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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
from major cities
How to reach there
Kamraj National and Anna
International Airports are situated at Tirusulam about 20 Kms from
Chennai Railway Station is well
connected with all major cities of India.
Chennai is connected with good
network of roads to all nearby cities of Tamil Nadu.
The Residency Towers,
Main Land China Restaurant,
Park The Chennai, Chennai
Taj Coromandel, Chennai
Hotels in Chennai
hh - heritage hotel ;
ph - palace hotel ; bh - boutique hotel ; gh - guest house ; hs -