When you travel to Chennai, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Chennai, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Chennai to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Chennai things to do can include exploring Chennai attractions and visiting the places of interest.
A very popular monument and is dedicated to the famous Tamil poet of this region, Thiruvalluvar. He was also known as a philosopher saint in whose memory this monument was built in 1976. This monument is built in the shape of a temple chariot in which a life size statue of the poet is installed.
Visit Kalakshetra Foundation, which is located in the south Chennai. Established in 1936, it is one of the leading schools of classical Tamil Music and Dance. This is also famous for kanchipuram weaving, so this art can also be witnessed here. There are several artists who work with the kalamkari art of textile printing that is very popular. These traditional art styles can be witnessed first hand here only, which will in turn enrich your experience.
As per the 2001 Census of India, around 81% of the total population of this city is followers of Hinduism. This region has always been a Hinduism dominated area. However, with the advent of the Europeans and subsequently other communities, it has now turned into a multicultural city.
Besides Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Jainism are also persistent in this city. The temples of this city are one of its main attractions. One of the most famous is the Kapaleeshwarar Temple. It is situated in Mylapore which is in the outskirts of the city of Chennai. Mylapore is the traditional hub of the city which has a history dating several centuries back. This temple is believed to be built in the 7th Century by the then rulers of the Pallava Dynasty. Here, one of the major Gods of the Hindus, Shiva is revered along with his consort, Parvati. This temple is especially famous for its gateway tower known as gopuram. It is a 120ft. tall structure which is adorned by thousands of stucco figures. Open on all days of the week, the temple remains closed every for four hours from the noon.
Government Museum that was initially named as Egmore Museum was established in the year 1851. This is the second oldest museum in India, the first being the Indian Museum at Kolkata. Besides being one of the oldest museums, it is also one of the largest Museums in Asia. This museum premises comprises of six buildings and 46 galleries over an area of more than 16 acres. Apart from several types of exhibits ranging from numismatics to zoology, manuscripts and natural history, its archaeology sections is exemplary. Various bronze sculptures dating to several different periods are also worth watching. In the Madras Museum a Public Library was started in 1853 AD. It was opened to the public in June 1862 AD. The construction of the library and lecture hall began in December 1873 AD and completed in 1875 AD and formally opened by the Governor on March 16, 1876 AD. Captain Mitchell, Superintendent, was responsible for strengthening the library. He is regarded as the originator of the Connemara Public Library. This museum can be visited from Saturday to Thursday (9.30am to 5pm).
Chennai is a beautiful city that has several gardens. One of the best is the Theosophical Society, which is located near the coast and the Adyar River. Spread over 100 hectares, it is a striking retreat that has Buddhist shrines, temples and a church meant to be explored.
Chennai is one of the best places to visit along with your family and friends. For kids, there is a Kid’s Museum inside the complex of the Government Museum. Here, different kinds of dolls are at display dressed in different traditional attires across the globe. You can also visit the newly opened Semmozhi Poonga, a botanical garden of the city.
This semi circular building was originally built in 1842 to store imported ice. Later in 1897, this became the historic venue where Swami Vivekananda stayed and preached Hindu philosophy. Before visiting check out if it is open to visitors or not.
Chennai is located at the south–eastern coast of India. It is right on the thermal equator and therefore there is very less variation in the seasonal temperature.
Apart from a moderately hot summers and cool winters, it experiences monsoon that stays from October to December. Since it is situated on the shoreline facing the Bay of Bengal, it frequently experiences cyclones.
One of its natural heritages is Marina Beach that is known for its beauty and serenity. This 3 km stretch of coast offers to you the best sunrise and sunset views. Visit this amazing place and get lost in its charm.
Chennai has some of the oldest temples in the country, such as the Parthasarathy Temple, the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and the Ashtalakshmi Temple. All of these temples have very colourful facades with towering spires that are as intimidating as they are impressive.
Chennai although being a metropolitan city, has also held on to its rich traditional past. Here, as the people lead a modern life, the traditional aspects of their culture also find an equal importance in their day to day lives.
The Carnatic music of this region is one of the classical styles of music in India. The Bharatnatyam style of dancing which is native to this region is also the official dance of this state. Children from a very young age learn these traditional forms of music and dance and achieve proficiency at a very young age. These classical forms of art require sincere dedication and passion, which allows them to excel in it.
In every December, there is a five week long event being organized known as ‘Music Season’ where several performances are given by classical artists around the different venues of the city. It is one of the world's largest cultural events that attract thousands of visitors to this city every year.
Steeped in rich South-Indian culture, Chennai is a city that has a plethora of dimensions that one can explore, and regardless of where you go, the city has an old-world charm to it that refuses to be overshadowed.
It is the first English fortress in India. Built in 1644, it has been re-built several times over the centuries. This fort was the first settlement for the Britishers that subsequently became an important hub for trading activities as well. In the later years, many surrounding villages became a part of this settlement and in this way the city of Madras came into being. Now it houses the administrative headquarters for the legislative assembly of the state of Tamil Nadu. This fort is maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India, an Indian Government agency.
The St. Mary’s Church is located in the Fort St. George and is the oldest English church in India. Built in 1680, the graveyard is worth looking forward to.
Here at Chennai there are some protected forests and parks which can be explored by the adventure seeking tourists. Arignar Anna Zoological Park is a zoological park situated in the suburbs of the city. Spread over 602 acres of an area, it has around 1,500 wild species. Inside there are several safari parks and a walk through aviary which is this park’s main attraction. Also, the Guindy National Park is situated inside the city which can be visited by the tourists.
For people who want to relax, you will get plenty of beaches in Chennai. Beaches are ultimate solution for relaxation. The Marina Beach is known for its sandy beaches which are good for early morning strolls.
At first it is imperative to mention the name of Hotel Saravana Bhavan which has it presence throughout the city. Not only this, few outlets can also be found in London, Paris and New York. Their vegetarian thalis are famous which is served with filter coffee. The food here is absolutely delicious and reasonably priced. Annalakshmi and Kumarakom are the other options to try for some authentic south Indian cuisine.
For some north Indian varieties, visit Copper Chimney that offers to you an array of non-vegetarian tandoori dishes. Other than these, the popular restaurants like Mc Donald’s and KFC can also be found here.
Dosa is very popular dish, a crepe made from fermented rice paste. It can be a simple dosa or can also be a masala dosa which has a spiced mashed potato filing. Idiyappam is a rice noodle that is steamed and then consumed in various types of dishes.
For live traditional music, Music Academy and Bharati Vidya Bhavan are a good option. You can them before to know more about the show timings and ticket costs. At Geoffrey’s Pub, some live performances can be caught in this old British styled Pub.
For people who like going to bars, you will definitely not miss out on ‘Zara the Tapas Bar’. This bar is unique for its sports bar.
Here, in Chennai, you will find all the major brands and retail shops. Not only the domestic ones, but several international brands also have their retail showrooms here. For the best silk garments, Nalli Silks is the best possible store. Here, they offer all kinds of silk saris which are being made in this region. Some of the popular shopping malls of this city are Spencer Plaza, Chennai Citi Centre, Phoenix Market City, Ampa Skywalk, etc.
Chennai has always been the trading hub of this region. The T Nagar is the largest shopping district of the country. It has been estimated that it generates much more revenue than the Connaught Place of New Delhi or Linking Road of Mumbai.
Here, hundreds of gold selling stores account for the 80% of the total sale of gold in this city.