Chennai International Airport, previously known as Madras Airport, is the primary international and domestic airport serving the southern region and metropolis of Chennai in the country of India. It is the third busiest airport in India in terms of passenger traffic, and is spread across the suburban areas of Meenambakkam, Pallavaram, and Tirusulam with passenger entry at Tirusulam and cargo entry at Meenambakkam. The airport's terminals are named after former chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, K. Kamaraj, and C. N. Annadurai.
The airport was originally built in 1932 and was confined to Military Operations during the Second World War. Some 20 years after, the Civil Aviation Department took over the airport and another 20 years until the Airports Authority of India took over. Thereafter, the Airports Authority of India has continuously commissioned in succession the Air cargo complex, the New Domestic Terminal, the New International Terminal, and the New International Departure Terminal – which is the newest addition to the airport (2003).
Moreover, the Chennai International Airport has produced many firsts for the Indian aviation system. It is the first international airport to get an ISO certification, the first to have aerobridges at a Domestic terminal, the first to use a domestic terminal for international flight on wheels, the first to supply free mineral water through designated water coolers at the Kamraj Domestic Terminal and Anna International Terminals, the 1st to introduce paper cups at airport to make it environment-friendly, and the first adjudged 'Best Domestic Terminal' by the Indian Guild of Professional Architects as awarded by the President of India.
What to see & do
Being down south and not the capital nor the second capital of the country, the metropolitan of Chennai has been an oversight on every traveller’s part – but this is maybe the greatest mistake that they would be most likely to make. The underestimated Chennai has many attractions and destinations that will enchant each traveller (not in the conventional way). The 70-square kilometre conglomerate has many diverse neighbourhoods, beautiful temples, museums, and of course, people who are infectiously enthusiastic about their hometown, and who will treat travellers like guests and not like commodity. Aside from the olden practices and seemingly ethereal beauty of this metro, cosmopolitan glamour has slowly been creeping its way to the city in the shape of luxury hotels, sparkling boutiques, classy and contemporary restaurants, and lots of swanky bars and clubs open almost all night.
Kapaleeshwarar Temple – the Mylapore neighbourhood is one of Chennai's most traditional and defined that it actually predates colonial Madras (Chennai) by several centuries. Kapaleeshwarar Temple is Chennai's most active and impressive temple, displaying the main architectural elements of many Tamil Nadu temples – a rainbow-coloured gopuram or gateway tower, pillared mandapas or pavilians, and a huge tank, dedicated to the state's most popular deity, Shiva the Destroyer. The gateway tower is filled with inanimate figures of Indian people in various poses from the bottom up, creating a rather iconic and beautiful scene.
Kalakshetra Foundation – founded in 1936, the Kalakshetra is a leading school of Tamil classical dance and music set in beautiful, shady grounds in the far south of the city. Visitors can walk around the grounds in the morning, and visit the Rukmini Devi Museum afterwards. The Kalakshetra Craft Centre is just right across – so right after visiting the school, travellers may just cross the street to watch the Kanchipuram-style hand-loom weaving, textile block-printing, and the rare art of Kalamkari, the art of hand painting on textiles with vegetable dyes.
Vivekananda House – the Vivekanda House is famous for its displays on the famous 'wandering monk', Swami Vivekananda, but its circular form originally created to store ice imported from the United States is another matter. The 'wandering monk' briefly stayed here in 1987, and preached his ascetic Hindu philosophy to adoring crowds. The current exhibit includes a pictorial exhibition on the swami's life, and the room where the monk stayed which is now being used for meditation.
Beaches – although not open for swimming due to strong undercurrents present on the shoreline, the beaches of Chennai prove themselves as beautiful sites, especially for walking around and just enjoying the vistas. Popular beaches include the Marina Beach, Elliot's Beach, and Breezy Beach.
How to get around
Chennai has a variety of transport modes that can be used by travellers to get around the destination. Aside from driving (which often takes time due to heavy traffic), trains, buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis are available as forms of public transport in the city.
How to get there
To get to the city of Chennai, the Chennai International Airport is the main hub, served by various local and international airlines. For cheap flights, visit Skyscanner. Skyscanner is an online resource of cheap flights with over 600 airlines and destinations to choose from. Check out www.skyscanner.com for more information.
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Airports near Chennai
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