My first ride as a Travel Guide

This is a story of my one day ride in Chennai, India. I'm sharing my first experience as a travel guide.

The story is short and sweet. My guests are a lovely couple, aged around 45 to 50 years old from Kerala, India. They came to Chennai for a wedding. They wanted to see Mahabalipuram, a wonderful tourist attraction of Chennai. Their daughter contacted me (after knowing about me via a mutual friend) and then we scheduled this trip on the next day of the wedding.

They stayed at a hotel near Chennai central railway station. I picked them by morning 10 o'clock. It's a sunny day of this December month. My destination Mahabalipuram is about 1 and half hours distance (58 km) from Chennai Central railway station.

If we head straight to Mahabalipuram, then we will reach there by 11.30 but that will be very sunny and definitely, we can't enjoy there. But I had a plan. We three started from Chennai Central in my Swift dzire car.

Merina beach

First, we went to Merina beach, world's second largest beach, which is 10 mins drive from central. Nothing interesting there. We walked into the sea shore, spent a little time and returned to the car. We passed 30 mins.

After 20 mins drive, we crossed Chennai city area after Tiruvanmiyur and reached East Coat Road (ECR).

Crocodile Bank

We went Straight to Crocodile Bank at ECR after 30 mins drive from Tiruvanmiyur. It is on the way to Mahabalipuram. Entry fee is Rs.40 (Indian Rupee - INR) per adult. It is a small, cool, greenish place, containing about 3000 crocodiles of different varieties.

We can also see some reptiles and Snakes there. With additional Rs.10 ticket, we can see the process of extracting Venom from snakes. My guests were happy spending time at this place. We roamed around 45 mins here. We came out of here by 1 o'clock.

We had our lunch at a nearby hotel. After that, I've driven back towards Chennai route for 11 km and reached a wonderful attraction called Dakshina Chitra.

Dakshina Chitra

It is kind of South Indian cultural Museum. Entry cost is ?100 per head, complete worth for the penny. Dakshina Chitra contains a collection of Houses of South Indian States Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andra Pradesh, and Karnataka. Different cultural style houses were built there mostly constructed with hardwoods.

Some fun activities were also conducted there, like making a pot from clay, we make our pot and we can take those pot with us. We can paint a picture using oil paints. Small fees collected for these activities.

Special dance programs and interesting cultural events conducted on a particular time period. We spent 2 hours here and we were very happy here. Actually, we didn't completely saw all houses due to short of time. We had cone ice creams while roaming. My guests purchased some handcrafted gift items too.

We started from Dakshina Chitra by 3.30 and reached Mahabalipuram by 4 o'clock.


Mahabalipuram is one of the oldest tourist attraction at Chennai, represents the creative skills of Indian kings (Pallavas) with beautiful Sculptures. We paid Rs.40 at the gate and Rs.30 at parking for the car. Additional Rs.30 (Rs.500 for foreigners) for visiting Shore Temple

After seeing Shore Temple we walked to the beach. My guests enjoyed wetting their palms inshore. I've clicked some of their photographs too.

Then we went to see the mystery rock called as Krishna's butter ball which is a Big rounded rock standing on the slope without any support or grip. We have seen some cave sculptures too.

There are some other sculptures on top of the hill. We need to climb on rocks to see all. But my guests were very tired after those long walks, so we didn't climb it.

We started back by 5.30 from there. After crossing Tiruvanmiyur we caught into terrific traffic. Slowly we reached the hotel at Chennai central by 7.15 pm.

Couples were very tired by that time but they are very Happy with that trip. They invited me to their home at Kerala. Happily, the trip Ended.

Facts about this trip

- The distance I traveled from pickup to drop is around 150 km.
- We should have started by early morning so that we should have avoided sunny weather.
- We walked more. End of the day we were tired. I should have avoided it by avoiding Merina beach.
- Central railway station is 35 km from my home. So up and down to central is additional 70 km added into this trip.
- I should have drunk more water. I felt dehydration at the end.
- Total distance I traveled on this day is 220 km.

That's all folks, Thanks for reading.

Author: Rakesh

I'm Indian blogger based on Chennai, Tamilnadu. Web developement is my Passion, Travel is my Hobby and I'm a Foodie.