TOURIST PLACES IN CHENNAI
Chennai formerly known as Madras is the capital city of Tamil Nadu state and is the fourth largest metro city in India. The city grew up around the English settlement of Fort Saint George and gradually absorbed the surrounding towns and villages. However, despite the strong British influence, Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil Hindu culture and effectively blended it with the foreign influence. The city is widely spread in about 180 Sq. Kms. It is a major trade center, being well linked by road, rail and air to important cities besides being a sea port. Compared to the other major metros of India, it is far less congested and polluted.
Chennai, is a journey into timeless India, a kaleidoscope of moods. rich in the treasures of history, from temples and shrines to forts and palaces, the landscape of the past lives easily with the present. Chennai is the fourth largest city in India and the capital of Tamil Nadu.
Vivekananda 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 the Museum.
The Gudiyam Caves are situated about 17 kms. behind Poondi reservoir in Chennai. Except some adventurous trekkers and the stout villagers, hardly anyone goes here. The reason is its tough terrain that takes 4 kms. of walk by foot. These prehistoric natural caves are evidence of the primitive tools that our ancestors had used.
Built in the 17th century, this fort was built under the supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon and houses St. Mary’s Church and a museum. Built in 1680, St. Mary’s Church is the oldest Anglican Church in India and has some of the oldest British tombstones in India. It was here that the marriage of the couple who founded the Yale University in the States was solemnized.
The 12-km long famous Marina Beach is the second longest beach in the world. It is best to visit the beach early in the mornings or late in the evenings when the area becomes a virtual fair ground with food stalls and other entertainments.
The snake park with diverse Indian snakes and reptiles and nearby children’s park with a large playing ground and a good collection of birds and animals are worth a visit.
The memorial to the great poet-saint of Tamilian literature, Tiruvalluvar, is actually the replica of the temple chariot in Thiruvarur. A 33m tall statue of the saint has been installed in the chariot. His famous work Thirukkural has been inscribed on stone in the front hall corridors of the chariot. The memorial is said to have the largest auditorium in Asia with a capacity of 4000 people.
The museums at Egmore, founded in 1857, display exhibits related to archaeology, geology, anthropology, numismatics, botany and zoology along with sculpture and armory.
The Birla Planetarium at Kotturpuram is the most modern planetarium in the country with the fully computerized projector. Nearby is the Periyar Science and Technology Museum that may of interest to fans of science and technology.