Things to do in Chennai this weekend

Mystery Rooms

Source: LBB/Mystery Rooms

Mystery rooms in Nungambakkam bring novelty and thrill to Chennai’s entertainment scene. You can take your friends and family to execute, experience and enjoy nail biting escapes, investigations and heists.

Sounds fun, you think, but where’s the challenge? The ticking clock that slowly winds down will have you on edge!

Become a true detective – uncover secrets behind mysterious killings in cursed woods; plot your prison break out of a brutal jail; encounter the paranormal in an exciting adventure inside the ruins of a historic fort; execute a grand robbery of the coveted Kohinoor diamond from a highly secured London museum, and much more.

Unleash the adventurer in you with a range of experiences across your favourite themes.

Salty Bone Divers

Source: LBB

Do you want to get in touch with nature? How about exploring the ocean and its abundant marine life from barracuda to sharks and dolphins?

With Salty Bone Divers, you can snorkel and dive into the amazing wreck of Deccan Pioneer, a cement laden Cargo ship which sank in the year 1978 near the coast of Chennai. Their trial dives for newbies and fun dives for experts encourage more people to begin their underwater adventures and engage with the aquatic world. Salty Bone Divers also have a number of scuba diving courses for children and adults at beginner and advanced levels.

Chaos Entertainment

Source: LBB/Chaos Entertainment

For the gamers and sports enthusiasts in town, both real and virtual, Chaos Entertainment is the place to be. With an uber cool console gaming centre, it is a dream come true for the gaming fraternity. You can play COD, DOTA, FIFA 17, other VR games, and more while bonding with kindred spirits in the best of facilities.

You can also enjoy screenings of big IPL and EPL matches with your family, or laser tag your frenemies at Chaos.

For the hardcore footballers out there, there are tournaments to prove your mettle. They also have a FIFA certified football turf with sidelines, goal posts, locker rooms, and a cafeteria to make sporting a great experience.

Sofar Sounds

Started in 2016 in Chennai, Sofar Sounds organizes secret gigs for the musically inclined. Entry to the gigs are invite only, and the venue and lineup are revealed just 30 hours before the event.

Source: Sofar Chennai

Opening up the music scene for fresh talents, Sofar Sounds allows artists to experiment and play unconventional sets. For example, at the 16th edition of the event earlier this year, Yazhi, a Chennai based neo-carnatic band performed the popular theme songs of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, delighting the audience with their favourite tunes. The intimate space and ethos make room for you to interact with the artist.

Transforming everyday spaces like cafes and retail shops, Sofar Sounds creates an immersive musical experience where you can explore new music and meet interesting people.

Surf Turf

Source: LBB/Surf Turf

Surf Turf at Kovalam has a number of fun beach activities for children and adults to enjoy. As the name evidently suggests, you can take surfing, stand up paddling or kayaking lessons with the best surfers in the country or sit, back and take in the view of the peaceful beach life.

If fish catch your fancy, you can ride along with a local fishing crew and learn the techniques to catch prawns, parala, mai mai, and even anchovies. Or, simply go on a fun and easy catamaran ride into the sea with your friends and family.

With bed and breakfasts, and yoga classes, Surf Turf does it all to help you unwind over a quiet weekend.

What are your favourite things to do in Chennai? Tell us in the comments below.

There are two sides to every summer

Summer is almost here, and we are at that sweet spot – a crossover between the embracing chill of the tamil month of Thai and the piping hot rays of March. Ripe for nostalgia…ah, the summers of childhood. Gully cricket matches, lazy summer afternoons full of misadventures, juicy mangoes aplenty, cartoon network marathons, evening dips in the beach, and those occasional trips to a hill station.

Here’s hoping that we make it this summer, sound and super, with some stories to tell.

A mango celebration

This June, taste more than 500 varieties of mangoes from different states in India, at the International Mango Festival organized by Delhi Tourism. Savor your favorites out of Banganpalli, Langda, Dussehri, Alphonso, Neelam, Bombay Green, and many more. That’s not all. You can rejoice and participate in mango eating contests, quizzes, and mango folk performances, too! There are also competitions for mango growers. Don’t miss this festival of colours, fragrances, and tasteful songs.

Beat the heat

Get yourself a cool bowl of ice-apple, popularly known as nungu, (palmyra palm fruit) from local street side vendors. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and fruit juices. Make cucumbers, coconut water, and watermelons a part of your daily regime.

It doesn’t take a lot to go from a glorious sun tan to damaging sunburn. So, remember sunscreens as you head out for the day.

Be a spectator to this celestial wedding

Chithirai festival, celebrated between April and May, marks the marriage of goddess Meenakshi of Madurai with Lord Sundareshwara. The story goes that, in the month of Chithirai, Lord Vishnu, aka Kallazhagar of Azhagarmalai, and brother of Meenakshi, traveled down to Madurai to give off his sister in marriage to Sundareshwara or Lord Shiva. Hoards of crowds throng Madurai every year to reenact this event, revel in the Chithirai celebrations, and enjoy the local food and art. With decorated processions, fairs, fun rides and food stalls, it is one extravagant affair. Do take part in this lively spiritual tradition this year.

Summer reading

Find a cool poolside or a cozy hammock by the beach and settle for a good read. Pick a theme for the summer and set yourself a reading challenge on Goodreads.  Here is a reading list to survive the summer heat, and a worthy compilation of some other interesting books to look forward to this year.

And a little bit for our Earth

It’s been a good three years since the north-east monsoon paid us a memorable visit. The impending water crisis calls for us to expend a little more care towards water conservation.

Recycle grey water from sinks, showers, and washing machines using simple, eco-friendly economical methods.  Direct the water from air conditioners into your garden or ground water stores. Do your bit to save water.

All that said, let’s make the most of this summer with just the right balance of fun, frolic and forethought

OMR – Chennai’s right of passage

Old Mahabalipuram Road to the Madrasis and OMR to the Chennaiites, this iconic passage in Chennai has seen the best of urban growth in the last two decades. As with every swiftly developing region, OMR sees a riveting mix of towering structures, neatly trimmed hedges, people on wheels, and chaotic Monday mornings.

OMR snakes its way through over fifteen localities in a 45-kilometer stretch, connecting the delightful coastal town of Mahabalipuram (from which the Road gets its name) to Chennai City. Home to numerous IT Parks and prominent MNCs, it doesn’t come as a surprise that this particular part of Chennai is highly coveted by office spaces and homeowners alike.

While traditional homeowners may think that moving to suburbs is not the best choice for them, hotspots like Kandanchavadi, Perungudi, Sholinganallur, Semmencherry, and Siruseri have seen staggering appreciation in real estate prices in the last 5 years alone. The steep rise in new flats for sale in Chennai has also seen a consequent growth of reputed schools and colleges in this part of the city.

Apartments in OMR are ideal for those that want the bustle of city life and still be able to beat the traffic home on a workday. Most of these projects offer a plethora of amenities including fully fitted homes, expansive recreation spaces, and through security; residents hardly travel far for everyday luxuries.

On the other hand, however, this rapid urbanization does not take away the charm that the other face of OMR has to offer. The lilting sounds of the beach are less than 15 minutes away, and a casual drive to Mahabalipuram might be just the thing for a lazy weekend. The entire passage is peppered with food joints and eateries of every cuisine, adding to the hip urban new-city appeal.

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

The massive growth that OMR has seen is certainly not overlooked by the city’s authorities. The recent Global Investors Meet in Chennai has reiterated the Government’s interest in developing the localities across OMR. With the latest Metro Rail line that goes all the way till Siruseri, and a proposal to add a Metro Water plant for better groundwater in these areas, authorities are well on their way to delivering a high standard of living for its inhabitants.

The slew of office spaces and infrastructure projects ensures that OMR continues to attract millennials, residential investment, and the authorities’ attention, making it a bigger and better Chennai. We don’t see it going away any time soon.

Splendour by Appaswamy Real Estates, Semmenchery

Appaswamy’s Splendour is located in Semmenchery, Old Mahabalipuram Road. Offering a host of modern amenities, these apartments are the answer for those seeking the coveted life on OMR.

Come home to good health

This World Cancer Day, let’s regain our perspective towards health by asking the question, “Are we taking the right steps to ensure a healthy life for ourselves and our families?”.

A concern that is widely relatable is that pollution levels are on a constant rise. The layers of dust not only dent the appearance of our home but also our health, causing cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, and diseases such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and possibly cancer. Even conditions like obesity and mental illness can cause serious long term problems, if left unaddressed. With increasing stress levels, anxiety and disrupted sleep patterns, even personal relationships are at stake here.

So, how can we curb this? Baby steps. To name a few – plant more trees, exercise more often, and meditate regularly. But we know what this is easier said than done, and that’s why we have made it our responsibility to provide a healthy and sustainable life to our home owners, buying properties in Chennai.

Yoga Space at Cerus, Vadapalani

The Bloomingdale and Cerus have exquisite yoga spaces that are spacious and comfortable. The art of practicing yoga helps in controlling the mind, body and soul. It brings balance to our daily chaotic routines and helps in attaining the much needed tranquillity and inner peace.

Yoga Arena at The Bloomingdale, Pammal

Research says that 30 minutes of walking every day reduces the incidence of obesity. Trellis’ walking tracks are surrounded by plush greenery, so that its residents can squeeze in a quick walk anytime, eliminating the agony of stepping onto the polluted roads outside. What’s more is that the plants and trees help rejuvenate the mind, correcting disturbed sleep pattern

Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. We need to ensure that our children are physically active and enjoy plenty of natural sunlight and fresh air. Habitat has multiple outdoor play areas, which provide a suitable environment for kids to play, keeping them healthy – physically and emotionally.

Gym at Habitat, Siruseri

Swimming is one of the most fun ways to stay in good shape. It improves endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular and lung function, as well. Appaswamy’s flats in Chennai such as Capella have beautiful swimming pools, that one can jump into and feel relaxed almost instantly.

Swimming Pool at Capella, Arcot Road

Living in close proximity to a hospital is always reassuring, especially with elders at home. Reputed hospitals like Apollo and Vijaya, that provide world-class healthcare facilities, are just a stone’s throw away from our properties, Clover and Capella.

It is now apparent that health considerations play an indispensable role in our home purchase decision. Apart from value growth and price considerations, make sure to plug in the availability of health-related amenities into your decision matrix.

The value of health is not just the price that you pay. It’s much more than that.