An ancient Shiva temple, is the biggest temple in Chennai. A
masterpiece of Dravidian style and displays the architectural elements
- gopurams, mandapams and a tank. There are some fragmentary inscriptions
dating back to 1250 AD.
Temple, devoted to Lord Krishna, was originally built by the
Pallavas in the 8th century and renovated in the 16th century bt
the Vijayanagars. It houses the five 'avatars' of Lord Vishnu, and
has a small temple shrine dedicated to Vishnu's consort, Vedavalli
Ammai. It's one of the oldest surviving temple in Chennai.
The Santhome Cathedral Church
built in 1504, then rebuilt in neo-Gothic style in 1893, this
Roman Catholic Church near Kapaleeshwarar temple is said to house
the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle.
St. Thomas Mount
,situated near the Meenambakkam airport, is the place where
the apostle is said to have been killed.
Little Mount Shrine
St. Thomas is believed to have lived in Little Mount Shrine (a tiny
cave) when he came to India around 58 A.D. Known locally as Chinnamalai,
the cave is entered via the Portuguese Church that was built in
Fort St. George:
It was built in the 1640 A.D., the first bastion of British power
of India, the fort has undergone much alteration. The fort is now
used by the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat office.
The 46m high flagstaff at the front is actually a mast salvaged
from a 17th century shipwreck.
St. Mary's Church
built in 1678-80, was the first English Church in Chennai,
and is the oldest surviving British Church in India. There are reminders
in the Church of Clive, who was married here in 1753, and of Elihu
Yale, the early Governor of Chennai who later founded the famous
American University bearing his name.
The Fort Museum has a collection of objects from the tenure of the
East India Company in Chennai including letters from Robert Clive.
There are many contemporary paintings too.
The Snake Park
with its lizards, crocodiles and turtles is more interesting.
It is well maintained with generous enclosures. The Snake Park has
a wide variety of reptiles. The next compound is the 'Children Park',
which has a small collection of animals and birds and a big play
area for children.
,devoted to the revival of classical arts, was founded by Rukmini
Devi Arundale in 1936. Classical dance, music, traditional textile
designs and weaving are taught in natural surroundings.
is set in a tranquil spot on the banks of the Adyar river. There
is a huge banyan tree, with its branches spreading over an area
of 40,000 square ft, where discourses are conducted.
The Valluvar Kottam
on the corner of Kodambakkam High Rd and Village Rd, honours
the acclaimed Tamil Poet, Thiruvalluvar, whose classic work - one
thousand three hundred and thirty kurals (couplets) - are reputed
to be about 2000 years old. Established in 1976, Valluvar Kottam
replicates ancient Tamil architecture with the 1330 verse Kural
inscribed on panels. The outer structure in stone is a replica of
the temple car of Thiruvarur in Tamilnadu.
is situated in Kotturpuram in Chennai, the B. M. Birla Planetarium
houses a modern, fully computerised projector, which depicts the
heavens on a hemispherical dome.
National Art Gallery
is situated in Egmore were established in 1857. There are sections
on geology, archaeologym anthropology, numismatics, botany, zoology
and sculpture, besides a collection of armoury.
Well worth visiting, the Government Museum is on Pantheon Rd,
between Egmore and Anna Salai. The buildings originally belonged
to a group of eminent British citizens, known as the Pantheon Committee,
who were charged with improving the social life of the British in
Chennai. The main building has a fine archaeological section representing
all the major south Indian periods including Chola, Vijayanagar,
Hoysala and Chalukya. It also houses a good ethnology collection.
The bronze gallery has a superb collection of Chola art. One of
the most impressive is the bronze of Ardhanariswara, the androgynous
incarnation of Shiva.
The stretch of beach known as the Marina extends for 13km. South
of the pitiful aquarium is the Ice House, once used to store massive
ice blocks transported by ship from North America. It later became
the venue from which Vivekanand preached his ascetic philosophy.