Location: Southern India
Attractions :Fort St. George, St. Mary Church, Kapaleeshwara Temple, Marina Beach
Best Season :October - March
Excursions : Mamallapuram, Kaanchipuram
Getting there : Chennai is connected by rail to all
the major Indian cities. Regular flights are also available
from all the major airports across the world.
Founded in 1639 on land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the cities fortunes waxed and waned during the late 18th and early 19th century when British and French competed for the supremacy. It was occupied by the French for a brief period of time and then used by the Clive of India as a base for his military expeditions. During the 19th century it was the reputed as the seat of Madras presidency.
Places of interest
Fort St. George :
Built in 1653, the stunning Fort St. George reminds the past when British ruled India. The fort museum has a fascinating collection of memorabilia from the days of the East India Company and the British Raj and it also includes a separate "Clieve's Corner'. Other major attractions include the paintings of the Governors of this fort and other high officials of the British regime.
St. Mary Church :
Visit the first English Church in India, which was built in 1680. It was the venue of the marriage of Robert Clieve and houses many reminders of that occasion. Towards the North of the fort is the High Court compound, which is built, in Indo-Sarcenic architectural style. Within this compound stands the Lighthouse that was erected in 1844.
Kapaleeshwara Temple :
Pay your homage to Lord Shiva at this ancient temple with a typical Dravidian gopuram. It is one of the largest and oldest temples in India and has inscriptions that date back to 13th century AD. The walls and pillars of the temples are adorned with the paintings that depict scenes from Hindu mythology that makes it worth more than a brief visit.
Counted among one of the biggest beaches in the world, it is a perfect place to spend some time in peace and tranquility. The fascinating sights of sunshine and sunsets are sure to leave you spellbound. Visit the 'Aquarium' which has an exotic collection of tropical sea fishes and fresh water fishes. A visit to the 'Ice House' is something that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Explore Mamallapuram that is reputed world-over for its sculpture marvels dating back to the ancient time. The two aspired temples of Shiva and Vishnu are totally distinct from the other temples. In addition to this five chariots of the Pandavas are simply stunning and combine different architectural styles that were employed in their construction.
Reputed as one of the seven most holy cities for the Hindus, it has countless temples some of them dating back to the time immemorial. It is also a center for art and learning and offers some of the best weaved silk sarees in the world.