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Things to do in Chennai during Christmas and New Year

Catch up on culture in Chennai
Image courtesy: ©KR Vinayan

The year-end in Chennai is a vibrant time for catching up on culture, cuisine and some fun.  Here is a list of things to do in Chennai-some quirky, some weird, but all of them serious fun.

Kutcheri in this Season

Chennai is the spiritual home to one of the major classical music traditions of the Indian subcontinent – Carnatic Music. It is also the nerve centre of one of the country’s largest film industries and a growing indie music subculture that exists at the intersection of folk, classical and film music. Go watch a Carnatic concert at the Music Academy, tuck into an onion rava dosai and then head over to the Urur Olcott Kuppam Music Festival in Besant Nagar and watch some of the most amazing folk music talent share stage with Carnatic musicians.

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Marina + Rayar’s Mess

Don’t just go for an early morning walk on Marina beach. Run, because only that will justify your subsequent caloric intake at the nearby Rayar’s mess in San Thome. It has the interior decor of a circa 1930s Andaman prison but serves unbelievably delicious breakfast that regularly violates the laws of physics related to how much food your stomach can hold.

Your future, on ancient scrolls

Take a friend who speaks Tamil and visit one of many Naadi josiyam outlets. These are some of the finest con men in the world and they will, for a small sum of money, ‘find’ your horoscope in some ‘ancient scrolls’ and tell you your future. I’m serious (although don’t take them seriously).

Visit the woody charms of the Theosophical Society
Visit the woody charms of the Theosophical Society
Image courtesy: ©Gita Dattatri

Bounteous Banyan

Bang in the middle of the city, inside an urban area, is the national forest- the Theosophical Society. Here you will find one of the largest trees by canopy area. 40,000 square feet of the flora is spread out like the tentacles of a mythical monster.

Kollywood, for 2 dollars

Watch a movie at Satyam. The Dolby sound effect and delectable butter popcorn is not a uniquely Chennai experience. What is, is the fact that this entire experience will set you back by nothing more than US $ 2!

Reptile Central

Head over to the Whitaker brothers’ Crocodile Bank and watch a live demonstration of cobra venom being extracted. For those even less squeamish about reptiles, head over to Vandalur Zoo and watch a large king cobra stalk and eat a mouse that is let into his cage every afternoon.

AUTHOR'S BIO: The author wears Madras on his sleeve and works as a techie in Chennai. He’s also a musician, blogger, columnist, and meme-starter. Like Nietzsche the brevity and typos are deliberate, he says. More on: