Chennai is known as the ‘Gateway to South India’. Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu is sited on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. It has played a vital role in the traditional, historical and academic growth of the country, representing the different elements of the highest variety of the Dravidian civilization. Today, Chennai, the capital city is the 4th largest city of India and is also the leading commercial centre of South India.
The credit of the booming economy of the city goes to the leading industries including automobile, software services, petrochemicals, financial services, textiles and hardware manufacturing. Also, Chennai, being an important metropolitan city is very well-connected to all the major cities of India as well as with the countries overseas. And, it is also considered as the cultural hub of South India which is famous for its affluent heritage in classical dance, music, architecture, sculpture, crafts, etc.
Tourism Destinations in ChennaiThe tourist destinations in Chennai include ancient temples, monuments, beaches, museum, art centers and much more. The following are some of the tourist places in Chennai:
Known as the Pride of Chennai, the Marina beach stretches for about 13 km making it the second longest beach in the country. The urban beach has white sand and is considered to be one of the cleanest and busiest beaches in India.he beach is one of the most prominent open spaces in Chennai and is host to many important national and cultural events like the parades on Independence Day and Republic Day. The annual Chennai Marathon, India’s biggest city marathon, starts from Anna Square near Marina beach. The Pongal celebration in January attracts an estimated 150,000 people on the beach for the festivities. The Marina Beach has been featured in numerous Tamil movies over the years.
Situated 60 km from Chennai, Mahabalipuram is an ancient port town known for its stone carvings and stone temples. Built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, the port city of Pallavas has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mahabalipuram beach is a pristine beach on the east coast of Chennai. This golden sandy beach with rock cut sculptures attracts many tourists every year. The place is an ideal place for a holiday. You can enjoy several water sports like motor boating, wind surfing and diving. You can also visit other attraction here in Mahabalipuram including a school of art and sculpture, a crocodile bank and a snake venom extracting center.
Valluvar Kottam is a temple chariot like monument built to honor the renowned classical Tamil poet and saint, Thiruvalluvar. It is known for its great architecture, built with innovative layouts and well thought execution.
The short writings of him are inscribed in the front hall corridors. It is seen as a replica of temple chariot in Thiruvarur and a life size idol of the Thiruvalluvar has been installed in the 39m high chariot at the top of ancient vehicle called 'thaer'. It also has an auditorium which can accommodate 4,000 people. It stands at the point which was the deepest point of a lake which was located in the area. People are allowed to capture the beauty of the monument's architecture in their cameras. Best time to visit is during the day time.
Connemara Public Library
Connemara Public Library at Chennai is one of the four National Depository Libraries which receive a copy of all books, newspapers and periodicals published in India. Established in 1896 the library is a repository of centuries-old publications, wherein lie some of the most respected works and collections in the country. It also serves as a depository library for the UN.
The library was as part of a cultural complex that grew in the grounds of what was once called 'The Pantheon'. The entire complex now boasts buildings that reflect architectural unity, even while demonstrating the various stages of Indo-Saracenic development, from Gothic-Byzantine to Rajput Mughal and Southern Hindu Deccani.
Santhome Church in Chennai also known as Santhome Cathedral Basilica and International Shrine of Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica, sits on the tomb built over the mortal remains of one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Saint Thomas had come to India in A.D.52, was martyred in A.D.72 and buried in this very site then known as Mylapore. “San Thome” assumes its name from Saint Thomas.
There are only two other Basilicas in the world other than Santhome Cathedral that have been built over the tomb of an apostle. One of them being “St.Peters Basilica”, in Rome and the other being “church of St.James the great”, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Kapaleeshwarar temple was built in 7th century CE by the Pallavas. The original Kapaleeshwarar Temple was built where Santhome Church is located currently in Chennai. This original temple was demolished by the Portuguese and the present temple was built in the 16th century by the Vijayanagar Kings.