Chennai

chennai secretariat
Photo Credit : gojohn153

Chennai

The capital city of Tamil Nadu located in the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal.

  • Chennai – The Capital City:

Chennai is said to be the South India’s biggest industrial, commercial, cultural, economic and educational centre. In automobile sector, Chennai is known as the Detroit of India.

Chennai is the only city listed in “52 places to go around the world” by the New York Times among South Asian and Indian cities. Lonely planet designates Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit. According to Global Cities Index, Chennai is ranked as beta-level city and India Today ranks Chennai as the best city in India.

Let’s go around Chennai!

  • Kapaleeshwarar Temple:

templekapaleeshwarar

kapaleeshwarar Temple

Photo Credit : Nagesh Jayaraman

A temple of Shiva located in Mylapore and it was built in Dravidian architecture during 7th century.

Though temple has many shrines, shrines of Kapaleeshwarar [Shiva] and Karpagambal [Parvati] are most prominent here. The temple conducts six daily rituals at various times from dawn to dusk.

The most famous festival of this temple is Arubathimoovar festival celebrated in the Tamil month of Pankuni.

The temple administration is run by Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

  • San Thome Basilica:

santhome-basilica-chennai

A Roman Catholic Minor Basilica at Santhome, a city of Chennai.it was built by the Portuguese explorers during 16th century over the tomb of St. Thomas, an apostle of Jesus. The British rebuilt the church following the design of Neo-Gothic style and gave a Cathedral status in the year 1893, which still exists today.

  • Sri Ramakrishna Math:

A monastic organisation for men founded by a 19th century saint of Bengal named Ramakrishna with a motto of “For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world”.

It is the first branch center of Ramakrishna Mission in Southern India, started by Swami Ramakrishnananda, one of the direct disciples of Ramakrishna.

  • Madras Crocodile Bank Trust:

A reptile zoo and herpetology research center registered as a trust and recognised zoo and India’s leading institution for herpeto faunal conservation, research and education.

It is the first breeding center for crocodiles in Asia and it comes under the Central Zoo Authority, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

It was established with the aim of preserving three Indian endangered species of crocodile namely the mugger crocodile, the salt water crocodile and the gharjal.

The centre is the biggest crocodile sanctuary in India and one of the world’s largest collections of crocodiles and alligators.

The Crocodile Bank is also haven to native wildlife, water birds and Olive Ridley sea turtles.

As of 2011, it has a total of 2,483 animals, including 14 species of crocodiles, 10 species of turtles, 3 species of snakes, and 1 species of lizard.

  • Elliot’s Beach:

A beach popularly called Besant Nagar Beach or Bessie is located in Besant Nagar. It actually named after Edward Elliot, Governor of Madras and it forms the end-point of Marina Beach shore. The nearby attractions of this beach are Velankanni Church and Ashtalakshmi Kovil.

  • Vivekananda House:

It’s an important place for the Ramakrishna Movement in South India. It was formerly known as Ice House or Castle Kernan. Swami Vivekananda stayed here for nine days during his visit to Chennai in 1897. The Chennai branch of Ramkrishna Math conducts Permanent Exhibition on Indian Culture and Swamiji’s Life, which is an inspiration to thousands of people who visit here.

  • ISKCON Temple:

A Vaishnava Temple devoted to Lord Krishna, located at the East Coast Road at Akkarai. It is the largest Radha Krishna Temple in Tamil Nadu, formally inaugurated in the year 2012. It is also a part of the Centre for Spiritual Art and Culture.

The temple structure has imbibed various attributes from Vedic Scripture and the architecture is inspired by the Pallava and Kalinga. The three main shrines abide the deities of Lord Krishna, Radharani and their assisting friends Lalita and Vishaka.

The key principle of the temple is to transform the material self-centred identity into a spiritual identity of unconditional love and it is graphically represented by means of a magnificent chandelier that projects various colours on the walls and ceiling. The chandelier contains 500 Himalayan quartz crystals supposedly meant to intensify the spiritual energy in the temple.

  • Express Avenue:

A shopping mall promoted by Express Infrastructure, from the house of Indian Express Group. It is the ever largest gaming arcade in South India.

With 10 anchor and 150 vanilla stores, it deal with a blend of shopping, business and leisure.

The mall which was opened in the year of 2010 is bound by Whites Road, Woods Road and Patullos Road, maintains a three level basement parking space, retail space, office space and hotel.

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras):

IIT-M, an autonomous public engineering and research institution of Chennai and it is accepted as an Institute of National Importance by the Government of India. It was established with technical and financial assistance from the former government of West Germany in 1959.

It is the third IIT that was established by the Government of India through an Act of Parliament, to make available education and research facilities in engineering and technology.

IIT Madras is a residential campus that was formerly part of the adjoining Guindy National Park. It has obtained its charter from the Indian Parliament in 1961, as much of the campus is a protected forest, carved out of from the Guindy National Park, which is home to large numbers of chital, black buck, monkeys, and other rare wildlife.

  • Madras Light House:

A lighthouse facing the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of the Indian Subcontinent, a famous landmark that stands on the shores of Marina Beach.

It was built by the East Coast Constructions and Industries in 1976 replacing the old lighthouse in the northern direction. The lighthouse was opened in January 1977. It also houses the meteorological department and in the year 2013, it was reopened to visitors.

It is one of the few lighthouses in the world and the one and only in India with an elevator and within the city limits.

  • Marina Beach:

Marina Beach

A longest natural urban beach in India and the World’s second longest in the city of Chennai along the Bay of Bengal.

With the distance of 13 km, the beach covers Fort St. George from the North to Besant Nagar in the South.

The Marina is primarily sandy, unlike the short, rocky formations and bathing or swimming at the Marina Beach is legally prohibited because of the dangers, due to the turbulent undercurrents.

It is the most crowded beach in the country and attracts about thousands of visitors daily.

  • Regional Railway Museum:

Railway Museum Chennai

A railway museum founded in the year 2002 on the sites of  and maintained by the Integral Coach Factory at Perambur that hosts both technical and heritage exhibits.

It comprises vast collections of steam engines of various decades of the British Raj. It also exhibits vintage coaches, as most of the models were manufactured by the North British Locomotive Company and a hundred year old collections of Southern Railway.

  • Fort St George:

This English fortress is formerly known by the name White town and it was founded in the year 1644 at the coastal city of Chennai, the then Madras.

The edifice of the fort provided the impetus for more settlements and trading activities making the city live by evolving around the fortress.

This building was completed in 1795 and first housed the office of the Madras Bank.

The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and other official buildings currently make its presence in this Fort.

The Fort is one of the 163 megalithic sites in the state of Tamil Nadu and exhibits bits and pieces of the period of British rule.

  • Guindy National Park:

The 8th smallest National Park of India and one of the national parks situated inside the city. Since the park houses Raj Bhavan, the official residence of Governor of Tamil Nadu, it is also a protected area as it extends deep inside the governor’s estate, enclosing beautiful forests, scrub lands, lakes and streams.

The park has a role in both ex-situ and in-situ conservation and it is habitat to 400 blackbucks, 2,000 spotted deers, 24 jackals, a wide variety of snakes, geckos, tortoises and over 130 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, over 60 species of butterflies and spiders each, a wealth of different invertebrates such as grasshoppers, ants, termites, crabs, snails, slugs, scorpions, mites, earthworms, millipedes and the like.

The major managing activity is the matter of protection as in any other in-situ conservation area. The park attracts more than 700,000 visitors every year.

  • Queens Land:

A theme park in Poonamallee located along the Chennai-Bengaluru Trunk Road between Sriperumbudur and Poonamalle. It was opened in the year 2003.

The entry fee is 350 INR for an adult and 250 INR for a child. Children shorter than 2 feet (0.61 m) tall are not charged.

The park is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays and 10:00 am to 6:30 pm on weekends and government holidays. It is closed on Mondays for maintenance, with the exception of holidays.

Dine and drink is available within the park.

  • M. Birla Planetarium:

Birla Planetarium Chennai

A large and most modern planetarium in India, providing a virtual tour of the night sky and holds cosmic shows on a specially perforated hemispherical aluminium inner dome.

It is sited at Kotturpuram in the Periyar Science and Technology Centre campus which abodes eight galleries namely Physical Science, Electronics and Communication, Energy, Life Science, Innovation, Transport, International Dolls and Children and Materials Science, with over 500 exhibits.

It was built in the year 1988 in remembrance of the great industrialist and visionary of India B.M. Birla.

  • Government Museum:

It is also known as Madras Museum, a museum which holds human history and culture. It is positioned in the neighbourhood of Egmore. It was opened in the year 1851 and it is the second oldest museum in India.

It is predominantly loaded with archaeological and numismatic collections. It has the prime anthology of Roman antiquities outside Europe.

The Colossal Museum Theatre is one of the most impressive and the National Art Gallery is present within the museum premises. It is built in Indo-Saracenic style and it houses rare works of artists like Raja Ravi Varma.

 

Things todo near Chennai (<50KM):

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