Golden sand, good surf and a shimmering clean blue sea; this in a nutshell is Marina beach. This beach is counted among one of the longest beaches in Asia. Its 12 km-long stretch was made beautiful by the wonderful facelift given by Governor Mount Stuart Elphinstone Grant Duff in the early 1880's, and is a major tourist attraction today.
On a vast expanse of over 250 acres on the banks of the Adyar estuary lies the more-than-a-century-old Theosophical Society, amidst the woods, marshes, gardens and waters. H.P. Blavatsky founded the society in 1875. The Adyar Banyan tree with its roots spreading over 40,000-sq-ft and its library, a research centre in eastern civilization, philosophy and religion, are worth seeing.
TEMPLES IN CHENNAI: -
Kapaleeswara Temple In Mylapore
The Kapaleeswara Temple situated in Mylapore is very famous and attracts thousands of devotees, especially during festival days. The main deity, Lord Shiva, is worshipped as "Kapaleeswara" and the Goddess as "Karpagambal".
Sri Parthasarathy Temple At Triplicane
Parthasarathy Temple at Triplicane is one of the two famous and ancient shrines in Chennai. The temple is said to have existed 1200 years ago. Triplicane is also known as "Thiruvallikeni", one of the 108 Divya Desams, renovated by a king of Pallava Dynasty. "Brindaranya" is the traditional Puranic name of Thiruvallikeni. While dedicated to Vishnu in his incarnation as Krishna, the Parthasarathy temple enshrines images of the five incarnations of Vishnu including that of a wounded Krishna.
CHURCHES IN CHENNAI: -
Santhome Cathedral Church
Santhome Cathedral Basilica is situated on the southern tip of Marina in Chennai. It is a towering basilica built on the spot where St. Thomas (an apostle of Jesus Christ) was buried. It is the church of the Archbishop of Chennai - pastoral head of the Catholic community in the region.
St. Thomas Mount
St. Thomas Mount church is located near Meenambakkam airport in Chennai. The Portuguese built it in 1523. It is a small relic-filled church, which stands at the summit of the 300 foot high St. Thomas Mount.
MOSQUES IN CHENNAI: -
The Wallajah Mosque referred to as the Big mosque was built by the Wallajah family in 1795 in memory of the Nawab. The present Prince of Arcot is closely associated with this shrine even today.
Art Gallery, Chennai
The Pantheon Complex in Chennai, was built before 1789 and was a place of assemblage for the British till it was bought by the Government in 1830. Later, several new buildings were added to it. Today, this complex houses the Government Museum, the National Art Gallery and the Connemara Public Library.
Government Museum, Chennai
Located on Pantheon Road, between Egmore and Anna Salai, the Government museum is a grand repository of ancient historical treasures. It is the first government-sponsored museum in the country opened in Chennai in 1851.The building originally belonged to a group of eminent British citizens, known as the "Pantheon committee", in charge of improving the social life of the British in Madras.
Fort St. George is located on the Rajaji Salai road in Chennai. The fort was one among the first few bastions that were built by the East India Company in 1640 to protect its interests in India from rival companies. This fortification also marks the making of Madras (Chennai) as a modern city.
The Valluvar Kottam, on the corner of Kodambakkam High Road and Village Road, Chennai, is a standing memorial to immortal Tamil Poet-Saint Thiruvalluvar. It is a massive auditorium, constructed on reclaimed land from an unused lake filled with the city's garbage and debris. It was opened in the year 1976 and the auditorium is said to be the largest in Asia and can accommodate about 4000 people.
Originally called "Ice House", this landmark was re-christened Vivekananda Illam in 1963. This was in remembrance of Swami Vivekananda's brief sojourn here (in 1897 when he delivered seven historic lectures at Chennai). It is a sacred place for every student and devotee of Swami Vivekananda.
One of Chennai's most impressive architectural marvels, Senate House, at the Madras University campus on the Marina, was constructed under the supervision of Robert Fellowes Chisholm, one of the greatest architects of the 19th century.
B. M. Birla Planetarium
B.M. Birla Planetarium located at Kottur in Chennai, houses a modern fully computerised projector, which depicts the heaven on a hemispherical dome. The planetarium presents to the visiting public and students audio-visual programs on various themes in astronomy.
The Corporation Campus/ Rippon Building
To the west of Central Station in Chennai is the Rippon Building, the dazzling white headquarters of the Corporation of Chennai. It is one of the few public buildings in Chennai that time has not managed to ravage.
Anna Square, MGR Memorial, Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Victory War Memorial are the memorials often visited by tourists in Chennai.
Situated in Vandalur, about 35 km from Chennai , the Anna zoological park is one of the latest and modern zoos of India and the biggest in South East Asia. Spreading over an area of 510 hectares of dry evergreen forests with gently undulating terrain, the specially created open island type enclosures with wet and dry moats and enclosures with hidden walls and simulated natural environment make the animals, feel in their natural environment.
Founded by wildlife conservationist Romulus Whitaker, the Snake Park, at Guindy, Chennai, houses a variety of reptiles. Cobras, Pythons, Kraits, Adders, Vipers, Monitor Lizards and giant Turtles are some of the special draws at the park. It is well maintained with generous enclosures. Information boards debunk many myths about reptiles.
Amusement Parks In Chennai
Kids and adults will have a wonderful time at the amusements parks- MGM dizzy world, Dash 'n Splash, Dolphin City, and Kishkinta, located just outside the city.
and Dance Festival, Chennai
The Chennai Music and Dance festival celebrated during the latter half of December and early part of January is a cultural extravaganza that has no parallel anywhere in the world. A unique feature of this art festival is the fact that upcoming artistes also get a chance to exhibit their talents to this city of music and dance lovers at large along with the well-established artistes. Art lovers from various parts of the world visit the city during this season and in nearly all of them there is always a rush for tickets
Arubathimoovar Festival In Mylapore
The Kapaleeswara temple in Mylapore is very famous and attracts thousands of devotees especially during festival days. The bronze idols of the 63 Nayanmars, the saints who were devotees of Lord Shiva are placed within the Kapaleeswarar Sannadhi. The Nayanmars glorified Lord Shiva with enchanting hymns.
The Arubathimoovar festival is celebrated here during March - April and all the Nayanmars are taken in a colourful procession through the streets of Mylapore.
Festivals of Dakshinachitra
Dakshinachitra is a unique Heritage village situated at Muttukadu on the new Mamallapuram coastal road, 20-km from Chennai. Dakshinachitra offers the visitor an unforgettable and authentic insight into the lifestyles of diverse people of South India. The traditional craftsmen and folk artists are seen at work in the settings representing the century-old houses and work sports of the crafts community. The festivals of Dakshinachitra attract huge crowds.