot vadais, chicken or vegetable pakodas and a plethora of spicy curries and rice. For those seeking a more up-market dining experience, Chennai also has a variety of multi-cuisine fine dining restaurants.
Chennai is also a bustling shopping destination that offers travellers a blend of bazaars and shopping centres. Pondy Bazaar is known for offering a mix of toys, footwear, garments, jewellery, bags and jewellery. The areas of T-Nagar, Egmore and Mylapore also offer a mix of centres and markets that sell a range of locally crafted items and branded products.
Since its launch in 2007, Mihin Lanka has come a long way, becoming one of the region’s most admired travel brands. In 2015, Mihin Lanka was ranked by Skytrax as the third best low-cost airline in Central Asia and India. The Skytrax Awards programme established in 1999, surveys 18.9 million airline passengers in 110 countries and bases its rankings on product quality and staff service standards.
Mihin Lanka plays a crucial role in supporting regional connectivity, and recently enhanced its offering by introducing its new Business Class service. Mihin Lanka services corporate, business, pilgrim, and leisure travellers, by providing convenient direct flights to key destinations across the Indian Subcontinent, Asia and the Middle East.
Mihin Lanka operates daily flights to Dhaka in Bangladesh, Jakarta in Indonesia and Madurai in India .The airline also operates five flights weekly to Bahrain in the Middle East and Lahore in Pakistan and thrice a week to Seychelles and Kolkata. Bodhgaya and Varanasi are seasonal flights and operate twice weekly.
Enhancing the route network Mihin Lanka will commence operations in to Chennai thrice a week and plans to increase the frequency to four times a week. Mihin Lanka will also fly to Muscat in Oman four times a week. Further improving the network Mihin Lanka will fly to the Maldives three times a week in November 2015. Mihin Lanka also offers connectivity to a further 20 destinations with its code share partner SriLankan Airlines.