Mylapore Temple

    This post is published as a part of the CBC Tablog.CBC, for everybody is the Chennai Bloggers’ Club, which I am honored to be a part of. Over 35 bloggers from Chennai are taking part in this blog tag RELAY- we take turns to write about Chennai and what it means to us...

 This BATON was given to me by :  Ram N. - who's passionate about Chennai and who blogs at Daily Photo Chennai

The doorway to South India, Chennai, yesterday's Madras is a miraculous gift the land of Tamil Nadu embraces Drawing the quality of 'Unity in Diversity' from the homeland country India. I feel this beautiful city has got multiple personality.

When I refer to it as MADRAS, it carries the legacy of rich cultural heritage imbibed in its fine arts, music and dance forms, people and cuisines, a number of monuments silently express the glorious history of the city they witnessed, the traditional art forms they preserved and continued to keep it alive.

And When i refer to it as CHENNAI, it carries the attribute of being a cosmopolitan city which mirrors the confluence of all the diverse cultures nourishing within its boundaries. Modernity has its own impact in Chennai.The spirit of Chennai and Madras, vibrant culture and reminiscent traditions all make the city wonderful and tremendously important as a part of Indian heritage.

Now that Chennai enjoys the status of a cosmopolitan where people from different directions reach the city for various reasons ranging from tourism to job to various other things, but that is not the case with Madras, which is popular for having core value system and orthodox beliefs. Their deep rooted beliefs and customs upholding brotherhood, tranquility and mutual respect drive their daily chores from celebrations to mournful times.

Filter coffee
When it comes to hospitality and traditional food, Chennai beats many of the cities easily. As serving food is seen as an utmost pious deed in the entire South India. We may eat Italian, love Chinese, enjoy the Mexican food, but how can we forget and not like the traditional way of eating sambhar, dosa, idli, rasam, coconut chutney, molaga podi(dry chilly flakes) and kootu , puliyogare, thayir sadam, thogayal, appam, pongal, aviyal, payasam etc with steamed rice on banana leaf?? And the rich Tamilian filtered degree coffee . haa tempting..:)

I have known many of my friends who are new to the city complain and crib about the city … When asked for the reason they say about the climate, pollution and the most important lack of hang outs!??? Here are few places for them

Historic landmarks and buildings, long sandy beaches, places ,cultural and art centers and parks and

 Chennai has some unique places to offer for shopping. Art and crafts, contemporary and traditional artwork, antiques, jewellery etc. Are available in the city. Traditional items like leaf and palmyra-fiber handicrafts from Tirunelveli, bronze and brass castings and traditional jewelry from Kumbakonam, metal works from Thanjavur, stone carvings from Mahabalipuram, silks from Kanchipuram are for sale in shops and boutiques. George Town and Parrys Corner are wholesale markets of Chennai where one can purchase almost anything. Nearby Mint Street plays host to communities from Rajasthan and Gujarat and is where north Indian snacks can be sampled along with textiles, kitchenware and jewellery. Many streets are entirely devoted to selling one particular type of merchandise. The nearby Burma Bazaar and Ritchie streets are famous for its counterfeit electronic goods and media, Moore Market for its large number of bookstores. Pondy Bazaar located in T. Nagar, is home to huge multi-storey stores, unique to Chennai, which deal mainly in textiles and silks or gold, silver and diamond jewellery. Anna Salai (Mount Road), has many large stores lined up and this road has what u want. Mylapore, There are a number of retails shops of handicrafts, traditional items and fashion accessories etc.

How did I forget Nungambakkam and Kader Nawaz Khan road??? If u are a brand conscious shopaholic then these places are heaven!

For those who are visiting Chennai for the first time it may seem that the city is conservative and the people are proud of their culture and follow traditional norms but the different contradictions shows that the city should be overlooked beyond Tamil culture.

Yes Chennai has a tropical climate and is hot and humid!!! And people of Madras are particular about the values and their systems, the World famous auto walas..:) they charge half our salary…how can we forget the malli poo(jasmine flowers),pulli kolam(rangoli), December music and dance season, navratri golu, margazhi mahotsavams,jallikattu,St Thomas Church, thousand lights mosque. All these come together in a package called Chennai and brings a pride when we call ourselves as chennaiite… who are a fusion of the modern Chennai thoughts without losing the cultural values of Madras. 

Here is my first try with a Tamil Kavidai (sort the help of my mother): :)

ழகிய கடற்கரை மெரினா

சியாவின் பெரிய வண்டலூர் பூங்கா

தயத்தை கவரும் வள்ளுவர் கோட்டம்

ட்ட உதவும் பூங்காக்கள்

ழைப்பை உணர்த்தும் தொழிலாளர் சிலை

றோரை வாழவைக்கும் தொழிற்சாலைகள்

ன்றும் அழியா பல்லவ சிற்ப்பங்கள்

றி போகும் மாடி ரயில்கள்

யத்தை தெளிய வைக்கும் அண்ணா நூலகம்

ளியேற்றும் வாழ்வில் பல்வேறு ஆலயங்கள்

த உதவும் புகழ் பெற்ற கல்லூரிகள்

டதத்தால் உயிர்காக்கும் உலகத்தர மருத்துவமனைகள்

 ஆம் இதுதான் நம் சிங்கார சென்னை !!!!!
பெருமை படலாம் நம் சென்னை வாசிகள் !!!!!

Now i hand over this baton to Sandhya Iyer -  who writes about things close to her heart, thrives on coffee and chocolates :) :)


  1. The "அ" to "ஔ" ... is a good attempt on Chennai

  2. Good one! kavidhai, kavidhai!!! And I will never understand what is the definition of conservative that is used by new comers?

  3. Nice article and excellent poem. I liked the city more when it was Madras. The city was only for us, and of course, the marwaris :) My grandmothers house was in Parrys and one needs to live in that area of the city to understand how lively it is! Chennai has grown too big, for my taste! Where is jalli kattu held in Chennai, BTW? :P

    Destination Infinity

  4. awesome!!nice poem!!but jallikattu happens in chennai??

  5. Nice Fusion.... The "Ayudha Ezhuthu ( .'. )" Kollywood is missing ;)...
    The Tamil Kavidhai was so lively with "Uyir Ezhuthukal", amma was simply superb.
    Namma Chennai ku.. Whistle Podunga !!!!.

  6. @Clement Williams
    thbnak u clement..:) well "conservative" by the new commers cannot be explained in one line!.:)

  7. @Destination Infinity yes Madras had its own flavour..!:) but chennai has a diff flavour too!..:) yes but few places were good wen it was madras..:)

  8. @Muthiah sriram well that i mentioned for Tamil Nadu as a whole!>.:P

  9. You post has a lot useful information about the city! Well written :)
    I'm sorry I can't say much about your kavidhai, I can't read tamil. So if you can do your bit by translating it, i'd be grateful :)

  10. Please transliterate the Tamizh verse at the end of your post into English!

    Great post Sahitya :)


  11. Nicely portrayed. The way we balance our cultures, from the orthodox maamis to the hep fashionistas makes us stand apart. And I liked the poem, wonderful it was, all letters and something famous in Chennai to go with it. I read the whole poem :-)

  12. wow kalakita ! "அ" - "ஔ" was awesome !! keep posting :)

  13. Nice post Sahiiiiiiii!! aber Jallikattu??? I have heard Kozhisanda takes place in chennai, but illegally. Not about Jallikattu tho! :(

    Do visit my blog! Would love to see you by! *cheers*

  14. @Sandhya Iyer hi.. thank u so much!..:) sure i will do the translation soon!..:)

    youtube downloader

  15. @Ashwini C N

    youtube downloader thnk u so mush ashwini... i thought u will find reading tamil tough!.. happy that u read it..:)

  16. @Kappuoops..... that i wrote 4 tamilnadu as a whole...:P

    youtube downloader

  17. The Tamil one is so nice :) The filter coffee, burma bazaar, ritcchie street are really unforgettable :D super!

  18. @Harikrishnayeah... they are the heart and the veins of the city!...thank u !..:)

  19. Good post, Sahi.

    I LOVED the poem; it's a pretty innovative idea to do it with the Tamil alphabets. You've done a great job with that!

    Keep blogging, cheers! :)

  20. @Sowmya Swaminathanthank u sowmya..:) i got help from my mom for this..;)

  21. Just gotta read this one. Good one Sahitya.. Poem is too good. NAMMA CHENNAI :)


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