There will be a veena concert by Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh at 6 pm on January 9, 2009. The veena is a string instrument that is distinctive to South Indian classical music. It is an integral part of Hindu lore—for instance, the Hindu goddess of learning, Saraswati, is depicted as sitting on a swan and playing the veena. One can check out some videos from Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh's concerts here.
The conference banquet takes place at 8 pm on January 10, 2009 at MGM Beach Resort, East Coast Road, Muttukkadu.
There is an excursion to Mahabalipuram on January 11, 2009, after the close of the conference. Mahabalipuram is about an hour's drive from the conference venue. The plan is to leave by bus to reach Mahabalipuram at 3 pm, spend around three hours there, and be back at the conference venue for dinner. Special buses have been arranged for the trip.
Other events in Chennai
The music festival will be into its second half during the conference. There are a lot of links in lots of places. Check here for daily news related to the festival and concert schedules. There will be a lot of Bharatanatyam performances during the first half of January.
January 14 is Pongal, the harvest festival, and perhaps the most ancient festival of Tamil Nadu. There will be lot of events around that. It is also celebrated as Makara Sankranti, the beginning of the sun's movement northward for a six-month period.
The Chennai Sangamam is a very recent addition to the January festivities in Chennai. It prides itself as being the only festival of India that belongs to people of all religions, as well as to the non-believers. From January 10–16, more than 2000 performers are involved in around 4000 performances, all happening in parks, streets, and beaches. It features classical music and dance performances as well as a lot of folk art—dance, plays, music, etc. It is organised by the Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Tamil Nadu.
The Chennai Open tennis championship is happening at Nungambakkam from January 5 – 11.It features many of the top Indian players, including Leander Paes, as well as international stars like Nikolay Davidenko and Carlos Moya.
DakshinaChitra is a center for art, folk performing art, craft and architecture of South India. It holds many theme-based events throughout the year. January 1–12 sees the Margazhi Chennai Village Festival at DakshinaChitra, with Village Mela being the theme.
The Chennai book fair is an annual event that is hugely popular with the people of the city. It is organised by the Booksellers & Publishers’ Association of South India. This year, it happens from January 8 to January 18 at St. George's Anglo-Indian School, Poonamallee High Road, Aminjikarai, Chennai. It is massive in scale, and features a lot of English publishing houses as well as Tamil publishers, and is definitely worth checking out.