| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Family holidays in India

From Chennai to Kochi, Monica Kapila and crew take a 10-day road trip


After a pleasant four-hour direct flight, we arrive in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, where I’ve pre-booked a child-friendly tour – known as the Peacock Tour – of Old Chennai that takes in the 400-year-old Kapaleeshwar Temple and the area of Mylapore. The cameras never stop clicking as our brilliant English-speaking guide focuses completely on the kids (I have to interrupt to ask a question). The girls are particularly fascinated by a large white marble statue of a bull into whose ears women would whisper their wishes, believing they would come true. Our two listen avidly as the guide explains why young women tie sacred thread around a holy tree (to ensure a good husband) and later return to attach toy cradles (to make sure they have a child). The nearby houses are hundreds of years old and it’s in one of these that the girls practice drawing Kolums (Indian chalk patterns that decorate thresholds of a home) on the patio and also have a go at using a giant grinding stone to crush up coriander and other herbs.

Stay… at the eco-friendly Raintree Hotel, St Mary’s Road branch.
Eat… kebabs and chicken tikka on the roof of the hotel while soaking up upper class Chennai society.

Time Out Dubai,

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