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known as: Madras
Shopping: -
History of: 1300 years
Population: 4.34 Million

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.

Major Attractions


Gudiyam Caves
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.

Elliot's Beach
The Elliot beach is a calmer and quieter beach. It is an ideal place for lazy lounging and picnicking on your travel holidays in Chennai. The beach is situated near Adayar and the sea is safe for swimming.

Fort St. George and St. Mary's Church
Fort St. George is the first fortress of British power in India and was built in 1654 and remodeled in 1749. The fort has a six-meter tall wall that withstood many invasions by Mughals in 1701, Marathas in 1741 and Hyder Ali during the late 18th century. Now the fort is turned into the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

The St. Mary church was built in 1678-80 and was the first English church in Chennai. There are reminders in the church of Robert Clive, who married here in 1753.

Kapaleswar Temple
The ancient Kapaleshwar temple, situated in Mylapore, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The fragmented inscriptions here dates back to 1250 AD. But the present temple was rebuilt by Vijayanagar Kings in the 16th century. The magnificent 37m carved 'Gopuram' of gods, goddesses and saints depict important 'Puranic' legends.

Marina Beach
This popular beach runs for 12 km and is the second longest beach in the world. The beach drive runs between magnificent stately buildings like the Chetpauk Palace, University of Madras, Icehouse etc. on one side and a very wide sandy beach on the other. The aquarium is at the beginning of the beach, is another important attraction near the beach.

San Thom Cathedral
Built in 1504 and rebuilt in 1608 and 1893, the cathedral is said to house the remains of Apostle St. Thomas. The basilica has an tremendously stained glass window and a beautiful one-meter statue of Virgin Mary that was brought from Portugal in 1543.

Sri Parthasarathy Temple
One of the oldest surviving temples in Chennai, the Sri Parthasarathy temple was built by the Pallavas in the 8th century, the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The Vijayanagar rulers renovated it in the 16th century. During the 16th and 17th centuries, this temple was the scene of many battles and Golconda, Dutch and French occupied the temple at various times. This is one of the oldest surviving temples in Chennai.

Valluvar Kottam
This befitting memorial for the poet-sage Thiruvalluvar, a replica of the famed temple chariot of 'Thiruvaroor', was built in 1976. The life size statue of the sage sits in the 33m chariot with 1330 couplets of Thirukkural inscribed on the panels.

Covelong Beach
Located at a distance of 40 km from Chennai, Covelong is a refreshing beach. It is a quiet peaceful village away from the Hustle Bustle of Chennai. A best weekend travel getaway from the busy city life, Covelong is famous for its fishing activities.

Anna Zoological Park
This Zoological park is situated on the outskirts of Chennai and is created out of the Reserve Forests of Vandalur to the west of Chennai. In 1855 the first Zoo in India was established in Chennai, near the Central Station. In 1979, this zoo was shifted to the 510-hectare sprawling location. It presently occupies the slope of a hill. This Zoological Park is said to be one of the biggest in the South East Asia. More than 170 species of mammals, birds and reptiles can be seen here. The lion safari, the elephant ride, and battery-operated vehicles take you around the park.


Fun Festives


Chithirai Festival
Celebrated in Madurai a spectacular re-enactment of the marriage of the Pandiyan princess Meenakshi to Lord Sundareswarar. You can witness an ancient legend unfold right before your eyes as Lord Vishnu rides to his sister's wedding on gleaming real-gold horse chariot.

Dance Festival - Mamallapuram
Sit before an open-air 'stage' created 13 centuries ago the incredible monolithic rock sculptures of the Pallavas, next to the sea in this ancient city of Mamallapuram. Watch a very unique dance event where traditional dance forms of Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi, presented by the very best exponents of the art besides folk dances.

Kanthuri Festival
A truly secular festival where devotees flock to the shrine of saint Quadirwali, believed to do equal good to people of all faiths. One of the descendants of the Saint is chosen as a Peer or spiritual leader and is honoured with offerings. On the tenth day of the festival, the Saint's tomb is anointed with sandalwood - and later the holy sandal paste, renowned for its healing powers, is distributed to everyone.

Kavadi Festival
Dancing in a hypnotic trance to the rhythm of drums, devotees of Muruga carry the 'Kavadi' a flower-decked decoration, all the way up the Palani Hills to fulfil their vow. According to Hindu mythology, Idumban is said to have carried two sacred hillocks on two ends of a pole laced on his shoulders.

Music Festival
Come December, Chennai celebrates her priceless heritage of carnatic music and dance presented by a galaxy of star artistes.

Natyanjali Dance Festival
The temple city of Chidambaram pays special tribute to Lord Nataraja the 'Cosmic dancer'. The setting is truly divine-Chidambaram's gold-roofed temple, with pillars depicting Lord Nataraja in 108 poses from Bharatha Natyam - Tamil Nadu's classical dance.

Summer Festival
The summer festival might find you in the 'Queen of Hill Stations', the evergreen Ooty; the exquisite Kodaikkanal or the salubrious heights of Yercaud - where boat races, flower and fruit shows are specially organized. Also, a splendid opportunity to go trekking in any of Tamil Nadu's other hill stations that promise unforgettable holidays off the beaten track.

Tourist Fair (Fairylands or Island Grounds - Chennai)
In January, the sun gets into a pleasant holiday mood and Chennai gets a cool respite from her famous hot weather! Time for family outings to the colourful TTDC Trade Fair. The exhibition presents a panorama of Tamil Nadu - all her places of touristinterest, her cultural wealth and economic progress.

Karthigai Deepam
Rows of glittering earthen lamps outside every home, and the joyous burst of firecrackers mark Tamil Nadu's Festival of Lights.

Literally, this means the festival of 'nine nights' taking unique and different forms in different states of India - all to propitiate the goddess Sakthi, for power, wealth and knowledge

At dawn on this day families everywhere gather around a new earthen pot. As the pot of milk boils over, signifying prosperity, a shout of "Pongalo Pongal" rents the air.


Distance from major cities
Kanchipuram 75 Kms
Mamallapuram 58 Kms
Pondicherry 162 Kms


How to reach there

by Air Kamraj National and Anna International Airports are situated at Tirusulam about 20 Kms from city.
by Rail Chennai Railway Station is well connected with all major cities of India.
by Road Chennai is connected with good network of roads to all nearby cities of Tamil Nadu.

Recommended Restaurants

  • The Residency Towers, Chennai

  • Main Land China Restaurant, Chennai

  • Park The Chennai, Chennai

  • Taj Coromandel, Chennai

Hotels in Chennai







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