We went here twice during our trip to Chennai and every time it seemed like there was no air conditioning and it was very busy with tourists and locals alike.
There is all sorts to buy here from tobaconists and supermarkets to local handicrafts and clothing. There are a lot of shops and as such there is a lot to see, but especially the smaller interesting shops seem to wait for tourists and the shop keepers can be very pushy... However feel free to haggle a little.
A tip is that if you took a Visa cash card, use the HSBC cashpoint on to ground floor in the main atrium area as it does not seem to work in many places. Even the Thomas Cook on the ground floor (the company we got the card from in the UK) would not accept it in the same way as a credit or debit card to buy rupees.
This seemed to be one of the better malls in Chennai for tourists wishing to buy local wares at an afordable price... For designer outlets and higher end items have a look at somewhere like Citi Center Mall.
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