Tourist Places in Chennai
Chennai has a rich and illustrious history. Chennai was previously known as Madras and is recorded in various ancient manuscripts and literature. Kanchipuram was the capital of Chennai at the time, and the city was strategically important for commerce and travel purposes. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is a gateway to many intriguing attractions.
Chennai is becoming one of India's fastest-growing commercial cities. Chennai has a population of almost 70.9 lakhs. Tamil is the most widely spoken language in Chennai; however, most of the population also speaks and understands Hindi, Kannada, and Telugu. This city is a beautiful combination of grandeur in terms of culture. This city boasts dazzling beaches, cafés, religious buildings like temples and churches, historic landmarks, and much more.
Travellers come from around the world to visit Chennai, but they use it as a stopover on their journey to Pondicherry, Madurai, Kanchipuram, Kochi, Varkala, and other attractions. Chennai, on the other hand, is much more. It is a historically significant city with several tourist attractions. So, here is the list of some of the top spots in Chennai to visit with your friends and family.
1. Covelong Beach
Covelong Beach, in the village of Covelong on the Coromandel coast, is one of the gorgeous beaches in the Chennai district. The beach, a prominent tourist attraction in Chennai, provides visitors with a range of water activities, the most famous of which are swimming and windsurfing. Covelong Beach has a lovely setting among palm trees and sparkling silver sand, making it ideal for picnics and excursions.
Every day, hundreds of tourists come to enjoy at this beach, which provides a range of water sports such as surfing, jet skiing, and boating. The pleasures that these beach offers are unrivalled. Take a walk along the dunes, rest beneath the palm trees, or watch the sunset.
2. Marina Beach
The breathtaking sunrises and sunsets at Marina Beach, a renowned tourist site and a must-see on any visit to Chennai as it fascinates visitors every time. As you stroll around the world's second-biggest beach, you'll immerse yourself in deep serenity and tranquillity. Marina Beach is captivating in every way, with gorgeous palm trees surrounding it and glistening golden sand beneath your feet.
Marina Beach, a God-blessed beach in South India, is the ideal escape. Cool winds never fail to rejuvenate you here. Don't miss out on the unique south Indian foods on this beach, such as crispy Sundal and Murukku. Tourists can visit various historic sites along the seaside to reawaken your inner adventurer.
3. Marundeeswarar Temple
On the Bay of Bengal beaches lies Marundeeswarar Temple, a well-known Shiva temple in Chennai. Marundeeswarar is renowned as the 'god of medicines,' Hindu worshippers travel from across the country to pray for health and healing.
The temple was erected by the 'Nayanars Appar and the Thirugnana Sambandar between the 7th and 8th centuries and is a remarkable example of typical Dravidian architecture. The Chola monarchy later preserved and popularised the temple in the 11th century. It is now one of Chennai's most popular tourist destinations, attracting pilgrims from the country. The temple's prasadam, a mixture of sacred ash, water, and milk, is said to be a cure-all for all diseases and afflictions.
Lord Marundeeswarar, according to religious texts, educated the renowned Sage Agastya about the therapeutic use of several plants. As a result, a large number of people come here to seek blessings and to be cured of their diseases. The temple's prasad is also said to have medicinal properties.
4. Breezy Beach
This aptly named beach, tucked away in Chennai's Valmiki Nagar region, is the perfect getaway from the city's frantic everyday life. The beach is famed for its beautiful sunrises and delicious breakfasts from nearby eateries and cafés. The location, which is around 9 kilometres from the city's heart, gives a peaceful feel to it.
As it is one of Chennai's most well-known tourist spots, people flock here to take a break from their daily routine. On your journey down to the breezy beach, try roadside snacks like Sandals and Idli, which you can get at the nearby Thiruvanmiyur market.
5. Fort St. George
Fort St. George, the first English fortress in India and one of the official monuments of the British Empire in Chennai, is a live symbol of British history in India. The museum, established in 1644 in the beach city of Madras, is currently open to the public. Tourists are welcome to come and see what's going on. During your tour, you may witness antiques, paintings, coins, jewellery, weaponry, paperwork, and much more. The massive structure and architecture will inspire you to admire British engineering.
6. Madras War Memorial
The Madras War Memorial honours the Second World War martyrs. It is one of Chennai's most renowned tourist sites, featuring well-kept gardens and structures built out of white stone with information about those who died in World War II. The best time to come is around Army Day or Vijay Diwas, when you can observe the military's particular commitment to the martyrs.
7. Arignar Anna Zoological Park
For animal lovers, this is a definite must-see. It is home to over 500 distinct species, most of which are threatened with extinction. Visit the zoo and participate in a safari-like the Elephant Safari. It is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna that are unique to the region and endangered species. The zoological park, located 32 kilometres outside Chennai, is a fantastic weekend trip for families with kids. The attractions are the aquarium, crocodile house, butterfly house, and amphibian habitat.
Mylapore, in Chennai's district, has several fascinating places to visit. Mylapore is Chennai's oldest housing sector and is a must-see for anybody interested in the city's history. Mylapore is a tourist destination that caters to a wide range of interests, from religious monuments to award-winning eateries. One of the reasons that Mylapore is one of the best places to visit in Chennai is because of the Kapaleeswarar temple and the Ramakrishnan Math.
9. Royapuram Fishing Harbour
The Royapuram fishing harbour is one of the top tourist attractions in Chennai for those visitors who are fascinated by taking stunning images of the places they visit. This area, also known as the Kasimedu fishing port or the Chennai fishing harbour, attracts many tourists since it is a popular fishing place in Chennai. If you want to get a glimpse into the life of Chennai residents, you should pay a visit to this port. A large number of anglers and boats may be seen catching fish. Locals may also be seen strolling the market and purchasing seafood.
10. Ashtalakshmi Temple
The Ashtalakshmi Temple lies in Besant Nagar, just a few feet from the lovely Besant beach on the Bay of Bengal's coast. Ashtalakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Knowledge, resides here and bestows blessings on everybody who visits the temple with a pure heart.
The ocean waves echo throughout the temple premises, instantly calming visitors. The temple was rebuilt for almost 7 million rupees, with over 1.6 million rupees spent on performing a spiritually significant Hindu ceremony known as Jeernotharana Ashtabandana Mahakumbhabhishekam, demonstrating the temple's magnificence.
11. Government Museum
The Government Museum, founded in 1851, is the country's 2nd oldest museum, after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. It is located in Chennai's Egmore area and was constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style. It holds a large collection of paintings of Raja Ravi Varma.
12. MGR Film City
The MGR Film City, built-in 1994 and is a relatively young building, is controlled by the Government of Tamil Nadu in loving memory of MG Ramachandran, who was not only a popular Tamil actor but also a long-serving Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
The MGR Film City, located in Taramani, Chennai, and spanning 70 acres, is a major tourist attraction and the ideal venue for many South Indian directors. The film city has a film school, indoor and outdoor shooting locations, replicas of the village and urban areas, post office, police station, prison, courtroom, and beautiful gardens in Italian, Japanese, and Mughal styles, in addition to being the best place to catch a glimpse of a popular Tamil actor.
Nettukuppam is Chennai's northernmost tip, featuring a beach that crowds haven't discovered. It's a quiet hideaway for those who like to get up and personal with the rushing river while in a calm environment. Ennore's salty stream meets the sea here, making a type of estuary; because it is still off the usual tourist road, the setting is ideal for a relaxed holiday.
There are no loud hawkers here, and the beach is devoid of tourists. It receives a greater number during holiday seasons or festivals; however, most of the time, very few groups of people are present. This is the perfect place to unwind on a warm evening if you prefer a calm and quiet environment.
You will enjoy your stay at Nettukuppam beach by sitting on the bridge with your legs hanging, taking in the sea wind and cool mist as the waves crash against the pier and splash into the white foam below your feet.
14. Vadapalani Murugan Temple
One of the most renowned temples devoted to Lord Murugan is Vadapalani Murugan Temple. The temple, located in Vadapalani, Chennai, is recognised for assisting worshippers in finding solutions to life's issues. People come here to help with marital, intellectual, and professional issues. Many devotees report that coming here to pray has helped them overcome their problems and find serenity in their lives. Worshipping Lord Murugan is likewise seen to be equally devout as worshipping him at the original Palani temple. If people cannot worship at Murugan's native abode, they may do it here, and Murugan will still shower blessing on them.
Many tales and myths surround Vadapalani Murugan Temple, particularly those surrounding its founder and first priest, Annaswamy Naikar. He dreamed about this deed he needed to do for his welfare and the good of society, so instead of looking for Lord Murugan elsewhere, he began worshipping him at home. This modest shrine was subsequently developed into the huge concept you see today, complete with several deities. If you go to the temple on one of the major festival days, you'll notice how popular Murugan is in this place.
15. Kolli Hills
The Kolli Hills, also called Kolli Malai, are a mountainous region in Tamil Nadu's Namakkal region renowned as the "Mountain of Death." Almost all of its natural beauty has been retained because it has been virtually undisturbed by commercial tourists.
The mountains are recognized not just for their natural scenery but also for their religious importance, thanks to the Arappaleshwar Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The summit is also reachable by car, albeit the route going up is treacherous and full of twists and turns. There are adventurous activities also which tourists can do at some places, which are:
1. Scuba Diving
In the summer, Chennai can get fairly hot, and avoiding the heat would be the first concern. Why not dive someplace off the coastline of Chennai in the Bay of Bengal? The best thing about Chennai is discovering a completely new world beneath the sea's surface while also cooling down.
The wonderful chance to dive into the pristine blue waters of the ocean and enjoy the enchanting life of the marine animals. Scuba diving is a breath-taking pastime that provides you with those much-needed underwater thrills. With its pure water and stunning underwater landscape, including historic shipwrecks and lush plant life, Covelong Beach is the ideal location for scuba diving in Chennai. The cost would be INR 6000 per person(approx.)
Consider it twice if you think Chennai is only known for its elegant temples and calm beaches. Parasailing is among the most adventurous sports in the world and is available in Chennai. This water sport, unlike many others, is not for the faint-hearted.
Parasailing allows you to soar above the waves with a properly strapped parachute attached to your back. As the forward-moving motor speed boat supplies the parachute with air, the participant may admire the turquoise blue sea. Local businesses provide parasailing activities on the Covelong and Marina beaches, and the fee is around INR 2000 per person (approx.)
Best Time to Visit Chennai
From March to early July, the weather is unsuitable for travellers in Chennai. The tropical environment of Chennai makes the summertime heat nearly intolerable. Going outside in the afternoon is not advised since it is hot and humid. It is also not a good idea to visit sites around Chennai during this time.
When the weather in Chennai cools down after the monsoon, it's the greatest time to organise your vacation. The weather is good between October and early February, making it a great time to see the finest tourist attractions in Chennai and arrange vacations to surrounding destinations like Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry.