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$1906 -7 hours
Chennai Tour Guide

Private Tour of Chennai

This is a specially designed and top rated tour itinerary to experience Chennai in a day. We will visit ancient Hindu temples and British Churches, explore Chennai's history, be spellbound by some beautiful art relics. You will enjoy a delicious, healthy, and traditional South Indian meal served on banana leaves, and optionally we'll go after some of the best shopping deals in town.

Price mentioned is for 1 person. For additional guests, surcharge of $20 per person applies

Travel Style: Private car
Service Level: Luxury
Trip Type: Private tour
Escorted by Expert Cultural Custodians, not merely guides.

Day tour of Chennai

We aim to leave you with insights into how the city came into being as it is today. We will engage you in lively conversations and debates about Chennai's history, share interesting facts and anecdotes, and also explore the contemporary importance and pulse of the metropolis.

The Chennai tour is of low intensity, where you will travel by an air-conditioned vehicle with frequent stops. The tour covers some of the most important areas in Chennai and leaves space for serendipity and a high level of personalization. The private tour of Chennai is hosted by a local of Chennai who is an expert historian, custodian of culture and of course - a fabulous story teller and guide!

What is included

  • Transport in a premium air conditioned SUV / car / mini bus.
  • Entrance tickets where applicable.
  • Expert Tour guide.
  • Pick up and drop in your hotel if within Chennai city limits.

What is not included

  • Meals, snacks.
  • Camera tickets where applicable.
  • Anything that is not explicitly mentioned in the what is included section.

Detailed Itinerary

Pick up from your hotel within Chennai city limits

The first fort built by the British in India in 1639, it was here that the story of Madras started, and also what paved the way for the British to conquer India. We visit the very interesting Fort museum and St Mary’s church – the first Protestant  church built east of Suez!

We drive past the Marina beach – the worlds second longest urban beach and visit a fishing hamlet.

A magnificent temple in Mylapore – the age of this temple is of much debate. Find out why as we visit the temple and take a walk in the busy local bazaar next to it.

It is said St Thomas, the doubting apostle, arrived in India and made his way to Madras. It is believed he was buried in the church here – which makes this basilica one of the only 3 places on earth where you can visit a tomb of an apostle. The church itself is a magnificent structure today – an early portuguese church was reworked by the British in the 18th century.

Depending on what you’d like to eat, we stop at a nice place for lunch and talk about what we have seen so far.

We visit the St George’s cathedral – a beautiful 200 year old church. We take a stroll in the church’s graveyard where many early british settlers are buried, and read their stories.

The Egmore museum is an almost hidden treasure! It has on display some of India’s most magnificent ancient artefacts and sculptures – many of which any museum in the world would give an arm, a leg and more for!

We end the tour with a stroll in Pondy Bazaar, one of South India’s most bustling and interesting street markets.

Drop off in your hotel if it is within Chennai’s city limits.

Trip Information

CLIMATE

Sun-kissed – in a word! Glorious sunny days with bright blue skies is the norm. The climate of South India is tropical. Summer temperatures on the plains are very hot, but cooled by the South-West Monsoon, which lasts from June- September. During these months it can be very wet and therefore very humid. At hill stations, temperatures can become quite cool at night even in the summer and may drop below 15 C between December and February so warm clothing is necessary. The rest of south India remains warm and sunny during the winter months. Summer starts from April, with May – mid July being the hottest, where it can reach temperatures of over 40 C during the day. From August, it starts cooling down, with it being the coolest between December to end of February. The west coast (Kerala, Goa, parts of Karnataka) experiences rain between June and September, and in the east coast – Tamil Nadu, it rains mostly in November up to mid December.  During the first 3 weeks of November, sporadic rainfall occurs, sometimes heavy for brief periods. The hurricane or cyclone season starts end of November and ends by around the 20th of December. One can expect intense spells of heavy rain and wind during this period, especially during the first 2 weeks of December.

Time difference to GMT

+5.5 hours

Plugs

3 Pin Round

Religion

Hindu, Islam, Catholicism, Protestant, Buddhism.

Language

English is spoken widely. Other major languages are Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu. Our tours are conducted in English.

FOOD AND DRINK

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more. The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.

Lunch price
£8 / $ 10

Dinner price
£8 / $ 10

Beer price
£3 / $4

Water bottle price
£0.5 / $ .05

 

Foreign Exchange

LOCAL CURRENCY
Indian Rupee (INR)

RECOMMENDED CURRENCY FOR EXCHANGE
GBP/US$ are the best currency to change into local currency.

WHERE TO EXCHANGE
The Indian rupee is a restricted currency and it is best not to obtain in the UK as rates are very poor. We strongly advise you not to exchange you at airports on arrival as they give very poor rates. Your Tour Leader will advise you on the best places in each town. Both GBP and USD cash are easy to exchange. It’s not possible to change money using a credit or debit card.

ATM AVAILABILITY
ATMs are available widely. You must inform your bank that you are travelling to India and ask them to enable your cards to have withdrawal / transactions enabled for India.

CREDIT CARD ACCEPTANCE
In most establishments that are medium to large.

TRAVELLERS CHEQUES
Opportunities to exchange are limited.

 

CLOTHING

South India is a tropical region with high humidity. Lightweights are needed all year round with some warmer clothes for the cooler winter evenings (November to February) in hill stations such as Munnar, Thekkady and Chikmagalur. Casual clothes are the most practical: tight fitting garments, brief shorts and skirts should be avoided, since they attract unwelcome attention. Swim wear can be worn in very few beaches but in all resorts and hotels if you are using the pool. Bring a light and easy to carry water p

 

FOOTWEAR

Walking shoes or trainers and sandals are recommended. Note that temples do not allow footwear to be worn inside, and footwear must be left at the entrance of temples. You can wear socks inside.

 

LUGGAGE

While our maximum cap on luggage per person is 50 KG – two main pieces of luggage and day sac, we highly recommend that you do not overload yourself. One main piece of baggage and a day sac per person are recommended. Note that domestic airlines in India usually allow 15 KGS of checked in baggage and 7 kgs of cabin baggage per person.  Most hotels where we stay at offer express laundry services for about USD 1 – USD 2 per piece.

 

EQUIPMENT

Binoculars, torch, sun screen, insect repellent.

 

TIPPING

Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff (like in hotels, or drivers) will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, your leader may organise a group’s tips kitty for included activities and meals and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
Accordingly, you should allow GBP35 / $ 40 approx. 3’000 Indian Rupees for group tipping.
For all non-included services and meals on your trip please tip independently at your discretion.

Transport Information

Sedans, such as the Toyota Etios. SUVS such as the Toyota Innova / Volkswagen Taigun. Minibuses such as the Force Tempo or Force Urbania. All vehicles used will be in excellent condition, fitted with individual bucket seats and with air conditioning. The type of vehicle used will be at our discretion, though if you have any preference do send us an email and we will try to accommodate your request.

Accommodation notes

Accommodation in South India is as varied as the region itself and standards might not always meet those back home. We have chosen the best of the best resorts and hotels for your adventure.

All rooms are twin-share and they have their own bathroom attached.All towels and bedding are provided.

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.

Visa and Passport Information

India: Holders of passports endorsed British citizen, as well as Australian, New Zealand and US passport holders may be eligible for the e-Tourist Visa to enter India.

The visa can be applied for through the official Indian government visa website only – https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html . Please check all eligibility criteria that can be found on the website but important points are listed below –

You must be arriving into one of 29 selected entry points which can be found via the official Indian Government website link above. However, you can exit from any of the authorised immigration check posts in India.

Passports must have at least 6 months validity from the date of arrival in India and at least two blank pages for stamping. Visa applications will take approximately 4 days to process.

Those applying for a 30 day electronic visa can only apply within 30 days of arrival for your visa to be valid. Furthermore double entry is permitted and you can only obtain two 30-day visas in a calendar year.

Please note these costs are subject to frequent change so you should check on the official Indian government visa website mentioned above. Biometric data will be collected on arrival in India.

If you are not eligible for the e-Tourist Visa, please refer to VFS Global to apply for your Indian visa – https://www.vfsglobal.com/india/uk/how_to_apply.html

Whilst the online form offers a relatively quick way to apply for a visa, some applicants have reported difficulty in completing the form.  If you would like to use a visa service to process your visa on your behalf, we recommend CIBT Visas. They have expert knowledge in visa requirements, and are dedicated to ensuring that obtaining your visas is as efficient and hassle-free as possible.

CIBT provide various levels of visa service, including detailed information about which visas and documentation you and your party require, clear and user-friendly application forms, and a full concierge service to manage your application from start to finish. There is a team of experts on hand to offer advice, and liaise with embassies on your behalf.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Indian Expeditions trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Your safety and enjoyment on tour

We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable holiday, so we ask you to confirm when booking this trip that you are fit and able to fully participate in all elements of the itinerary. If you have any concerns about your fitness or ability to complete any of the activities, please get in touch with our Customer Relations team at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Our tour leaders are trained and experienced in managing differing abilities within a group, but if they have concerns about a group member’s ability to safely participate in any element of the itinerary or believe someone’s presence could affect the safety or enjoyment of the holiday for others, in accordance with our Booking Conditions our tour leaders have the authority to ask an individual to miss an activity or activities. This decision would never be taken lightly, but on the rare occasions our tour leaders ask someone to sit out part of the tour, refunds will not be offered and individuals may be liable for additional costs incurred.

Your Tour Leader

We believe that our Tour Leaders are the key to the success of our tours; they are local experts who are bursting with first-hand knowledge which they love to share, and their unique insights will bring the destination to life. Your Tour Leader will be on hand throughout your tour to make sure arrangements run smoothly, to organise all the local logistics and to keep you safe. Your Tour Leader should be your first point of contact if you encounter any difficulties or disappointments on trip – please raise any concerns, however small, with your Tour Leader as they are best placed to assist you.

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Indian Expeditions that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. Please ensure that you are covered for the full duration of your holiday, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy.

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against Tetanus, Infectious Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list.  Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Testimonials
Jamie M

Outstanding guide, both in his knowledge and his manner! I would highly recommend Chandan to all who visit Chennai! We truly had a memorable day getting to know this wonderful city.

Jamie M

Paul L

Throughly enjoyed our day with Chandan. My wife and I were fortunate enough to have hired Chandan for our day tour in Chennai while traveling on the Queen Mary 2. We found Chandan to be very professional, knowledgeable, and very accommodating. My wife had a few particular shopping requests, and Chandan went out of his way to ensure that this was accomplished. We would definitely recommend Chandan; he definitely made our visit to Chennai and most memorable one! Thank you, Chandan!

Paul L

Lindsay Sowman

Chandan was really fantastic. He was very knowledgeable, and shared so much valuable and interesting information, which he wove into a narrative that was so easy to understand. He was flexible and adjusted our plan during the day as was necessary. He was also very polite and respectful, and I enjoyed his company immensely. The day was so enjoyable. I would absolutely recommend this guide and this tour, especially to first-time visitors to India, like myself.

Lindsay Sowman

Linda Mark

My tour with Chandan was exactly as desired, providing an in-depth tour of a few locations rather than a rushed visit to a multitude of sites. His historical knowledge brought a good mix of infrastructure, politics, and spiritualism to modern day, recent times (100 years ago) and ancient times. Our english fluency was well matched making true dialog and debate natural and rapid. All aspects of our interactions were very comfortable and well prepared, I felt very safe and secure at all times.

Linda Mark

Maria Ventura

Top notch tour and guide. If there was a 5+ I would definitely hit it. Have got more insights about India, it’s ancient and modern culture & history, than any book I read or experience I had before or after. Thank you again a lot Chandan. YOU made my trip truly unique!

Maria Ventura

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