give an introduction to a city like Chennai is to give you an idea of what
Chennai is not…rather than what it is. To give a glimpse of her rich culture,
religion, heritage, people, museums, theme parks, monuments, beaches, palaces,
customs, cuisine, arts, talent and technology would be an exercise equivalent to
"counting grains of sand on the seashore" (this again, is a popular
South Indian expression).
Chennai is the oldest municipality in India. James II granted George Town its first municipal charter in 1688, which later grew into Chennai. The fort St. George was constructed over the period of 15 years and was completed in 1653. It was around the fort that George Town developed. For more than 2000 years this area has been popular with the traders. During the 17th century, it caught the attention of the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British East India Company. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the British and the French tried to gain supremacy in the region and finally the British took over. During the 19th century, the city was one of the four divisions of the British imperial India and it has continued to grow since then.
Chennai is a city where you can find the perfect blend of tradition and modernity… where ‘Udupi’ hotels and fast-food joints, gopurams (temple towers) and skyscrapers, mantras and mobiles, ragas and rap, coexist…
Today, Chennai while retaining her old world charm with the enchanting landmarks of a historic city, has also become a lucrative investment destination for hi-tech ventures.
Wherever you begin, the quest to travel will lead you from one place to another. From the Government Museum, a huge repository of the past where you can find Paleolithic stone implements and earthenware to modern day artifacts ...Where sun drenched beaches stretch for miles with the white surf breaking against the shores (do you know that the Marina beach in Chennai is the second longest beach in the world ?)...To the numerous divine temples which vibrate with the sing-song notes of shlokas and mantras right from early morning ...The jewellery and silk shops of T. Nagar, the timeless elegance of its monuments, the flower bazaars, the annual music festival where die-hard carnatic music fans throng to the sabhas. You will discover all this in Singara Chennai (as it’s lovingly referred to here)…and more.
Valluvar Kottam is on the Kodambakkam High Road and is named after the famous
Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar. He wrote the famous `Thiru Kural', which is supposed
to be nearly 2000 years old. This structure is dedicated to the great poet and
the Thiru Kural is inscribed on the panels.
High court buildings - This red Indo-Saracenic structure at the Parry's corner is supposed to be the largest judicial building in the world after the courts of London.
Luz church - This church dedicated to Our Lady of Light, was constructed in the 16th century and is the oldest church in Chennai. It was built by Portuguese sailors.
Fort St. George - This fort was constructed by the British East India company in 1653 and it presently houses the secretariat and the legislative assembly. The museum in the fort houses collection of memorabilia which were built by the French and the British East India Companies.
St. Andrew 's church - This church is in classical style and has impressive blue dome decorated with golden stars.
Parthasarathy Temple - This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the oldest surviving temples in Chennai. The temple was constructed in the 8th century by the Pallavas and it was later renovated by the rulers of Vijayanagar.
Little Mount - This Mount is where St. Thomas is believed to have lived during his visit to India. This little cave can be entered through the church built by the Portuguese in 1551.
Guindy National Park and Snake park - These parks are adjacent to each other. The national park houses have some wild life where as it is the snake park that is more impressive with a whole variety of snakes and lizards to be seen.
Film Studios - The film studios in Chennai are one of the best and the largest to be found in the country. The MGR film city is an impressive one and is the only one that is open to the public most of the times.
Marina and Eliot beach - Marina beach is considered one of the longest beaches in the world. The stretch of the beach is 13 kms, approximately and it is one of the places where Chennai's crowd can be seen especially during holidays. Eliot's beach is much quieter compared to Marina, but now it is also infested with people especially in the evening hours.