VGP Snow kingdom Chennai: Experience and review.

As you know Chennai is a super cool city which gets snow all around the year! Ok I know you’re fuming by now. Chennai never gets any snow at any time of the year. What’s considered warmest day some part of Europe is probably Chennai’s coldest day. To experience snow, Chennai residents need to go international or to Himalayas. Now they have a cheaper alternative. Snow Kingdom in Chennai offers a real snow experience for INR 495 per person, for 45 mins. Of course this is not a substitute to real experience but given that you don’t have to spend money traveling to Himalaya or Switzerland, visiting Snow Kingdom could be nice affordable alternative. I visited Snow Kingdom last weekend with family and this post shares my experience and review of this artificial snow chamber in Chennai, along with a comparison to my experience with real snow in Copenhagen, Europe, so that you can visit the Snow Kingdom with right expectations (or avoid it if you feel it is not worth)

Key information about Visiting Snow Kingdom in Chennai
  • Location: next to VGP Golden Beach Resort, Neelankarai, East Coast Road (ECR), Chennai
  • Entry fee: Rs 495 per person for adult, 295 for children
  • Discounts: None at the moment. Combo tickets available- VGP + Snow Kingdom at 895 rupees.
  • What is included in the fee: Boots, Jacket and gloves rental, locker facility to keep your stuff, 45 minutes time inside snow chamber (-8 degrees with some activities)
  • Duration: 45 minutes in snow chamber, another
  • Timing: Batches every hour: 10.15, 11.15, 12.15 etc. from 10 in the morning till 7 in evening (last batch)
  • Our ticket didn’t have a batch number written on it- I think it is ok if you don’t want to go in rightaway.
Other things to note:
  • DSLR/Video camera will be charged extra (RS 150)
  • Snow Kingdom inhouse photographers will click your photo, which can be purchased in print/soft copy at Rs 200 per photo
  • During our visit some 30-40 people were present in our batch. Not sure if there’s an upper cap per slot.
We reached at about 11.30 AM, so had to buy ticket for next batch that would start at 12.15. We bought ticket and waited around for some time. At 12 noon they started accepting luggage (shoes n bags need to be stored) and started issuing boots, jackets and gloves. By 1205 noon we were allowed inside a chamber, where we had to wait for another 10 minutes. At 1215 sharp we were allowed inside the large chamber with temperature which is said to be minus 8.

Activities to try inside snow kingdom Chennai
1. Once inside, we first headed to the slide- had to pickup a tube and climb stairs from which we could slide down a slope- some 100 meters long I guess. This was the main activity inside. There’s a kids slide as well. Watch the video.



2. Rock Climbing: Next activity you can try is rock climbing- some 6-8 meters in height.
3. Pull: You can make your loved one sit on a slide and pull them around
4. Play with snow- make balls and throw at people
5. Pose with various dummy artefacts like bears- all made of plastic
6. Dance: A small dance floor exists where music will be played and you can dance.
No extra charge for any of the above activities and no limit on how many times one can try each activity. You may have to wait a bit when multiple people want to try the same activity. We were done with all activities in about 30 mins with a crowd of some 30-40 people. Didn’t face any undue delay or waiting.

What to do if I feel too cold?
You can go out of snow area, to an intermediate room that is located between snow chamber and final exit. This room is in normal temperate- you can relax here for sometime and return to snow chamber whenever you wish (within your allotted 45 mins time slot)

Do we get any refreshments inside?
Chennai filter coffee can be purchased inside for Rs 35 per cup, 3x the street price. Other refreshments can be had outside or in VGP premises or in various restaurants located on ECR

What you don’t get at Snow Kingdom:
One of the major challenge when it snows is the slippery surface. When I experienced real snow in Copenhagen last year, think layer of ice had formed on the roads/floors, making it very very difficult to grip. Shoe may slip anytime if we’re not careful and each step had to be kept very carefully. This experience couldn’t be had at snow kingdom, as the floor was full of crushed ice. May be they can keep couple of ice cubes and create a 10-20 meter track on which people can try walking, with some support/cushion for safety in case guests fall down. This will help people understand real problems with snow and ice.
There is no snowfall. All the snow is on the ground. A bit of snow flakes falling from the sky would have been great. Snow kingdom can probably simulate this by blowing finely crushed ice pieces from top so that they float around a bit and land on people below.

Also if I had my way, I would have kept a car inside, so that guests can experience how difficult it is to start a car in snow or remove ice formed all over the surface. But this part is difficult to replicate on a commercial scale and space inside is too small for this- so I agree this is too much to ask for.
In summary, snow kingdom is a good way to experience snow in budget. Though it is not 100% real and 500 rupees for 45 minutes may sound like a lot, it is lot cheaper compared to cost of visiting a real snow destination (A 3-4 day trip to Simla or Srinagar from Chennai will cost at least 15-20k per person, with lowest possible airfares and budget hotels etc, without any 100% guarantee on snowfall during the dates of your travel). Snow kingdom has to run dozens of heavy duty air conditioners, spend on staff and other things. And they have no competition at present, so can’t complain much on the price.

Should we book in advance?
I don’t think so. When we visited GRS Fantasy Park in Mysuru cleartrip had good discount, so we booked on ClearTrip activities. For Snow Kingdom I did check on Cleartrip, Bookmyshow etc- there were no offers. There wasn’t any huge crowd that one had to wait in long line for tickets/entry. Booking in advance doesn’t give you any advantage- if your plans change last minute or if you get delayed, you may lose money. So in my opinion you can just arrive and book on the spot. [Update: Johan tells me Decathlon was giving some coupons that entitles buy 1 get 1 free- do check]
There is a snow city inside Pheonix mall, Velachery. I am yet to check it out.

What else to do on ECR, Chennai?
Since SnowKingdom activity will be done within an hour, you can include the following in your plan
Other attractions nearby: 3D Trick Art Museum, Vintage Camera Museum and Wax Museum (within same building, separate tickets- Rs 100, 50, 50 respectively), VGP Beach resort,

Other activities on ECR: Para motoring  * Dakshin Chitra * Polaris Offroad * Tiger Cave * Cholamandalam art village * ISKCON temple

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9 comments:

  1. This snow kingdom looks beautiful :) Nice clicks ��
    Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. There’s one similar to this is Hyderabad too. But this one looks much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know. This operator's website does't list Hyd- I am guessing one in Hyd must be some other operator

      Delete
  3. Its really very interesting. Rs 35 per cup and its really three times than street price...
    The place has been designed very aptly.

    ReplyDelete

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