Madras, which recently reverted to its historical name Chennai, is the capital of the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest metropolis of India, after New Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta.
Chennai is a seaside (and a major port) city where the sea is a rhapsodist blue, hugging the second largest beach in the world. It has many monuments and temples exemplyfying the contributions of the Chola and Pallava Dynasties to the ancient Dravidian civilization. Chennai also has the ancient churches and Cathedrals pointing to British heritage of 150 years.
Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram and Thanjavur are good examples of temple towns where within the temple fortifications grew a multi layered society that preached faith and grew from social harmony. Kanchipuram, also called Kanjeevaram, is famous throughout the country as the center where lustrous silk sarees are woven. Likewise Thanjavur is an important center for bronze figure casting. Mahabalipuram, with its wealth of sculptures, is located by the seaside and has excellent resorts.
The weather is pleasant in December with temperature hovering in the range of 22-26 degree celcius and humidity in the order 40-60%.Chennai, (formerly Madras) the first city of Tamil Nadu, is a comparatively new city. The erstwhile villages of Mylapore, Triplicane, Ezhambur (Egmore) etc. all now a part of Chennai, have a recorded historical past centuries older than Chennai. Chennai, the present gateway to the South of India, is itself, however, only about 350 years old..
"Madrassis are zealous guardians of Tamil culture which they regard
as inherently superior to the hybridized cultures further north. They
have, for instance, been among the most vociferous opponents of Hindi
being made the national language, and Chennai is the film center of Tamil
Nadu - even the State Chief Minister, Jayalalitha*, is an ex-movie star."
- Quoted from Lonely Planet, travel guide to India.
Particularly charming features of Chennai are its allegiance to ancient traditions, no matter how modernised it has become, and its willingness to spread out further rather than develop into a multi-storey concrete jungle. The result is a widespread city still open to skies; a green, airy city with several vestiges of its rural past; a city that adheres to the leisurely tempo of life of a world of yesterday; a city whose values of another day still survive midst of the humdrum bustle of today; a city that still retains the charm, culture and courtesies of the ages.
Chennai is connected to all major cities in India by air and its rail and road network make the tiniest village easily accessible by comfortable trains and deluxe buses. Airline reservations from Chennai can be made at large travel agencies and the respective airlines offices.
Indian Airlines, 19 Marshall's Road, Chennai 600 008.Rail reservations can be made at Chennai Central Stations, from 06:30 hrs. to 20:30 hrs. on weekdays and from 07:30 hrs. to 13:00 hrs. on Sundays.
Tel: 28555209, 28554285, 28554749, 28592671
Air India, 19 Marshall's Road, Chennai 600 008.
Tel: 28554747 (Reservation), 28555013, 28552768
Bus reservations can be made at Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation,
Express Bus Stand, Esplanade, Chennai.
However, you may also get in touch with Hi-tours for any travel assistance and tours. They will be available at the front desk of the conference venue during the conference days.