Chennai at a glance:
Coordinates:13.0827° N, 80.2707° E
State: Tamil Nadu
The fourth-largest city of India Chennai is convoluted with temples churches and beaches. The roads are always bustling with activity and the nightlife is as every youth dreams of. Known for Rajinikanth-beach-sambhar, this city is indeed a place to visit at least once.
How to Reach Chennai:
By Air: Chennai International Airport, one of the busiest airports of India is just 7 km from the heart of the city.
By Rail: Chennai has three major Railway stations namely Chennai Central (code MAS), Chennai Egmore (code MS) and Tambaram serves the suburban areas of Chennai. Express trains run on a daily basis connecting Bangalore, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and other Major cities of India.
By Road: Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal (CMBT) is one of Asia’s largest and busiest bus stations. Plenty of Private bus services are easily available to travel across the city.
Places to visit and things to do in Chennai
The sandy coastline begins from Ennore in the north extending south into Uthandi, leaving one to choose from more than just Marina and Elliot’s beach. Akkarai Beach was recently developed and is comparatively less crowded. This beautiful, clean beach has decent surf and is slowly gaining popularity.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park:
The famous Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as Vandalur Zoo is situated in Vandalur, about 30 km away from the Chennai city. It was originally established in 1855 near Park Town, Chennai city but later the zoo expanded and moved out to Vandalur reserve forest in 1979. The zoo houses more than 170 species of mammals, birds and reptiles. Some of the species spotted in the zoo are sambar, blackbuck, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, baboon, llama, otter, tiger, jaguar, star tortoises, etc. The nocturnal section and safaris are quite popular.
Ashtalakshmi Temple is a highly spiritual shrine situated in Besant Nagar, overlooking the magnanimous Bay of Bengal. The architecture of the temple is exclusive, with the deities installed in four levels. It looks different than the other South Indian temples as it a modern construction, having a history of around 25 years from today.
Breezy Beach lays in the remote and serene neighbourhood of Valmiki Nagar in Chennai. Being smaller and less polluted, its a perfect getaway for anyone looking for a peaceful evening.
The Connemara Public Library at Chennai holds the prestigious newel of being amongst one of the four deposit libraries’ in India which entitles them to a copy of every publication in India. The major attraction here is a vast collection of books, centuries-old newspaper, a section dedicated to textbooks, a periodicals hall, a reference room, and a video room.
Dash ‘N Splash:
Dash ‘N Splash amusement park is located 30 km from Chennai city, on the national highway 4 leading towards Bangalore. With plentiful of shady trees and water reservoirs, this park is a marvel worth appraisal. It is the to go place for families.
A beach showcasing beauty, calmness, serenity and everything that signifies nature at its best, Elliot’s beach cannot be forgotten by anyone who has visited it once. Elliott Beach can be easily reached by walking down from the southern end of Marina Beach. Pond Herons and flamingos can be spotted here.
ISKCON (Hare Rama Hare Krishna) Temple:
ISKCON Temple is located in the Injambakkam region in Thyagaraya Nagar of Chennai.It is one of the most popular establishments by the ISKCON society in India. It is a harmonic blend of tradition and modernity in an artistic style as well as the best of latest scientific technology.
The shaman or amour-propre of Chennai, the famous Marina Beach, has been acclaimed as the second-longest beach in the world with a white sandy foreshore that looks as though extending to infinity. Marina Beach is a popular picnic spot since the 1880s. The lighthouse, situated at the southern end of the beach, provides panoramic views of the city of Chennai. Marina Beach has become a centre for activities like windsurfing, fishing, sunbathing, kite flying and beach volleyball.
MGR Film City:
Having been established in the year 1994, a considerably new structure, the MGR Film city is managed by the Government of Tamil Nadu in loving memory of MG Ramachandran who was not only a crowd-pleasing Tamil actor but also a longtime CM of Tamil Nadu. One must visit this place to know about the film industry in the south.
pic credit: makemytrip.com
Built in 1795, a milestone in the history of Chennai, located Opposite Parry’s Corner, Prakasam Salai is an impressive stylish building in Indo-Saracenic style with eminence in red bricks. Also popularly known as Broadway, this red brick building is a famous icon of the city.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica:
Santhome Cathedral is a historical and ancient pilgrim centre, which was built during the 14th to the 15th century AD by the then reigning, Portuguese. The original church is believed to be constructed around 70 AD by St.Thomas- father of Indian Christianity. The central hall has 14 wooden plaques with intricate carvings depicting the last days of Jesus Christ. The present church is of a neo-gothic style one and is constructed by the British. This is a popular landmark.
Valluvar Kottam is an auditorium, with a gigantic capacity to hold 4,000 people, built in remembrance of the poet-saint, Thiruvalluvar. Verses of the poet Thiruvalluvar are embellished on the pillars in and around the auditorium.
VGP Golden Beach:
The VGP Golden Beach is situated at the East Coast Road, in Chennai city. The resort is fundamentally an amusement park that has strategically been constructed close to Chennai city. This is one of the most sought locations for movie shootings.
Vivekananda House also popularly known as The Ice House, is a shrine and pilgrimage centre for the admirers and followers of Swami Vivekananda. It is in this house that Swami Vivekananda stayed for six weeks in the 1900s. Currently, Vivekananda House is maintained by Sri Ramakrishna Math and it’s a source of inspiration to thousands of people who visit it every year.
What to Eat in Chennai: Local Food and Cuisine:
Chennai like any sparkling city that is constantly growing and expanding in all its spheres, fosters a cuisine that provides countless options. The city has a vibrant street food culture as well as well laid out and flattering fine dining experiences. While you can try a number of cuisines and foods here, one must not miss what Chennai is known for- traditional and authentic South-Indian cuisine. Hence do not miss the filter coffee as well as items like Idli, Dosa, Appam, Vada, Upma, Sambhar, Parotha, Chettinad Chicken, Pepper Chicken, Chicken Stew, Sweet Pongal, Kesari, Payasam and much more.