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Best places to visit in Chennai

Discussion in 'Tamil Nadu' started by Yadu, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Yadu

    Yadu New Member

    I will be in Chennai for a very short duration and I would really love to visit places there, but I have to be very specific to the places I will visit because of the short stay. I would therefore require details or more of a list of the best places to visit in Chennai.

    This way I would be able to see and visit places knowing that these are the best and important ones, without having to just wonder around in places which are not so important or right at the bottom of the list of places to visit.
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, @Yadu. Welcome to the forum!

    A city rich in culture and progression, that is Chennai. It is a melting pot of different cultures, owing to the fact that different rulers, local and international, has conquered it. In these modern times, the city has done well to preserve its art forms like its classical dances and music. There are also many historical places to visit here, like temples, churches and even a fort. Here are the best places to visit in Chennai:
    • Kapaleeshwarar Temple - This is the largest and oldest temple in Chennai, located in Mylapore. It is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, who is revered here as Lord Kapaleeshwarar. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as a peacock, thus the temple itself resembles the many colours of the animal. The gateway tower or the gopuram of the temple has different colours, which is one of its main features. The temple also has a shrine for the consort of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, who is referred here as Goddess Karpagambal. Although the present structure was built in the 16th century, the history of the temple can be traced back to the 7th century.
    • Fort St. George - This fort was the first ever structure that the British built in India. The structures within the fort are reminiscent of the British era. The oldest structures in the fort are the Secretariat and the Legislative Council Chambers, both built around the middle of the 16th century to the 17th century. Also present is the oldest Anglican church in the country, St. Mary's Church. At the end of the 17th century, a museum was established in the fort. This museum houses weaponries, paintings and emblems of the British royalty and officials. Now though, the structures within the fort have become the offices for the state government of Tamil Nadu.
    • Parthasarathy Temple - This temple is dedicated mainly to Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Different rulers have renovated and expanded the temple. But originally, it was King Narasimhavarman I, a Pallava ruler, that initiated the building of the temple. The temple is one of the Divya Desams, revered by the Vaishnavaites. Lord Krishna is referred here as Parthasarathy, as he became the charioteer (sarathy) of Partha Anjuna. All the five forms of Vishnu are worshipped here as well.
    • San Thome Church - The significance of this church is that it is one of the only three churches built over an apostle's tomb. The San Thome Church was built over the tomb of Saint Thomas. The church is hard to miss, with its pure white exteriors and huge towers. Its stained glass windows depict the life of Saint Thomas and is the most attractive feature of the church. The church also holds other relics supposed to be related to the saint, which are a lance head and an earthenware pot.
    • Elliot's Beach - Chennai is known for its Marina Beach, which is a good place to hangout in, albeit a bit crowded and not so clean. A little bit further from to the south of the Marina Beach is Elliot's Beach. A relatively less crowded beach, with an assortment of restaurants and shacks. It's a good place for strolling around with your loved one or enjoying a weekend with the family. It's not as noisy or busy as the Marina Beach but it does have many options for food. Nearby, you can visit the Karl Memorial, Velankanni Church and Ashtalakshmi Temple.
    • Connemara Public Library - This is the largest public library in Chennai, located in Egmore. Here, you can find various published materials, especially since it receives copies of all materials published in India. It will certainly delight the bookworm in every individual. There's one floor dedicated entirely for Indian publications. The library has also preserved many old books, magazines and newspapers through a scanning system. It also caters to the blind, as it has a special section with Braille books.
    • Vivekananda House - The history of this house is quite a long one. For starters, it was built by Frederic Tudor, originally as a warehouse for his ice business. It was then known as the Ice House but was later sold to Iyengar. When Swami Vivekananda visited Chennai, being a mentor of Iyengar, he was asked to stay in the Ice House. This was the time when Swami Vivekananda shook the nation with his lectures. Thus, thereafter, the government renamed it into Vivekananda House. Now, the house is more of a museum, depicting the life of Swami Vivekananda. You would find photographs, personal items and memoirs dedicated to Swami.
    • Arignar Anna Zoological Park - This is the first zoological park to be established in the country. The park has an entire area just for the birds residing here. You can spot flamingoes, herons, storks, seagulls and teals here. There's also a separate area for snakes, which includes pythons and cobras. Several species of crocodiles are also in the crocodile enclosure of the park. Other sections of the park are a butterfly house, amphibian house and elephant house. There's also a library here with related literatures about wildlife and the environment. You can opt to tour the park through a battery operated vehicle or by foot.
    • Semmozhi Poonga Park - This is a botanical garden at the heart of the city of Chennai. The garden has over 500 species of plants, herbs and trees. There's a small pond inside the garden, where you can find some birds frolicking in the water. The plants in the garden are imported from neighbour countries like China, Thailand and Canada. There are also numerous water fountains which are added attractions in the park. There's also a small children's play area inside the park premises. There are a few food stalls that sell some snacks and beverages to tourists.
    • Shirdi Sai Baba Temple - This temple is dedicated to the Indian saint, Sai Baba. It is located in Mylapore, around a huge area of land. The temple is one of the calmest and most serene ones in the city. The main sanctum houses an idol of Sai Baba and it is surrounded by the idols of other Hindu deities. Thursdays are supposed to be dedicated to the saint, thus the temple sees more crowds during this day. The temple is also surrounded by lush greenery, which adds to the tranquility of the place.
    I hope this helps you!

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