About Chennai

Chennai - Gateway of South India

The capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, not only offers a wide range of places to visit but is also steeped in cultural history and ancient works of art. It’s a bustling Indian city home to many sea beaches, British colonial architecture, newly developed markets, and some of the oldest temples in the world. With temples dotting the city’s skyline, the city is known to preserve India’s great religious architecture and has a completely unique way of life.

Home to the second-largest urban beach in the world, the Marina Beach, this city draws thousands of visitors as there are a plethora of places to visit in Chennai. As you come to Chennai, you will be amazed to find a combination of culinary flavours and cultures that are bound to excite the traveller in you. Here we have compiled the top places to visit in Chennai that are versatile, and some of them also refer back to the colonial era.

Popular Places In Chennai

Chennai is more than the fourth metropolis in India. It is a lovely beach city with a soul that has people warmer than the weather. Whether you are a visitor or a new resident of the city, make sure to do your bit of sightseeing. Here is a list of the top places to visit in Chennai for an enthralling time. Keep scrolling down and read along!

1. Fort St. George

One of the live examples of British history in India, Fort St. George, is one of the official buildings of the British Empire in Chennai and the first English fortress in India. Founded in 1644 in the coastal city of Madras, the place serves as a museum today. The gigantic monument and the architecture are sure to make you appreciate British artistry. The place is open for tourists. You can visit to witness artifacts, paintings, coins, silverware, arms, documents, and much more.

2. Madras War Memorial

Witness the martyrs of the Second World War at the Madras War Memorial. It is one of the most visited places in Chennai, where you can take a stroll through the well-maintained gardens and find structures beautifully carved out of white stones with detailing of men who sacrificed their lives during World War II. The best time to visit the place is during Army Day or Vijay Diwas if you want to witness the special homage paid by the forces to the martyrs.

3. Swami Vivekananda’s House

Take a knowledge tour and learn more about Indian culture and Swami Vivekananda’s life. It is the place where Swami Vivekananda spent a few days of his life after he returned from the west. This historical place will sow positivity in your soul and arouse you towards a new approach to life as you witness the gallery, a meditation room, and walk through Vivekananda Park.

4. Arignar Anna Zoological Park

For animal lovers, this place is beyond worth missing. It is home to more than 500 rare species, which are mostly endangered. Pay a visit to the zoo and be a part of the various safaris offered, such as the Lion Safari and the Elephant Safari. Not just home to endangered species, it also boasts a rich variety of flora and fauna in the region. Situated at a distance of 32 km from Chennai city, the zoological park is a great weekend spot to visit with your little ones. Also, witness the aquarium, crocodile house, butterfly house, and amphibian house that the place has to offer.

5. Marina Beach:

Find yourself in deep tranquility and peace as you wander across the second-largest beach in the world. Marina Beach is mesmerizing in every sense of the word, enclosed by beautiful palm trees and glittering golden sand beneath its feet. A very famous tourist spot and must-visit on a trip to Chennai, Marina Beach captivates the onlooker with its beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Cool winds never fail to rejuvenate you here. Do not miss enjoying the authentic South Indian snacks—crispy sundal and murukku—sold at this beach. Awake the explorer in you and visit numerous historic places near the beach. A god blessed beach nestled in South India, Marina Beach is the perfect getaway.

6. Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park is the 8th-smallest national park in India and is one of the best places to visit in Chennai for all wildlife lovers. Guindy National Park is home to deer, blackbucks, jackals, snakes, tortoises, and more. This national park has around 130 species of birds and 14 species of mammals.With so many mammals, birds, and animals to spot, this national park in Chennai should be on your itinerary. If you like birdwatching, then its time for you to take out your binoculars and visit this national park soon.

7. Parthasarathy Temple

Parthasarathy Temples is one of the best religious places to visit in Chennai, as it belongs to the 8th century and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Located in Thiruvallikeni, Chennai, Parthasarathy Temple was built by King Narasimhavarman I in the 8th century. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has icons of Gajendra Varadaraja, Narasimha, Ranganatha, Rama, and Krishna. These icons are the five forms of Lord Vishnu that are worshipped in this temple. If you want to witness the grand ceremony organized in this temple, then you must plan your trip around the traditional festivals.

8. Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam is an impressive monument in Chennai and is dedicated to Valluvar. Thiruvalluvar was a prominent poet and philosopher, and his works are an eminent part of Chennai’s literature collection. This monument was inaugurated in 1976, and since then it has been one of the prime tourist attractions in Chennai. This monument is in the shape of a chariot, and the auditorium is one of the largest ones in India. You can have a look at the 133 chapters of his famous work inscribed on the monument. Valluvar Kottam is one of the most important places in Tamil Nadu that all travelers should definitely visit.

9. Government Museum, Chennai

The Government Museum, or Madras Museum in Chennai, is a museum of human history and culture. The museum houses some of the rarest artifacts in all of India. Being the second oldest museum in India and the tenth oldest in the world, built in 1851, it is one of the most sought-after places of study for academicians. The museum, in particular, has a rich archaeological and numismatic collection.

Built in Indo-Gothic or colonial architecture, the place is a treat for history lovers and one of the best tourist places in Chennai. Among its rare and amazing collections, the museum has paintings from renowned Indian and European painters. The third-largest museum in the world, the Madras Museum has 500 bronze idols dating back to 1000 BC.

10. Connemara Library

One of the most premier landmarks in the city, the Connemara Library, inaugurated in 1896, is a treasure trove of literature. It is one of the four national depository libraries in India, receiving copies of every book, newspaper, and periodical published in the country.

A haven for book lovers, the hundred-year-old library contains a rich collection of books, braille manuscripts, journals, and magazines. Highly sought after by researchers, the building is located in the Egmore area of Chennai. The library is well-kept, and you can spend a day amid the fountain of knowledge here, as it is among the famous tourist places in Chennai.

11. Madras Crocodile Bank Trust

The initiative is the brainchild of the famous wildlife activist and herpetologist, Romulus ‘Rom’ Whitaker, to conserve the fading species of crocodiles in the subcontinent. The Crocodile Bank in Chennai remains open for six days a week for visitors and is definitely worth a visit.

12. San Thome Church

The sparkling white structure of San Thome Church that stands on the tomb of Saint Thomas is one of its kind. The place is quite popular among locals and lures travelers wandering in the city with its exclusive infrastructure and serene ambiance. This beautiful masterpiece reminds me of the colonial past and is one of the most interesting places to visit in Chennai.

13. Kapaleeswarar Temple

Another popular temple in Chennai with unique architecture, Kapaaleshwar Temple exhibits the Dravidian style of construction. The height of the temple is nearly 37 meters. The temple remains lively in the months of March and April. There is a huge tank filled with water at the place, which is believed to have religious importance.

14. Ripon Building

Ripon Building is one of the most popular tourist places in Chennai, and this behemoth government building features unique Roman-style architecture. The building was established in the year 1913 and is named after Lord Ripon, the prominent governor-general of British India.