is the capital city of the India state of Tmail Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest industrial and commercial centre in South India and a major cultural, economic and educational centre. Chennai is one of the four major metropolitan cities in India and one of the holiday destinations in the golden triangle of the Southern India. Chennai perhaps is the most peaceful and green metropolis in India. It has a number of attractions for the tourists to relish. The city has its fair share of forts and palaces reminding the tourists the glory of bygone eras along with the modern advancements.
The area around Chennai had been part of successive South Indian kingdoms for many centuries. The recorded history of the city began in the colonial times, specifically with the arrival of British East Inida Company and the establishment of Fort St. George in 1644. The British defended several attacks from the French colonial forces, and from the kingdom of Mysore, on Chennai's way to becoming a major naval port and presidency city by the late eighteenth century. Following the independenece of India, Chennai became the capital of Madras State and subsequently Tamil Nadu, and an important centre of regional politics based on the Dravidian identity of the populace. Most of the tourist attractions in the city do have a distinct colonial influence though the others are religious shrines. Your tour will comprise of the visit to the Kapaleeshwar Temple. The temple is Dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the oldest temple in Chennai. It was constructed in the 13th century. The other important temple in the city is the Parthsarthy temple with Lord Krishna as the reigning deity.
The temple reveals the architectural skills of the Dravidians. The main entrance facing east is painted in red, blue and yellow with puranic legends sculpted on the sanctum sanctorum. The colonial influence can be seen at the Fort St. George. The fort was founded by Sir Day. The exterior of the fort has been done in gray granite. This is quiet in contrast with the decoration of the Mughal forts.
This first piece of real estate that British owned in India housed barracks for the British army, a parade ground, and the oldest church of Chennai namely, St. Mary's Church. More than that the structures the city also has its natural beauty. One of the examples of the natural abundance in Chennai is the beautiful Marina beach. At the beach the blue waters of Bay of Bengal mingles with the golden sands.
The beach extends from Fort St. George all the way to Mahabalipuram. You will be spell bound with its spectacular sight at dusk. The waters are not safe for swimming with the strong tides. Chennai is one of the important trade centers of south India and is a good place to shop for a large variety of items. You may shop for traditional bell metal items, bronze icons, and stone sculpture, as well as other crafts of the southern region at the local shops of Chennai.
Besides these the city of Chennai is famous for the beautiful Kancheepuram hand woven silk sarees. These sarees are renowned for the temple borders and rich zari (gold thread) pallavas. Detailed traditional motifs and bright colours with contrasting borders make these sarees absolutely delightful. You may pick up some of these exquisite souvenirs for your loved ones in silver, copper, bronzed and wood, available in various government emporia and private stores.
San Thome Cathedral
Even the jewelry made from uncut precious stones make excellent gift items. The shopping spree at chennai will complete the holiday. Get started with your holiday down the sizzling south with the Chennai as the destination for the Golden Triangle tour.
Places to see in Chennai
Kapaleeswarar Temple :
Built in 1640 AD, the Fort St. George once served as the very first bastion of the East India Company. Now, it houses the Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. The 46 metre - high flagstaff, that adorns the front of the structure, is actually a mast salvaged from a 17th century shipwreck. The Fort Museum has a remarkable collection of memorabilia, dating back to the days of the Raj. Within the Fort complex, is also the oldest Anglican Church in India, St Mary's Church, built in 1678-1680. It also happens to be the oldest surviving British construction.
Another ancient landmark in the city, is the Madras Harbour, one of the finest in India, and entirely artificial, which has been around for almost a century. Mylapore in the south, is the site of the famous Kapaleeswarar Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a typical Dravidian gopuram. Near the temple, is the San Thome Cathedral, which is said to contain the remains of St Thomas the Apostle (Doubting Thomas). Located on Triplicane High Road is the Parathasarathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna. Built in the 8th century during the Pallava reign, it was later renovated by the Vijayanagar kings in the 16th century.
The Government Museum and Art Gallery on Pantheon Road, near Egmore station, has an interesting archaeological section, and a bronze gallery. The archaeological section has an excellent collection of items from all the major South Indian periods, including the Chola, Vijayanagar, Hoysala and Chalukya periods. The bronze gallery has some impressive examples of Chola bronze art. The Theosophical Society located on the banks of the Adayar river, and Kalakshetra, an internationally renowned institution for Indian classical dance and music, at Thiruvanmiyoor, are outstanding examples of the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.
St. George Fort
The National Deer Park is the only place in the world, where one can still find a sizeable number of the endangered species of Indian antelope (the black buck). The Deer Park, alongwith the Madras Snake Park, which is supported by the World Wildlife Fund, are located in the Raj Bhavan premises, at Guindy.