: Chennai or Madras, as it was called earlier, is known as the Gateway of Southern India and is the capital of the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The fourth largest metropolis and the third important port in India, Chennai is flanked by the breathtakingly beautiful Marina beach on the eastern side and the city skyscape with its eclectic mix of temple towers, steeples, minarets and star hotels on the other. From classical concerts to trendy nightclubs, Chettinad to multi-cuisine restaurants, museums to Internet cafes, Chennai offers choices that range from the quaint to the ultra modern. Places to visit in Chennai include the Marina Beach, a marvellous 13 km stretch of sea and sand, the San Thome Cathederal, built on the site of a 16th century Portuguese basilica which is said to be the tomb of the apostle Thomas, who is reputed to have brought Christianity to India in the 1st century AD. The Fort St George and the Fort Museum which has a collection of objects from the tenure of the East India Company in Chennai, including letters from Robert Clive.
Famous Places in Chennai: Marina Beach, Government Museum, MGR Film city, Breezy Beach, Marundeeswarar Temple, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Valluvar Kottam, Ashtalakshmi Temple, Connemara Public Library, Kolli Hills, Elliot’s Beach, VGP Golden beach, ISKCON Temple, Vivekananda House, Akkarai Beach, Dakshinachitra Museum, Santhome Cathedral, Madras War Cemetery, Madras Crocodile Bank, MGM Dizzee World, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Nettukuppam, Prakasam Salai, Thousand Lights Mosque, Fort St. George, Chennai Sangamam, Royapuram Fishing Harbour, San Thome Church, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore, Express Avenue, Vadapalani Murugan Temple, T Nagar, Parthasarathy Temple, Parasailing, Scuba Diving, Camping in Chennai, Rock Climbing, Jungle Safari, Boating in Chennai, Anjaneyar Temple Nanganallur, Thiruvanmiyur Beach, Neelankarai Beach, Santhome Beach, Pebble Beach, Palavakkam Beach, Kaismedu Beach.
Marina Beach: Marina Beach is a natural urban beach along the Bay of Bengal. The beach is stretched out to a distance of 13 kilometres making it the longest natural urban beach in the country, second largest in the world and also the most crowded beach in India with almost 30,000 visitors a day.
Government Museum: Government Museum was established in 1851 and is the second oldest museum in the country after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. Situated in Egmore suburb of Chennai, it is built in the Indo-Sarcenic style and houses a rich collection of the works of Raja Ravi Varma.
MGR Film city: Having been established in the year 1994, a considerably new structure, the MGR Film city is managed by the Government of Tamil Nadu in loving memory of MG Ramachandran who was not only a crowd-pleasing tamil actor but also a longtime CM of Tamil Nadu.
Breezy Beach: Breezy Beach lays in the remote and serene neighbourhood of Valmiki Nagar in Chennai. Being smaller and less polluted, it’s a perfect getaway for anyone looking for a peaceful evening.
Marundeeswarar Temple: The magnificent Marundeeswarar Temple, in Tiruvanmiyur, near Chennai has the temple deity Shiva in the form of Marundeeswar or Aushadeeswarar, the God of Medicines. A fine specimen of Dravidian architecture, this temple is a must visit for anyone visiting Chennai or nearby cities.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park: Arignar Anna Zoological Park aka Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur is spread over an area of 602 hectares, including a rescue and rehabilitation centre. The zoo shelters about 3000 species of flora and fauna across twelve hundred acres including 46 endangered species, in its 160 enclosures.
Valluvar Kottam: Valluvar Kottam is an auditorium, with a gigantic capacity to hold 4,000 people, built in remembrance of the poet-saint, Tiruvalluvar. Verses of the poet Tiruvalluvar are embellished on the pillars in and around the auditorium.
Ashtalakshmi temple: The Chennai Ashtalakshmi temple is situated in Besant Nagar, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. That stretch of beach is known as the Elliot’s beach. The temple was constructed on the express wishes of Sri Mahaa Periyavaal of Kanchi Mutt, Sri Chandrasekara Saraswati Swamigal. The temple’s architecture is unique, with the deities installed in four levels.
Connemara Public Library: The Connemara Public Library at Chennai holds the prestigious status of being amongst one of the four deposit libraries in India which entitles them to a copy of every publication in India.
Kolli Hills: With an ominous name which means ‘Mountain of Death’, Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai are a mountain range located in the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu. It is relatively untouched by commercial tourism and therefore has retained most of its natural magnificence.
Elliot’s Beach: A beach showcasing beauty, calmness, serenity and everything that signifies nature at its best, the Elliot’s beach cannot be forgotten by anyone who has visited it once.
VGP Golden Beach: Considered as one of the cleanest and beautiful beaches in Chennai, VGP Golden beach is one of the most sought after destinations in the area by family and friends.
ISKCON Temple: ISKCON Temple Chennai is a temple devoted to Lord Krishna. It is located on the East Coast Road at southern Chennai. Built on 1.5 acres of land, ISKCON, Chennai is the biggest Radha Krishna temple in Tamil Nadu. It was officially inaugurated on 26 April 2012. The deities revered in the temple include those of Radha Krishna and lord’s family, including Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga.
Vivekananda House: Vivekananda House also popularly known as The Ice House, is a shrine and pilgrimage centre for the admirers and followers of Swami Vivekananda. It is in this house that Swami Vivekananda stayed for six weeks in 1900.
Akkarai Beach: The sandy coastline begins from Ennore in the north extending south into Uthandi, leaving one to choose from more than just Marina and Elliot’s beach.
With nicely constructed walkers’ paths, convenient seats, adequate lighting, lush green areas and children’s playgrounds proposed for select beaches initially, there is more to look forward to when you clock in some time for fitness.
Dakshinachitra Museum: Dakshinachitra Museum is one of the living-history museums in India which stores in itself great works of architecture, crafts, performing arts, and lifestyles that belong to South India.
Madras Crocodile Bank: The Madras Crocodile Bank is not to be confused with a zoo. Yes, you can certainly take a look at the reptiles in captivity. But unlike a zoo, this has a much more in-depth operation through ex-situ and in-situ conservation. Right now, it is home to around 17 croc subspecies and some other reptiles like frogs, lizards, snakes and turtles as well.
MGM Dizzee World: MGM Dizzee World is one of the largest and oldest amusement parks in India. It brought Jurong’s Bird Show from Singapore to India way back in 1999. There are extreme level thrill rides, but nice and enjoyable ones are there too. The park has something for every age group.
Shirdi Sai Baba temple: Shirdi Sai Baba temple in Chennai is among the most visited and respected places of worship In Tamil Nadu as well as India. Sai Baba is recognised as one of those spiritual reformers who does not have ties to any particular god of any religion but is a figure of worship himself. So there are no religious restrictions imposed upon those who visit the temple.
Nettukuppam: Nettukuppam is the northernmost tip of Chennai and has a beach which is yet not tarnished by encroaching crowds. It is a solitary retreat for those who seek to enjoy the raging sea up close but in a peaceful environment. The place is an ideal place to spend quiet time as it is still not on the radar of the maddening tourist crowd.
Prakasam Salai: Built in 1795,a milestone in the history of Chennai, located Opposite Parry’s Corner, Prakasam Salai is an impressive stylish building in Indo-Saracenic style with eminence in red bricks.
Thousand Lights Mosque: The Thousand Lights Mosque of Royapettah, Chennai is among the most esteemed mosques of the city as well as the state of Tamil Nadu. Built in the early 19th century by the Wallajah family of the Carnatic rulers, it is till date a popular gathering place for the daily prayers and festive occasions like Muharram.
Fort St. George: The origin of the great white structure of Fort St. George is inextricable from the history of the city of Chennai itself. Popularly called the ‘White Town’, the sole purpose of establishing the massive fort compound was to build a British stronghold in the Coromandel Coast and the rest of south India.
Chennai Sangamam: The Chennai Sangamam, a large open Tamil festival, also coincides with the Pongal season. It is organized in various open locations like beaches, parks etc and showcase traditional folk events, martial arts and classical dance, to name a few. In addition the festival brings together the best that South Indian cuisine has to offer – from tasty panirayams to the traditional pongal.
Royapuram Fishing Harbour: Under the administration of Chennai Port Trust, Royapuram Fishing Harbour is one of the most popular fishing grounds in Chennai. Located in a region which is famous for seafood, this harbour surely has its name among the busiest fishing hubs of Tamil Nadu.
San Thome Church: San Thome Church is among the only three in the world that house the tombs of one of Christ’s original disciples. If you visit this church, you will be stepping into a historical tale that will take you back a couple of centuries. The museum inside displays souvenirs of the great saint and his legend.
Kapaleeswarar Temple: Kapaleeswarar Temple is a holy shrine of Shiva in Mylapore, Chennai. A visit to this temple will be an experience enriched with a glimpse into Tamil religious culture and the lovely architectural combination of the two styles – Dravidian and Vijaynagari, complete with towering Gopurams.
Mylapore: Mylapore is one of the oldest and culturally enriched neighbourhoods, located in the southern part of Chennai. It is very much traditionalist to its core and boasts many temples, churches and historical monuments.
Express Avenue: Express Avenue is a mall in Royapettah of Chennai owned, developed and promoted by Express Infrastructure. The premise includes commercial and hospitality sectors as well. E Hotel is the name of the 4-star boutique luxury-lodging, which caters to the guests all year long with its 44 room capacity. But the mall is the main attraction of the place.
Vadapalani Murugan Temple: Vadapalani Murugan Temple is one of the most popular temples dedicated to Lord Murugan. Located in Vadapalani, Chennai, the temple is known for helping devotees finding solutions to life’s problems. It is also believed that worshipping Lord Murugan here is as pious as praying to him at the original Palani temple.
T Nagar: T Nagar is one of the busiest neighbourhoods in Chennai, and also the most crowded one. It serves as a commercial and economic hub, as well as a residential area. It does not have many attractions, but you will come across a plethora of retail shops lined up on every main road and arterial streets.
Parthasarathy Temple: Parthasarathy Temple, located in Triplicane area of Chennai, is a structure more than 1000 years old, standing in the heart of the bustling city. Dedicated to different avatars of Lord Vishnu within the many shrines of the temple, it attracts thousands of Vaishanvite followers from all across the country.
Parasailing: If you think the city of Chennai is all about glitzy temples and serene beaches, look deeper cause the uber city is home to one of the most adventurous sports of all times – Parasailing. Unlike several other water sports, this one is not for the faint hearted. It allows you to sail above the water with a safely harnessed parachute tied to your back.
Scuba Diving in Chennai: Chennai could get quite hot in the summer and beating the heat would be the top priority in summers. Then why not dive into the Bay of Bengal somewhere off the coast of Chennai. Discovering a totally different world under the surface of the sea and cooling yourself at the same time is the best deal about Chennai.
Camping in Chennai: Surrounded by a number of hills around it, Chennai neighbours to some amazing places that offer nearness to Nature. Every soul in any metro city craves for something new every now and then, and Chennai doesn’t lack in fulfilling this need for its people. There are a number of places to camp in Chennai for a twist out of the normal. One can never run out of places to get closer to something natural.
Jungle Safari: The tropical climate of Chennai has blessed the land with ample amount of lush greenery and equally rich wildlife. Safari in Chennai’s wildlife parks award the visitors with some amazing experiences around our neighbours of nature. Interacting with the wild animals makes us realize the true nature of wilderness. There’s a lot to learn and understand from animals.
Anjaneya Temple: Viswaroopa Adhivyadhihara Sri Bhaktha Anjaneyaswami Temple is located around 10 kilometres away from the heart of the city, in a locality called Nanganallur. Commonly called the Anjaneya Temple in short, it gets its name from its principal deity, Lord Hanuman. The most important aspect of the temple is its 32 feet idol.
Thiruvanmiyur Beach: Located in the neighbourhood of Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai, Thiruvanmiyur Beach is one of the isolated and peaceful beaches of the city. Popular for beautiful sunrise and sunset views, the beach is mostly frequented by nature lovers, romantic couples or solitude seekers.
Neelankarai Beach: Neelankarai Beach is an untouched gorgeous beach located in the small locality of Neelankarai in South Chennai. The highlight of the beach are the innumerous turtles that can be found on the shores. People usually visit it to watch the turtles or to walk along the lengthy coastline touching the beautiful blue waters of the sea.
Pebble Beach: Situated at a distance of 1 km from Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai, Pebble Beach is a comparatively smaller beach. Due to its location, it receives relatively lesser number of visitors. However, the beach offers extremely peaceful and serene and you can visit it to spend some time in solitude.
Palavakkam Beach: Located at the southern tip of Chennai in Palavakkam, Palavakkam Beach is a wonderful beach boasting of mesmerising sunrise and sunset views. The highlight of the beach is an age-old temple situated on the beach. The beach has vast expanse of shores, with stunning views of the horizon merging in the sea.
Kaismedu Beach: Kaismedu Beach is a comparatively lesser known beach of Chennai. It is not just a recreation spot but also an important fishing harbour. With vast expanse of the blue sea and brown sandy shores, you can also find several fishermen at work with their huge fishing nets and boats. Besides, the fisher folks also sell their spoils at the shores; you can buy fresh fish here. Volleyball is another popular activity at the beach.