A megacity having a perfect mix of modern and traditional values? There you have it – it’s Chennai! Nicknamed as the Detroit of India having a major amount of automobile industry being based, the city is also known as the Health Capital of India. Home to one of the top south Indian cinemas, the city also has a vast musical roots. Hustling – bustling and filled with prideful enthusiastic residents, the city offers unique styled cafes, luxurious hotels, traditional south Indian food and mouth-watering seafood.
Here’s a litttle peek of what’s not to be missed in the city – we’ve picked top 10 must visit places in Chennai just for you!
1. Marina Beach
The longest natural urban beach in India – Marina beach is a perfect pick to let your body and soul to soak in the sunny sand! The landmark of the city, also receives more than 20,000 tourists on weekends. The sunrise at this beach is a worth waking up from your sugary sleep! The beach also features a lighthouse – India’s only lighthouse with a lift. A horse-back ride on the beach shore will be an enhancement to your joyous experience and what’s more – stalls and kiosks full of street food including seafood will be no less than a paradise for foodies.
2. Fort St. George
Built in the mid-17th century, Fort St. George is India’s forst English fortress and East India Company’s headquarters in south India. Built on a formarly uninhabited land, the fortress now houses the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly. The fortress also inhabits an anglican church and a museum. It is also said that the city evolved around the fortress.
3. Kapaleeshwarar Temple
Showcasing the typical characteristics of the city, Kapaleeshwarar temple is an iconic landmark. Built in the 7th century by the Tuluva rulers, the temple is the most ancient temple constructed in Dravidian style architecture. Rainbow coloured exterior and intricate pillared in the interiors, the temple also includes a holy tank that is dedicated to the region’s favourite – Lord Shiva.
4. Government Museum
The best museum in the city? Doubtlessly, this one. The museum is India’s second oldest museum exhibiting rich collection of archaeology and numismatics. The museum comple has total 6 buildings divided into galleries such as – Archaeology Gallery, Anthropology Gallery, National Art Gallery, Contemporary Gallery and Children’s Gallery. The museum also showcases the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside Europe. Built in Indo – Saracenic architecture, this museum will make sure to keep its unique impact onto your mind.
5. St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica
Also called as San Thome Basilica, the basilica was built by the Portuguese explorers in the 16th century and is one of the twelve apostles of the Jesus. Built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the basilica is one of the only three basilicas in the world built over the tomb of an apostle of the Jesus. Later in the 19th century the basilica was rebuilt as a church by the British in Neo – Gothic styled architecture. One may come across many artefacts related to St. Thomas.
6. Dakshina Chitra
Located 25 km south of the city, Dakshina Chitra is an open-air folk museum. The museum mainly focuses on showcasing the lifestyle patterns of the south Indian states. The depictions also portray a wide array of art beliefs, performing arts and architecture of traditional south India. The museum includes over 18 authentic south Indian houses representing traditional living style as per the states of south India. What could be beteer to gain a refreshing perpective to look into the south indian culture and tradition!
7. Valluvar Kottam
The monument is dedicated and named after the classic Tamilian poet – Thiruvallavur. Prominently known as the replica of the famed temple chariot of Thiruvarur, the monument signifies two stoned elephants pulling the chariot with giant wheels. The monument also includes an auditorium where 1330 couplets are inscribed as well as a seated statue of Thiruvallavur. Why to miss another glimpse of the rich traditional taste?!
8. Theosophical Society
True essence of life? You’ll find it here! Located around the banks of the river Adyar, the Theosophical society is the best place to forget all your worries and soak in the philosophy and nature. Based on the foundations of humanity, philosophy and unexplained laws of nature, the place promotes anybody who wishes to perform a religious practice. The premises also includes a mosque, a church, a Hindu temple, a Buddhist shrine and a Zoroastrain temple as well as garden containing a 450-years old banyan tree and a rare species of mahogany tree.
9. Edward Elliott’s Beach
Named after a former chief magistrate and superidendent officer of Chennai, the beach forms an end to the Marina beach shore. Breezy and tranquil, the beach simply rejuvenates the senses and spreads stressfree vibes all the way! Also known as Besant Nagar Beach or Bessie, the beach features a quaint landmark known as Karl Schmidt Memorial – dedicated to the Dutch sailor who lost his life while saving others from drowning. Not to mention that this beach is the cleanest and safest beach in Chennai and is ideal for those who seek serenity and peace. Not-to-be-missed is its spectacular sunset view and simply sip on the steamy cup of coffee enjoying the backdrop of the breezy sea shore.
10. Shopping at Pondy Bazaar
Clothes, shoes, bags, handicrafts, cosmetics, jewellery, accessories, home decor, you name it and Pondy Bazaar has it! One of the most prominent shopping districts in Chennai, Pondy Bazaar offers street shopping as well as branded shopping stores. If you want to have a street shopping experience like a local, why don’t you look for hair accessories, explore about cotton shirts and Dhotis followed by sweeping glances (and eventually buying!) over the tempting silk sarees and finally ending your worth by having some mouth-watering south Indian meal. As shopping is an intergral part of any trip, we recommend you to ooze into it and collect the true essence of the city!