Have you heard many stereotypes related to south Indians? One of the prominent ones is that all people dwelling in the Southern regions of India are known as Madarasi's. This is primarily because Chennai also known as Madras was the most famous city in South India. This is because it holds South India's colonial past and serves as a trade port during the British Raj. This remained a preferred port as it resides near the Coramandal cost of the Bay of Bengal. Moreover, the city has played a vital role in the overall growth of the country by representing different stages of Dravidian civilization. Explore the places to visit in Chennai.
Today the capital of Tamil Nadu leads the commercial activities in South India. The flag bearers of the economic growth in the city and the country are the leading sectors like the automobile and petrochemicals. The metropolitan city also has strong connectivity with other parts of India and cities overseas due to its advanced transportation facilities. Additionally, the city offers its visitors rich cultural heritage and vibrant celebrations. It is considered the cultural hub of India due to its variety of classical performing arts such as music, dance, and drama.
The people here are regarded as Chennaits or Madrasi's and mostly speak the regional language Tamil. The best feature about the city is that it boasts the Tidel Park which is considered to be the largest IT park in Asia. It also features one of the largest libraries in India “The Anna Centenary Library.” Apart from the structures and cultural importance the city has given birth to many famous people like the leading chess champ Vishvanathan Anand.
Also read: Places to visit in Mumbai
The capital city of Tamil Nadu attracts tourists mostly in winter. Chennai witnesses the winter season during November to February. During daytime the breeze from the sea keeps the visitors cool from the otherwise humid climates.
Additionally, this time also marks the celebrations of Pongal a local festival that lights up the city. Also, during December, the city hosts numerous fares, fests, and carnivals. The months of March to June constitute the summer season in the city. The climate during this season remains unpleasant and is the hottest time in the region. Thus making it uninhabitable for many visitors. However, you may expect great hotel deals during this time. While the evenings and nights are hot, one can head to the seaside to feel the coolness of the gentle winds from the sea.
Marking the monsoon in Chennai July to September bring heavy rains and sometimes even massive floods. If you wish to travel during this harsh season make sure you carry your umbrellas and raincoats because the showers can be unpredictable. While the rainfall reduces during September and October, the weather becomes breezy and the temperature drops. Some of the places to visit in Chennai include famous beaches and seaside resorts. You may love to live by the beachside due to the pleasant weather conditions and accessibility to the central part of the city.
Places To Visit In Chennai
The city doesn't feature many monuments or well-known tourist attractions unlike many other cities in India. Thus it takes a lot of time to appreciate what the city has to offer. However, the gateway of South India welcomes all its visitors and surrounds them with Indian culture. These places to visit in Chennai will pamper you and help you understand the complex yet a beautiful culture of South India. One must try to visit the city during the Pongal festival. Heading out to see the tourist places in Chennai? Here are a few popular destinations:
Marina Beach, Chennai
Located in Kamarajar Salai Road, the golden beach offers its visitors a breath of fresh air from the otherwise scorching heat. The beachside is like relief on a hot mundane day. The beach exists at a distance of just 3 km's from Chennai, India. Moreover, the beach is regarded as the second biggest beach in the World extending from St George Fort to Mahabalipuram. Furthermore, the credit of converting the beach to a tourist spot lies with the then Governor Mountstuart Elephant Grand Duff. Due to his efforts, one can enjoy the experience of watching the captivating sunrise and sunset. One may also wish to visit the aquarium located close to the beach. Here you will find some exotic sea and freshwater fish which gives the visitor an insight into the unique aquatic life of Chennai.
Bordered by palm trees the beach drives all its visitors to take a leisure walk. One may also choose to take a horseback ride by the shore side and feel the gentle winds hit the face. However, one may not want to swim or bath here due to the chaotic undercurrents. Nonetheless, the beach will rejuvenate your every nerve and make you fall in love with the city all over again.
Besides the many beach activities there lie many monumental structures nearby namely Annadhurai and MG Ramachandran Memorials as well as the statues of many Tamil heroes. The foodies will love the beachside as they can savour many local dishes like Muruku from the variety of food stalls located here. Additionally, to the south of the beach, you will find the Icehouse where imported ice was stored. Refresh yourself by the beach before you head on to the other places to visit in Chennai.
Madras High Court
Residing just outside fort Saint George in a district called George Town, the High Court stands as one of the largest Judicial Buildings in the world. Established in the year 1892 it comprises of unique Indo-Saracenic architecture and splendid painted ceilings and glass doors. It remains highly possible for visitors to wander through the entire court. Visitors may also get lucky and sit inside a courtroom during a session. The court was officially inaugurated by the then Madras Governer Beilby Baron Wenlock gave the key to the Chief Justice Sir Arthur Collins. The court consists of 74 judges including chief justices. Also, the court recently rose to fame for appointing an all women first bench. Due to its historical and Judicial significance and marvellous architecture, the Madras High Court becomes one of the most important places to visit in Chennai
Regarded as one of the holiest Christian Places in India Velankanni, it sits at the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Furthermore, it lies just 12 km from the famed coastal region of Coramandal. Velankanni is famed for its shrine Basilica. It is also internationally renowned as it has been declared a holy city by the Pope. This proves its age-old divinity. The shrine here portrays multicultural and religious bonding. One of the interesting practices here include visitors and ill pilgrims offering candles to the mother to rid them of the ailments. The speciality is that the candles offered to symbolise the ailment like a heart shaped candle in case of cardiac problems.
Usually, the highest honour a church could receive is to elevate itself to a status of Basilica. A basilica originally signifies a royal hall however now it means a large and divine hall. The word was coined when the Romans used to create large halls for administrative purposes. Thus when Bishop Sundaram went to Rome, he re-approached the pope and requested to make the Velankanni church a minor Basilica. Upon on examining the places, the pope declared the church a Basilica in 1962. Today the church links itself to the Saint Mary's Major Basilica in Rome. Due to its religious significance and connection with the significant Basilica, the Velankanni church becomes one of the main places to visit in Chennai.
Arignar, Anna Zoological Park
The most ancient Zoos of the country and South East Asia, the Anna Zoological Park resides in Chennai. Located in the Vandalur part of the district, the Park is at a distance of 35 Kms from the city. Build in 1855, the zoological park later shifted to Vandalur in 1979 and opened to the public in 1985. It extends up to 510 hectares and is regarded as one of the largest in South East Asia. The park houses more than 180 species of animals that enjoy their habitat. The variety of flora and fauna found here, makes the Arignar, Anna Zoological Park one of the main places to visit in Chennai.
The zoo features exotic wildlife such as Tiger, Giraffes, BlackBuck as well as the Jaguar and Jackal. These animals move about independently amidst humanmade walls. The Vandalur region is bordered by dry deciduous trees that shelter many creatures. One may also wish to experience battery operated rides into the forest or explore the dense forest on an elephant ride. The tourists may also enjoy the special lion safari.
Additionally, the Park also features a library that has a great collection of wildlife-related books. However, visitors may wish to visit the place on all days except Tuesdays. Also, the visiting hours remain between 8:00 a.m to 3 p.m. The entrance fee starts from 10 R/s to 30 R/s.
Even though Mylapore isn't precisely located in Chennai, the region is often regarded as the soul of the city. Mylapore, one of the oldest regions in the city, is inhabited by the Brahmins. Mylapore highlights the cultural vibrancy of the city. Here one will also find a 17th century Chennai Temple “Kapaleeshwara Temple.” This temple was established as a dedication to Lord Shiva.
Furthermore, One may also sight the Sathome Cathedral designed in the Neo-Gothic style. Established by the Portuguese long time ago. Upon reaching Mylapore, you will even stumble upon the fabulous Ramakrishna Mutt Temple. One of the most famous literates and saint of Tamil Nadu “Thiruvalluvar” took birth in Mylapore. Additionally, the Mylapore festival takes places during early January just before Pongal every year. Thus making it one of the important places to visit in Chennai.
Best Places to stay in Chennai
MGM beach resort, Chennai
Located just at the outskirts of Chennai in a nearby district called Mahabalipuram, the MGM Beach Resort is a premium Beach Resort. The well-equipped resort offers over 85 rooms from suits to deluxe. All of the rooms feature an A/c, refrigerator, Bathtub and a lot more. What makes the resort famous are its marvellous amenities like a gym, spa, Ayurvedic centre and so on. Furthermore, the stay offers a conference hall for your business meets and a beautiful terrace garden. We recommend you to halt here on your way to Chennai from Bangalore or any nearby places as the resort lies near the beach.
Blue Lagoon Beach Resort
This marvellous beach stays spreading hundreds of acres. The Beach Resort offers many gardens, swimming pools, and waterfalls. Moreover, for the families out there you will love to see your kids play out in the children's play area. Additionally, the hotel is a family friendly one as it restricts having liquor. The resort ideally makes for a perfect getaway for college kids as well as serves as a picnic spot. Blue Lagoon Beach Resort famed for its beach facing rooms resides near the railway station. The resort hosts many weddings, celebrations, and corporate gatherings. A series of many complementary takeaways and buffets remain a part of the various attractions. Furthermore, the resort is strategically located near places to visit in Chennai.
Silver Sands Resort
Situated amidst Casuarina's density and provides a romantic and rustic feel. The Stay follows the theme of a Jungle by the beach side. The visitors and guests love the clear view of the Bay of Bengal from the resort. This is what provides them with a pleasant and romantic atmosphere. Quench your thirst for adventure by enrolling for the beachside activities. Exciting adventure sports here include Rappelling and rock climbing. This resort is perfect for an outing with your buddies. You'll also play volleyball or football by the beach or choose to sip on your margarita under the umbrella. The resort also features indoor sports facilities such as snooker, darts etc. Take a break from your mundane life and escape into the charm of the Silver Sands Resorts.
Leela Palace Chennai
Chennai's first and probably the only sea-facing city hotel. The Leela Palace serves as a business hotel in Chennai. Moreover, the 5-star hotel boasts beautifully decorated 324 rooms located on 11 floors. All the rooms remain well furnished and feature top-notch facilities. Also, the hotel offers some world-class amenities such as meeting and conference centres as well as Chinese cuisine restaurants, cake shop and a lot more. The guests here just love the view of the beach. Apart from serving as a business hotel the Leela also accepts booking for events like weddings.
Moreover, the Leela Palace has witnessed a lot of lavish Indian Weddings in its massive Ballroom. Visitors may want to relax at its luxury spa or beauty parlour. Guests may also wish to hit the gym and indulge in other recreational activities offered here.
Hyatt Regency, Chennai
The hotel is located within easy access to places to visit in Chennai and the city's local attractions. Due to its strategical location and it's majestic charm the hotel attracts many tourists from different parts of India. The modern five-star hotel stands just a 15 km drive from the Chennai International Airport. This business hotel epitomizes South India's culture by inculcating it in its architecture. Moreover, many visitors prefer the hotel because of the warmth it gives amidst the cosmopolitan leisure for its guests. The foodies will love a fresh Italian dining experience with an Indian touch at the hotel's Spice Haat restaurant.
Furthermore, the hotel offers 325 premium rooms coupled with city views or the pool facing view. Everyone that has stayed here loves the spacious rooms well fitted with many amenities. Not to forget the modern comfort like king-sized beds and elegant baths. The hotel features state of the art structures within it. One of which is the pillarless ballroom often preferred for weddings and other lavish Indian celebrations. This is why the hotel makes for a perfect wedding setup. When you choose to tour the places to visit in Chennai, you must stay at this wonderful hotel.