|Best Time to Visit:
||November to March
||Kapaleeswarar Temple, Marina Beach, Fort St.
George, Corporation Complex, Chennai High Court, Gudiyam Caves, Elliots
Beach (also called Besant Nagar Beach), San Thom Cathedral, Sri
|Major Entertainment Centers:
||Government Museum, National Art Gallery,
Kalakshetra, Vivekananda House & Museum, Anna Zoological Park,
Guindy National Park & Snake Park
||Ranganatha Street, Parry's Corner, Burma Bazar,
Mount Road, Moore Market and Theyagaraya
|Near by Places (Excursions):
||Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Tirupati Balaji,
Covelong, Pulicat and Vedanthangal
|Famous Food & Beverages (Gourmet's Delight)
||Dosa, Idli (rice cake), Sambar, Uthapam, Vada,
Pongal, Rasam & Kootu
|Foreign Embassies & Consulates:
||Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany,
Greece, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UK & USA
|History & Evolution
The name Madras was derived from Madraspatnam, the site chosen
by the British East India Company for a permanent settlement in 1639. The
British favored the term Madras, however locals used to refer to it as
Chennapatnam meaning "Beautiful City therefore, the city was
renamed Chennai in August 1996.
Being a 368-year-old region, Chennai boasts of a long history from ancient
South Indian empires to colonialism. Spread on the long coast, this region
was previously under the control of the Pallava rulers of South India who
besides the famous Kapaleeshwarar temple, gave the city many large
magnificent temples around 7th century. The modern Chennai had its origin as
a colonial city and whose growth was closely tied to its importance as an
artificial harbor and trading center. The Portuguese East India Company
built a fort here in 1522, the Dutch East India Company came in 1612 and
finally came the British East India Company who made a fortified compound in
the region. Slowly, trade and commerce grew in the region and in 1688 James
II of England granted the town a municipal charter making the city the
earliest municipal corporation in India.
After Indian independence, Madras became the capital of the state of Tamil
Nadu. It is not only a major metro city but also a politically active city
of the country. Chennai, with various historic temples, churches, memorials
and heritage sites, is the place to be.
Chennai is a busy Capital City known as a large commercial center yet the
city is popular for its numerous tourist destinations like beaches, temples,
forts and palaces with many colorful festivals that attract tourists from
all parts of the world.
The citys culture is totally different from North India representing
a lifestyle that is a perfect blend of traditional and modern India. This
delightful south city is full of Indian heritage with age-old temples, the
profusion of orange flowers, shade of the Banyan tree and the soft beat of
distant drums. With the ancient temples, monuments, classical music, dance
shows on the one hand and the modern high rising buildings and pubs on the
other, Chennai has something to offer to everyone.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar Temple is the biggest temple of the
city. Little more than 350 years old, the temple contains inscriptions
dating back to the 13th century AD. The 37 m Gopuram is especially
noteworthy for its intricate carvings depicting tales from Hindu mythology.
The Kapaleeswarar Temple is considered to be one of the most sacred Hindu
sites in Southern Part of India.
Claimed to be the second largest Beach in the world, the Marina extends for
13 kms. Coupled with beautiful gardens and the memorials such as Anna
Square, MGR Square, the beach is the major tourist attraction of Chennai.
Golden sand, good surf and a shimmering clean blue sea are in nutshell, the
Marina Beach. Watching the sun set and rise, playing kids and lining food
stalls in the evening is an enthralling experience.
Fort St. George:
Built by the East India Company in 1639-1640, the fort marks the birth of
Madras as a Modern City and is a symbol of one of the first bastions of
British Power in India. Today the fort houses the Secretariat and the
Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. The fort also has a church, a museum and
a flagmast (said to be the tallest flagmast in the country) within its
The oldest municipality in India in the premises of the Ripon Building, the
Madras Corporation was built in 1913. Another inspiration from the Taj
Mahal, the building is a domed vision in white. In this large municipal
complex you can also find parks, gardens, Nehru Stadium, Victoria Public
Hall, a public meeting place out of the gaslight era and Moore market.
Opposite Park Railway Station
Chennai High Court:
Said to be the second largest judicial complex in the country, this
Indo-Saracenic architectural monument was built in 1892. The Madras Law
College is also a part of this its premises. The city's second lighthouse
tower Near the High Court is the evidence of the maritime origins of the
city. The highest point in the Court building also once housed a lighthouse.
Near Perrys Corner