22 Best Places to Visit in Chennai
Places to visit in Chennai – List of 22 Best Tourist Places in Chennai, Attractions, Activities, Things to Do – Arignar Anna Zoological Park, M.G.R.Film City Studios, Valluvar Kottam, National Art Gallery, Government Museum, Snake Park, Guindy National Park, Birla Planetarium, Kalakshetra, Edward Elliot’s Beach, Adyar Estuary, Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Wallajah Mosque, Amir Mahal, Parthasarathy Temple, St. Thomas Mount, San Thome Basilica, Rajaji Hall, Marina Beach, Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church, Statue Of Cornwallis.
The Dravidians founded the beautiful State of Tamil Nadu 5,000 years ago. Today it is home to some of the most magnificent sculptures and architect wonders of the world.
About 350 years ago,Tamil Nadu’s capital city Chennai was created by the East India Company. The last king of vanishing Vijayanagar Empire, Rajah of Chandragiri offered Francis Day, an East India company trader, a three mile long strip of land. In July 1639 Francis day and his superior built a factory, which was named Fort St. George.
When the British were in complete control of the city, after a decade’s feud with the French, they expanded the city by encompassing the neighbouring villages of Triplicane Egmore, Purasawalkam and Chetpur to form the city of Chennapatnam, as it was known then.
Beside being Britain’s first bastion from which flourished an empire, Chennai, formely known as Madras retains a harmonious blend of the old and the new. Elaborate pujas are a part of every home. Women still wear flower in their hair and young girls practice the age old Bharatanatyam Dance everyday. In this charming city modernization has not dampened the rich heritage handed down from generation to generation.
TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT IN CHENNAI : –
Fort St. George
The perfect place of discovering Chennai is Fort St. george, the oldest surviving British construction in India. At the northern end of Marina, the fort was once the headquarters of the east India Company. Today it houses the Sectariat of the Tamil Nadu Government and the legislative Assembly. Much of this fort looks almost as it did when Robert clive, Pitt, Hastings and Wellesly resided and worked here. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
Statue Of Cornwallis
The statue of Cornwallis will greet as you enter the fort Museum. Inside is an interesting collection of souvenirs from the British Raj. To the south-east of the museum is the tallest flagpole in the country standing at a height of 45.7 m.
St. Mary’s Church
Within the fort is the oldest protestant church in Asia and the second oldest British building in India, St. Mary’s Church. The inside of the Church has many paintings, records and registers, each with a story to tell- Elihu Yale, after whom the Yale University, USA is named was married here. Robert Clive and Margaret Maskelyne tied the nuptial knot at this church. The imperial Clive House was where Rober Clive, one of the Carnatic War heroes resided with his beautiful wife. The biggest judicial buildings in the world after the courts of London is the red Indo-Saracenic High Court built in 1982. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
Inspired by the classical Greek and Roman style of architecture is the Rajaji Hall.It was built by Edward Clive to commemorate the victorious battle fought by the English against Tipu Sultan.It served as the Banquet Hall to the Governor’s residence before it was renamed. Today it is often the venue for important public function.
The sprawling Marina Beach is the second largest in the world and stretches over 13 kms. As you take a beautiful stroll along the beach you will encounter Anna Memorial dedicated to C.N. Annadurai, the chief minister responsible for reshaping the social and political structure of Tamil Nadu.M.G. Ramachandran was a favourite of the masses and the first film star to become the chief minister of a state in India. His memorial lies next to the Anna Memorial. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
Visit the Aquarium or take a stroll in Governor Grant-Duff’s enchanting gardens and drives enhanced by sculptures and lights, across the Marina.
San Thoma Basilica
San Thoma Basilica to the south of the Marina is named after the legendary Thomas Didymus, the apostle who doubted. He came here in 52 AD and was martyred in 78 AD. This Roman Catholic Church houses the remains of the saint and was built in 1504 and reconstructed in 1893 in the neo-Gothic style. The beautiful stained-glass windows, tall steeple and ornate interiors tell stories of Doubting Thomas and the last days of Jesus Christ. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
St. Thomas Mount
On the outskirts of the city is St. Thomas Mount, a 76 m high mount where St. Thomas was martyred. On this mount is a church built by the Portuguese around 1514. The legendary stone cross held by the saint when he died rests in this church. Interestingly , above the altar hangs an oil canvas of the Madonna, which is believed to be one of the seven painted by St. Luke and brought to India by St. Thomas.
The Parthasarathy Temple on Triplicane High Road, dates back to the 8th century during the reign of the Pallavas. Renovated by the Vijayanagar kings, this Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is the oldest building in the city. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
Wallajah Mosque, Amir Mahal
The nawab of the Carnatic presented Chennai with the beautiful Wallajah Mosque 200 years ago. The nearby Amir Mahal is the residence of the Nawabs.
The Pallavas built the renowned Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Mylapore dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple complex has the traditional market, tank and Brahmin residential houses. Beautifully sculpted bronze idols of the 63 Shaivaite enhance the outer courtyard. The Arubathumoovar Festival is held in the temple complex in March-April. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
The Adyar Estuary, a sheltered area of the Adyar Rivar with islands and woods is home to fauna and migratory birds. On the banks of the river is the Theosophical Society founded by Colonel Olcott and Madam Blavastsky at New York, USA in 1877 which shifted its headquarter to Adyar, Chennai in 1882. Set amidst hundreds of acres of lush gardens and elegant buildings, the society is dedicated to the preservation and interaction of all world faiths. The internationally acclaimed 95 year old library has an invaluable collection of books and rare manuscripts.
Elliot’s beach on the Coromandel shore was once reserved for the Shahibs of Colonial Madras. On its shore rests the Ashtalakshmi Temple with two splendid shrines dedicated to Goddess Mahalaxmi. At the end of the beach is the famous Velankanni Church which attracts any devotees all through the year. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
The renowned Bharatanatayam Dancer Rukmini devi Arundale founded Kalakshetra in 1936 for the preservation and promotion of classical dance and Carnatic music.
At Kottupuram between Adyar and Guindy is the Birla Planetarium. With a completely computerised projector, the planetarium offers audio-visual programmes on various astronomical themes and is one of the best in the country. A visit to the nearby Periyar Science and Technology Museum can be informative.
Guindy National Park
In the heart of the city near the Raj Bhavan is the Guindy National Park. This park is home to the endangered spotted deer, white buck, bonnet monkey, small Indian civet cat and other wildlife. A wide variety of birds too flock here. The highlight of the park is the rare Indian Antelope or Black Buck found only in India. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
The snake park founded by Romulus Whittacker has a collection of cobras, kraits and pythons. In the nearby children’s park are also dedicated to Gandhiji, Rajaji and Kamaraj. It is among top tourist places to visit in Chennai.
The government museum on Pantheon Road once belonged to the Pantheon committee formed by important British citizens, responsible for improving the English social life in Chennai, The archaeological section has beautiful antiques from the Chola, Vijayanagar,Chalukya and Hoysala periods and a rare collection of Buddhist sculptures from Amravati. Part of the fascinating bronze xollection, are the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva- Natraj, Goddess Durga and The Elephant God- Ganesha, all from the Chola period. Ardhanariswara , an incarnation of Lord Shiva with one child bearing hip and breast is the show stealer.
The government museum complex includes an Art Gallery, department of Natural History, a Museum Theater and the Connemara Public Library. This library is one of the four national libraries of India where a copy of every published book is sent.
National Art Gallery
The National Art Gallery houses masterpieces of Indian art from the fascinating past and the exciting present.
Shaped like a temple chariot and a memorial to the Tamil Saint Tiruvalluvar is the magnificent Valluvar Kottam. the corridors of the front hall are engraved with 133 chapters of the Philosopher- Saint’s celebrated work, Thirukkural in bad-relief. The ornate auditorium is one of the largest in Asia and can accommodate nearly 4,000 people.
The other impressive architectural landmarks are the magnificent State Bank Of India building in the Indo-Saracenic style, the General Post Office, the Majestic Southern Railway Headquarters, the Egmore Railway Station and the Kirik of St. Andrew’s.
M.G.R.Film City Studios
Incidentally Chennai produces more movies than Mumbai and a visit to the famous M.G.R.Film City Studios in the Tharamani area can be fun.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Enjoy an elephant ride or a lion safari at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park. You can observe animals in their natural habitat or take a walk through the pre-historic animal park.
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