Previously known as Madras International Airport, Chennai International Airport is the main airport serving the Indian districts of Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur and Vellore. In 2012, the airport underwent a renovation and expansion project. Currently, there are 2 terminals – one dedicated to international flights, the other for domestic flights. The two terminals are located quite a distance apart and terminal transfers are carried out by free battery operated vehicles and coach services. Both terminals have facilities such as moneychangers, retail shops, Wi-Fi zones and a good selection of cafeterias, restaurants and snack bars.
Located 7 km south of Chennai, the airport can be easily reached in less than half an hour from the city center. For public transport options, you can take a bus, which stops outside the airport gate, however, the walk from the bus stop to the terminals is a relatively long one. Alternatively, you can board the Southern Railway from Egmore Station in Chennai and alight at the suburban railway station just outside Chennai International Airport, called Tirisulam.
Where to go?
Before you zip off to other international destinations, why not spend your last few moments in India at these popular destinations!
St Thomas Mount
Located near the neighbourhood of Guindy, a short distance away from the airport, this small hillock is the reputed site of the apostle, St Thomas’ martyrdom. At the foot of the hill, you will pass a gateway made of four imposing arches surmounted by a cross. Take short hike up the flight of steps to the summit where you will find a shrine dedicated to Mother Mary. On your way up, you will see 14 Stations of the Cross erected. Even for non-believers, this place is beautiful lookout point, where you can enjoy expansive views across the entire city from the top of the hill.
Just under half an hour drive away from the airport, you will find one of the largest museums in South Asia. The Government Museum complex consists of six buildings and 46 galleries, which houses exhibits and artifacts from many different fields such as archeology, zoology, natural history, sculptures, palm-leaf manuscripts and Amravati paintings. Besides roaming the galleries, take a stroll around the complex and marvel at the ancient architectures. Many of the buildings within the complex date back more than a century ago and among them, the most impressive is the colossal Museum Theatre, which is a rare example of Italianate style architecture.
One of the popular Hindu temples in Chennai, Kapaleeshwar Temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and other Hindu deities. The original temple, which was built on grounds of where San Thome Basilica now sits, was often referenced to in the hymns of the Nayanars. History buffs may want to delve deeper into the legends and myths that surround the temple’s origins. But for most other tourists, the Dravidian architectural style of the temple is in itself a sight to behold. Marvel at the ornate sculptures and carvings on the gopurams that flank the two entrances of the Kapaleeshwar Temple. These monumental towers often reach up to very high heights and the east gopuram in this temple is a staggering 40 m high.
At a loss on where to stopover on the next leg of your holiday? Why not consider some of these South East Asian destinations that we have picked out for you?
Nestled in the balmy Andaman Sea Waters, this large island is a hotspot for tourists looking at some fun under the sun! Hit the shores of the famous Patong beach as you lay back on the white sands with a good read in your hands. Go deep sea diving in the clear waters or take off on a parasail. If you are looking to pamper yourself, shop around spa resorts for some traditional Thai massage or relaxing body treatments. At sundown, Patong beach transforms into a “sin city” as many trendy nightspots come to life. If you are not one for drinking or dancing, you can spend your evening over a good meal at Sabai Corner, indoor-outdoor patio restaurant that overlooks the rippling blue ocean.
The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi possesses a fascinating blend of Sino-Vietnamese culture and Parisian flair. Explore Vietnam’s ancient origins and colonial legacy at the National Museum of Vietnamese History and the Hoa Lo Prison. Scour through the bargain-filled Dong Xuan Market or have some Vietnamese and French fare at cafes or restaurants littered around the city. Take a day trip out to see the majestic limestone peaks of Halong Bay, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
If you are out to tantalise your taste buds, fly off to Singapore, the Lion City! This little country packs a punch with its diverse range of Asian delights. Try out authentic hawker fares such as Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Hainanese Chicken Rice and Satay. Shopaholics can head to Singapore’s Orchard Road, a shopping and entertainment boulevard, home to over 5000 retail brands. Visit ION Orchard, which brings together international luxury brands in one development or Far East Plaza, a center for local retail outlets, which appeal to the young crowd. Families looking to spend some quality time together can spend a day or two in the all-in-one Sentosa Island. Here you can thrill your kids with amusement rides from Universal Studios Singapore or have some wet and wild fun at the Adventure Cove Waterpark.
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Airports near Chennai
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