About Chennai



The 3rd Summer School Summit takes place in Chennai, on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India, is the capital of the Tamil Nadu state. It has played a very crucial role in the traditional, historical and academic growth of the country, representing the different elements of the highest variety of the Dravidian civilization. Today, Chennai, the capital city is the 4th largest city of India and is also the leading commercial centre of South India. The credit of the booming economy of the city goes to the leading industries including automobile, software services, petrochemicals, financial services, textiles and hardware manufacturing. Chennai, being an important metropolitan city is very well-connected to all the major cities of India as well as with the countries overseas. And, it is also considered as the cultural hub of South India which is famous for its affluent heritage in classical dance, music, architecture, sculpture, crafts, etc.


Climate

Chennai, Tamil Nadu has a tropical wet and dry/savanna climate with a pronounced dry season in the high-sun months, no cold season, and wet season is in the low-sun months.

The hottest part of the year is late May to early June. Because of the cities proximity to the equator there are no extreme variations in temperature. The average annual rainfall is around 140 cm (55 in).


Temperature

Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 21 ℃ to 38 ℃ and is rarely below 20 ℃ or above 41 ℃. The warm season lasts from April 30 to June 18 with an average daily high temperature above 36 ℃. The hottest day of the year is May 20, with an average high of 38 ℃ and low of 28 ℃.
The cold season lasts from October 26 to February 9 with an average daily high temperature below 30 ℃. The coldest day of the year is January 21, with an average low of 21 ℃ and high of 30 ℃.

Official language

Tamil is the main spoken language. However, many people in Chennai, Coimbatore, Kancheepuram etc. speak Telugu. Generally, in Chennai most of the people understand English and a sizeable number can reply at least in simple English.

Religion & Faith

The city constitutes a Hindu majority (82%). Following them are Muslims (8%), Christians (7%), Jain (1%) and other groups.

Getting Around

Chennai Metro Rail
The Chennai Metro Rail is a rapid transit system in Chennai. Line 1 goes from the airport to Teynampet, Thousand Lights, Central train station, the High Court and Washermanpet in northern Chennai, running beneath Anna Salai for several kilometres. Line 2 goes from Central train station west to Egmore and the CMBT then south to St Thomas Mount.
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Taxi
Taxis are also available in Chennai, either hired or booked in advance through the travel or cab agents. The fare is charged on the basis of distance covered, fixed-rate taxis are also available on airport, bus terminal and railway station.
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Car Rental
The traditional way of renting a car that is common in western countries is not popular in India.
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Buses
Buses are the main and the low-priced source of transportation in Chennai. The bus service is managed by the government-owned Metropolitan Transport Corporation, which covers the city as well as its outer reaches. This service is regarded as well-organised and feasible. However, some routes of these buses are very crowded, mostly during the peak hours, in morning and evening, they are jam-packed. The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) is one of the most prominent bus stations in Asia, which serves as the terminal point for all intercity buses departing from Chennai. Besides this, there is the facility of private luxurious buses which go to all the main cities and towns of Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring states.


Currency

The currency of India is known as 'Rupee' and it is widely accepted in the Chennai city of Tamil Nadu. One rupee is equal to 100 paisa.

Credit Cards

Most major credit cards are widely accepted in major establishments in Chennai. It is recommended to always carry some cash with you in case credit cards are not accepted. The most popular credit cards in India are Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Tipping

Tipping is usually required in restaurants and can be 5-10% of your bill. Do not tip in fast food eateries or cafes. It is not required to tip taxi drivers and tour guides, but if you feel that they did an exceptional job you can certainly do so.

Safe Drinking Water

Visitors are advised to drink bottled water. When purchasing a bottle of water, always ensure that the seal has not been tampered with.

Electricity

Electrical sockets (outlets) in the Republic of India (Bharat Ganarajya) usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. However, travel plug adapters do not change the voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 220-240 volts the socket is supplying.
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Making Calls

The country code for India is +91 and the Chennai area code (for landlines only) is 44. To call a landline in Chennai, the country code and area code shall be entered first, followed by the 7-digits landline number. For instance, +91 44 1234567.
For calling a mobile number, please enter the country code followed by the 10-digits mobile number e.g +91 1234567890.

Internet and Email Usage

Free Wi-fi:
Chennai has Wi-Fi enabled various locations in the city and plans to cover more areas in the next couple of months. The Wi-Fi access under the brand name QFI is free for the first 15 minutes every fortnight and subscribers can purchase e-coupons seamlessly online. These coupons can be used in BSNL Wi-Fi zones in South and West India. Depending on the number of users in a zone and the user location, subscribers can get up to 8 Mbps download speeds.
The Wi-Fi enabled zones include Broadway bus stand, KK Nagar RTO and taluk offices, Vandalur Zoo and Nageswara Rao Park in Mylapore. The facility is also available at the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, about 50 km south of Chennai.

Time in Chennai

GMT +5.30; there is no daylight saving

Safety

Like other tourist places, one has to be careful with one’s belongings particularly in crowded areas. It is advised to beware of the touts who want to take you to the best jewelry shop, restaurant or hotel in the city are simply touts. It is best to ignore these men and carry on your way.

Avoid traveling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night. Try to avoid hailing taxis on the street. If you’re being collected at the airport by a hotel driver make sure they have properly identified themselves before you set off. If you book a taxi online, there’s a facility whereby you can let your friends/families know the details of your journey in case of an emergency. You can send your details to pre-selected contacts who can then pinpoint your exact location.


Emergency Numbers

An efficient, modern, integrated network, with the switchboards of the various police forces, emergency services, organisations and agencies, is ready to respond to emergency calls from anywhere in India. Access to this network is simple and quick: all you have to do is call the national emergency numbers, which are well known and easy to remember.

100 – Police
108 – Ambulance
101 – Fire Control
102 – Ambulance of Fire Services Dept.
25305000 – Government General Hospital


Shops Opening Hours

Most sights and museums are open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with one day off per week. Most shops are open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm with a lunch break from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The big shopping malls are open until 9:00 pm and also during lunch time.