Places to Visit in Chennai – Madras – Tour
Places to Visit in Chennai – Madras
Places of interest and Tourist places to be visited in Mardar (Chennai).
1) Amusement Parks
India’s No.1 Theame Park at Tambaram. Offers among other amusuments hi-tech ones like space shuttle, wave pool, white water, flume ride, Kiddies Kingdom.
46 Kms towards Mahabalipuram. A great amusement complex for children. Has a Giant-Piano. Toy Train, Rainbow Fountain, Slide-into-pool, Cartoon show & Paddle-Pool.
MGM “Dizzle World” Beach Resort
24 kMS towards Mahabalipuram,(Near Muttukadu). Has amusement park, unique water sports.
Annanagar, extravagant indoor amusement park, especially for children packed with bumper carrides, play pens and all sorts of new games.
Dash ‘N Splash
30 Kms from Central Station. South India’s exclusive water park. Has wave spiral and free fall slides and flumes from height of 12ft to 35ft.
VGP Golden Beach
30 Kms from Chennai. A popular beach resort and amusement park filled with children’s games, parks and seaside restaurant.
The city’s Marina Beach, bordered by gardens, lies just to the South of the War Memorial. It is claimed to be the second largest in the world, about 13 kms.
For a balmy holiday, the fishing village of Covelong has an excellent stretch of beach. This lies 55 km enroute to Mamallapuram which is 60 km from Madras and is a breathtaking seaside haven ideal for a relaxing holiday.
Besantnagar. Located in a more quiet and sedate ambience, ideal for sunset strolls.
It is one of the oldest towns in South India. This is the abode of goddess Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Sundereswarar (Shiva). Legend has it, that when a Pandya king founded the town of Madurai some thousands of years ago, Lord Shiva was present. And the nectar falling off his hair gave the town its name of Madurai or city of nectar.
Precariously perched atop a massive outcrop of rock that rises abruptly out of the flat surrounding plain is the famous Rock Fort at Tiruchirapalli. Set in the middle of the town on the bank of the river Cauvery, is visible for miles around and it. A citadel of the Chola kings in the Sangam period (2 BC to 2 AD) the Rock Fort has had a long and chequered history.
Just 58 km away lies Thanjavur, once the capital of the Chola empire which is referred to as the “Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu”. Nearly a thousand years ago around the 11th century, Thanjavur was the capital of a powerful dynasty, the imperial Cholas whose empire extended beyond South India and Sri Lanka to the kingdoms of South-East Asia. The Chola kings used their wealth to encourage thearts and built innumerable temples and shrines to ornament their land.
Mamallapuram, 60 km, south of Madras is a World Heritage centre famed for the impressive rock-cut temples and a beach that allures fun seekers by the thousands.
Kanchipuram, 71 km, from Madras is an impressive temple town. It is famous worlwide for Kanchipuram hand woven silk and cotton fabrics, woven in contrasting colours, traditional motifs and gold threads. Kanchipuram, once known as the city of a thousand temples, today has around 126 temples. It is the among the seven most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus.
Palani, a pilgrim spot atop a hill dedicated to Lord Subramanium, is easily accessible from here.
Lying 162 km south of Madras, this town has an imminent French influence. It is where the famous philosopher Sri Aurobindo once lived. For sight seeing, interesting places include churches, museum, beach, the Aurobindo ashram, and Auroville. Close by lies Chidambaram, an ancient Chola temple with a gilded roof, tall gopurams and a thousand pillared hall. This is the most venerated shrine of Lord Shiva represented here as Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary lies close by. The mangrove forests of Pichavaram, an ideal spot for boating, fishing and water sports is also nearby.
Rameswaram lies 176 km from Madurai. This conch shaped island in the Gulf of Mannar is a holy spot for Hindus. The magnificent Ramanathaswamy temple is noted for its longest corridors in the country, extending over a length of 1220 m long with its marvellous carved pillars. Those who visit here bathe in the sacred waters of Agaitheertam, a stretch of clam sea near the temple.
Proceed to Kanyakumari, the land’s end of India to view the spectacular sunrise and sunset at the beach. The temple, Vivekananda Rock and Gandhi Mandap are among the places of interest.
At the northern end of the Marina, on Kamarajar Salai is Anna Square. This is the burial place of a fommer Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. C.N. Armadurai. It is located in the centre of a beautiful park, the entrance to which is a spectacularcontemporary-style arch in the shape of twin converging elephant tusks.
Beach road. Located on the Marina Beach adjacent to Anna Square. Built on the site where M.G.Ramachandran, former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu was buried.
Rajiv Gandhi Memorial
Sriperumbudur. Place were Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. Also the birth place of Sri Ramanujar, the Vaishnavite saint.
Victory War Memorial
Adjacent to the Fort St. George on the south is the War Memorial, which housed the coastal battery and was formerly called ‘Cupid’s Bow the Victory was Memorial honours those who have laid down their lives for their country since the First World War.
Rajaji, Gandhi and Kamaraj Memorials
Close to childrens park are the memorial buildings, the Rajaji Memorial, the Gandhi Mandapam Memorial and Kamaraj Memorials. The Octogonal-shaped building commemorates India’s first Indian bornm Governor Genera, the astute Tamilnadu’s politician and stateman C.Rajagopaichari. Only a short distance further is the Gandhiji Memorial. Next to Gandhijis commemorates one of Mahatma Gandhi’s most ardent stalwarts K.Kamaraj, a man revered in Tamilnadu for his part in the fight for freedom.
The ValluvarKottam, dedicated to the memory of the Tamil Saint Philosopher and poet Thiruvalluvar, is the largest auditorium in Asia. It is located at the junction of Kodampakkam High Road and Valluvar Kottam Road.
Dev Centre for Musical Instruments
Mylapore. An exquisite collection of ancient and modern musical instruments, both original and prototype can be found here.
Beach road. An exclusive museum which preserves relics of the British era including original correspondence of those times.
National Art Gallery and Museum
Built in 1906, the Chennai National Art Gallery was originally intended to be a memorial to queen Victoria. An impressive certal dome flanked a series of smaller domes supported by pillars on each side. After independence, it became an art Gallery in 1951. It has bronze exhibits dating from 10th to 13th centuries and paintings of Rajasthani and Mughals of the 17th century. Established in 1857, the museum can justify its claim to being one of India’s best. There are large sectiors devoted to Archacology, Anthropology, Geology, Numismatics, Zoology and Botany along with comprehensive collections of arms and armour.
Walajah road. Built in 1795, this mosque is surely one of the most attractive ones in South. Built of grey granite rather than wood of steel.
Thousand Lights Mosque
Built in mid-1800’s in the land donated by Nawab Wallajah, this mosque last rebuilt in 1981, has two 64′ tall minarets. The mosque also houses a library, a urial ground and a guest houses.
7) Other Places
The Theosophical Society
The Intemational Headquarters of the Theosophical Society is in Adyar. It is more than 120 hectares of gardens, the World Headquarters of the Theosophical Society is a splendid old building surrounded by shrines to all the world’s great religious faiths.
Just opposite to Anna Square is Madras University. Its ground and buildings are examples of the Indo-lslamic style of architecture which became popular with the British architects in the second half of the 19th Century. The ‘Senate House’ across the University is perhaps the best example of this style.
Fort St. George, on Rajaji Salai, completed by the British in 1640. Fort St. George is presently used as the offices of the Tamilnadu Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. The Fort contains St. Mary’s Church, built around 1680. Its not only India’s first Protestant Church, but also the oldest Anglican church.
MGR Film City
A recently built place, specially for the thriving film industry in Chennai. It has many film studios and a film school. There is a nominal enterance fee.
Thiruvanmiyur. A renowed school for learning arts and crafts, Kalakshetra was founded in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale. Adhering to the Indian system of education through the Gurukulam, the students and their teachers live within the campus so as to have a truly rewarding experience.
Kotturpuram Located in the Periyar Science and Technology Centre, the Birla Planetorium presents audio visual programmes on astronomy. A must for students and lovers of astronomy.
8) Parks and Zoo
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
85 Kms south of madras is the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary, which is one of the major ones in india. Every year during the rainy season an average of 1,00,000 birds come here. Bird watching is best early morning or in the evening Watching tower is available.
On Sardar Patel Road, find the entrance to the Children’s Park on the left when coming from Adyar. The main attractions of the Park are the elephant and pony rides.
Adjacent Childrens’ park is the city’s interesting snake park. The snake park houses a vast variety of reptiles, ranging from the dark deadley ‘King Cobra’ ‘Banded’ Krait’ to puff adders’, vipers, pythons and allegators.
At 42 km point from Chennai on the way to Mahabalipuram is the Crocodile Bank, run by Romulve whittaker. This is a farm where several species of Indian and African Crocodiles and alligators are bred in’ captivity.
Anna Zoological Park
30 Kms south of Madras. Large numbers of different species of animals are kept in large open enclosures. The kids can have jolly ride on the toy train.
Located at Triplicane High Road is the large Sri Prthasarathy Temple. This Hindu Temple, devoted to Lord Krishna, was built in the 8th Century by Pallava King and has been ornately renovated since.
This Hindue tmeple is little more that 350 years old, is considered by Hindus to be one of the most sacred Hindu, sites in Southern Part of India.
This important temple was built by the Pallava King Nandivarman Pallavalmalla in the 7th Century. Lord Vishnu is depicted in sitting reclining and standing poses.
Kamakshi Amman Temple
This temple, built by the Chola Kings in the 14th century, is remarkable for its omate gold-plated gopuram. Dedicated to the goddess Parvati, it is one of the three holy places of her worship in India.
This ancient temple of Kancheepuram is surrounded by a huge stone wall built in the early 16th Century during the days of the Vijaynagar Empire. Dedicated to Lord Siva, the temple has hve enclosures and its 1000 pillared hass is the epitome of the hnal development of Dravidian temple architecture.
Constructed from sand stone in the 8th century by King Rajasimha and compled by his son, Mahendram, this temple is noted for its intricate and prolific sculptures. The main shrine is surrouded by 58 smaller shrines.
Also known as the Devarajaswamy Temple, this massive structure is noted for its shine which tops a rock in the shape of an elephant. The temple has two high towers, one in the east and the other in the west. The 1000 pillared hall has interesting and highly detailed sculptures. Besides being the Golden Clty of Temples, the city produces silks that are renowned for their colours, finish and durability.
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