Must Go Places in Chennai for International Travellers
Chennai is one of the oldest city in India and has many historical and culturally important tourist places to visit. This has made Chennai as one of the most visited destination in India by International tourists. Recently, Chennai was featured in Top 10 cities to travel around the world by LonelyPlanet. Additionally, Chennai is also featured in Top 10 cities for best food around the world by Nat Geo Travel magaizine here.
Let see some of the great places in Chennai which will guarantee a satisfying trip.
Mahabalipuram is one of the oldest town located at around 60 kilometers away from south of Chennai. This place houses the UNESCO recognized monuments constructed by King Pallavas between 3rd and 8th century AD.
These monuments consists of many number of rock cut monolithic structures that spreads across the Mahabalipuram town.
Places to see:
- Five Rathas
- Shore Temple
- Hill side caves and Watch towers
- Tiger cave
It is a must go place in Chennai to understand history of ancient Tamil culture and Dravidian architecture.
Time Required: 1 day
DakshinaChitra is a cultural museum which has display of many traditional houses of various community of people who live in South India. These display of houses are real houses that are brought and relocated to this museum from all the major 4 South Indian states Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra and Kerala.
They also organize various cultural activities every day by bringing the experts from different states across India. The other attractions of this places are, we can have a hands-on on traditional Pot making, weaving, etc which is a family-run business for many South Indian people communities.
Time Required: 4 to 5 hours
See the below album for more pictures,
Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore
Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Mylapore is one of the oldest temple in Chennai which is contructed around 7th century. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
[Kapaleshwarar Temple Photo credit: Mahendiran Manickam]
There are many other template in and around Chennai but this temple has unique history. It is said that the original temple was built near the shores of Bay of Bengal by King Pallavas which was destroyed by Portuguese to construct the Santhome Church. The present day temple was constructed by Vijayanagara kings and it is located some 1.5 kilometers away from the original location where the church is located now.
It is a must visit place in Chennai to see the Dravidian architecture and Hindu tradition.
Theosophical Society, Adayar
The international headquarters of Theosophical Society is located in Adayar, Chennai. This places is located on the shores of Bay of Bengal amidst dense forest and on the bank of Adayar River. Apart from Theosophy, this place is famous for Adayar banyan tree (Adayar Alamaram in Tamil) which is 450 years old and for the flora and fauna found in the lush green forest.
Chennai is a coastal city situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal Ocean and it has many scenic beaches. Chennai is also gifted with world’s second largest urban beach known as Marina Beach. Beaches are one of the must go places for anyone who visits Chennai.
Unlike the beaches in western countries, the beaches here are are packed with eateries and shops amidst large number of people who visit daily. Visiting Chennai beach will give you a unique experience.
St. Thomas Mount church is dedicated to Mother Mary – "Our Lady of Expectation" is located in a small hill called as St. Thomas Mount. This church was constructed in the year 1523.
Christianity was first inducted into India by St. Thomas. He has built several churches in Malabar Coast in Kerala, then he landed in Chennai to sow the seeds of Gospel in a land that had never known what this Gospel of salvation was. At that time, it is said that St. Thomas was hiding in Little Mount (a location nearby St. Thomas Mount) due to the fear of local people. Later he reached St. Thomas Mount(a nearby of Little Mount) which he thought is best suited for his life of solitude and prayer.
Kanchipuram is a temple town which is located at around 72 kilometers away from Chennai city. This places houses many architecturally brilliant Hindu temples build by Chola and Pallava kings. The main temples to visit are Kailasanathar Temple, the Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, and Kumarakottam Temple.
Kanchipuram is also famous for hand woven silk sarees, commonly called as Kanchi Pattu which is a must buy item if you are in Kanchipuram.