Visit Cholamandal Artists' Village, located about 12 miles south of Chennai. The village was set up in the mid-1960s by the principal of the Madras School of Arts and Crafts for artists to pool their talents and resources to learn from and influence each other. The result is this thriving, tranquil respite from the city, where many artists make their home and have their own studios. There are a few galleries that exhibit works for sale; most have reasonable price tags.
Visit the Bronze Gallery in the Government Museum, which houses several personal collections of notable British doctors. The museum itself is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, which blends Rajput, Hindu and high-Victorian styles. On occasion, Remote Lands can arrange for guests to meet with a top curator, who can escort you to store rooms and workshops where pieces are in the process of being restored.
Have lunch at Saravana Bhavan, a successful franchise of south Indian vegetarian restaurants that has established outposts as far as New York, London, Singapore and elsewhere. Learn how to eat with your hands as you dig into your thali, which has roughly 14 different cups of curries, raita (yogurt) and other staples of the south Indian diet.
When you are finished, meet with the head chef and walk through the kitchen for a cooking demonstration to see how so many dishes are made for every meal.
Stop by the Southern Railway terminus in town for another example of the beautiful Indo-Saracenic architecture that is distinctive of the area.