Chennai is a formidable tourist destination in the country. A city known for its rich cultural heritage and pastis visited by thousands of tourists from all over the country and world. The city is particularly enjoyed by foreign tourist and in 2014 Chennai became the third city in the country to issue most number of visas on arrival. Chennai is a place for some serious sight-seeing. However, sometimes due to a packed schedule or paucity of time going to all the places that this cultural & historical city is famous for may be difficult. So for the convenience of those who are visiting Chennai and want to make the most of their limited time, here is the list of top 9 places in the city which you cannot absolutely miss.
1. Marina Beach.
(Image Source: https://afreentravelbug.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/marina-beachchennai.jpg)
Marina Beach is longest, natural urban beach in the city of Chennai. It is the longest beach in India and the second longest beach in the world stretching over 13 kms long. It is perfect place for Chennaites to visit during evenings or weekend. It is estimated that nearly 15,000 to 20,000 people visit the Marina beach daily, making it one of the busiest spots in Chennai. There was a time when Marina beach was known for a rich eco-system and pristine beauty. However, in the recent past due to large scale urbanization and commercialization of the area, the beach and the sea water is somewhat polluted. Despite all the maddening stuff, you cannot miss Marina beach if you are in Chennai. There are a number of fun activities and interesting food available right on the beach that will want you to come back to the place again.
2. Ripon Building.
(Image Source: http://www.chennai-in-focus.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/slider-show/photos/Ripon%20Building%204.jpg)
Ripon Building houses the entire workforce of the Chennai Corporation. Although a government building with a very tight security set-up, you should absolutely visit the premises if you have love for architecture. Built in the neoclassical style representing Gothic, Iconic, Corinthian architectural elements, the building is right next to the Chennai Central railway station.
VivekanandarIllam is a building of great historical significance. Previously known as the ice house, the building was used as a store house by the British to keep ice which they brought from North America. Today, the place is remembered that housed Swami Vivekananda, the torchbearer of Ramakrishna Movement in India. This semicircular structure hosts a number of activities and exhibition for people of all age group.
4. Kapaleeshwarar Temple.
(Image source :https://photos.travelblog.org/Photos/1498/4226/f/14728-Kapaleeshwarar-Temple-Entrance-1.jpg)
Kapaleeshwarar Temple is one the most ancient temples in the city. Built during the 7th century by the Pallavas dynasty, the temple is located in the Mylapore region of Chennai. The temple is known for its historical significance, religious rituals and architecture. If you are want to experience the spiritual side of Chennai firsthand, we highly recommend you to visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple during your stay in the city.
5. Government Museum.
(Image Source: http://www.indianholiday.com/photo-gallery/tamil-nadu/tourist-attraction/museum/government-museum-chennai/Government-Museum-Chennai-2-5250.jpg)
Also known as Madras Museum, the Government museum has the “largest collection of Roman antiques outside of Europe.” Amongst many other things related to human history and numismatic collections, the museum is home to a colossal Museum Theater which truly stands out. The museum also houses some of the famous paintings of the legendry painter Raja Ravi Varma. Attracting close to 10000 visitors daily, the museum is underway for some serious modernization with the existing 3D theater is being upgraded to 5D.
6. Elliot’s Beach.
(Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Schmidt_memorial.jpg)
Located near Besant Nagar, an affluent neighborhood where people prefer to buy or get a house for rent in Chennai, Elliot’s Beach is one of the best beaches in the city. Unlike Marina beach Elliot’s beach is quitter and cleaner. The beach is well known for historical structures such as the Karl Schmidt’s Memorial. The best time to visit Elliot’s beach is the evenings when the breeze is cool and the view is amazing.
7. Fort St. George.
(Image source : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/Fort_St._George%2C_Chennai_2.jpg/800px-Fort_St._George%2C_Chennai_2.jpg)
The first Fort to be built by the English, Fort St. George is the living testimony of the colonial past.Known for its architecture, the edifice is maintained and administrated by ASI or archeological survey of India as a ticketed monument. The fort has a number of attractions inside (St. Mary’s Church, Museum, Wellesley House) so it’s important to read up about the place before visiting. Interesting fact: Fort St. George also has a 150 feet long flag post made of teakwood.
8. Guindy National Park.
Guindy National Park is one of the few national parks in India which is situation in the heart of a bustling city like Chennai. Covering an area of just 2.7 kms, the park is home to wide range of fauna and flora. More than 70 thousand visitors, visit the park each year. On any given day you can spot animals like the blackbucks, spotted deer’s and more than 100 species of birds and insects. It is a very well maintained park and if you want to take out time from the otherwise maddening city of Chennai, a visit to the Guindy National Park is worth the effort.
9. St. Andrews Church.
(Image Source :https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/St_Andrews_Church_-_The_Kirk.jpg)
St, Andrews Church is a Scottish church modelled on the St. Martins-in-the-fields and built during the early 1800s. The church exhibits neo-classical architectural style with elaborate dome structures, and intricate stained class work. The church still follows a Scottish- Presbyterian tradition which is unique and interesting.
In recent past an overwhelming number of tourists and expats have been visiting Chennai for tourism and work respectively. Foreign visitors and residents love the city because of its vibrancy, beauty and sight-seeing options. The city has all the modern amenities. It is also one of the cleanliest cities in India with prime property options. Getting a house for rent in Chennai is also not very difficult and people are quite friendly.
--------------------- **** ---------------------
About the Author:
Meera Dewaan is an aspiring writer, literature geek and author. She has several journals, articles and papers to her name. Writing is her passion. She writes about mostly all genres.