City Information

The largest of the four metropolitan cities in India, Chennai is a vibrant gateway to the south Indian culture. Chennai is known for the infectious exuberance of its Tamil-speaking people and its wonderful cosmopolitan way of life. Also known as the Detroit of Asia—the auto hub of India—Chennai displays a mix of cultural heritage blended in by the Portuguese, Dutch, French and the British.

Chennai has a tropical climate, but being on the coastline, it is humid through the year. With mainly two seasons in a year, Chennai can get hot in summers; however, monsoons (October to December) bring respite.



Places to visit in and around Chennai are many. Pick from a colonial fort, its beaches, churches and temples, water sports and amusement parks, shopping centres and street markets, fine-dining and luxury hotels.

Among the tourist places in Chennai, Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is a must-visit. Head to the 6th century Hindu temple for Lord Shiva at Mylapore, the early 19th century Thousand Lights Mosque or the 16th century Roman Catholic Church at Santhome. Fort St. George, the first British fortress in India, promises an assortment of stories—real and fictional—for the history buff.


Art and Culture

Discover Chennai’s rich cultural heritage, its Carnatic music and Bharatnatyam, during the annual Margazhi Dance and Music Festival, between December and January. Shop at retail hotspots Phoenix Market City and Express Avenue and go art-gallery hopping at the Galleria at The Leela Palace Chennai, Apparao Galleries and Srushti Art Gallery. Visit the cultural halls and unwind at pubs like Havana at The Raintree Hotel and 10 Downing Street.

Whenever you need help getting around, simply ask for The Leela Palace Chennai concierge services. Enjoy the plush comforts of our luxury sedan as it cruises through the streets.



Chennai has the best of southern cuisines at its restaurants—luxury or otherwise. Breakfast items like soft idlis and crisp dosas fly off the stoves on the streets while a traditional meal served on banana leaves tempt your taste buds. Lunch comprises the staple, rice. If you love a spicy twist, dig into Chettinad food. Nungambakkam, T Nagar and Alwarpet host many famed eateries.

You can sample authentic southern dishes while you are at The Leela Palace Chennai, as our chefs at the hotel prepare the most popular recipes from the south. Here, food comes with a dollop of warmth that will linger long after you’ve finished your meal.