The ‘capital of the south’ has always been the rather dowdy sibling among India’s four biggest cities, with its withering southern heat, roaring traffic, and scarcity of outstanding sights. For many travellers, it is as much a gateway as a destination in itself. If you’re just caught here between connections, it’s certainly worth poking around one of the museums or taking a sunset stroll along Marina Beach. If you have more time to explore Chennai’s varied neighbourhoods and appreciate its role as keeper of South Indian artistic and religious traditions, the odds are this 70-sq-km conglomerate of urban villages will grow on you. One of Chennai’s biggest assets is its people, infectiously enthusiastic about their hometown. They won’t hit you with a lot of hustle and hassle, and they will mostly treat you as a guest rather than a commodity.
Marina Beach, is 12 km long and offers excellent opportunities for walks and has a very wide sandy foreshore. Its width is up to 300 m (985 ft). The Marina of Madras is the second longest urban beach in the world. Watching the sunrise from the beach is an experience by itself. It’s not a swimming beach, though you will see people fully clothed taking partial dips. Other lesser known places in the Marina.
Edward Elliot’s beach, is spread along the coast down south from Marina. It is also the night beach for Chennai youth. This beach is comparatively quieter and it is located near Besant Nagar. At the end of this beach are the Velankanni church and the Ashtalakshmi temple. Good roads, pavements, walking track illuminated sands, makes a visit to this beach a real pleasure. It can get really crowded during the weekends as well.
Breezy Beach is located in the quiet neighborhood of Valmiki Nagar (Thiruvanmiyur) in Chennai. It is smaller and less popular than the Elliot’s beach. This beach is not as commercialized as the Elliot’s beach, and is hence more quiet and peaceful.
St. Mary’s Church, situated in the fort, is one of the oldest surviving churches built by the British in India. This is the first English church in India and the oldest Anglican church in the East.
Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thomas, Santhome High Rd. In the whole world. Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thomas is in Chennai, India.
Wallajah Mosque is situated at Walajah Road in Triplicane, Chennai is a historical landmark constructed by Wallajah family in memory of Nawab Muhammad Ali Walajah, in 1795. It is an imposing structure of symmetry and form of architectural magnificence with an imposing facade.
Kapaleeswarar Temple (Kapaleeshwara), Mylapore, . One of Chennai’s oldest and best-known temples, said to date to the 8th century, although the present structure dates to the 1600s. Notable above all for its soaring,Karaneeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located in the neighborhood of Saidapet in Chennai, India. It is dedicated to the god Shiva.
Museums and Art Galleries
The Government Museum of Chennai is one of the popular tourist destinations in the city. It is a multi-purpose State Government Museum located in Egmore, which is in the heart of the city, spreading over an area of 16.25 acres of land. Six independent buildings in this Museum campus has 46 galleries. There is an Archaeology Section, Zoology Section, Botany Section, Geology Section, Numismatics Section, Bronze Gallery, Children’s museum, Art gallery and various other interesting sections and galleries. It is considered to be one of the oldest museums of India.
The building of National Arts Gallery was built in the year 1907. This magnificent red sandstone building was designed by Henry Irwin and built by T. Namberumal Chetty. The building represents a typical Indo-Saracenic structure and was initially famous as the Victoria Memorial Hall. Built with sandstone and adorned with motifs, the building bears impressions of Mughal architecture.
Chennai International Airport is the third largest airport in India and handles a large number of passengers every day. The passenger terminal complex mainly houses two terminals. One is the domestic terminal, which is known as the Kamaraj Domestic Terminal while the other one, the international terminal is known as Anna International Terminal, catering to passengers from different parts of the country as well as from across the world.