Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is one of the biggest economic centres of South India with IT companies and many other businesses. Read on to know about Chennai's top attractions, monuments and beaches.
One of the loveliest beaches, The marina Beach possesses the pride to be the second-longest beach (4.5km) globally. Whether morning or evening, one feels relaxed & regenerated even with a leisure walk along the marina beach.
Visitors do get to see statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Thomas Munro, Tilak Bhavan, Tiruvalluvar, Bharathidasan, Kamarajar, Avvaiyar, Swami Sivananda, Thanthai Periyar, Kannagi. Visitors mainly get attracted to the enchanting location and the picturesque surroundings of the Marina beach.
High Court Building
TTowards the North of St. George Fort is the High Court building. The building also houses Small Cause's Court and the Civil Court. It is the second-largest judicial complex in the world, built under the guidance of the renowned architect Henry Irwin in 1892.
The building was constructed using Red sandstone with ornamental decorations on the walls. Stained glass windows and minarets also add beauty to this heritage structure. The pyramid-shaped tomb present in the compound belongs to the only son of "Elihu Yale" who died during infancy.
Fort St. George
Just to the South of George Town is Fort St. George. The British East India Company built the fort for the first time in 1653. Its structure depicts 17th-century British military architecture. It has a 20 feet thick wall. The fort houses St. Mary's Church, museum, Wellesley House in the complex.
The society was established in 1875. It is a worldwide body that believes that life and its diverse forms, whether human or non-human are inseparably one. The primary objective of the society - the Universal Brotherhood is based on the same belief. It offers discourse and meditation sessions as well as lectures on positive health and spirituality. The fabled 5000 years old Banyan tree, which is spread over 40,000sq.ft in the campus, gives fame to society.
Beyond Elliot's beach, Thiruvanmiyur is 'The Temple of Art'. It is known as Kalakshetra. Ballerina Rukmini Devi Arundale founded this Kalakshetra in 1936 to revive the interest of Bharatnatyam, a classical dance form of Tamil Nadu. An annual ballet festival is held in Kalakshetra in December. It is considered to be an extraordinary theatre. Kalakshetra conducts various music recitals and dance performances in different parts of Chennai throughout the year.
The Planetarium is built in the memory of a well-known industrialist and visionary, B. M. Birla. It is considered to be the most modern premises in the country with eight galleries. It is located at Kotturpuram near Adyar.
Government Museum Complex
Situated at Pantheon road between Egmore and Anna Salai is the Government Museum Complex. It is consists of 6 buildings and 46 galleries spread over an area of 16.25 acres. The museum in this complex was established in 1856 and had departments of National History and Art. It was previously known as Pantheon Complex in the British period. The recherché collection constitutes more than 2000 Indian bronzes and Amravati marbles belonging to the Buddhist period, 2nd century AD.
Valluvar Kottam was established in 1976 as a commemoration of the famous saint-poet Thiruvalluvar. It is located at Nungambakkam on the corner of Kodambakkam High Road and Village Road. This memorial hall is shaped like a Chariot. It is 39 metres tall and withholds a life-size statue of the saint. Engraved on the granite pillars of the auditorium is the 1330 verse Kural which replicates ancient Tamil architecture.
One of the ancient temples in Chennai is the Parthasarathy temple. The said temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The Pallavas built it in the 8th century BC, which the Vijaynagar kings further renovated in the 16th century. The temple occupies an area of over 1.5 acres. Sri Venkata Krishnaswamy is the presiding deity, with a conch in the right hand and the Gnana Mudra pointing to his holy feet. Another name for the deity is Geeta Charya. It is one of the 108 sacred centres of the Vaishnavites. In praise of the Lord, 4000 poems are recited while celebrating Vaikunta Ekadashi. These poems are known as 'Tamil Vedam'.
The ancient Kapaleeswarar Temple of Chennai depicts classic Dravidian temple sculpture and architecture. The 'gopuram,' i.e. the tower of this edifice, is sculptured on the same basis. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A small shrine is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi under an old Punnai Tree in the temple's courtyard. She has been camouflaged as a peacock and has been shown worshipping Lord Shiva.
National Park at Guindy
The park houses more than 14 varieties of shrubs, over 37 varieties of birds like a black-winged kite, honey buzzard, pariah kite, over 14 types of mammals like elephant, antelope, spotted dear, jungle cat, toddy cat, Indian civet, etc. It also has over 24 varieties of trees like Amona Squamosa, Atlanta Monoplylla, Feronia Limonia, Azadirachta India, etc.
St. Thome Cathedral Basilica
St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, also known as San Thomas Cathedral Basilica, San Thome Church and National Shrine of Saint Thomas, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Santhome, Chennai. This Gothic-style church has derived its origin from an archbishop of the Catholic Christians -St. Thomas. A church was built to pay tribute to a hardcore devotee of Jesus Christ. The corpse and few parts of St. Thomas's bone are preserved in an underground burial chamber beneath this Basilica.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Chennai is the first city to have a zoo in India. Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP), also known as Vandalur Zoo, located in Vandalurwhich is about 15km (9.3mi) from Chennai Airport. The zoo houses about 2,550 species of flora and fauna. It houses around 1,500 wild species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and insects.