Adventure in India: Chennai + Pongal

Well, we ended up in Chennai for one night after we read there was a New Year’s celebration taking place there.  The Pongal Festival.  Chennai was not picturesque like most other places we’ve experienced.

It’s a big harsh city with an attitude.  From the hotel where we stayed to the rickshaw driver, we were routinely victimized.

The taxi driver, who was hired to take us around four several hours, decided to quit before the day was complete leaving us unable to pick up items that were being held for us. The hotel was yet worse. On our first day, two hotel employees came into our room and locked the door behind themselves before demanding money from us.

Rama’s Song, Pongal Perfromance. Chennai, India.

All that aside, however, we’re glad for the trip to Chennai because Pongal was truly a spectacle to behold. The beach was filled with probably 1 million people celebrating the new year. People were swimming in full saris with generations of family.

Everyone welcomed us and wanted to be photographed with us. I have never seen anything like that or experienced such a joyous mood amongst so many strangers.