Chennai, popularly known as Madras is located in the Southern part of India. It is known for its language and culture. Surrounded by Bay of Bengal at the sides and the bottom the city is diverse in its climate. Chennai is one of the metropolitan cities of India. It is known for its hot climate during the summers. The South-Indian food is a must-try for all tourist. The best time to visit the city is from between November to February.
In this article, we are going to enlist the Top 10 places to visit in Chennai. So, let’s get started.
Marina Beach, Chennai
Marina Beach is known to be the longest beach in India covered with sparkling golden sand on one side and the crystal clear blue sea on the other. It stretches from St. George Fort to Mahabalipuram which is almost 13km. The beach is the best location in Chennai to catch the sunrise and the sunset. With a large number of food stalls strewn all across the beach, you can curb your cravings with the special food of South India like Muruku, Chanasundal, Ice-cream, Coconut water, seafood, bhajiya and other snacks.
The different activities like balloon shooting, horse riding, rides for kids and adults are added attraction for tourism. Several shopping stalls are set up for tourists to understand the culture and tradition of the city.
To reach the location, any local transport can be taken or personal transport, the landmark of the beach is the Gandhi statue. The best time to visit Marina Beach is early in the morning or in the evening in the month of November – February when Chennai experiences cold and breezy winds.
Valluvar Kottam is named after a classical Tamil poet-philosopher Thiruvalluvar. This is the city’s biggest cultural centre. It is a very long park which has a heavy chariot and often traditional and cultural expos take place there. The monument stands at the deepest point of the lake in that area. The 133 chapters which include 1330 verses of the Thirukkul are inscribed in the front hall corridors. There is an auditorium in Valluvar Kottam which can accommodate 4000 people and is known to be the largest in Asia. It stands like a modern-day memorial to the poet.
The then Chief Minister Karunanidhi executed the project of building the monument in the year 1970. This place is for those who love literature.
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The best time to visit the place is during the sunset. It is located at the intersection of Kodambakkam High Road and Village Road. Visiting time for the place is 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and there are no entry fee levied. The monument is open every day for tourism.
Dakshin Chitra Museum
Dakshin Chitra is a living history of museum in Chennai. The museum in Chennai portrays how merchants, Brahmins, agriculturists, silk-weavers and potters lived. There are more than 4000+ artefacts displayed. The language used in the display is English which can be understood by any common-man. It has more than 14000 books and journals of the culture of South India. Dakshin Chitra has more than 18 houses to depict the culture, architecture, craft and lifestyle of the people living in South India. The activities there include pottery, weaving saree and carving paintings on palm paper. One can spare two hours to explore the place. The place is not just a hub for architectural heritage but also the hub of culture. Dakshin Chitra organises several exhibitions, cultural events and workshops. This is place is best to visit with family.
Dakshin Chitra is closed on Tuesdays and on Diwali, otherwise it is open on all days including national holidays. It is open for tourism from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
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Eatables are not allowed in the museum. Tourist guides are provided which can be booked in prior. It is located on the East Coast Road, to reach the place a personal car can be booked.
Guindy National Park
Are you an animal or plant lover? If yes, then this is the right place to go. Guindy National Park is located in Guindy and is nearby airport. The park is home to over 300 kinds of trees and plants, 150 bird species and 20 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The National park is like a small forest in the city. This place is most known for school trips for students and family outing place. There is a Chennai Snake Park Trust located in the Guindy National Park which has varieties of snakes such as pythons, vipers, cobras, adders and reptiles. This park is located next to the Children’s Park. Animals which are to be found in the Children’s Park are monkey, crocodile, parrot, mongoose, deer, blackbuck and many others.
The park is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and is open on all days except Tuesdays. Entry fee for the visitors are charged and it starts from Rs 5 to Rs 20. There are multiple restaurants in an around the park. To reach Guindy National park, one can book a cab or private car. There are many buses and other local transport that can be used to reach this destination.
Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and knowledge. This Ashtalkshmi temple is located a few kilometres away from Besant Nagar Beach. The temple measures 65ft in length and 45ft in breadth. It is modelled after the Sundhararaja Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur. The temple is constructed to worship the eight avatars of Goddess Lakshmi, the godly and holy ambience of the temple is bound to leave you calm and at peace.
In this temple, the Ashtalakshmis, the eight forms of goddess Lakshmi, are present in four levels in nine separate sanctums. The shrine of Lakshmi and her consort Vishnu is in level two. One starts the worship from here. Taking the stairs, the path leads to the third floor, which has the shrines of Santhanalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi, Vidyalakshmi and Gajalakshmi. Further few steps would lead to the shrine of Dhanalakshmi, which is the only shrine on the fourth floor. Exiting the main shrine, in the first level, there are shrines for Aadilakshmi, Dhaanya lakshmi and Dharyalakshmi. The temple also has Dashavatar (avatars of Vishnu), Guruvayoorappan, Ganesha, Dhanwanthari and Anjaneyar deities.
The sea across the temples and the sounds of waves will further make it more peaceful. The place is known for its magical powers and positivity. A large number of devotees can be seen during the Hindu festive times like Navratri and Diwali.
The temple is open from 6:30 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm. To reach the temple any local or private transport can be used. Formal dress code is to be followed strictly.
Express Avenue Mall
The 4 storey mall comprises of Shopping, business, leisure and fun activities. What more could anyone want if a mall has 25 counters in the food court with a wide range of restaurants like Dominos, Burger King, Kailash Parbat, Taco Bell, KFC etc. There are more than 75 branded showrooms starting from Lifestyle, Only, Tommy Hilfiger, Bath and Body Works, Body Shop, Forever-21, H&M and many more.
Express Avenue has the largest theatre known as SPI cinemas which has more than 6 screens on the third floor. The famous popcorn is something one should not miss. There is a huge atrium in the mall which is decorated during festive times. It is an added attraction for locals and tourists. With decoration, many day-to-day activities are also conducted to keep the passer-by engaged. There is a 4-star hotel with 44 rooms and a three-storey banquet hall in the mall. The hotel is popularly known as e-Hotel. The mall is best known for shopping, watching movies and playing games in the city.
Express Avenue Mall is located on Mount road which is in the centre of the city, any mode of transport can be used to reach the place. Parking is available for Four wheelers and Two wheelers for which parking charges are levied. The mall is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. For movies and hotel there is a different entrance and exit point. It is a go to place with friends and family.
Chetpet Eco Park
The major attraction of the the park is boating which is available for both adults and children. It is a heaven for nature lovers. The lake in the park is the only lake within city limits. The Eco park was constructed in 2013. The park is open for adults and children for walking, playing and other fitness activities. After the boating ride and fun activities, there is a food zone to satisfy your stomach. From idli, dosa to kathi rolls all types of cuisines are available at the Eco Park.
The place is located in the heart of the city, Kilpauk, it is precisely opposite to Ega Theatre. To reach Eco Park one can take a metro which is 100 meters away or any other means of transport like car, bus, and rickshaw. Private transport is also recommended as parking for two wheelers and four wheelers is available at the venue. The park is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm and is open on all the days. Entry fee for children is Rs 10 and for adults it is Rs 25. Do visit the place to have an amazing family time.
Island Ground – Pongal Fun Fair
The Annual Tourist and Industrial Fair which is popularly known as trade fair is conducted on this Island by the Government of Tamil Nadu in the month of January to February. The Island is filled with cultural and traditional activities. The starter and the most famous giant wheel is an eye-catcher for adults and children. Like the giant wheel, there are other amusement rides which are open for all age category.
The popular side dish of south ‘Apalam’ is so delicious, which is served on a leaf with red chilli powder as a topper on it. It is loved by everyone who visits the fair. There are other food stalls like Dosa, Idli, Keerai Vadai, Uttaapa which are the authentic food from the South. With all this there are several shows like puppet show, traditional filming, pottery, weaving which locals and tourists can be a part of. Shopping is an added attraction for everyone, different types of jewels, showpieces, sarees and bags are available at the venue.
The Island ground is located in Mount road. It is open from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Parking of vehicles is available at the location. there is an entry fee of Rs 50 for adults and Rs 30 for children. The food stalls, rides, shopping are charged at actuals in the respective stalls.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica
Are you an architectural buff? This non-gothic cathedral will intrigue you. It was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese over the Saint Thomas tomb. This church is one of the three churches in the world that is built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus. It is significant that one of the 12 disciples of Jesus came to India and landed in Kerala, he slowly travelled throughout the South to spread a new faith of Christianity and then reached Chennai. During the night time, the church looks even more beautiful. The altar is very beautiful with the bleeding Jesus statue and backdrop of coloured glass.
The Church is located in Mylapore, one can get here by taxi, bus, metro train or auto-rickshaw. It is quite central and transportation would not be a problem. Shoes are not allowed inside the church. It is open from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm on all days.
VGP Universal Kingdom
VGP is an amusement park located in ECR. It provides several fun and adventurous rides for children and adults. The first Snow world of Chennai is located in this kingdom. There are several rides for adults like Roller Coaster, Tornado, Rock n roll etc and several rides for kids like tiny tots express, Kangaroo, Jumping Frog, Circus train and much more. With rides and activities, it also has various other attractions like Statue Man, Petting Zoo, Beach Live Shows, Paneer Fort and a massive water complex. Food stalls are added benefits for tourist and locals.
There are many ways to reach the location the best way is to hire a car and self-drive or rent a car for the day. On weekdays park is open from 11:00 am to 7:30 pm and on weekends, it is open from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm. Entry fee for adult is Rs 500 and for children Rs 400. Outside food is strictly prohibited, and consumption of alcohol, cigarette, tobacco is also prohibited in the premises. It is suggested to carry minimum luggage, and the luggage is to be kept in the cloakroom. Cameras are available on rent which can be further inquired about on the counter. It is best suited for family and friends and is a must-visit place.