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DigitalMo

so anyone is chennai india?

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might also be travelling around the place kolkata, combaitore, bangalore, ... in the next few weeks ... already been to mumbai and might go back ... not sure how long i'll be in chennai ... if anyone is around let me know and maybe we can catch up ...

any recommendations while i am here let me know ...

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Asalaamualaikum,

I am not there now, but I have visited Chennai a couple of times. There is a really beautiful Shia Masjid, I think it is called 1000 Lights, you should check it out. Also you should check out the beaches, masha'Allah, they are beautiful. The beaches in Pondicherry are nice too, but that is some distance away from Chennai.

Hope you enjoy your stay. Stay cool...

Fi Amanillah

Edited by zainab313

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Thanks for the info on 1000 Lights masjid, I will endeavour to check it out this weekend god willing. I will also do some touring and will make sure i see some of the other scenery such as the beaches you mentioned.

Thanks for the restaurant tip ... i have been getting into some nice food (while at the same time and desperately trying to avoid any street stalls) ... but the restaurants are fine the food has been great ...

I am not Indian, I am Lebanese/Australian I am here on a business trip for a few weeks then heading back to Australia.

Thanks ands Take care ...

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Salaams!

Welcome to India, bro! If this is your first time, I'm sure this trip will be quite a memorable experience.

Glad to learn that you'll be coming down to Bangalore too. I'll pm you my tel numbers. Do give me a tinkle before you come down here. It would be simply wonderful to meet up for coffee or (even better) lunch/dinner.

Salaams & duas,

Sulayman

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Salams,

Thanks bro ... its been great so far ... i've been doing some sight seeing on the weekends ... and i have already seen the extremes of poverty and affluence ... i went to some of the tsunami affected areas as well ... the colours, sights and sounds are very rich where every you go .... its definately been memorable so far ... i still can't get over the slums/shanty towns in mumbai ... they just go on forever ...

my next destination is likely to be hyderabad and then onto bangalore ...

God willing i will get in touch with you and we can arrange to meet up ...

Salams and Take care.

DigitalMo.

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.. i still can't get over the slums/shanty towns in mumbai ... they just go on forever ...

I think it’s about time for another change of name….they should name it Slumbai now.

Slumbai- City of illegal Bangladeshi slum dwellers.

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Me Chennai-vasi here ! (Chennai-ite in Tamil)

There is a really beautiful Shia Masjid, I think it is called 1000 Lights

LOL...I must have crossed that mosque 1000 times !! never knew it was a shia mosque....LOL..back then I never knew what is shia or sunni..

any recommendations while i am here let me know ...

If you are into beaches, there are very good beaches in Chennai.

Marina - is world's second longest beach, but it will be crowded, if you want a "posh" beach - go to Besant Nagar beach.

If you are into swimming in sea and all, go to Mahabalipuram beach. Still pristine and unpolluted, atleast until I was there in Chennai 3 years back.

If you are into archeology and all, visit the rock temples in Mahabalipuram. Be careful of drug dealers / shady guides though, take a local friend with you from Chennai, if possible.

Go to Spencer Plaza where you can get branded items or go to T.Nagar roadside shops where you will get the same "branded" item for throwaway price :!!!:

Go to vegetarian restaurents like Saravana Bhavan and eat Masala Dosai, Pongal, Idli , Sambhar Vada etc...I miss them a lot... :(

If you are into electronics, go to Richie street , where you can assemble a state of the art computer for half the price in a branded shop.

You have to be street smart to enjoy Chennai. Be VERY CAREFUL with auto-rickshaws. They will swindle money out of non-Tamil folks.

Btw, post your experiences. Good and Bad.

Those who visit India - either love it so much that they can't get enough and visit often, or they hate it so much that they don't come back again. Which category are you ? :)

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Me Chennai-vasi here ! (Chennai-ite in Tamil)

Cool ... the people seem to be very friendly and honest (other than the shop keepers :P) ... i noticed that hardly anyone can speak/read/write hindi/urdu ... tamil is the main language spoken ..

the city seems to be attracting plenty of foreign investiment ... you can see the progress ... the city is very vibrant ... and the coastline is beautiful ...

There is a really beautiful Shia Masjid, I think it is called 1000 Lights

LOL...I must have crossed that mosque 1000 times !! never knew it was a shia mosque....LOL..back then I never knew what is shia or sunni..

Yeah i read about the masjid in Lonely Planet (South India) it was only one of two masjids mention for Chennai ... so when sis zainab mentioned it was a shia mosque i made sure i visited ... unfortunately when i went there their was a funeral in progress so i did not want to take photos at such a moment ... go willing i plan on going again ...

If you are into beaches, there are very good beaches in Chennai.

my driver has been taking me all over the place ... he is very good and very honest and i am luck to have him taking care of me ...

Marina - is world's second longest beach, but it will be crowded, if you want a "posh" beach - go to Besant Nagar beach.

I went there yesterday .. my driver showed me the police commissioners residence as well ... it was opposite the beach ... i also visited the beaches and resorts along the way from chennai to Mahabalipuram they were all very nice ..

If you are into swimming in sea and all, go to Mahabalipuram beach. Still pristine and unpolluted, atleast until I was there in Chennai 3 years back.

I did go ... and it was hot so i went for a short dip ... it was nice ...

along the way you could see some of the damage from the tsunami still visible ... some temporary housing was erected and the villigers were loiving in over crowded conditions ...

it was interesting as each time we passed through one of the villages we had to pay a "entry fee - or pass through fee" the excuse was that they needed it for rebuilding after the tsunami ... i didn't mind the fee was pretty minimal ... but i thought good on them for taking advantage of the cashed upo tourists that come through ...

If you are into archeology and all, visit the rock temples in Mahabalipuram. Be careful of drug dealers / shady guides though, take a local friend with you from Chennai, if possible.

I went there as well ... the history is facinating ... and the carvings are abundant ...

what amazed me was the skills of the people working around the temples ... they were carving stones into various forms ... seeing them work was interesting ...

Go to Spencer Plaza where you can get branded items or go to T.Nagar roadside shops where you will get the same "branded" item for throwaway price  :!!!:

Yeah i've been doing too much shopping i think ... i don't know how i am going to take everything back with me ... and the thing is i still have to go to other cities in the coming few weeks doh! i had to buy some new bags to put the stuff in

Go to vegetarian restaurents like Saravana Bhavan and eat Masala Dosai, Pongal, Idli , Sambhar Vada etc...I miss them a lot... :(

I've pretty much only been eating vegetarian and some seafood ... i am lucky i have some collegues that have been here a bit longer and have been showing me the places they have frequented ... but don't ask me to repeat the names of the places that i've been to ... the food was great but names are hard to remeber (for me at this stage) i am still tryinbg to adjust to the language ... i will make sure i check out the places you have mention if i haven't already :P

Edited by DigitalMo

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If you are into electronics, go to Richie street , where you can assemble a state of the art computer for half the price in a branded shop.

I was goning to buy some electronics today ... but ran out of time ... i am going tommorrow to get a scsi thumb drive will see if anything else catches my eye ... my driver has been doing the barganing for me ... otherwsie i would have been ripped off big time (realitvely speaking) ...

You have to be street smart to enjoy Chennai. Be VERY CAREFUL with auto-rickshaws. They will swindle money out of non-Tamil folks.

Man just navigating the street is a challenge ... we have a few locals who have given us some good tips ... so that has been helpful ...

Btw, post your experiences. Good and Bad.

I am not sure what to do when the beggers come around ... my driver keeps telling me not to give them as they are professional beggers and not really needy as such ... but i had the same problem when i was in Europe ... so india is not unique in this regard ...

I lost 1,500 rupees today while shopping ... but that is my fault ... i put too much money in my pocket and some must have fell out while i was taking money out ... but my driver saved me around that much in haggling over prices anyway ... so no big deal ...

Had lunch at the fishermans cover resort yesterday .. the food was good and the resort was nice ... the beach was clean ..

visted the crockcodile part between chennai and Mahabalipuram ... that was better than i expected ...

my driver took me around and showed me all the various temples and mosques in and around chennai ... very nice ... the various communities seem to get one very well and i have not seen any tensions or lack of harmony ... so that was very impressive and made me enjoy the place more ...

the autos have been fun to ride ... i hire one to go to lunch with everyday ... and they way they navigate the traffic is interesting ... but here you can't speed if you wanted to so i see it as minimal risk considering they move slow enough as they weave their way through the traffic ...

i have gone to some of the "western" style joints for food ... i even had some lebanese food which was a pleasant surprise ... i didn't expect to be eating falafel and such when i got here ... so that was refreshing ...

I am not one that really gets a thrill from the touristy things ... to me that is what you are expected to do ... i have been trying as much as i can to see real life here ... to me those moments have been more rewarding ...

It has been interesting seeing the cows along the road stopping the traffic ... but i haven't seen any snake chalmers yet :P

i've had some nice conversations with various people of various faiths while here ... it has been enriching in that regard ... the common theme is that we all belive in one god, how we express god's attributes is the difference ...

Those who visit India - either love it so much that they can't get enough and visit often, or they hate it so much that they don't come back again. Which category are you ? :)

I can see that life is very hard for alot of people here ... everyone works hard for a living ... the people here are good and honest ... that makes all the difference ... to me it has already been memorable and consiodering i have a few more legs on my journey ... i am definately looking forward to exploring more of the diversity of india ...

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Salaams Digital Mo...

Looks like you're having a Blast of time! :) Glad to hear that you're enjoying self!!!

Satyam was asking me for some pics from Bangalore & here's a teaser for you too....

Feast your eyes, guys:-

MG road and not a soul in view.....a rare signt in deed..

image002171zf.jpg

The posh HSBC bank at the begining of MG Road...(you may have already seen this Satyam)

image002216xu.jpg

Bang opposite which is the recently renovated ING Vysya Bank...(This you may not have...)

image003706vz.jpg

My regular running spot...the famous...Cubbon Park!...(fondly refered to as the lungs of Bangalore :P )

image003329fm.jpg

I have no idea what this says....maybe Satyam can help us out here

image003312kf.jpg

Giddy-up Grandpa..Giddy-up!

image003696id.jpg

Oh well...That's all for now...

Take care...

Keep smiling :)

Sulayman

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How is the 1000 Lights Masjid? I was never fortunate to go myself...but I heard it was beautiful. If you go do go there again, insha'Allah, I would very much enjoy seeing pics of it. I live in the US...and don't know when my next trip to Chennai will be. Thanks, Jazak'Allah.

Edited by zainab313

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nsha'Allah sis i will take some snaps of the masjid ...

I like how the traffic lights have a count down before they turn green ... keep people entertained i guess ... i think it is a cool idea ... hopefully it will get introduced in the west ...

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i noticed that hardly anyone can speak/read/write hindi/urdu ... tamil is the main language spoken

Duh ! it is Tamil Nadu ( meaning Tamil Nation ). We are quite chauvinistic about our language, even now you can see in the boards, Hindi words would be blackened with Tar :!!!:

It was done long back and the lazy govt never bothered to repaint them..

But in Chennai, there are many Hindi and Telugu speaking population. Only Chennai has cinema houses that run hindi movies exclusively. Interior TN is even worse for a hindi speaker. :lol:

the city seems to be attracting plenty of foreign investiment ... you can see the progress ... the city is very vibrant ... and the coastline is beautiful ...

Yeah, it is becoming an auto hub of sorts. TVS motors groups is based in Chennia - Sundaram Fasteners, India Pistons, Lucas -TVS, etc and also the Toyota Kirloskar , Ford motors, Hyundai motors. I am expecting that in another decade or so, Chennai will become a global auto hub. Already Hyundai cars from Chennai are exported all over the world.

Chennai has a rich tradition in education. The oldest University outside Europe and US is in Chennai - Guindy Engineering College ( started around 1790s). Go to Adyar and the way between Adyar and Guindy, there is L.B.Shastri road, where both IIT Chennai and Anna University ( both top ten engg colleges in India ) are there. There is also a snake park there.

Visit the famed IIT. it is a must see.

I went there as well ... the history is facinating ... and the carvings are abundant ...

what amazed me was the skills of the people working around the temples ... they were carving stones into various forms ... seeing them work was interesting ...

Mahabalipuram temples are a great example of Tamil architecture. It was during the reign of Pallavas - a famous line of kings. The Pandava cave temples are carved from one huge monolith rocks. I hope you enjoyed the architectural beauty of them.

I am not sure what to do when the beggers come around ... my driver keeps telling me not to give them as they are professional beggers and not really needy as such ... but i had the same problem when i was in Europe ... so india is not unique in this regard ...

Yep. Follow the suggestions of the driver.

The beggars look sad and sometimes they have a kid and they will ask money for the kid to eat. Usually the kids will be borrowed from the original mother and this is a big racket or scam. You will notice that no local will be giving them money, because they know this.

Let's be clear. There is no dearth of jobs in Chennai. There will always be a demand for unskilled laborer in India, since machines and automations is still not widespread.

Giving money to able bodied people who chose to beg is an insult to all those who do a honest work for a living. If you genuinely want to do some charity work, visit a place in Adyar, where two girls run a hostel for mentally challenged and destitute people. They would put your money to far better use.

my driver took me around and showed me all the various temples and mosques in and around chennai ... very nice ... the various communities seem to get one very well and i have not seen any tensions or lack of harmony ... so that was very impressive and made me enjoy the place more ...

Chennai is usually a tension free place. Apart from a few minor scuffles (nothing fatal usually, just a show of strength) during the yearly processions in Triplicane , nothing serious happens. People usually leave their religion or caste prejudices in their homes ....when you interact with so many people from so many backgrounds ..over a period of time..people usually tend to give up their prejudices and mix easily.

Go to the Velankanni curch in Besant Nagar, it is very famous. Also there is a Sikh gurudwara. If possible go to the Mylapore temple and Madhya Kailash temple. They are very famous.

i have gone to some of the "western" style joints for food ... i even had some lebanese food which was a pleasant surprise

u get every type of food in chennai.

i would recommend Copper Chimney , and then there is an Afghan restaurent caled Kabul , don't go to the five star types like park sheraton and chola sheraton etc, they are usually a waste of money.

I can see that life is very hard for alot of people here ... everyone works hard for a living ... the people here are good and honest ... that makes all the difference ... to me it has already been memorable and consiodering i have a few more legs on my journey ... i am definately looking forward to exploring more of the diversity of india ...

Tamils are usually a very enterprising people. It is exemplified in Chennai which has progressed inspite of bad governance. Brother , you gotta see some Tamil movies. Try for the latest Rajinikanth movie !

Also, where else you are going, keep posting about your experiences...

Sulayman,

Thanks a lot. the pictures are beautiful. Keep them coming !

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Guest Lion

post-1035-1121739156_thumb.jpg

hehe , Bangalore is awwsome , make a visit to Botonical Garden Lal babgh , cubbon park all the way to OOTY , etc.......

post-1035-1121739166_thumb.jpg

post-1035-1121739192_thumb.jpg

Sulayman of the Heart :!!!: The first photo in your above post is bad yucki , bytheway, that is the place where I met your bro ^_^

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Salaams bro Lion,

Those are GREAT pics! My, you seem to be a darn good photographer...(much better than me at least...) ^_^

Take care...post more if you've got 'em,

Sulayman

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Guest Lion
Salaams bro Lion,

Those are GREAT pics!  My, you seem to be a darn good photographer...(much better than me at least...)  ^_^

Take care...post more if you've got 'em,

Sulayman

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wa alykum saalam,

dude those are not mine , I found some good ones :P . See you in India Insha Allah !

Thousand Lights Masjid

Dating to at least a century before is what is popularly called the Thousand Lights Mosque. In its Assembly hall were once lit a thousand oil lamps by the Shias assembling during Muharram.

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Sulayman or Lion,

Any pics of Mysore mahal, especially lit with lamps in the night ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You seem to know Bangalore extremely well...Do guide this ignorant (yet humble) visitor...where's Mysore Mahal? :blush:

Sulayman

Edited by Sulayman of the Heart

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Guest Lion

post-1035-1121787449_thumb.jpg

Brindavan gardens lies next to the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam (19 kms from Mysore). The garden is beautiful with the lush green grass and colourful flowers.

post-1035-1121787392_thumb.jpgBrindavan gardens

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The garden is great place to relax with plenty of fountains (including a musical one) and well maintained greenery.

Sulayman, Mysore Palace , where elephants wear huge jewels lol

post-1035-1121787629_thumb.jpg

^Mysore Palace in night !

post-1035-1121787302_thumb.jpg

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Was in hyderabad for a couple of days this week .. unfortunately didn't get much chance to do any site seeing ... full days and even evenings having meetings ... am back in chennai now ... you guys work too much ... whats this 10 hour days and 6 day weeks ... thats 60 hours of work per week ... man we only work like 37.5 hours and we reckon its too much time away from family ...

my trip to bangalore has been re-managed ... now the guys from bangalore are coming here instead ... so i will be in chennai next week as well ...

considering bangalore is a reasonably short train ride from chennai i was thinking of going over this weekend ... what do you guys think ..

Edited by DigitalMo

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(salam)

considering bangalore is a reasonably short train ride from chennai i was thinking of going over this weekend ... what do you guys think ..

What's there to think bro? come over! :!!!:

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Take the Shatabdi express train. It should be only 5/6 hours from chennai to bangalore.

Hey , you can touch base with sulayman at bangalore.

for a techie, bangalore is a mecca ... u should make the pilgrimmage :lol: and worship the gods of IT there :lol:

What did u see in h'bad? charminar? h'bad is famous for chicken biriyani...hope u tasted those..

Bahlool, u in bangalore ?

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You seem to know Bangalore extremely well...Do guide this ignorant (yet humble) visitor...where's Mysore Mahal?  :blush:

Sulayman

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In Mysore, DUH !!! :lol:

More than mysore, i would recommend you to visit Humpi , if you are into history and archeology ( i am )..

It was an important city of the vijayanagara empire which was the bulwark against the muslim expansion of the bamini sultans in the Deccan. Eventually it fell to the muslim rulers and it was razed to the ground, but still many ruins are there from which we can guess how beautiful the city must have been in its glory. I think it is in the list of UN heritage sites too.

You would be tearful to see the destruction of such a beautiful city. A Jackie chan movie was made at that site recently.

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I will take the fast air-conditioned train ... they tell me it takes about four hours ... should be good scenery along the way ... i am think of leaving saturday morning and coming back sunday night ... how does that sound ... i can transfer my hotel reservation for saturday night to the equivalent local hotel in bangalore ...

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