Chennai is always recognised as the “GATEWAY TO THE SOUTH”. This is the first city of the South India, which is the capital of Tamil Nadu and headquarters of Chennai. Chennai is also one of the four metropolises. This city of ancient traditions is an urban agglomerate of over 4.25 million people. The Green, Airy city beckons those who love the leisurely tempo of life. It is a courtesy, charm and culture with values of another day, another age still cherished here amidst, the bustle of the modern metropolis, temples and forts, churches and beaches, mosques, parks and monuments are all the part of the mosaic of Chennai.
Listed below are the best places that are frequently visited by the tourist. These places are must visit one when you plan your vacation to Chennai.
Places of Interest
This picturesque little park at one end of the famous Marina beach is crowded year around with people paying their respect at the Samadhi (tomb) of the late Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai.
This is formerly called as the Mount Road this is 16 km long road that starts from St. Thomas Mount in the outskirts and cuts across the heart of the city. It is the busy commercial centre and shopping paradise.
Birla Planetarium is built in the memory of B.M.Birla, the well-known industrialist and visionary, the Planetarium is considered to be the most modern in the country.
Fort St. George
This is the place from where the British East India Company ruled India in the early days, today it is the house of the legislature, the secretariat and the ministries of the Tamil Nadu Government. St. Mary Church in the Fort is the oldest Protestant church east of Suez. Robert Clive was married here. In the courtyard of the church are the oldest British tombstones in India. Also in the fort are the former houses of Lord Clive, Colonel Wellesley, Elihu Yale (of Yale University fame) and the Thomas Port. The fort has the tallest flag pole in India. The Museum and the Clive corner are the other places of interest that are located here.
Located in the south of Elliot’s beach is the Kalakshetra. This is the famous school dedicated to the traditional South Indian dance forms, crafts and Carnatic music was started by Rukmini Devi Arundale. Together with a few other schools, it forms a part of the Annie Besant Cultural centre.
This destination little further on, is the artists cooperative which is a unique experiment where business, culture and art go in hand.
Guindy National Park and Snake Park
This is small National Park has a large population of spotted deer apart from blackbuck, civet cat, jackal, mongoose, monkeys, reptiles and some birds life. It is the only National Park in India to be found within the city. The snake park nearby as the collection of reptiles, including iguanas, pythons, cobras, Kraits and tarantula spiders. There is also a research centre in the premises that manufactures anti-venom.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica
At the southern end of the Marina is San Thome, which owes is a name to the apostle of India, St.Thomas Dydimus. Doubting Thomas died sometime in 78 A.D. on St. Thomas Mount, just outside the city of Southern limits. He is said to have been first buried on the San Thome beach, and a church was built at this site. He was later reinterred in a new church further inland. The second church was rebuilt in 1606 as the cathedral and the present towering Basilica was built in 1896 on the same site. The beautiful church with its stained glass window is visited by many pilgrims and tourist throughout the year.
Sri Kaplishwar Temple
This temple situated in ancient Mylapore was built by Pallavas in the 8th century. Later, additions were made by the Cholas, Pandayas and the Vijayanagara Kings. The presiding deity is Lord Kapaliswarar and the consort is Karpagambigai. The temple tank is surrounded by a busy shopping arcade. The annual festival of the temple is held in March.
Sri Parthasarathy Temple
This temple is also built during the 8th century; the temple in Triplicane is yet another creation of the Pallavas. The presiding deity of this Vaishnavite temple is Lord Parthasarathy. The tank is an excellent example of the Pallava art.
The city of the biggest mosque is an elegant building in Triplicane and is associated with Nawabs of Carnatic. The other famous one is the Thousand Lights Mosque, off Anna Salai.
A wide road and an elegant promenade are the both an intrinsic part of beautiful Marina- the second longest beach in the world. The beach drive runs between magnificent stately buildings on one side and a wide sandy beach on the other side. Particularly noteworthy buildings are the buildings of the University of Madras, Chepauk Palace, Ice House and the Police Headquarters.
The Pantheon Complex
This imposing complex encompasses the Museum with its superb collection of South Indian bronzes, the National art gallery and the Connemara Public Library. The complex is built in the Indo-Saracenic style, the National Art Gallery as the very good collection of old and modern paintings which include some rare Rajput and Mughal ones.
Valluvar KottamBuilt in 1976, the imposing memorial to the poet and saint Thiruvalluvar has one the largest auditoriums in Asia. Shaped like a temple chariot or Ratha, it is one of the most distinctive buildings in the city.
Situated on the bank of the Adyar River in a spacious wooden estate, the world Headquarters of the Theosophical Society has the fine library, shrines of all faiths and the serene Garden of Remembrance.
The Corporation Campus
The Corporation Campus or the Ribbon building is the headquarters of the oldest city corporation of India. The campus includes the Victoria public hall, the Corporation stadium and My Ladye’s Garden- a horticulturist’s delight.
Chepauk is one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in India. It is also a major national cricket stadium and also the hub of the Tamil Nadu cricket world.
George Town is the Indian town that grew alongside the original British Township of Fort St. George. Some of the oldest commercial buildings and homes of Chennai are to be found here.