Places of Interest in Chennai

Chennai is host to many visitor’s places for travelers and you won’t be able to walk in one day–there are multiple variety of places that you would like to visit while being in Chennai. Here is information about some places of interest in Chennai.

Fort St. George

The majestic and Fort St. George stands to this day facing the beach in Chennai reminding British rule in India. The fort is located to the south of George Town and is a house to a range of state offices. The interesting fact remains that this is the first fort built by the British East India Company around 1653. The majestic structure of the fort is a classic example of the British military architecture of 17th Century and was built to a great extent in 1966. The fort is guarded by a 20 feet thick wall. The fort also has the tallest flagstaff in the country, said to be more than 300 years old. The 24 black Charnockite pillars that the visitors can see here are those that were reclaimed by the British in 1762 of the original 32 which once made up the colonade of the present Secretariat block.

There are a number of several early buildings that one can see within the fort of which the most interesting one is St. Mary’s Church, consecrated in 1680. This is the oldest Protestant Church in the East. In addition to some of the oldest British tombstones in India, the church has several antiquities and memories of weddings for which reputed people including Clive and Elihu Yale, benefactor of America’s Yale University, Arthur Wellesley who later became Wellington and Warren Hastings were present. Formerly Robert Clive’s house, one can see the Pay accounts office opposite to the Church, which is open to the Public.

Some of the other interesting buildings in the Fort are the Old Government House, the Banqueting Hall (now called Rajaji Hall) constructed by Goldingham for the official entertainment of the Governor during Clive’s period. The foundations of Indian Army and Civil Service, the land survey launched by Colin Mackenize, and the most significant archaeological, botanical and zoological surveys were all laid at Fort. St.George. The Fort museum has some very interesting items. Now Fort St.George is a house to the Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly of Tamilnadu. Sunday is the best time to visit the Fort. Phone : +91-44-2567 1127

High Court Building

Located at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Road, one can find the most famous High Court Building just to the north of St.George fort. The building is a typical example for Indo Saracenic architecture, today the complex houses High Court, the Small Cause’s Court and the City Civil Court. Constructed in the year 1892 under the supervision of the reputed architect Henry Irwin, this building is said to be the second largest judicial complex in the world. Some of the most interesting features of this building are the red sand stone construction, ornate decorations on the walls and stained glass windows and minarets that add great beauty to this building. The campus also has a pyramid shape tomb which is dedicated to the only son of Elihu Yale, who died as a child. One of the finest examples is Court No 13 which has some of the most beautiful stained glass, silvered panels, fretted wood work, carved furniture and a painted ceiling. The second light house tower of the city is located near the High Court building. Also, the highest point in the Court building was once house to the third lighthouse.

Entry is allowed from Monday to Saturday from 10 to 5.

Marina Beach

At about 3 Kms from Chennai at Kamarajar Road, the famous Marina beach lines along the eastern border of the city. The beach runs to a total length of about 12 Kms and is said to be the second longest beach in the World. The most important places to visit on the beach are the Anna Park, named after Annadurai, the founder of D.M.K (Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam) and the tomb of M.G. Ramachandran who was earlier a film star and the enigmatic Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. In addition, scattered all along the beach, one can find the statues of a number of people reputed in the national and the state history. The beach is replete with activities and places like beachside horse riding, swimming pools, a famous aquarium, petty shopping outlets and a number of eateries serving south Indian dishes. The beach is a very important place for entertainment, relaxation and time pass for tourists and the people of Chennai alike during evenings.

The Theosophical Society

The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875. This is a global body with the prime object of Universal Brotherhood which is based on the belief that life including all its diverse forms, both human and non-human, is one and indivisible. The centre offers discourse and meditation sessions in addition to lectures on positive health and spirituality. The complex is famous for its 5000 years old Banyan tree spread over 40,000 sq ft in the campus. The centre is closed on Sundays.

Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam is the famous memorial built to herald the life and message of the saint-poet Thiruvalluvar. Located at Nungambakkam, the memorial building was established in the year 1976. The large memorial hall is shaped like a Chariot and is situated on the corner of Kodambakkam High Road and Village Road. The auditorium at Valluvar Kottam that can accommodate about 4000 people is said to be the largest of its kind in Asia. Valluvar Kottam also replicates the ancient Tamil architecture. One can see here all the 1330 verses of the Thirukural composed by the Saint poet inscribed on the granite pillars surrounding this grand auditorium. More than 3,000 blocks of stone were used to build this memorial to Tamil culture. The 39 metre tall chariot has a life size statue of Thiruvalluvar. The centre is closed on Fridays and other National Holidays.

MGR Film City

MGR Film City can be a special delight to tourists to Chennai. This is the most popular location for the city’s flourishing Tamil Film Industry. The film city is located at Taramani, Adyar and is dedicated to the memory of the reputed Tamil actor MG Ramachandran. One can find here a number of sets including artificial sceneries like forest, water falls and market place etc, maintained here to serve as customised background for the shooting of films.

Timings : 8 am to 8 pm. Phone : +91-044- 2352132. Entry fee: Rs 25.

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