Destination Guide India >
INDIA - CHENNAI
ABOUT CHENNAI CITY
history of the city of Chennai which was previously named as
Madras, traces back to 368 years and Chennai was originally a
tiny fishing village. The region surrounding Chennai has
served as a significant administrative, military, and economic
centre dating back to the 1st century. It has been ruled by
renowned South Indian kingdoms like the Pallava, the Chola,
the Pandya, and Vijaynagar empires.
located near the 13th north parallel and 80 degree longitude.
The city stretches its 19 km length along the Coromandel coast
and extends inland about 9 km at its widest. Its irregular
shape covers about 172 sq km. It is a fairly low-lying strip
of land, its highest point being only 60 m above sea level.
ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES - CHENNAI CITY
The ancient Kapaleshwar temple, situated in Mylapore, is
dedicated to Lord Shiva. The fragmented inscriptions here
dates back to 1250 AD. But the present temple was rebuilt by
Vijayanagar Kings in the 16th century. The magnificent 37m
carved 'Gopuram' of gods, goddesses and saints depict
important 'Puranic' legends.
The Marina Beach is one of the city's most famous tourist
attractions. It extends from St. George to Mahabalipuram. The
world famous beach is jaunted by thousands of tourists each
year from both home and abroad. The beautiful blue waters,
sparkling sun and the velvety sand make it a perfect beach
holiday spot. Swimming in the sea is not advisable as it can
get a little rough at times.
The Parthasarthy temple was built around the 8th century by
the kings of the Pallava dynasty. Situated in Triplicane, the
temple is famous for its arched gateway and its impeccable
Museum and National Art Gallery
The Government Museum at Chennai is one of the finest museums
in India. It has sections devoted to anthropology,
botany, geology, numismatics, sculpture and zoology. The
relics from the 2nd century AD Buddhist site 'Amaravati' and
the souvenirs of the prehistoric South India are the most
prized assets of the museum. The museum has a vast collection
of carvings of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths. There's also a
good collection of South Indian musical instruments and
jewelry, that are orth seeing. The bronze gallery that has a
superb collection of ancient icons and modern bronzes are
The Art Gallery at Chennai has a fine collection of paintings,
handicrafts and bronze. The collection is housed in a Mughal
style building. Bronzes from 10th and 13th century, Rajasthan
and Mughal paintings from 16th and 17th century and Indian
handicrafts from 11th and 12th century are displayed here.
The Santhome Cathedral is an important pilgrimage containing
the remains of St. Thomas. The cathedral houses a museum which
has many rare artifacts including a 16th-century map of South
Asia. Other notable tourist attractions of the city include
Kapaleshwar Temple, Fort St. George, National Art Gallery,
Snake Park, Theosophical Society and Kalakshetra.
House & Museum
The state government had leased this building to Sri
Ramakrishna Mission. It is an imposing structure on
the Marina beach along the South Beach Road. In 1897 Swami
Vivekananda visited this city and stayed in this historic
building in the year 1897 on his way to Calcutta, after his
acclaimed speech at Chicago for the Parliament of Religions.
The Government took over the building in 1930 and in 1963 it
was named after Vivekananda. Photographs depicting the
historical happenings associated with his life and books about
him and his own written works are on display and sold here in
HOW TO REACH
» Air : Chennai has
both domestic as well as international airport connecting it
to all the major cities and countries of the world.
» By Train: Chennai has regular
trains to and from all the major cities in India and there are
two main railway stations in Chennai at Madras Central and
» By Road: The
excellent bus services and road network connect Chennai to all
the major cities in Tamil Nadu and the surrounding states.