The thatWho doesn’t miss the morning walks on Marina Beach and the piping hot filter coffee at a local stall? We can go on about this busy city with its vibrant day to nightlife. However, with the multiple extensions of lockdown, the chance to go out seems to escape from our hands. One needs a reminder that patience is the key. Once the lockdown relaxes, we can hop on a scooter to gather our friends for a day at the beach. The best thing about Chennai is the limitless options of things to do. As a city, it offers a wide range of eateries, historic places, museums, beaches, parks and cultural sites that can cure a boring day. Beat in the heat of Chennai’s summer may have been a thing but the beaches always made it more special. It’s an amalgamation of a tourist destination and a local hang out – the city is the perfect place to visit and chill in. One can paint a day in Chennai as chilling in cafes, playing in the beach, tiring office hours which transform into dinner at restaurants or partying the night away as the day ends. Although there is a change in the routine for a while now, here’s a list to get back on the fun exploring schedule post lockdown!
While you still continue to miss your daily favourites, we have listed some offbeat recommendations that are in your budget, crowd-free and unique.
Best Things To Do In Chennai Post Lockdown
This article focuses on the offbeat activities that you can indulge in to understand the extraordinary daily life in Chennai. Mainstream locations are just an initial introduction to the city after all. It features activities that are applicable to both tourists and locals. Moreover, this list is perfect for people who have a busy schedule. You can take out a day for each activity and they’re all budget-conscious as well.
Have Burmese Street Food At Burma Bazaar
Chennai is a hub for multicultural cuisines or lifestyle as well. It is the perfect contender for exploring Tamilian culture but surprisingly enough, the Burmese culture as well. Burma Bazaar is a market run by the Burmese refugees living in Chennai. The market transports you to a period of history overlooked by most people. Burmese Bazaar is located in the city’s historic George Town whereas you step into the neighbourhood you find rows of small shops selling items of variety. The market offers goods such as toys, perfumes, chocolates and electronics. But the highlight of the market is the Burmese Street food. There is a different feel to standing on the street devouring the famed Burmese atho, bhejo and mohinga.
Moreover, the background of the busy market, the presence of people from different walks of life, the slight humidity of the weather adds a thrill into exploring a culture different from yours, post lockdown. Mohinga, a Burmese delicacy, is a white noodle made from rice flour with cabbage in its preparation. Whereas, atho fry is where a handful of cabbage, onion, carrot slices are thrown into a pan followed by garlic oil, masala, salt, chilli powder and noodles made from maida. You can find Burmese Street Food at Parry’s Corner opposite to the Burma Bazaar.
Watch Sunrise On Thiruvanmiyur Beach
The commercial beaches of Marina and Besant Nagar are likely to be filled with people post lockdown as they were before. Considering the feeling of being cooped up in your home with people, one might crave for some peaceful and isolated time at the beach as well. The sound of the waves, the breezy wind, and the rough sand under our feet provides the perfect escape. The neighbourhood of Thiruvanmiyur holds one of the peaceful and beautiful beaches that Chennai has. Furthermore, the Thiruvanmiyur Beach is popular for its sunrise and sunsets despite its limited isolation from the rest of beach-goers.
This beach is visited by nature lovers, solitary seekers, and lovers. From our experience, the sunrise at the beach is stunning. It is best to reach the beach before 5:30 am so you can witness the dimming of night’s darkness as the red rays of the sun conquer it. The horizon looks riveting as the light reaches the sea, and you can see the changing colours of the deep sea. A morning at Thiruvanmiyur Beach will definitely set a happy benchmark for your day with nothing else topping it. A delightful beginning can be a strong threshold to begin your day. The breeze of the beach is something any Chennaiite would miss sitting at home, so make sure to put it on your list!
Walk Around And Make Your Own Pizza At The Farm
The Farm in Chennai is a quaint and peaceful place that will capture your heart. Well, if you’re imagining a vast place with barnyard animals and organic plantations – then you’re imagining right. But The Farm is immensely more creative and offers much more to its visitors. It has a farm that produces organic fruits, vegetables and dairy products which in itself is a great fascination to us. Moreover, they also have their own restaurant and shops for people to explore. The restaurant is a representation of the farm experience and ambience for the guests. It’s extremely beautiful and unique with thatched roofs built along an existing coconut grove.
The restaurant provides the comfort of home and the luxury of a high-quality restaurant all in one. At the corner of the restaurant is their independent retail store that sells all their fresh and organic produce. Now, the speciality of the restaurant is the wood-fired oven pizzas that it makes. The restaurant is dedicated to providing its guests with the idea of ‘real food’ with its organic ingredients that make a tasty dynamic on top of the pizza bread and other food options. So what could be better than going organic while enjoying a much-missed cheesy pizza post lockdown?
Experience Southern Culture And Heritage At Dakshinchitra
A cultural tour at Dakshinchitra Museum can provide the needed respite to stretch your legs and explore the southern culture of India. Dakshinchitra is one of the living-history museums of India that houses incredible works of lifestyles, performing arts, architecture and crafts existing within the Southern part of India. It is an ideal place for someone who loves to learn and dig deep regarding the rich cultures that thrived in India. By the end of the tour, you’ll be left with expansive knowledge on the Southern cultural heritage and a new perspective of self-contained lifestyles.
Furthermore, the museum holds 4,220 artefacts and 1,000,000 pictures. It is in the form of a village that represents the traditional lifestyle of South India with a collection of 18 authentic houses with the traditional tiled roof with each exhibiting different things. A visit to Dakshinchitra post lockdown will definitely make a wholesome contribution to revisiting Chennai. It is a reminder of the history that persists even during dire times and soon, everything shall become history – even the present.
Take a catamaran ride on ECR beaches
Your return to the outside world post lockdown requires a crazy bang that makes an unforgettable memory. How does floating in the middle of the sea sound to you? Insane but fun! The East Coast Road Beaches are the perfect place to jump into the pristine and blue Chennai seas. We recommend the catamaran ride in Radisson Blu, Temple Bay that quite a magical experience. Similar to other rides, the catamaran ride drops you into the sea for 30 minutes. But the most thrilling aspect of this catamaran ride is that depending on the waves, you can see the domes of one of the temples that sunk into the water. Moreover, the temple was built with the well-known Shore Temple and other monuments on Mahabs.
Another viable option at Mahabalipuram itself is the catamaran ride on the beach near Santana restaurant. The managers of the restaurant have tied up with fisherman to provide customers with an adventure they’ll never forget. The ride takes place near Shore Temple and will definitely be a memorable experience for you. Plus, the local fishermen will provide you safety equipment such as life jackets and are highly capable so do not be anxious regarding its authenticity. It is possible to view the sunken temple’s dome from this ride as well.
Get a Panoramic View from Chennai Lighthouse
A fun day at Marina Beach can also be improved by visiting Chennai’s landmark lighthouse to get an excellent and unique view of the Bay of Bengal. The lighthouse was constructed in 1796 and is the city’s fourth lighthouse tower. The East Coast Constructions and Industries soon replaced it with a lighthouse in 1875. Despite its roots in history, the lighthouse has a modernistic touch as it is one of the few in the world with an elevator. Solar panels power the lighthouse which hold the meteorological department.
At the lookout point, the lighthouse offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Marina Beach and the city. The ninth floor which holds the lookout point also has a viewing gallery with steel welded mesh panels around for safety. The building might come across inconspicuous when seen from outside but it offers a memorable view of Chennai that you can take away. The view of Chennai getting back on its feet post lockdown will definitely be worth it.
Trek and Camp along the waterfalls of Talakona
You can opt for a weekend getaway post lockdown from Chennai for a camp along the waterfalls of Talakona. Talakona Waterfalls is situated in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, roughly around 200 km from Chennai. A dip in the cool waters of Talakona would be a refreshing break from the humid weather of Chennai. The hike to the waterfalls merely spans around 1-2 km uphill but the natural beauty of the area is an invitation for a hiker to explore further. This gorgeous waterfall is located within Sri Venkateswara National Park near Nerabailu Village in Chittoor.
Tucked between the lush green surroundings, the waterfall is an ideal place to set camp at night for a quintessential nature time. Moreover, the forest department provides accommodation facilities for visitors who wish to stay overnight. In close proximity is the Siddheswara Swami Temple for the devotees of Lord Shiva. It is a 20-minute walk from the Talakona Waterfalls. The icy cold water of Talakona Waterfalls will take your breath away and entice you to spend hours just chilling in the water. Just a reminder to get your own food as there is no restaurant nearby.
Explore India’s Oldest Bookstore
Higginbotham’s is a name known to even the oldest inhabitants of Chennai. It is India’s oldest bookstore in existence and was established over 176 years ago at Mount Road, Chennai in 1844. Higginbothams is a haven for book lovers who will immensely appreciate the historic and sentimental value it holds. It represents a beautiful thought that the ever-changing history helps evolve the activity of reading and writing. This world of books has stood the test of time from the colonial period to years into Indi’s independence. The bookstore began as a religious bookstore but has slowly embraced the potential it had to offer for its beloved readers.
The lockdown may have pushed you to read your own books or the e-books available. But the smell of a bookstore post lockdown, an old one especially, is a memory of the past. Quarantine has helped revive some of our old reading habits and for this wonderful turn of event, we recommend Higginbothams as a perfect way to ignite the age-old sport of book hunting. Moreover, the bookstore holds a variety of books some of which are incredibly old. But the ambience of the bookstore and its collection will enhance the book-buying experience we’ve all missed so much. Even for the love of architecture, you can explore the big wooden oak doors and the stained glass windows which will give you an insight to the colonial architecture.
Visit Fort St. George
Retracing Chennai’s history would be a lovely adventure on a weekend post lockdown. And Chennai offers one of the first lasting monuments that the British had etched into our colonial history. Those enthralled by the immense colonial history that India breaks away from – then Fort St. George is an ideal place to go. Fort St. George was the heart of what developed into the city of Madras. The British East India Company finished its construction in 1653. The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and Secretariat now use the building.
The Fort also contains the grand Saint Mary’s Church which is one of the oldest surviving Anglican churches built by the British. Further on, it has a Museum as well that displays relics, military memorabilia, paintings and artefacts from the colonial period. Fort St. George is a beautiful white building formerly known as White Town during the colonial period, named after the British’s patron saint. The Fort is now preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India and the state of Tamil Nadu Government.
Experience Chokhi Dhani’s Mini Rajasthan
We’re extremely thankful for the home food we have but it does lack the diversity of options that we had when we went out. One of the best ways to enjoy post lockdown is to try out different cuisines such as Rajasthani! As we mentioned, Chennai is a rich hub of multicultural cuisine. It offers a portal into the lip-smacking dishes of the Rajasthani cuisine. Plus, a lesser-known fact is that the city houses a large population of Rajasthanis. Chokhi Dhani is probably the best way you can explore Rajasthan culture and its cuisine while in Chennai.
It is a Rajasthani wonderland that stretches across for fun and food! Chokhi Dhani is an incredibly eye-catching area that represents the culture and tradition of Rajasthan. You can spend your day viewing the beautiful traditional artworks of Rajasthani artisans lit by lamps. Moreover, the village-like settlement welcomes you with a tilak with amiable hospitality and ushers you into the world of Rajasthan with its animals rides for children, a bazaar, folk dances, Mehendi and a photo studio stylized after a village. The land has lawns for people to sit and relax on. Not to mention, the authentic Rajasthani thali is a must-have here.
On another note, Woovly requests the countrymen to stay inside their houses and follow the guidelines issued by the government. In these times of need, please help the needy and do whatever is under your capabilities to help the country.
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