I have been in Chennai for more than two weeks and yet, I had only seen a bit of the city. This weekend I joined a tour and saw some of the city’s highlights.
The weekend was organised by Mandira, our rep in Chennai. Apart from me, there was three English gappers, Charli
(who is staying with me at Usha’s), Shilpa and Sam. There are also a number of Canadians who are working in orphanages.
In the morning, I headed off to Besant Nagar to check out the Theosophical Society. Unfortunately, when I got there I found it would not open for another two hours, so I just went for a walk on Elliot’s beach and wandered round Besant Nagar.
I then joined up with the others for a tour of the Sri Kapaliswarar temple in Mylapore. We then had a tour of the area, looking in a traditional Indian house, before going to St Thomas’s Cathedral. St Thomas’s is one of only three cathedrals in the world that houses the remains of one of the original apostles.
We went for a meal in Hotel Saravan Bhavan and then headed back to our respective retreats.
On the Sunday we had a Treasure Hunt. My team consisted of Shilpa and Canadians Ali and Caitlan. We had to work out clues and then travel to the place that the clue described. These included the central station, the ice house and the Armenian church. It was great fun and we came second.
After lunch, we went to a market in town. It was very busy with people shopping for the upcoming Pongal week. We sampled some sugar cane – a seasonal treat.We finished off the day at a Pongal Fair in one of the parks. There was a lot of dancing, including a dance with someone dressed up as a zebra and someone else as a giraffe. Great fun!
UPDATE: 29/01/08Fellow intern Charli has written about the tours and treasure hunt for the New Indian Express. Please be warned that she likes reminding us of the fact that she was on the winning team and that any comments about bedraggled losers must be taken with a pinch of salt!