I visited chennai last week, it was totally changed my opinion about chennai. Some peoples might think that chennai is a crowed city, with concrete buildings and smoky industries. From my experience i can say that , you should plan a tour to this capital city , a lot of attractive places are waiting for you.
First we guided to Chennai port , which is the second largest port in India. It is more than 125 years old. The economical growth of tamilnadu strongly depends on this port . It was so amazing and attractive.
Next we went to St.George Fort. It gave us the remembrance of the ancient days. Today, the Fort serves as the administrative headquarters for the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu state. We visited the museum which is one of the oldest surviving buildings built within the fort. All the monuments, statues and all the things present there was fascinating the visitors.
Our next destination was Vivekananda house. It is also known as Ice House, is a shrine and target of pilgrimage for the admirers of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda stayed here for six weeks in 1900. This two-story house is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture with its characteristic designs of sunburst and gabled roof. The bedroom where Vivekananda stayed, is now a safe haven for meditation. We can jaunt through all the places there. Then we went for shopping in city centre. It , is one of the landmarks of the modern Chennai. A lot of stores are there with goods of all the brands major brands as well as local brands. A major entertainment place in city centre is the INOX theatres is Present there.
Then we visited Santhome church which is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Santhome. It was built in 19th century. It is built over the tomb of Apostle St.Thomas. There are only three basilicas built over the tomb of an apostle. So we were very excited. we also visited the underground tomb chapel below the Basilica and the museum associated with it. Then we went to Santhome beach which is the southern part of the Marina beach. We spent our evening there. Light houe present there is the major attraction of the beach.
Then we returned to our resting place. On the way we visited Kapaleeshwarar temple which is one of the most important temples in the world and it is very close to Sea. It was the time of arthi when we reached there. It was built in 19th century and it has statues of all the Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu Religion. It is said Shiva with the bowl of skull [Kapalam] during the time of creation of present ‘Yuga’ ,hence the name Kapaleeswarar.
Next day we went to Government Museum, which is located at Egmore. It has 6 independent buildings and 46 galleries. This museum cover a variety of objects from diverse fields including Archaeology, zoology, botany,geology,anthropology. National art gallery, contemporary art gallery,childrens museum are also present there.
Then we went for shopping to spencer plaza which is one of the biggest shopping malls in South Asia. After shopping we went to Valluvar Kottam. It was built memory of Thiruvalluvar, who was a classical Tamil poet and saint. The auditorium present here is largest auditorium in Asia, which can accommodate about 4000 people and it has no pillars for support. ‘Thirukkurals’ the famous writing of Thiruvalluvar is inscribed on the granite pillars which surround the auditorium.
Then we went to Birla planetarium. Sky shows are there every day at different timings in different languages. The shows include the Solar System, eclipses, Moon, Earth, comets, sky and seasons, shooting meteoroids, deep sky , and the stellar cycle. We went for sky show and we had a virtual tour to sky. It was my first experience to see sky in a different view. And it caught the mind of all the tourists present there.
Then we went to Marina beach. Even though bathing and swimming at this Beach are legally prohibited because of the dangers, a large crowd was there at the evening. The statues and monuments present there gave a different appearance to the beach. We enjoyed our evening there and we returned to our rest place. That day evening we went back to our home town. Of course it was a different experience to all people in our group. And we enjoyed a lot.
Also there are a lot of beautiful places to visit St.Thomas Mount, which is a small hill rock in chennai. is associated with St. Thomas, the apostle of Christ. A beautiful church is there on the top of the hill rock.
Another place is Vandalur zoo, which is a zoological garden located in Vandalur. A different ecosystem is present there. It will be a different experience .
Tourist fair is conducted by Tamilnadu tourism promotion council at island grounds in Chennai , during January. Folk dances and Drama’s are the main attraction of this festival, and these are conducted every day during fair season . various government departments and public sector enterprises are take part in this fair. Besides the cultural shows , the tourism promotion council delivers a wealth of information about the tourist places in Tamilnadu. By participating in this fair you will get a complete picture of tamilnadu . The fair last for 3 months.
vandalur zoo is situtated in vandalur, it is about 30 km away from chennai city. it is very near to the park town in chennai. the first zoo in india started in madras city in 1855. in 1975 this zoo is expanded and it moves out from the chennai city. the forest department in tamilnadu move this zoo to the reserve forest in vandalur. here you can see animals in an open island enclosure. about 170 species of mammals, reptiles, aviaries are displayed here. the main attractions here are snakes, tropical mammals, reptiles, barking deer, sambar , nilgai, blackbuck, hog deer, wolf, hyena, otter, jackal, star tortoises, tiger, lion, panther etc.
Churches in Chennai –Christian pilgrimages in Chennai
Santhome cathedral basilica
The name santhome church is associated with the apostle doubting Thomas. His mortal remains are buried st. Thomas mount . where the church was built .the church is a magnificent building in gothic style. a huge statue of virgin mary can also seen.
This is a church of our lady of assumption . it is the first church constructed in brittish India.
This church is located at mylapore on the luz church road .this is also known as kaattu koil.the luz church is dedicated to our lady of light.
Little mount church
The church is also known as china malai. It is dedicated to our lady of health. Here you can see a cave , in which st Thomas was hiding and doing prayers and penace.every year on the fourth Saturday and Sunday after easter the littlemount festival is celebrated . thousands of devotees are take part in this festival.
St Andrews park
The church built in 1821 .it was situated on the poonamallee high road .the church is near to egmore railway station.
St george church
This is an anglician church built in 1814 .now the church has lost its panoramic views as a major portion of the outer space is occupied by the American cosulate and the anna flyover raising nearby.
Temples around Chennai-Hindu pilgrimages in chennai
This is an ancient temple about 10 km on the northern trunk road. It is a saivite shrine predating the pallava’s days. The founder of advaitham adisankara visited this temple and ha sung in praise of the deity.the temple rebuilt by rajendra chola 1. it was a vedic centre during chola’s period. The architecture of the temple is superb.
It is about 40 km south to Chennai . the old temple dedicated to lord muruga. Soora samharam the defeat and salvation to the demon soorapandaman is the major festival .
The temple is located at thirunamiyur on the road to mamallpuram. The temple constructed during 11 th century and it is dedicated to lord marundeeswarar.
This is a chola temple and dedicated to lord siva . the famous festival is sivarathri. The name derived from tiruchuram.
The temple is near to thirunelveli. The temple built in 12 th century . here you can see a round rock here which produces musical notes when one strikes it with a stone.
The temple is at pallavapuram. It is dedicated to lord Vishnu. The bronze images here are very beautiful. The temple constructed during pallava’s days.