Chennai or Bangalore - which is better?

#1 Jan 26th, 2015, 15:45
Join Date:
Jan 2015
  • macguba is offline
No, I'm not trying to start a flamewar! It's just that we're going to move to one or the other and I'm interested in technical differences:

Cost of renting a flat
Typical commuting times/methods
General cost of living
Differences in office culture
Salary difference (management level)

That sort of thing. All comments welcome.

Many thanks
#2 Jan 26th, 2015, 16:38
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Chennai, India
  • Nick-H is offline
Hmmm... they really are piece-of-string questions. There was a recent thread on which Indian cities are popular with expats that you might find useful, although it didn't say much about Chennai.

I don't know Bangalore, and Chennai has been my home town for so long that I am an "expat" when I go somewhere else. It makes it hard to think of the city from an expat's point of view.

You didn't mention climate in your post. That is the thing that seems to make most people, including Indians, much prefer Bangalore to Chennai: it is usually the first thing on the list of reasons why Indians don't want a posting to Chennai. Three seasons: hot, hotter and hottest. Add and humid to all three. Except for hottest (April-June), I like it! I went were the climate suits my clothes
#3 Jan 26th, 2015, 18:29
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Dis Location
  • Sajish is offline
Hi macguba,
Welcome to IM and India! I have been in Bangalore for about 10 years now, and I kind of like the place (since Rishikesh is not an option, as we speak). I have had not-so-brief stints in Chennai too during these years.

Here's my 50 cents worth comparison (Note - we are talking perceptions here):
Traffic: I find both cities equally bad, though people from Chennai will insist that Bangalore is worse, while they are stuck in traffic in a car in Annasalai, Chennai.
Temperature: Bangalore wins any day, though summers have started to look bleak over the last few years.
General cost of living is similar, I think Chennai scores a bit.
As for rentals, Bangalore may be better because it has a lot of options.
Office culture: Bangalore is more no-nonsense is what I felt. Trade it off against a more personal nature of office relationships in Chennai.
Party scene: Chennai has limited options compared to Bangalore.
Weekend getaways: I think Bangalore has more. Most of my Chennai friends are almost always talking about Pondy and Mahabs.
Food: I love Chennai any day! Bangalore has a lot of culinary variety, but for me, it's Chennai.

As an aside, you will be surprised at the love that Chennaites have for Chennai. One of my US colleagues mentioned this after a visit to our offices in both cities. She said "Bangaloreans asked me - How do you like India? Chennaites were almost always asking - How do you like Chennai?" It could also be that Bangalore is more of a melting pot of people from different parts of India, that there is very little strong "native" undercurrent that you can sense. No tangent intended.
#4 Jan 27th, 2015, 16:33
Join Date:
Jan 2015
  • macguba is offline
Thank you gentlemen, all very useful stuff. From this and other reading the picture I get is of swings and roundabouts. Fortunately, I enjoy both.

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