What are the shops in Tamil Nadu

Chennai is hectic, loud, always humid and smelly. Anyone who has been there will confirm that. Travelers who want to spare their nerves should better skip this city, especially since it is very confusing and time-consuming due to the lack of a real city center. If you do want to stop by, you should do so after a period of familiarization in order to avoid frustration right at the beginning of the trip.

The Spencers Plaza shopping center has a good selection of shops with music, jewelry, decorative items, fabrics, scarves and clothing, food and cosmetics, in which you can get lost quickly, but always find new interesting shops.
The huge new Express Avenue is on White Road. In the magnificent shopping center there are numerous fashion boutiques, cafes, jewelry shops, a cinema and a BigBazaar. The air-conditioned building is a great way to escape the excruciating heat.

If you really want to shop Indian, go to the T. Nagar district. There are sari shops in abundance here, where you can get everything from simple cotton to splendidly embroidered silk.

Diagonally across from the Spencer's Plaza complex, next to the tourist information office, there is a vegetarian restaurant where you can get a stunning selection of classy dishes at the lowest prices. The best thing to do is to order a colorful mix to try out - spring rolls, brownies with chocolate ice cream and mangolassi are particularly recommended.

Don't expect too much from the beach. Here, at least during the week, you can relax from the hustle and bustle of the city, but the surroundings are not particularly beautiful. Swimming is not possible here, unless you want to be watched by all the men in Chennai (even if you are fully clothed).

Pondicherry (Pondicherry)

A must for everyone who likes beautiful cities and has not yet found them in India. Also a must for everyone who likes to eat.

We highly recommend the Swades Guesthouse (+91 413 4209550, +91 97878550) right on the border between the Tamil and French parts. The lovingly and colorfully furnished rooms (from 800Rs, with air conditioning 1100Rs) by the nice landlords have a shady roof terrace with a hanging chair and music system. The kitchenette (sink, refrigerator, microwave) can of course also be used.

Worth seeing
Pondi's promenade invites you to stroll along, if you are lucky you can watch a film being made. Those who prefer it a little more shady can retreat to the park, which is also wonderfully suitable for people-watching.
Those who want to be blessed by the temple elephant go to the Ganesha temple.

The Grand Bazaar offers a lively mix of food, clothing, jewelry, and everyday items that are not to be missed.
There are many Handicraft stores on Mission Street and Nehru Street, many of which are related to the Aurobindo Ashram.
Wonderful stationery, cards, notebooks, cardboard jewelry boxes, etc. are available in the paper factory at the north end of the city.
A large selection of postcards is available at the Focus bookstore on Mission Street.

Pondicherry is a city that the discerning stomach will love. While in most Indian cities you only find strange to disgusting imitations of the common foreign dishes (pizza, noodles, Black Forest cake), here you stumble across good restaurants every few meters, where you don't taste the 7000km distance to the country of origin.
The Hot Breads is highly recommended. Here you can get all kinds of delicious sweet and savory pastries of French quality at Indian prices. There is also a selection of coffee and cake.
The next door Bon Bakes has a small selection of breads but otherwise the same service.
Those who want to eat salad or sandwiches can go to Baker Street. Unfortunately, there is no coffee here except black and the ice cream costs huge sums.
In the French quarter there are many good but also expensive restaurants with French, Italian, Chinese or Indian cuisine. In the Tamil Quarter, we recommend Don Giovanni, which advertises a real Italian chef and serves pizza and homemade pasta.
The Nilgiris supermarket is recommended for self-caterers. Here you can find everything your heart desires: tomato sauces, cheese, spices, sausage but of course also cosmetics etc.
Fruit, vegetables and fish are available at the Grand Bazaar.

Madurai is one of the few cities in Tamil Nadu that should be visited. There isn't much to see here aside from the temple, but those who like to bargain are guaranteed to find some nice souvenirs and souvenirs here and it can be very amusing to watch the mix of Indian and foreign tourists.

Worth seeing
The undisputed highlight of Madurai is the Sri Meenakshi Temple. If you walk towards the temple square you can see the colorful gopurams flashing out between the houses, but only up close you can see how fascinating the large temple towers, decorated with hundreds of painted figures, really are. Inside you can also marvel at numerous ceiling paintings and figures.

The temple market in a somewhat gloomy hall directly across from East Gopuram is very nice for anyone looking for fabrics, scarves, bags or tailor-made clothes. Kitchen utensils, incense sticks and costume jewelry can also be found here in abundance. Most sellers try to earn something from tourists, but with a little skill you can negotiate reasonable prices. In addition, many are in the mood for a chat and also like to offer their customers tea.
The handicraft shops around the temple are not so recommendable. Most of them are hopelessly overpriced. You are welcome to take a look to find out more about what is on offer, but you can usually find the items on offer in smaller shops a lot cheaper.

In the New College House you eat well and quickly, but without an overly nice atmosphere. Along Maistry Perumal Street there are numerous slightly more expensive restaurants, some on the roof, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the temple.

If you want to take a look at the temple from above, you can let a tractor lead you to one of the large arts and crafts galleries. There you can look directly onto or into the temple grounds from the roof. Of course, you don't have to buy anything for a long time.

Kodaikanal is not particularly exciting, but all the cooler. It is mainly used to find a bit of peace after the hustle and bustle of Madurai etc. and to look down into the valley.

Worth seeing
If you need a bit of exercise, you can treat yourself to a walk around the lake, and you can also go pedal boating. For a view over the hills and valleys, it is best to walk along Coaker’s Walk.

At the edge of the lake there are numerous stalls, which mainly supply freezing tourists with warm clothes, in the town center there is a small complex of shops where you can buy jewelry and handicrafts. In a small shop with objects from Tibet there are wonderful folding cards and postcards. There is a shop on Anna Salai with a large, reasonably priced selection of wooden items.

The best thing about Kodaikanal is the chocolate. Along the lake and in Anna Salai there are numerous small stalls selling open chocolate curds. The desired mixture and quantity can be put together from many different varieties.
Since many refugees from Tibet live and work in Kodaikanal, there is a good opportunity to eat Tibetan food. Delicious: momos.


Bring warm clothes! The only place where socks in sandals are legal;)

K. is an ugly tourist village from which one shouldn't expect too much. There is more hype about it than it deserves. But if you make a detour, you can claim to have stood at the southernmost point of India and seen 3 seas.

The Mannikam Tourist Home (double room with balcony and TV from 600Rs, +91 4652 246387) rents out very nice rooms, some with a sea view and is very quiet but not far outside.

Worth seeing
Kanyakumari is, so to speak, the top of India. This is where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet, which you can "see" at the Ghats. In addition, the ashes of Gandhi were scattered here, in whose honor the Gandhi Memorial was erected. There is a beautiful view from the balconies of the building. Inside, only unlabeled photos of Gandhi are shown, if you want more information, you can have a guide drag you along, who later also wants at least 100Rs for his incomprehensible explanations.

The Archana garden restaurant very close to Mannikam TH has delicious food and a nice inner courtyard, where you can dine undisturbed.

If you are tired of the many tourists, salespeople and guides that bustle around you in Kanyakumari, you can spend the day in the water amusement park nearby. There are several shallow "swimming pools" and various slides. However, men and women are separated in some pools and women have to swim with clothes on.