Chennai or Madras, the focal point for
India's year old Christian faith, is the cultural heartland and the gateway
to the south. Christ's Apostle Thomas is said to have preached, died and
buried in Chennai. The little St Thomas Mount commemorate these epochal
events.The British Empire and Yale University were nurtured in this place.
Chennai holds an interesting museum and portrait gallery of the turbulent
times of the East India company.
Ancient tradition of classical dance, music, arts, handicraft, literature,
philosophy, religion have earlier taken its root from this very place, and
spread to the rest of the country. The Dravidians, a Mediterranean race like
the people of Crete were the original inhabitant of this place.The ancient
civilization had merged with those of the erstwhile colonial powers to
create an industrial, IT savvy city of the 21st century.
Located in the Southern most part of India , Chennai is the Capital of the
state of Tamil Nadu.
Temperature in this part of India hovers between 37°C to 27 °C in
the summers, while it remains between 32°C to 2O°C in the winters.
The best suitable time to visit the place is between January to April.
Parthsarthy Temple -
The Pallava kings of south India
built the Temple in around 8th century. Later, it was renovated by the
Vijaya nagar Kings in the 16th century. Situated in Triplicans, the temple
is famous for the beauty of its archways or the gopuram as well as its
architecture. A whole locality has sprung around the temple surroundings.
Kapaleeshwar Temple -
Constructed in the 13th century,
it is a living specimen of the architectural skill of the Dravidians.The
Temple rest in the Malapore area of Chennai, and is the nucleus of the local
markets, with the residential quarters around it. The entrance to the temple
is painted with vivid colours with Puranic legends sculpted on the sanctorum
Santhome Cathedral -
An important pilgrimage center, the
Santhome Cathedral is built over the tomb of Apostle St Thomas who came to
India from the Palestines. The church in his name was built by the Persian
Christians, which was later refurbished in 1606 and turned into a cathedral.
In the early 19th century, it was rebuilt as a basilica with a museum inside
its premises along with a 16th century map of South Asia.
Fort St. George -
It was the first real estate of the
British Empire in India built by Sir Day as an important Fort along the
coastline of the Bay of Bengal. The Fort has a granite exterior finishing
housing the barracks for the British army along with a parade ground. The
oldest church of Chennai, the St Mary's Church is also placed in this fort.
The fort was attacked by Daud Khan, General of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1701, by
the Marathas in 1741 and by Hyder Ali on several occasions in the late 18th
century. Glimpses of early Chennai are still preserved in Clive Corner,
Wellesley House, Fort Museum and St. Mary's church.
Marina Beach -
Marina beach extends from the Fort St
George to the Mahabalipuram, and has a stunning look at the dusk. The
setting sun brings the beach to life with thousands of peoples thronging the
place . Every thing, from snacks, ice creams, peanuts and balloons add to
the beauty of the beach. Lastly, the fortune tellers try to predict the
future of the visitors in their own way - by parrot reading or with tarot
cards. To the south of the aquarium is the Ice house from where Vivekananda
preached his philosophy. It was earlier used to store massive ice blocks
shipped from America.
National Art Gallery -
The gallery is situated in a
splendid Indo-Saracenic edifice, and was initially known as Victoria
Memorial Hall. It was designed by the Henry Irwin. The eminent historian
Tillotson described it as one of "the proudest expressions of the
Indo-Sarcenic movement". Collections of paintings and sculptures,
handicraft, metalware, ivory carvings from 11th century gives importance to