Destinations Magazine

52 Places To See In 2014 by NYT-Chennai One Of Them

By Tobeontheroad
This week I was planning to write about the Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival  in Madras (Now chennai).Madras city is vibrant throughout the year with lot of Arts ,Cultural and Festivals taking place in different parts of the city .Any Traveller who is interested in tasting the culture of Tamilnadu in India can visit First Madras and then travel to other parts of Tamilnadu for more specific experience.It is no wonder yesterday New York Times has chosen Chennai as one of the 52 Travel destinations to see in 2014.
Come December the whole city vibrates with Carnatic Music and all the sabahs are full.People stand from early morning 0330 hrs to get the daily tickets or to buy the season pass without minding the chill weather.The seasons becomes a meeting ,reunion of the children with parents,friends and relatives.Music lovers love to discuss about the happenings in the city and enjoy the snacks offered in canteens at great venues.Many Mylapoorians host a one or two visitors in their home by providing them with authentic South Indian food and a room stay with all modern amenities.
Underneath the Modern city there lies the subtle nerve of the old age tradition still being followed by the present generation  members.The youngsters even though they are highly qualified look upon the season as an opportunity to remind themselves of their upbringings and pass it on to the next generation.There are dance dramas which attracts huge crowds and creative dance programmes of NaMaargam which produces high quality presentations in Pandanallur School of Bharatanatyam.This year I happened to see one of their programme.
In this Festival Margazhi month the four day Mylapore fest plays an important role .This event jointly done by the Mylapore Times and Sundaram Finance boasts of a relationship for the past 12 years.The early morning Kutcheries done by children as a group at Nageswarrao Park in Mylapore brings a charm to the surroundings with many walkers looking for the event to cherish their memories.The day long competitions like Chess Tournaments,Ceramic Tile Painting,Traditional Game of Dayakattam & Pallanguzhi keeps the children busy in the weekends.The Kolam fest attracts Foreigners and Males to try their skill in the traditional art along with veteran women contestants.This year Children were invited to participate in kolam competetion and no wonder more than 25 contestants participated and did enormously well.
Another highlights of this year is a Roof Top dance which was a very novel idea of Revathi who coordinates the events for the past so many years along with Vincent who personally overseas every bit of action around.The Roof Top Dance took the audience back to the memory lanes of the Dance festival at Chidambaram Natarajar temple conducted every year.Evening were marked with classical folk dances from South India  and there were streets were students exhibit their craftsand arts,a food street to cater the taste buds of the crowd,Womens Bazaar and Mylapore Mosaic.In one of the Bhavan there was a display of photos witha  focus on Tamil cinema and a selection of vintage photos and art instalaltion along the streets.
In a few days time the Theppam festival will takes place in the Kapaleeswar Temple tank and one will not get any place to sit and watch the float decorated with God and live carnatic music performed by the Muscians.The float with its glittering illumination moving around the water is a sight to watch and locals do not miss this event at all.
Not only that the Hindu Lierary for life fest opens up for panel discussions and seminar from eminant personalities from India and Abroad.It attracts a lot of young generation crowd as the topics covered are varied in nature and apt to their present day life.And no wonder this generation are the verocious readers and discuss their opinions through the social media very emphatically and decisevly.The chenani audience also look for these discussions ranging from all fields like Music,Theater,Travel,Sports.This year I attended the Fest on the 3 rd day and listened to Moral Policing in Cinema by actor Kamal Haasan and K.Hariharan,Wayfarers by Colin Thubron and William Dadrymple.The last topic one very very touchy and taboo to Indians on Beyond the Naomi Wolf introduced by Anita Ratnam.I made a beginning on Literary quest and a long way to go.
No doubt NYT chose Madras as the cultural capital of India and indeed is a honor for all of us who makes this city Live in all means.Chennai keep it up !!!
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