Chennai Vacations - Travel to the enchanting city of Chennai and enjoy a walk on the breathtakingly beautiful Marina beach, visit some of the most amazing creations of man.
In 1639, the early English merchants of the East India Company acquired a piece of land on lease from the Vijaynagar King as a site of settlement. This piece of land was a fishing hamlet called Madraspatnam out of which has developed the modern city of Madras , renamed Chennai in the year 1996. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is the fourth largest city and the third most important port in India.
From tourism point of view, Chennai has a lot to offer to her visitors. From long sandy beaches to verdant green patches; from historic landmarks to high tech and high rise buildings- the city caters to the diverse interests of all her visitors alike. As compared to other metros, Chennai is far less polluted and congested and thereby promises her guests a more soothing and a relaxing holiday. Also Chennai presents a culture that is distinctly different from that of north India, be it music, dance or any other art form. A trip to Chennai, therefore, promises an unforgettable experience of life.
Major Tourist Attractions
Fort St George
When the early English merchants Francis Day and Andrew Cogon occupied Madraspatnam, they built a fort there and named it after the patron saint of England St. George. The fort is one of the most prominent structure in the city and houses the government secretariat today. The fort is also a house to the oldest Anglican church in India - St Marys church and a museum which is a repository of old British artifacts like weapons, uniforms, coins, costumes etc. The tombstones in the courtyard of the fort are the oldest British tombstones in India. A place with a historical perspective, this fort is worth visiting.
The Kapaleeswarar Temple
This eighth century Pallava temple stands testimony to the exceptional Dravidian sculpture and architecture. Located in Mylapore, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A shrine in the courtyard of the temple depicts Goddess Parvati in the form of a peacock worshipping Lord Shiva . It is from here that Mylapore draws its name-myil means peacock and oor means town. There are also bronze idols of sixty-three Saivites saints or the Nayanmars in the temple. During the Arupathumoovar festival, a festival dedicated to the Nayanmars, this temple becomes a centre of religious attraction.
The second longest beach in the world , the Marina Beach, charms innumerable visitors everyday. Tourists enjoy a leisurely walk at the beach and experiencea calmness amidst the roaring tides. The pride of Chennai has the Samadhis of two of the most popular former chief ministers of the state-C.N.Annadurai and M.G.Ramachandran other than numerous statues of Tamil scholars and Mahatma Gandhi. A visit to Marina beach is sure to be found on the agenda of all the tourists.
The Guindy National Park
A hunting preserve at one point of time, the Guindy National Park is the only national park in the world to be situated within the confines of a metropolis. The park is abode to multitudes of fauna, principal among which are the rare Indian antelope popularly known as Black Bucks and the Spotted Deer. Apart from this there are other endangered animals like White Bucks, Jungle Cat, Jackals, Common Mongoose etc. The park is also a home to amazing birds like KingFisher, Blue Jay , Golden Backed Woodpecker, Doves, Tailorbirds and many more. With its interesting variety of animals and birds, the Guindy National Park is one of the prime visiting spot for people who come to Chennai. A definite picnic spot is what can best describe the Guindy National Park.
A visit to chennai also calls for a visit to Valluvar Kottam-a memorial to the great Tamil saint and poet, Thiruvallavur. The memorial is shaped like a temple chariot and a life size statue of the poet has been installed in the chariot. The auditorium of the temple of Valluvar Kottam is supposedly largest in Asia.
Shopping in Chennai
Traditionally shopping in Chennai revolved round shopping for Kanjeevaram and silk sarees and skirts. However times have changed and shoppers now find not only traditional sarees but also modern brands like Allen Solly, Peter England, Van Huesen etc in the shops. Tourists can also shop for leather wear and accessories ranging from jackets, wallets, belts and bags. Traditional shops continue to coexist with big shopping malls and provide the shoppers a complete range of products.
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