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Chennai's Kovalam Beach on a cloudy day | ©Sharath Kuchi/Flickr
Chennai's Kovalam Beach on a cloudy day | ©Sharath Kuchi/Flickr

7 Things to Do On a Rainy Day in Chennai

Picture of Arun Venkatraman
Updated: 27 November 2017

Chennai is famously said to have only three seasons – hot, hotter, and hottest! However, sandwiched between these are the musical and mesmerizing months of the monsoon that bring out the best version of this city. Whether you want to step out on the streets and splash about, or prefer staying indoors with a window-view of the rain, Chennai is full of fun options that let you enjoy the rain and the city to the fullest.

Trek up the hill at St. Thomas Mount or Pallavaram

Chennai’s long and beautiful coastline is nature’s greatest gift to the city, however, it is not the only gift. While the city’s beaches have long been loved and visited, it is truly a pity that Chennai’s equally mesmerizing hills take a backseat. While the more popular ones in St. Thomas Mount and Saidapet are best known for their churches and monuments, there are others such as the Pallavaram Hill that truly offer a great trekking experience and also some of the best views of the city. Climbing a hill can be quite punishing on a sunny day, however, visit them during the monsoons with clouds blocking the sun, and you’ll get an experience unlike any other.

Pallavaram Hill, Pallavaram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Parangi Malai, St.Thomas Mount, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India 

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An aerial view of Chennai from atop St.Thomas Mount | ©Vivian Richard/Wiki Commons

Go sports-fishing

Sports fishing is one activity that has really picked up in Chennai in recent years, and with good reason. With several experienced and popular operators such as Poseidon Sports Fishing Inc., or Blue Waters now offering short expeditions off the coast of Chennai, this activity truly takes full advantage of Chennai’s beautiful coastline and is an even more sublime experience when had on a cloudy monsoon morning. While heavy or extreme rains would mean it’s impossible (and ill-advised) to head out into the sea, on a typical monsoon morning, it is an experience unlike any other. Expeditions can last anywhere from two to eight hours.

Poseidon Sports Fishing, Chennai Beach, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, +91 95662 22444

Blue Waters Fishing Charter, AGS Colony, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, +91 95000 32661

20 KG plus GT Catch and Release in Chennai #gt #gianttrevally #sportfishing #catchandrelease #chennai #chennaifishing #fishingcharters #makeinchennai

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Drive to Mahabalipuram on ECR

Riding or driving along the scenic ECR is considered one of the must-do experiences in Chennai and this becomes even more enchanting during the monsoons. The sea views that the ECR stretch between Sholinganallur and Kovalam offers is unparalleled, and roll down a little further to reach the gorgeous beaches of Mahabalipuram. However, ECR is also known for its fair share of accidents, so no matter how great the views are, keep your eyes on the road!

East Coast Road, Sholinganallur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Mahabalipuram Beach | ©Richard Mortel/Flickr

Head to lounges or cafes for a round of indoor games

One of the best ways to have fun when you’re stuck indoors because of heavy rains is to play indoor games. And be it pool, board games, or even foosball, Chennai has no dearth of great cafes that make sure you have a ball. Cafes such as Ashvita and Coffee Central provide board games on request to customers, while places such as Cue Zone or Snooke Inn are best for playing snooker or pool.

Coffee Central, T Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, +91 44 4238 5210

Cue Zone, Officers Colony, Amnjikkarai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, +91 44 4355 8147

Get wet and take a walk at Marina or Besant Nagar Beach

While getting wet in the rain is a unique and refreshing experience in itself, doing so at Marina or Besant Nagar Beach in the company of locals and children can take the experience a step further. The beaches are a lot more fun in the rain and the cloudy weather makes for a great ambience. The hot bajjis and roasted corns taste even better than usual on rainy days, and walking on the beach is that much easier when the sand is wet!

Besant Nagar Beach, Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, 

Marina rain

Children playing at Marina Beach on a rainy day in Chennai | ©VinothChander/Flickr

Head for a brunch at a rooftop restaurant

There’s no denying that rooftop restaurants make for a fun night out at any time of the year. However, only during a rainy day can you head to a rooftop restaurant in Chennai on an afternoon and NOT feel like you’re the one that’s being fried instead of the food! Some of the best rooftop restaurants in Chennai include the Azzurri Bay in Adyar, which is best known for its amazing view of the Adyar river, and Up North in Teynampet, which offers unparalleled 360-degree views of the Chennai city.

Azzuri Bay, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, +91 44 4211 5253

Bring out the DSLR and head to Chennai’s green spaces

There is no better time to capture Chennai’s natural beauty in all its glory than during the monsoons. Whether it is the Guindy National Park, the sprawling Theosophical Society, or even the IIT Campus, Chennai’s green spaces truly come into their own on rainy days and make for some great shots that are guaranteed to get you those likes on Instagram!

International Headquarters of Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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The famous Theosophical Society Banyan Tree in Adyar, Chennai | ©Ram Karthik/Flickr