Attractions in Chennai
Fort St George - Fort St. George was built in the 1640 A.D. The first fortress of British
power in India, the fort has undergone much alteration. The fort is now used by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat
office. The 46m high flagstaff at the front is actually a mast retrieved from a 17th century shipwreck.
St. Mary's Church - 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.
George Town - It is the centre of Chennai's commercial activity. One should visit Popham's
Broadway, Chennai's main commercial street having the Wesleyan Church. Also visit Armenian Church in Armenian Street. Other places in the east
to visit are Roman Catholic Cathedral, St Mary of the Angels, Parry's Corner. Important landmarks such as High Court, Central Tower, Esplanade
Lighthouse, Pachaiyappa's Hall, Chepauk Palace and the Art Gallery at Panheon Road. Triplicane and Chepauk contain some of the finest examples
of 19th century Indo-Saracenic architecture in India. Some religious places to visit are Wallajah Mosque and Parthasarathi Temple.
George's Cathedral - It is a white colonial church, with a beautiful garden. It has a 130 feet spire with its interior
very light and airy with stucco walls. The decorated roof and many fascinating tablets and tombs add to beauty of the spire.
Valluvarkottam - The Valluvar Kottam was built in honour of the acclaimed Tamil Poet, Thiruvalluvar,
whose classic work - one thousand three hundred and thirty kurals (couplets) – is 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 Tamil Nadu.
of San Thome - It is believed that the Apostle Saint Thomas spent his last years in South India. This Cathedral was originally
built in 1504. It was rebuilt in 1890 with a 180 ft basilica. Popular belief is that St. Thoma's body was entombed inside this
Kapaleeswarar Temple - Kapaleeswarar, an ancient Shiva temple, is the biggest temple in Chennai. A masterpiece
of Dravidian style, it displays the architectural elements - gopurams, mandapams and a tank. There are also some fragmentary inscriptions
dating back to 1250 AD.
Luz Church - The church was built by Franciscan missionaries from Portugal in honour of Mother Mary in 1516. The austere façade
of the church contrasts the splendour of its ornate interiors with its gilded altars, the fine tracery railings of the pulpit
and choir, the original polychrome santos and frescoed ceilings. The Luz Church reflects the fashions and trends of typical European
ecclesiastical architecture. The Gothic arches and flying buttresses, baroque ornamentation and elegant classical lines, have been heavily
influenced by European style. The Luz Church is a fine example of the Portuguese, impressive attempts to replicate their great
churches in faraway lands.
Theosophical Society - The Theosophical Society, 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 sq ft, where sermons are conducted.
Kalakshetra - Kalakshetra 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.
Little Mount - 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 1551.
Government Museum & Art Gallery
- The buildings of the Government Museum 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.
National Art Gallery - The National Art Gallery was established in 1857. There are sections on geology, archaeology anthropology,
numismatics, botany, zoology and sculpture, besides a collection of armoury.