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Top 10 Best Tourist Places in Chennai

1.Marina Beach

Top 10 Best Tourist Places in Chennai
The Marina, also known as Marina Beach, is a natural urban shoreline situated in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, stretching along the Bay of Bengal. Extending approximately 6.0 kilometers (3.7 miles) from near Fort St. George in the north to Foreshore Estate in the south, it holds the distinction of being the second longest urban beach globally, surpassed only by Cox’s Bazar Beach. Renowned as a prominent landmark in Chennai, the Marina stands as an iconic feature of the cityscape.
The Marina is predominantly a sandy shoreline, measuring an average width of 300 meters (980 feet), with its widest stretch extending to 437 meters (1,434 feet). Despite its popularity, bathing and swimming are strictly prohibited due to the hazardous undercurrents. Renowned as one of the busiest beaches nationwide, it draws approximately 30,000 visitors on weekdays and escalates to 50,000 during weekends and holidays. Throughout the summer season, the beach sees a daily influx of 15,000 to 20,000 individuals.

2. Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam, situated at the convergence of Kodambakkam High Road and Village Road in the Nungambakkam neighborhood of Chennai, stands as a monumental tribute to the esteemed Tamil poet and philosopher, Valluvar. Formerly the site of Nungambakkam Lake, this significant cultural center now graces Chennai as its largest Tamil cultural hub.
The vision and execution of Valluvar Kottam were spearheaded by the esteemed Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi, during the 1970s. Designed by the renowned South Indian traditional architect, V. Ganapati Sthapati, who is also acclaimed for his masterpiece, the Thiruvalluvar Statue in Kanyakumari, the monument reflects exquisite craftsmanship and cultural significance.In April 1976, the inauguration of Valluvar Kottam was marked by the esteemed presence of the then President of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, further solidifying its status as a symbol of reverence and cultural pride.

3. Thousand Lights Mosque

Thousand Lights is a multi-domed mosque in Anna Salai in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, is one of the largest mosques in the country and is a revered place of worship and azadari for Shia Muslims in the city.
The mosque was built in 1810 by Arcot Nawab Umdat ul-Umara.It was constructed in medieval architecture.The site of the mosque was previously occupied by an assembly hall. There was a tradition of lighting thousand oil lamps to illuminate the assembly hall. The mosque thus gets its name from this tradition.The chief Shia Qazi of Chennai functions from the mosque, and the post has been continuously held by the same family

4. Elliot’s Beach

Elliot’s Beach, also known as Besant Nagar Beach or Bessie, is a picturesque urban beach nestled in the Besant Nagar neighborhood of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Positioned adjacent to the southern tip of the iconic Marina Beach, it derives its name from Edward Elliot, a prominent figure who served as chief magistrate and superintendent of police during the colonial era in Madras Presidency.
Today, Elliot’s Beach stands as a vibrant symbol of Chennai’s cultural landscape, drawing crowds of visitors daily. It boasts notable landmarks such as the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Health, also referred to as Annai Vailankanni Church, situated along its shoreline, and the nearby Ashtalakshmi Temple. While historically exclusive during colonial times, Elliot’s Beach now welcomes people of all backgrounds. The Kaj Schmidt Memorial, located on the beach, serves as a poignant reminder of its cultural significance.

5. Dakshinachitra

DakshinaChitra, situated 25 kilometers south of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, is a vibrant living-history museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating South Indian heritage and culture. Established by the Madras Craft Foundation (MCF) in 1996 and opened to the public on December 14th of that year, DakshinaChitra stands as a testament to the rich cultural tapestry of the region. Founded in 1984, the Madras Craft Foundation, helmed by Deborah Thiagarajan, an Indian art historian of American descent, manages the museum with a commitment to showcasing the diverse traditions and crafts of South India.
DakshinaChitra, conceived as a heritage village, offers a rich tapestry of displays and authentically relocated dwellings that vividly depict the cultural tapestry of southern India. Through its exhibits, visitors can immerse themselves in the architecture, art, folk performing arts, and crafts that define the traditions of the region. Our facilities cater to diverse interests, featuring a dedicated research unit, a vibrant crafts bazaar showcasing local artisans’ works, a playground for recreation, a serene area for religious gatherings, a stone workshop for artisans, and souvenir kiosks where visitors can take home a piece of their experience.

6. Ashtalakshmi Temple

The Ashtalakshmi Kovil is a Hindu temple located near Elliot’s Beach in Chennai, India. Dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi and her eight primary forms known as the Ashtalakshmi, this temple is revered as the bestower of various forms of wealth including offspring, success, prosperity, wealth, courage, bravery, food, and knowledge. The shrine is designed with multiple tiers, allowing visitors to access all the sanctums without crossing over any of them.
The construction of the temple was initiated based on the wishes of Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal of Kanchi Mutt, with Sri Mukkur Srinivasa Varadhachariar playing a crucial role in fulfilling these wishes. Public participation was instrumental in laying the foundation of the temple in January 1974. The consecration ceremony took place on 5 April 1976, graced by the presence of the 44th guru of the Ahobila Mutt, Vedhantha Dhesika Yatheendhra Mahadhesikan Swami.

7. Government Museum

Located in the Government Museum Complex within the Egmore neighborhood of Chennai, India, the Government Museum, also known as the Madras Museum, stands as a testament to human history and culture. Established in 1851, it proudly holds the distinction of being India’s second oldest museum, following the Indian Museum in Kolkata. Renowned for its extensive archaeological and numismatic collections, it boasts the largest array of Roman antiquities outside of Europe.
An architectural marvel within the complex is the monumental Museum Theatre, leaving visitors in awe with its grandeur. Additionally, the National Art Gallery, constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style, graces the museum grounds. Inside, it hosts a remarkable array of rare European and Asian paintings by esteemed artists, including the celebrated works of Raja Ravi Varma.

8. Mylapore

Located in the heart of Chennai, India, Mylapore stands as one of the city’s most ancient residential areas. Renowned for its historical significance, it is believed to be the birthplace of esteemed Tamil philosopher Valluvar and the revered Hindu saint and philosopher, Peyalvar.
Mylapore, renowned for its verdant tree-lined avenues, iconic Kapaleeshwarar Temple, vibrant Katcheri seasons, and the serene Ramakrishna Matha, boasts a rich cultural and religious tapestry. Within its bounds lies the revered St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, Chennai, purportedly enshrining the tomb of Thomas the Apostle. This historic district encapsulates a blend of spirituality, tradition, and natural beauty, making it a cherished destination in Chennai, India.

9. Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park, spanning 2.70 square kilometers, stands as a protected enclave within Tamil Nadu, nestled amidst the bustling city of Chennai, India. Remarkably, it ranks as the 8th smallest national park in the country and holds the distinction of being one of the rare few situated within an urban landscape. Originally an extension of the grounds surrounding Raj Bhavan, previously referred to as the ‘Guindy Lodge’, the official residence of the Governor of Tamil Nadu, it now flourishes as a haven of natural beauty. Within its boundaries lie lush forests, expansive scrublands, serene lakes, and meandering streams, offering a tranquil escape amidst the urban hustle and bustle.
Located within the sprawling grounds of Children’s Park/Guindy National Park in Chennai, this sanctuary serves a dual purpose in conserving wildlife both within and outside its boundaries. Within its expanse roam freely 400 blackbucks, 2,000 spotted deer, 24 jackals, along with a diverse array of reptiles such as snakes, geckos, and tortoises, complemented by over 130 avian species, 14 mammals, and an extensive spectrum of butterflies, spiders, and invertebrates including grasshoppers, ants, and termites.

10. Sri Parthasarathy Temple

Top 10 Best Tourist Places in Chennai
The Parthasarathy Temple, situated in the Thiruvallikeni neighborhood of Chennai, India, is a renowned 6th-century Hindu Vaishnavite temple devoted to Vishnu. It holds significant reverence in the Naalayira Divya Prabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature compiled by the Alvar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries CE. Among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu, this temple stands as a distinguished abode. The name ‘Parthasarathy’ signifies ‘the charioteer of Arjuna,’ symbolizing Krishna’s pivotal role as Arjuna’s charioteer in the epic Mahabharata.
Constructed during the 6th century under the patronage of King Narasimhavarman I of the Pallava dynasty, this ancient temple in Chennai stands as a testament to timeless devotion. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it showcases exquisite icons portraying five significant forms: Yoga Narasimha, Rama, Gajendra Varadaraja, Ranganatha, and Krishna as Parthasarathy.Within its sacred precincts, devotees find solace in the presence of various shrines honoring deities such as Vedavalli Thayar, Ranganatha, Rama, Gajendra Varadar, Narasimha, Andal, Hanuman, Alvars, Ramanuja, Swami Manavala Mamunigal, and Vedanthachariar. Adhering to the Vaikhanasa agama and upholding the Tenkalai tradition, the temple stands as a beacon of spiritual practice.

11.Kapaleeswarar Temple

The Kapaleeshwarar Temple stands proudly in Mylapore, Chennai, within the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Dating back to the 7th century CE, this Hindu temple is a splendid showcase of South Indian Architecture. Legend has it that Parvati, in her devotion to Shiva, worshipped him in the guise of a peahen, hence christening the area as Mylai.
Within the temple, Shiva is venerated as Kapaleeshwarar, embodied by the lingam, while Parvati is adored as Karpagambal. Their reverence echoes through the ages, enshrined in the Tevaram, a 7th-century Tamil Shaiva scripture penned by revered saints known as the Nayanars. This sacred site finds its place among the esteemed Paadal Petra Sthalams, glorifying the divine bond between the celestial couple and their devotees.

12. Connemara Public Library

The Connemara Public Library, situated in Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, holds a distinguished status as one of the nation’s four National Depository Libraries. Since its inception in 1896, it has been entrusted with the responsibility of archiving every book, newspaper, and periodical published in India. Over the decades, it has amassed a treasure trove of century-old publications, housing revered works and collections pivotal to the nation’s history. Additionally, the library proudly serves as a depository for the United Nations. Conveniently located within the Government Museum Complex on Pantheon Road, Egmore, it shares its space with the Government Museum and the National Art Gallery.

13.Royapuram Fishing Harbour

Royapuram fishing harbour, also known as Chennai fishing harbour or Kasimedu fishing harbour, is one of the major fishing grounds for catching fishes and crustaceans located at Kasimedu in the Royapuram area of Chennai, India. The harbour is located north of the Chennai Port and is under the administrative control of the Chennai Port Trust. The harbour is also a shipbuilding facility, chiefly building fishing boats. The nearest railway station is the Royapuram Railway Station.The harbour area is primarily a fisherman community area migrated from Chepauk village in 1799 during the rule of the East India Company. The harbour was constructed in 1975.[2] The fishing harbour is functioning from 1984. It suffered an extensive damage during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

14. Semmozhi Poonga

Semmozhi Poonga, also known as Semmoli Poonga, which translates to “Classical Language Park,” stands as a botanical haven in Chennai. It was collaboratively established by the Horticulture and Agricultural Engineering department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Unveiled on November 24, 2010, by the then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, it proudly holds the distinction of being the city’s inaugural botanical garden.
Situated at the junction of Cathedral Road and Anna Salai, directly opposite the American Consulate, the garden occupies the former grounds of the Drive-in Woodlands Hotel. Spanning an impressive 20 acres (equivalent to 320 grounds), its creation required an investment of ₹80 million. The park boasts a diverse array of flora, with over 500 plant species meticulously nurtured within its borders. Additionally, it is home to 80 majestic trees, some of which have graced the landscape for over a century.

15. Marundeeswarar Temple

Marundeeswarar Temple, situated in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai along the picturesque Bay of Bengal coastline, is a revered Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. This sacred site holds significant historical and spiritual importance, being counted among the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams. During the 7th century CE, two esteemed Nayanars, Appar and Tirugnana Sambandar, graced the temple with their devotional hymns.
Originally established during ancient times, the temple underwent substantial expansions under the patronage of the illustrious Chola kings in the 11th century CE. With two majestic seven-tiered gateway towers and a vast tank, the temple complex spans over an acre of land. Marundeeswarar Temple holds a special place as a center for healing worship, attracting devotees seeking solace from various ailments. The temple conducts six daily rituals, commencing from 5:30 a.m. till 10 p.m., and hosts twelve grand festivals annually, enriching the spiritual tapestry of the region.

16. MGR Film City

Situated in Taramani, Chennai, the MGR Film City stands as an integrated film studio complex, established in 1994 with the primary aim of captivating filmmakers and tourists alike. Originally christened the JJ Film City by the AIADMK government, paying homage to the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MG Ramachandran. However, with the DMK returning to power in 1996, the complex was rebranded as the MGR Film City, in honor of the iconic actor and late Chief Minister, M. G. Ramachandran.
Within its sprawling expanse, the MGR Film City hosts the esteemed MGR Film and Television Institute, nurturing budding talents in the realm of cinema. Notably, the complex boasts an array of meticulously crafted sets, showcasing diverse themes such as Mughal and Japanese, which have garnered significant acclaim. Over the years, the MGR Film City has served as the backdrop for numerous cinematic endeavors, including notable productions like “Avvai Shanmughi,” “Mudhalvan,” “Hey Ram,” and even witnessed the grand inauguration ceremony of the ambitious project, Marudhanayagam, before its shelving.

17. Santhome Cathedral Basilica

The San Thome Church, also known as the St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica and the National Shrine of Saint Thomas, stands as a significant minor basilica within the Catholic Church in India, situated in the Santhome neighborhood of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Its current edifice traces back to 1523 AD, when it was reconstructed by the Portuguese atop what they believed to be the resting place of Thomas the Apostle.

In 1896, the structure underwent renovations in the Madras province, following the neo-Gothic architectural style favored by British designers of the late 19th century. In 1521, prompted by local tradition and historical accounts, Portuguese missionaries from Goa and Bombay-Bassein ventured to Madras, now known as Chennai, with the mission to locate the tomb of Thomas the Apostle. Thomas, believed to have journeyed to South Asia to preach the Gospel and disseminate the teachings of Jesus Christ, became a pivotal figure in the region’s religious history.

18. Arignar Anna Zoological Park

The Arignar Anna Zoological Park, commonly known as the Vandalur Zoo, sits southwest of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, approximately 31 kilometers from Chennai Central and 15 kilometers from Chennai Airport. Established in 1855, it holds the distinction of being India’s first public zoo and is under the oversight of the Central Zoo Authority of India.
Encompassing an expansive area of 602 hectares, which includes a 92.45-hectare rescue and rehabilitation center, the zoo is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna spread across 1,265 acres. By 2012, the park boasted housing around 1,500 wild species, with 46 of them categorized as endangered, housed within its 160 enclosures. The zoo’s inhabitants include approximately 47 species of mammals, 63 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 28 species of fishes, and 10 species of insects, as of 2010.

19. VGP Golden Beach

Chennai, the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, beckons visitors with its rich historical landmarks, stunning architecture, expansive sandy beaches, vibrant cultural centers, and lush parks. Its tourism landscape boasts numerous captivating destinations for travelers to explore. Notably, Mahabalipuram, a nearby town renowned for its ancient temples and intricate rock carvings dating back to the 7th century Pallava kingdom, holds UNESCO World Heritage status, making it a must-visit site for history enthusiasts.
Chennai has consistently attracted a high number of foreign tourists, surpassing major cities like New Delhi and Mumbai from 2010 to 2012. This influx is attributed to the allure of heritage sites in Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram, as well as the city’s reputation as a hub for medical tourism, drawing visitors from around the globe.

20. Vivekananda House

Originally constructed in 1842 by Frederic Tudor, Vivekanandar Illam, previously known as Ice House or Castle Kernan, stands as a testament to Chennai’s historical heritage. Situated facing the Bay of Bengal, this edifice was initially built as a storage facility for ice. However, by 1880, the ice business faltered, leading to the sale of the building to Biligiri Iyengar, an esteemed advocate in the Madras High Court. Iyengar, in turn, revamped the structure, renaming it Castle Kernan in honor of his friend and colleague from the judiciary.
The significance of the building elevated when Swami Vivekananda, the revered Indian saint, graced its halls during his visit to Madras in 1897. From February 6th to 14th of that year, Vivekananda found lodging within its walls. Subsequently, the premises became affiliated with the Ramakrishna Math from 1897 to 1906. Today, Vivekanandar Illam is under the stewardship of the Ramakrishna Math and serves as a repository of Vivekananda’s legacy. Housing an exhibition chronicling the life and teachings of the saint, the building continues to be a focal point for spiritual seekers and admirers of Vivekananda’s philosophy.