The ‘Gateway to South India’, Chennai is great place to explore the local culture, especially if you’re from any other part of the country. From the classical dance to enthralling art forms to the energetic cinema, Chennai offers something for everyone. Mentioned below are some of the best things you could do to soak in the culture of Chennai.
Enjoy classical music at the Madras Music Academy – After a music conference held at the All India Congress in the 1927, the Madras Music Academy was established as an institution imparting the finest form of classical music in the state. Still today, the academy stands as a milestone known for offering the best course on Carnatic music. If you feel like catching a live Bharatanatyam performance of a Carnatic music recital, this is where you need to go. Each year the academy presents its gala event, the December Music and Dance Festival, wherein renowned artists from all ‘gharanas’ and parts of the country participate. If you’ve some interest in music and dance, exploring the academy would be a great eye-opener. Being well connected to other cities, you can easily find a Mumbai, Bangalore or Pune to Chennai flights, trains and buses.
Explore breathtaking visual art forms at Cholamandal Artists Village – From performing arts to visual arts, the Cholamandal Artists Village is a fantastic spot to discover the local and regional artforms. This commune for the artists was established in 1966, doubling as a spot for working and displaying their talents. Today, where at one hand you can find several artists engrossed in their work, there’s also a little museum at one hand offering a glimpse into the rich past and unmatched works of former artists. If ever you get tired from exploring the artworks, chances are the you might not, there’s a small Shiraz Cafe adjacent to the museum offering amazing Middle-Eastern dishes.
See the fantastic local handicraft at Dakshinachitra – Another amazing place located just near to Cholamandal Artists Village is, Dakshinachitra. This cultural centre is a great exhibition of art and crafts items from the home and neighbouring states. It also houses several workshops to understand the hard work that goes behind in making these amazing handicrafts. Art forms like pottery, weaving, wrought iron works and more are the prime attractions of the village. Looking at the amazing art work, you’d definitely feel like taking a piece home.
Try performing Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra – An amazing centre of performing arts and crafts was established by notable Bharatanatyam dancer Rukmini Devi Arundale in the year 1936. The institution’s campus is covered with beautiful gardens. There’s museum too in the name of the Rukmini Devi Arundale, showcasing a collection of paintings, textiles, ceramics, and sculptures collected by or gifted to the maestro. Visitors can also see weavers spinning, weaving and dyeing saris at the Craft Education and Research Centre, and purchase bags, saris and textiles at the Craft Shop.
With these wonderful things to do in Chennai, you’d definitely get a better perspective into the cultural vibrancy of the city.