About Chennai

Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 Days

Base Station: Chennai

Nearest City to Chennai: Chennai

Best Time to Visit Chennai: October to February

Peak Season: November to January

State: Tamil Nadu | District: Chennai

Chennai Weather: Maximum : 42°C
Minimum : 15°C

Chennai (formerly called Madras), the 'Cultural Capital of India', is the fourth largest metropolis in the country with a population of over 8 millions. At a distance of 337 km from Bangalore, 629 km from Hyderabad, 453 km from Vijayawada, 170 km from Pondicherry & 772 km from Trivandrum, Chennai is one the largest cities in India and capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the famous Tourist places in Tamilnadu.

The present town was founded in 1639, by Sir Francis Day, who arrived with East India Company. The British East India Company established a fort and a trading post at the small fishing village of Chennai. Today, it has emerged as a major industrial and educational center. Chennai with the Bay of Bengal on its side had been major British trading post for years.

The region around Chennai has served as an important administrative, military, and economic centre since the 1st century AD. It has been ruled by various South Indian dynasties, notably the Pallava, the Chola, the Pandya, and Vijaynagara. The area where the present city exists was awarded to British by Damerla Chennapa Nayaka who a general under Vijayanagaras ruled from Chandragiri, near Tirupathi. The name Chennai believed to be derived from Chennakesava Perumal Temple present in the city.

The city is famous for its beaches, Museums, Parks and several historical places around the city. The major tourist places in Chennai include Marina Beach, Govt Museum, Parthasarathy Temple, Kapaleeswaraar Temple, San Thome Cathedral, etc. There are several other attractions in the vicinity of Chennai like Elliot Beach, VGP Golden Beach, Mahabalipuram, Pulicat Lake, Muttukadu, etc. Kanchipuram, the famous historical & pilgrimage town is situated close to Chennai.

Chennai has great connectivity from major cities in India and the world. Chennai has two major railway stations - Chennai Central & Chennai Egmore. Chennai Central is a major junction which is connected with major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Vijayawada, Kochi, etc. Chennai Egmore is primarily provides connectivity with major towns within Tamilnadu. Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) is one of the largest bus terminuses in India with inter-state and inter-city connectivity.

The city is base to around 30% of India's automobile industry and 35% of its auto components industry. Chennai is highly humid area and winter is the best season to visit.

It usually takes two full days to visit major attractions in Chennai.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Very Good
STD Code: 044
Languages Spoken: Tamil, Telugu, Malaylam, English & French
Major Festivals: Pongal
Dance And Music Festival
Travel And Tour Fair
Notes/Tips:
None

How to Reach Chennai

By Air

Nearest Airport: Chennai - Chennai International Airport (15 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Chennai Central Railway Station (0 Kms)
Chennai Beach Railway Station (7 Kms)
Chennai Egmore Railway Station (3 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Chennai

Beach

#1 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 4 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (located at Kamarajar Road, near local Chepauk Railway Station), the famous Marina beach is the second longest beach in the World and runs to a length of 13 Km. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai city.

Situated on the beach, the Anna Park, named after the founder of D.M.K Anna durai and the tomb of M.G. Ramachandran who was a film star (both were former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu) and the Statue of Labour is a splendid sculpture depicting the efforts of a team of labourers who are at hard manual labour.

The beach can be ideally visited in the early mornings or in the late evenings when the area becomes a virtual ground with food stalls and other entertainments.

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Museum

#2 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 4 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (on Pantheon Road), the Pantheon complex built in 1789 houses Government Museum, the National Art Gallery and the Connemara Public Library. The Government bought this building in 1830 and later several new buildings were added to it. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai city.

The Government Museum was established in 1857 and has the country's best collection of South Indian bronzes, both ancient and modern. Among which beautiful bronze icons of Nataraja, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. The Amaravathi Gallery contains the rare second century marble sculptures, depicting important events in the life of Gautama Buddha. The bronzes from the 10th and 13th centuries and handicrafts from the 11th and 12th centuries also are seen here.

The National Art Gallery exhibits several beautiful paintings of 16th and 18th century from Rajasthan, Mughal period and 17th century Deccani art.

Timings: 9.30 .....

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Pilgrimage

#3 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 4.5 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (located in Peter's Road, Triplicane, near local Triplicane Railway Station), Sri Parthasarathy Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is one of the oldest temples in Chennai. This temple is built by Pallavas in the 8th century. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai city.

The present structure of the temple is largely based on the renovations and additions carried out in the 16th century by the Vijayanagar Kings. A number of fine carvings adorn the temple. It is one of the 108 sacred centers of Sri Vaishnavites.

Visiting Hours: Daily from 6.30 AM to 12 noon and 4 to 8 PM

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Pilgrimage

#4 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 6.5 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (located in Mylapore), the Kapaleeswarar Temple dedicated to Shiva is built in 8th Century by Pallavas. But the current structure is rebuilt by the Vijayanagara rulers in 16th century. The 37 meters tall and grand gopuram is made in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai city.

This temple has some beautiful sculptures, among which the bronze idols of 63 Saivaite Saints or the Nayanmars. The Arubathumoovar festival dedicated to the 63 Nayanmars held in March-April every year is a special attraction.

Timings: 5 AM to 11 AM and 4 PM to 9.30 PM.

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Pilgrimage

#5 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 7 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (located at the Southern end of Marina Beach, in Mylapore), San Thome Cathedral Basilica is one of Chennai's historic landmarks. This Cathedral was originally built in 1504. It was rebuilt in 1890 with a 180 ft basilica.

This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai city. The church gets its name from St.Thomas, the apostle of Jesus who is believed to have come to India sometime during 52 A.D. It is believed he was killed on St. Thomas Mount just outside the city in 78 AD and his remains interred in Santhome beach where a church was later built. Several years later, another church was built further inland and his mortal remains were transferred here.

Timings: 5 AM to 9 PM

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Pilgrimage

#6 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 7 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (located in Vaikuntapuram, less than 1 Kms from local Kodambakkam Railway Station), Valluvar Kottam is a monument built to pay homage to Tamil Poet Saint Thiruvalluvar.

Inaugurated in 1976, the memorial is the form of 101-feet high temple chariot and is the replica of the temple chariot in Thiruvarur. A 33m tall life-size statue of the saint has been installed in the chariot. Another amazing attribute of the auditorium is that it is not supported by a single pillar and stands without any support.

The 133 chapters of his famous work Thirukkural have been depicted in bas-relief in the front hall corridors of the chariot. All the 1330 verses of the poet's epic are depicted on the granite pillars, which surround the auditorium. The auditorium at Valluvar Kottam is said to be the largest in Asia and can accommodate about 4000 people.

Timings: 8.30 AM - 5.30 PM

Entry Fee: Rs. 10 for Adults & Rs. 5 for Childre .....

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Miscellaneous

#7 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 10 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (located at Kotturpuram near Guindy, less than 1 km from local Kotturpuram Railway Station) the Birla Planetarium is the most modern planetarium in India. It houses a fully computerised projector that depicts the heavens on a hemispherical dome. The Planetarium presents audiovisual programmes on various themes in astronomy.

Adjoining the planetarium is the Periyar Sceince and Technology Museum, which is of interest to students and other science enthusiasts.

Timing : 10 AM to 5 PM, Closed on National Holidays only

English Programme Timings: 10.45 AM, 1.45pm and 3.45 pm.
Tamil Programme Timings: 12.30 AM and 2.30 PM.

Entry Fee: Rs. 45 for Adults & Rs. 25 for Children (which includes Science Centre, Planetarium, 3D Science Movie & Science Park)

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Pilgrimage

#8 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 10 km from Chennai Central Railway Station, the Vadapalani Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Vadapalani area of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Also known as Vadapalani Andavar Temple, it is among the most popular temples in Chennai and also one of the famous places to visit in Chennai.

Vadapalani Andavar Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. Built around 125 years ago, this temple is one of the most frequented temples of Chennai. According to the legend, Annaswami Nayakar, an ardent devotee of Lord Murugan was the founder of the temple. During his worship, he experienced divine power entering his body and inspiring him to speak surprising things later found to be true. His utterance went by the name of arulvakku and relieved people in several ways, like curing diseases, getting jobs and marriages, etc.

The presiding deity idol in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple resembles the original Palani Muruga in his standing posture. Many sannidhis are present in the .....

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Museum

#9 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 3 km from Chennai Central Railway Station, the National Art Gallery is situated inside the Government Museum Complex on Pantheon Road in Egmore, Chennai. This is one of the oldest art galleries in India and also one of the must visit Chennai Tourist Places.

The National Art Gallery was built of sandstone in the year 1907 by T. Namberumal Chetty. Earlier known as Victoria Memorial Hall, the National Art Gallery was built during the celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in Indo-Saracenic style, designed by architect Henry Irwin. It has been identified as a Heritage site by the CMDA.

The National Art Gallery consists of four different sections, which include Tanjore Painting Gallery, Decorative Art Gallery, Indian Traditional Art Gallery and Raja Ravi Varma Painting Gallery. The miniature paintings from the Mughal era, handicrafts from 11th and 12th centuries and Rajput paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries are also on display. Portraits of various .....

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Beach

#10 of 37 Places to Visit in Chennai

At a distance of 13 Kms from Chennai (located in Besant Nagar), The Elliot's Beach is a well known destination for people who seek relief from the crowded metropolitan life of the Chennai. The Adyar River drains into the sea here.

Popularly known as 'Bessie' among locals, this is an extremely calm and tranquil place. The Beach has become a popular hangout for the young generation. Elliot's Beach is also a favorite haunt of foreigners where they can peacefully take their sun bath.

The Ashtalakshmi Temple near the beach is around 20 years old and has modern style architecture. Velanganni Church is a pilgrim place for the Christians.

Elliot's Beach has good connectivity and transportation options from Chennai.

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