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India Tour Package » Metropolitan Hubs » Chennai Travel Guide
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Chennai Travel Guide

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.
Vivekananda Illam, Chennai
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.


Location
Located in the Southern most part of India , Chennai is the Capital of the state of Tamil Nadu.

Climate
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.
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Major Attractions
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 facing eastward.
Kapaleeshwar Temple, Chennai
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 the museum.


Nearby Attractions
Theosophical Society - The Headquarters of the Theosophical movement founded by Madame Blavatsky and Col Olcott lies in Adyar. The Headquarters Mansion is a superb old building having a vast hall where silence is revered. One can still meditate under the huge old Banyan Tree, believed to be the second largest in India. The shrines of all faiths are also worth seeing here. There is also a serene Garden of Remembrance and a fine Library with a superb collection of old Eastern manuscripts.


Sari Shop, ChennaiShopping
Silk sarees are a must buy for any visitors visiting Chennai, and probably the best place to buy it are Nalli and Kumaran. For jewelleries, T Nagar is the best place to be. For Handicraft items Victoria Technical Institute at Anna Salem or the Khadi Gramodyog is the best. Apart from these Spencer plaza is one of the best mall to shop for clothings and other accessories.


Accommodation
There are lots of hotels in and around Chennai to facilitate the accommodations for visitors to the City. There is a variety of choice like Five Star Hotels, Four Star Hotels, Budget Hotels and Economic Hotels. Notable among them are Fisherman's cave, Taj Corromandel, Chola Sheratonand the GRT Grand.


How to Reach
By Air - Chennai has a domestic as well as an international airport. The Kamaraj Domestic Airport and the Anna International Airport are located at Tirusulam, at a distance of 20 km on the outskirt of the city..
By Rail - Chennai is well connected to all the major cities in India through a wide network of railways. The main rail stations are in Madras Central and Egmore.
By Road - The city of Chennai is also well linked to all the major cities in Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring states through an excellent road network


Accommodation in Chennai
» Le Royal Meridien
» Taj Coromandel
» Taj Fisherman’s Cove
» Ambassador Pallava
» Quality Inn Sabari
» The Park
» The Trident
» GRT Grand Days
» Hotel Benz Park Tulip
» Ramada Raj Park
» Taj Connemara
» Radisson Hotel
» Savera Hotel
» Ambica Empire Best Western
» Radha Park Inn
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