India >> Tamil Nadu >> Chennai Travel Guide

Chennai Hotels and Travel Guide

Chennai, formerly known as Madras is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. One of the four metropolitan cities of India, Chennai is widely spread in area about 180 Sq. Kms. The city situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Chennai the automobile capital of India, is also referred as the Detroit of South Asia. The 12 Kilometre long Marina Beach in Chennai, is one of the longest beaches in the world. The city is trisected by two rivers namely Cooum River and Adyar river. The Cooum river divides the city into almost half and the Adyar river divides the southern half of the city into two parts. The historic Buckingham canal runs through the city, almost parallel to the coast. The 350 year old city retains much of its old charm and today stands as a big commercial and industrial centre. Rich in the cultural heritage, the temples, shrines, forts and palaces, the city presents a blend of past with present

Chennai and its nearby area has served as an important administrative, military and economic centre way back to the 1st century. Several South India kingdoms like the Pallava, the Chola, the Pandya and Vijaynagar empires have ruled over the area. The British occupied the power of the town in 1749 and under British rule the city developed into a major urban centre and naval base.


Chennai has some places to offer for shopping. In fact Chennai is a Shopper's delight. There are a lot of places and shops worth visiting. One thing to be kept in mind is to try to bargain for prices at almost all places. New plazas are springing up while traditional stores are having themselves refurbished to attract more customers. Readymade clothing including brands, art and crafts, contemporary and traditional artwork, antiques, jewellery etc are easily available in the city. Traditional items like Pattamara Mats and the leaf and palmyra-fiber handicrafts from Tirunellveli, bronze and brass castings and traditional jewelry from Kumbakonam, Metal works from Tanjavur, stone carvings from Mamallapuram, Silks from Kanchipuram are all available in Chennai.

Chennai (formerly Madras) has the Bay of Bengal bordering its east, while the state of Andhra Pradesh is on its northwest. It has the famous district of Tamilnadu, Kanchipuram, on its south and the states of Kerala and Karnataka on its western side. Being situated at the tropical zone, Chennai normally has a very hot and humid climate.

The best time to visit Chennai city is the winter season from the months of November to February. Winter and summer temperature does not vary much as it rains frequently through the year.

Chennai (Madras) is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is located in the southern parts of India at an elevation of 15 meters. Chennai witness warm and humid climate during summers with very high rate of precipitation recorded. Winters and summers are both quite alike with the difference in temperature being minimal. Best time to visit Chennai or Madras is during the months of November to February.


The first theme amusement Park "Kishkintha" near Chennai. Situated south of Chennai near Tambaram spreadover 110 acres, Kishkintha Park offers various exciting rides and attractions. Timings: Weekdays: 11.00 am to 7.00 pm Sundays and holidays: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm

The sprawling 1,265 - acre Anna Zoological Park is the biggest in South Asia and is building up a superb collection of tropical mammals, birds and reptiles amongst others. The enclosures for the animals are located in natural surroundings with vast areas for the animals to move freely. Bicycles are available for hire to see the zoo on the wheel. Timing: Weekdays 11.00 am to 7.00 pm. Sunday and Holidays: 10.00am to 8.00pm.

MGM Dizzy World
One more children's amusement park has come up on a 27- acre site at Muttukkadu enroute to Mamallapuram. Water Chute, Parachute Tower, Pirate Boat, Striking Boat, and a 110 feet "Dizee Shake" Challenger and Visual Reality are some of the important attractions out of the 37 attractions of the park. Timing: 10.30 am. to 9.00 pm.

Meenakshi Temple - Chennai

hoysaleswara temple
Hoysaleswara temple - Chennai

Chennai city - Chennai

Chennai Beach
Chennai Beach - Chennai

V.G.P. Golden Beach Resort

This is a very skillfully planed beach resort geared to entertain the visitor with sculptured vignettes from the past, folk dances and enthnic sea food cuisine. Its unique stretch of spotlessly clean golden sand is a warm invitation to sun-bathers and the surf beckons the sea-bather. The V.G.P. Art centre, a part of the resort complex, sells merchandise ranging from sea shells to rural handicrafts.

Dakshina Chitra
Dakshina Chitra is a unique Heritage village situated at Muttukadu on the new Mamallapuram Coastal Road, 20km. from Chennai. Dakshina Chitra offers the visitors an unforgettable and authentic insight into the life-styles of the diverse people of south India. The traditional crafdtsmen and folk artists are seen at work in the settings representing the century-old houses and worksports of the crafts community. Tamil Nadu and Kerala sections are presently open to the public. Facilities include Craft shop and canteen.

Attractions and Places to Visit in Chennai

Fort St. George - Fort St. George is one of the finest examples of British military constructions. The construction of the fort was completed in 1654, but it was remodelled in 1749. The oldest Protestant Church -St. Mary's Church, stands in the fort complex. The St. George's towering flagstaff is, still today, the tallest in India. The memories of early Chennai are preserved in Clive Corner, Wellesley House, Fort Museum and St. Mary's church. The Legislature and Secretariat houses of the Tamil Nadu government are built around the Fort.

High Court Complex - On the site of Fort St. George's first Indian town the Indo-Sarcenic styled buildings are operational as High Court. Built in the year 1892 the High Court Complex is assumed to be the second largest judicial complex in the world. The High court building has beautiful domes, a grand central cupola and many stained glass windows. A tall granite Doric column which still stands is an ornament to the campus. The interior of the court buildings has corridors, vestibules and stairways. Inside the High Court Complex the High Court, the Small Cause's Court and the City Civil Court stand.

George Town- George Town is considered as the commercial heart of the city, as the streets remain packed with traders, buyers and their employees. Rajaji Salai (North Beach Road) separates George Town from the Harbour and along one side of it, imperial architecture flourishes. The British commercial house stands at the beginning, further one can watch most of the major business centres in Chennai. George Town is bounded in the north by Old Jail Road and Clive Battery.

Corporation Complex - The Cororation Complex houses Ripon Building, home of the oldest municipality in India,the Madras Corporation built in 1913. The complex have a building with the design inspired from the Taj. The domed white building has Parks and Gardens, Nehru Stadium, Victoria Public Hall, a public meeting place out of the gaslight era and Moore market. The Moore market is the perfect place to shop.

Government Museum - The Museum was established in the year 1857. One of the country's best museums has the collection of authentic relics of 2nd century A.D., brought from the Buddhist site of Amaravati. The museum displays prehistoric antiques of South India and exquisite carvings of the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths.One can also see a fine collection of wood carvings from processional temple Chariots. In addition the museum has the interesting collection of South Indian musical instruments and jewellery, ancient icons and modern bronzes, including the famous bronze Natraja and the beautiful set of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman.

National Art Gallery - The gallery has the the finest collection of old paintings. It houses the 10th and 13th century bronzes, 16th-18th century Rajasthani and Mughal paintings, 17th century Deccani paintings and 11th and 12th century Indian handicrafts.

Kapaleeswarar Temple - The temple is one of the oldest temples of the world, it has inscriptions of 13th century dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The Dravidian architectural style with paintings on the walls remind incidents from Hindu Mythology.

Sri Parthasarathy Temple - Built by the Pallavas in the 8th century the temple was dedicated to Lord Krishna, the temple houses images of Lord Vishnu.

Santhome Cathedral - The 500 year old cathedral was built by the Portuguese in honor of Saint Thomas.

Saint Thomas Mount - Built by the Portuguese the church offers the spectacular views of the city.

Marina Beach - World's second largest beach, 12 Kms long, is a best place for recreation and relaxation.

Valluvar Kottam - Located at Nungambakkam, the memorial was built for immortal Tamil poet-saint, Thiruvalluvar. The memorial has also an auditorium with a capacity of up to 4000 people.

How to Reach Chennai

Road - Chennai is linked with well motorable roads from rest of the country. The distance of major towns from Chennai are Mumbai (1329 Kms), Bangalore 334 (Kms) Hyderabad (669 Kms), Kanyakumari (693 Kms), Madurai (461 Kms), Mahabalipuram (60 Kms), Pondicherry (162 Kms), Rameshwaram (619 Kms), Kanchipuram 71 (Kms), Tirupati 143 (Kms), Ooty (535 Kms), Kodaikanal (498 Kms), Thiruvananthapuram 709 (Kms) and Thanjavur (334 Kms).

Rail - Chennai Railway station is connected with all the major railway stations of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Varanasi.

Air - The Airport in Chennai is directly linked to Airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Goa, Bhubaneswar, Cochin, Hyderabad, Port Blair and Pune.

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