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Chennai Tourist Attractions Places to Visit

Chennai, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, is the capital of South Indian state of Tamilnadu. Earlier known as Madras, the city ranks 4th among the most populous metropolitan areas in India. Tourist places in Chennai include historical monuments, beaches, museums, gardens, parks, and religious places of Hindus, Christians and Muslims. The driving distance from Delhi to Chennai by National Highway 7 is 2195 km. Following are the important tourist places and sight seeing locations in Chennai.

Tourist Places to Visit in Mysore Karnataka

Marina Beach - Over 13 km in length, Marina Beach is the second largest beach in Asia is a must visit in Chennai. An evening stroll on the white sand will be an unforgettable experience. The beach is located right at the heart of the city, and hence reaching there, even by public transport, won’t be any hassle.

Fort St. George - This British era fort on the Kamarajar Road dates back to 1563AD. It houses the St Mary's Church, the first British Church in Chennai, and a museum (called Fort Museum) showcasing Indian, British and French artifacts.

Government Museum Chennai - This 1857 built museum is situated on the Pantheon Road. Showcased items in the museum include relics from the 2nd century AD Buddhist site of Amaravati prehistoric antiques of South India, carvings representing various religious faiths, sculptures, jewelry, and musical instruments of the past.

National Art Gallery - The gallery is home to one of the finest collections of old paintings, 10th century bronzes, Rajasthani , Deccani, and Mughalai paintings from the 17th-18th centuries, and 11th century handicrafts. A must visit spot in the city, if you are one who love artifacts and paintings of the yore.

Picture of Government Museum Chennai and Tourist Places to Visit

Guindy National Park - This beautiful wild life park is located within the city limits, at Guindy, next to the Governor’s mansion and IIT. It was a private gaming reserve of the British once. But after independence, it was turned into a national park. The park is home to elephants, jungle cats, antelope, woodpeckers, Common Palm Civet, Bonnet Macaque, bluejays, partridges, star turtle, and many other species from the animal kingdom including 150 odd bird species. There is also a snake park associated with the Guindy National Park.

Vandaloor Zoo or Anna Zoological Park - Sprawling over 1,265 acres, Anna Zoological Park is the largest Zoological garden in India, and one of the biggest in the world. The park is home to about 170 species of animals and birds. Elephant Safaris are offered to visitors at select timings. The zoo also features a library, Insectarium complex, Butterfly House, Nocturnal Section, and a Prehistoric animal park. Vandaloor Zoo, as it is popularly called, is accessible by bus, on the GST Road, 31km south of Chennai.

Kalakshetra - This cultural institution founded in 1936 by Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale has played an immense part in preserving the traditional values of Indian art, especially in the field of dance and music. Performances in various genres of classical art are organized throughout the year in Kalakshetra. For classical art enthusiasts, it would be a good idea to club together a visit to Cholamandalam, a cooperative artists' colony where modern art and open air theatre thrive, as well.

Theosophical Society - Set up during the British ruled era, this institution spread over 100 acres of serene settings – albeit in the middle of the city – in Adyar is a favorite spot for tourists visiting Chennai. A 200 year old Banyan tree on the campus is noteworthy.

St. Thomas Mount - Jesus Christ’s disciple, St. Thomas is believed to have visited India between 52 and 72 AD, and he is thought to have died on this very spot. As the name suggests, it is a small mount located right at the heart of the city, and the place is accessible by road. There are many churches on the way up the mount. From the hill top, one could catch the panoramic view of the city in all direction. If you travel by the local MRTS, you could alight at the St. Thomas Mount stop.

Valluvar Kottam - It is a monument built in the memory of poet-saint Thiruvalluvar, who lived 2000 years ago. The memorial is designed in the shape of a temple car, and it houses an auditorium that could seat 4000 spectators at a time. The monument reflects Dravidian-architecture style. In the monument, each chapter of Thirukkural, a didactic book of epic proportions authored by Thiruvalluvar, is chiseled in a bas-relief. Valluvar Kottam is also located within city limits.

Rippon Bulding - Named after Lord Rippon, this British era building is home to Chennai Corporation.

Dakshina Chitra - It is a heritage village located at Muttukadu, on the Mamallapuran Road, 20km from Chennai. Dakshina Chitra offers a rare glimpse into the culture and lifestyles of the diverse populace of South India. The Arts and Crafts village narrates the story of the South Indian Culture. The architecture of the past 200 years is displayed in real rural setting in the village. Of late, the centre has been developed to include the cultural replicas from the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh as well.

Karanji Lake - This beautiful fresh water lake is located at a distance of 3 km from Mysore. Both the Chamundi Hills and Mysore Zoo are on the banks of Karanji Lake. Rare species of butterflies and different types of wandering birds are the main attractions. Water birds like Painted storks, Pelicans and Darters are also found here. Entrance to this location is allowed from 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM.

Crocodile Bank - Situated at 42 km from Chennai, this crocodile breeding and research centre is run by Romulus Whittaker. It has been set up in 1976 to protect the dwindling Crocodile population and Irula Tribe’s way of life. The centre is now home to over 6000 crocodiles of Indian and African varieties, and a snake farm where anti-venom is produced.

Mahabalipuram - Mahabalipuram is a located around 55 km from Chennai and is famous for the 7th and 9th century historic monuments in the area. Also known as Mamallapuram, the rock-cut and monolithic monuments in Mahabalipuram are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Important structures to visit include the Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots), The Shore Temple, Thirukadalmallai Temple of Lord Vishnu, Descent of the Ganges, Arjuna's Penance, and Varaha Cave Temple.

Temples in Chennai - Some of the famous Chennai temples include Thirumalai Thirupathi Devasthanam Temple, Ashtalakshmi Temple, Ratnagirishwarar Temple, Sri Uttara Guruvayurappan Temple, ISKCON (Hare Rama Hare Krishna) Temple, Vadapalani Murugan Temple, Parthasarathy Temple, Shirdi Sai Temple, and Aarupadaiveedu Temple.

Churches in Chennai - Some of the famous Chennai churches include Annai Velankani Church, St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Santhome Cathedral Basilica, St Andrew's Kirk Cathedral, St Peters & St Paul Orthodox Chapel, and Church of Our Lady of Expectations.

Other Tourist Attractions - Other tourist places to visit in Chennai include MGR Film City, Vivekananda House (Ice House or Vivekanandar Illam), Elliot's Beach, MGM Dizzee World, Dash 'N Splash, and Rukmini Devi Museum.

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