Everything was very nice.
With its withering southern heat, roaring traffic and scarcity of outstanding sights, the of the south' has always been the rather dowdy sibling among India's four biggest cities. But if you have time to explore Chennai's diverse neighbourhoods and role as keeper of South Indian artistic and religious traditions, the odds are this 400-sq-km conglomerate of urban villages will sneak its way into your heart.
Among Chennai's greatest assets are its people, who are infectiously enthusiastic about their hometown; they won't hit you with a lot of hustle and hassle. Recent years have added a new layer of cosmopolitan glamour, in the shape of luxury hotels, sparkling boutiques, classy contemporary restaurants and a sprinkling of swanky bars and clubs open well into the night.
Even if you're just caught here between connections, it's well worth poking around the museums, exploring the temples or taking a sunset saunter along Marina Beach.
The old British Fort St George and the jumble of narrow streets and bazaars that is George Town constitute the historic hub of the city. The two main train stations, Egmore and Central, site inland from the fort. Much of the best eating, drinking, shopping and accommodation lies in the leafier southern and southwestern suburbs such as Nungambakkam, T Nagar (Thyagaraya Nagar), Alwarpet and, increasingly, Velachery and Guindy. The major thoroughfare linking northern with southern Chennai is Anna Salai (Mount Rd).