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Chennai - Places to visit | Chennai sightseeing

Updated on May 29, 2013

Chennai sightseeing

Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu, one of the big states in South India. Chennai is a wonderful mix of the traditional and the modern, the old and the new. Steeped equally in culture and computers, this seemingly laid back city has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing - whether you have come for a flying trip or a leisurely holiday.

Chennai places to visit - Places of worship

Chennai's numerous ancient places of worship such as the Ashta Lakshmi Temple in Besant Nagar, Sri Parthasarthy temple in Triplicane, the Kapaleshwar temple in Mylapore, St. Mary's Church located within the historic site of Fort St. George, the Thousand Lights Mosque at Anna Salai etc., are among the chief attractions of the city - for both the spiritual fervour they invoke and the grandeur of the styles of architecture they present.

Sri Parthasarathy temple is one of the oldest surviving temples in Chennai - built by the Pallavas in the eighth century. The principal diety here is Lord Krishna (in his form of a 'Sarathy - charioteer to Arjuna in the Mahabharata). The Kapaleshwara temple is also a very old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a fine example of eight century Pallava architecture. St. Mary's church was built around 1680 and was the first English church in Chennai. The fort St. George is a historic monument built by the British East India Company in 1640. It has a 150 feet tall flagstaff. The thousand lights mosque, one of the largest mosques in the country was built in 1810. .

Chennai places to visit - Marina beach and Eliots beach

The beautiful beaches in this coastal city - mainly the Marina beach and the Eliot's beach are a great place to chill out and also enjoy the road-side food which has its own special flavour.

The Marina beach, believed to be the second longest beach in the world stretches for about 13 km and is home to many prominent memorials and statues. This beach is always quite crowded and a large number of people visit it every day to gaze at the majestic waters and breathe the fresh air. The Eliots beach in Besant Nagar is quieter and calmer. At one end of it is the famous Ashtalakshmi temple and also Velankanni Church.

Chennai sightseeing - Vandalur zoo & Government museum

For those who like to be close with nature there is a wonderful wild life sanctuary in Guindy and a huge zoo at Vandalur.

The Anna Zoological Park, commonly called as the vandalur zoo was founded as early as in 1855 and is the first public zoo in India. In addition to a large number of species of mammals, birds and reptiles it houses a number of endangered and rare species of chimpanzees, Bengal tigers, white tigers, star tortoises, etc.

About 30 kilometres from Chennai on the East Coast Road is the Crocodile Park, another very popular tourist destination, home to about 2500 specimens of crocodiles, lizards, snakes and turtles.

There is also a fine Government Museum and a National Arts Gallery to enthuse those interested in history and art.

Chennai sightseeing - Valluvar Kottam

Another popular tourist destination is Valluvar Kottam, a memorial to Thiruvalluvar famed author of the precious Thirukkural. Valluvar Kottam is located at the end of Kodambakkam. There is a memorial and an auditorium than can accomodate 4000 people. The auditorium is surrounded by granite pillars on which all the verses from the Thirukkural are carved.

Chennai music festival

Considered by many to be the cultural and music capital of India, the city has a large number of 'sabhas' which are basically associations to promote the fine arts. The fine arts society at Mylapore and Vani Mahal at T.Nagar are just two of the dozens of popular halls where there are frequent performances of music and dance.These cultural performances really come alive the most in the months of Dec-Jan (the Tamil month of Marghazi) where there is a huge music festival and all the sabhas feature performances by both leading and aspiring artistes throughout the month. Many music lovers try to visit Chennai in this period to experience this.

To really enjoy the sights of Chennai, plan to spend about a month. There is a lot to see! Also if you like the warmth of summer days, then you will love Chennai. For it is pretty hot here all year round and it is often said (in a lighter vein) that there are three seasons here - hot, hotter and hottest. The months of May and June are usually the hottest months. December - January are the coolest months, when the weather is quite pleasant.


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    • wwriter profile image

      wwriter 4 years ago from India

      Thank you sunilkunnoth2012 for your kind comments and encouragement. I shall try to find some photos too as suggested. I agree that it is good photos that can really make it more interesting.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Text is ok but you could have added some photos to support your claim. thank you for sharing. Keep on writing.