|Location||in the Southern most part of India, Chennai is the Capital of the state of Tamil Nadu|
|Also Known as||Earlier Madras|
|Prime attractions||Temples and Cathedrals|
|Temperature||Max-37°C and Min 20°C|
Chennai City Travel Information
Chennai alias Madras is the cultural heartland and the focal point for India’s 1950 year old Christian faith. It is also the gateway to the southern part of India. The British Empire and Yale University were nurtured at Chennai. One of the four metropolitan cities of India, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamilnadu – the exotic state famous for its temples, coconut fringes and the silk sarees. The city is well placed on the coastline of India inviting thousands of tourists to travel and experience its beauty by the sea of Bay of Bengal.
Once a fishing community center, the metro city was made the capital of the British residency in 1639. Traditions of classical dance, music, art and literature have taken its roots from this very place and spread to the rest of the country. In the present days, we see a complete merge of the ancient civilization with those of the erst while colonial powers to create an industrial, IT savvy city of the 21st century.
Major Travel Attractions of Chennai
Parthsarthy Temple: The Temple was built by the Pallava kings of South India in around 8th century and later renovated by the Vijaya nagar Kings in the 16th century, it is one of the major travel attraction of Chennai. Situated in the middle of the city, the temple is famous for the attractive beauty of its archways or the gopuram as well as its constructions. A whole locality have sprung around the temple surroundings.
Kapaleeshwar Temple: A living specimen of the architectural skill of the Dravidians, another travel attraction of the city, the Kapaleeshwar Temple was created in the 13th century. The Temple rest in the Malapore area of Chennai and is the focal point of the local markets with the residential quaters around it. The entrance to the temple is brushed with vivid colours decorated with puranic legends sculpted on the sanctum sanctorum facing eastward.
Santhome Cathedral: An important pilgrimage center of the Christians, the Santhome Cathedral sits pretty on the tomb of Apostle St Thomas who came to India fron the Palestines. The church in his name was constructed by the Persian Christians which was refurbished in 1606 and turned into a cathedral. Later in the early 19th century it was recreated in the form of a basilica with a museum inside its premises along with a 16th century map of South Asia.
Fort St. George: The first real estate of the British rule in India, it was built by Sir Day as an important Fort along the coastline of the Bay of Bengal.
The Fort is endowed with a granite exterior finishing that houses the barracks for the British army along with a parade ground. The oldest church of Chennai, the St Mary’s Church is also home to this fort. The fort was attacked many a times by Daud Khan, general of Emperor Aurangzeb, in 1701, by the Marathas in 1741 and by Hyder Ali in the late 18th century. Glimpses of early Chennai are still preserved in Clive Corner, Wellesley House, Fort Museum and St. Mary’s church.
Marina Beach: The beach extends from the Fort of St George to the Mahabalipuram and offers a stunning look in the dusk, it is one of the most popular travel attraction of Chennai. The setting sun brings the beach to life with thousands of visitors thronging the lovely site. Every thing from snacks to ice creams to peanuts and balloons adds to the beauty of the beach. Lastly, one can find the fortune tellers trying to predict the future of the visitors in their own way by parrot reading or tarot cards. To the south of the aquarium is the ice house from where Vivekananda preached his philosophy and was earlier used to store massive ice blocks shipped from America.
National Art Gallery: The gallery is preserved in a splendid Indo-Saracenic building and was initially known as Victoria Memorial Hall designed by Henry Irwin. The well known historian Tillotson described it as one of “the proudest expressions of the Indo-Sarcenic movement”. Exhibitions of paintings and sculptures, handicraft, metalware, ivory carvings from 11th century bestow importance to the museum.
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Nearby Travel Attractions of Chennai
Theosophical Society: The Headquater of the Theosophical movement given birth by Madame Blavatsky and Col Olcott lies in Adyar. It is responsible for the revival of the Indian spiritual learning. The Headquarters edifice is a superb old building having a vast hall with complete silence. Peoples can still mediate under the huge old Banyan Tree, believed to be the second largest in India and visit the shrines of all faiths. There is also a serene Garden of Remembrance and a fine Library with a collection of old manuscripts.
Silk sarees are famous in Chennai, and probably the hot spot to buy it are Nalli, Kumaran, while for jewellery Tnagar is the best place to be. For Handicraft items Victoria technical institute at Anna Salem or the Khadi Gramodyog is the best. Apart from these Spencer plaza is one of the best mall to shop for clothings and other accessories.
Accommodation at Chennai
There are lots of luxury hotels in and around Chennai city to facilitate the accommodations of the visitors. From among a variety of choice like Five Star Hotels, Four Star Hotels and Budget Hotels, the notable among them are Fisherman’s cave, Taj Corromandel, Chola Sheratonand the GRT Grand.
How to Reach Chennai
By Air: Chennai has a domestic as well as an international airports. The Kamaraj Domestic Airport and the Anna International Airport are situated at Tirusulam, at a distance of 20 km on the outskirts of the city.
By Rail: Chennai is well connected to all the major cities in India through a wide network of railways. The major rail stations are in Madras Central and Egmore.
By Road: The city of Chennai is well linked to all the major cities in Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring states through an excellent road network.