What to see in and around Chennai

Chennai which was known as Madras before, is the capital of Tamil Nadu on the east coast of South India. It is the cultural capital of South India and also the home for South Indian Movies.

Chennai city boasts of some lovely beaches and exotic south Indian food like piping hot idlis, crispy dosas, tangy tomato chutneys and spicy sambar. Foreign tourists can manage with English. Of late, tourist autos have been introduced by TTDC. These tourist friendly autos are very helpful for foreign tourists.

Visit Andaman from Chennai tour packages

The best way to visit Andaman and Nicobar islands is to take one of the many tours to Andaman islands starting from Chennai. Because Chennai is the closest port on Mianland India from Andamans, there are many Chennai to Andaman tour packages by ship and air. There are regular Chennai to Andaman flights and Chennai Andaman Cruise packages by passenger ships. Chennai is the best place to start your vactions to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Where to stay in Chennai, Good hotels in Chennai

There are many hotels in Chennai in different price ranges. To find a good hotel at good prices, you will need to use the services of one of the online specialist hotel reservation sites. One such site for hotels in Chennai is this well known Hotel Booking website.

Best places in Chennai to visit

These are some of the famous and best places in Chennai to visit

Marina Beach in Chennai

Popular beach among the longest stretch of beaches in the world. Can get very crowded with the local population during a holiday.

Kapaleeshwar Temple Chennai

The Kapaleeshwar Temple located in Mylapore in Chennai is a fine example of eight century Pallavan architecture and is the oldest temple in the city. This temple is in the centre of the crowded residential area of Mylapore.

St.Thomas Basilica Chennai

St. Thomas Basilica in Chennai Madras India

This Cathedral Basilica is in Mylapore and the body of St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus, is buried under the Alter. The Apostlecame to India by landing in Kerala in 52AD and converted many in Kerala to Christianity and then came to Mylapore in Chennai, for his Missionary work. He lived his last years in this region and was killed here in 73AD on a small hill known as St.Thomas Mount or 'Parangimalai'. The Cathedral was originally built in 1504 by the Portuguese over a smaller chapel which was there originally. It was rebuilt in 1890 with a 180 ft steeple. A small chapel near the Basilica, marks the spot where St. Thomas was martyred in 73AD.

Government Museum Chennai

The museum at Egmore has many ancient artifacts made of bronze and stone, the statues are preserved well. There are guides available in the museum who can talk about the history of the Kings and the relevance of these pieces. Government museum is located in the heart of the city at Egmore.

Dakshinachitra Chennai

Dakshinchitra, which means "picture of the South", was established in 1996 on a 10-acre plot in Muttukadu by Madras Craft Foundation (MCF). This unique Heritage Centre is located on the east coast road in Muttukadu on the way to Mahabalipuram. It gives an unforgettable insight into the lifestyles of the diverse peoples of South India in the ages gone by. Traditional craftspersons and folk artists work and perform in the make believe period settings of 19th century streets, homes and workshop-spaces.

Fort St George in Chennai

Fort St. George is the first British fortress in India and was founded in 1639 by the British East India Company. The fort is believed to be the first establishment of the British in India. St. Mary's Church, situated in the fort, is one of the oldest surviving churches built by the British in India. The fort museum showcases a host of artifacts such as coins, medals, paintings, letters, etc, belonging to the colonial period.

Places of interest near Chennai

These are some of the best places to visit which are near to Chennai and most of these places can be visited with a one day trip from Chennai

Madurai near Chennai

Madurai Meenakshi Temple in Madurai near Chennai has some very esquisite carvings

Madurai City near Chennai is famous for its Meenakshi Temple. In 2009, this temple was selected as one of the Seven Wonders of India by NDTV, the popular Indian TV channel. The image of the main tower of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple is shown here. The other famous temple in Madurai is Madurai Veeran temple near Chennai.

Kanchipuram near Chennai

Kanchipuram City is near Chennai only 64 Kilometers from Chennai, and is famous as a city of a 1000 Temples. The Kailasanatha Temple at Kanchipuram near Chennai is the first temple dedicated to Shiva and was built in the 7th and 8th century and has rare paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram silk sarees are world famous and some of the most expensive sarees available.

Tiruchirappalli or Trichy near Chennai

Tiruchirappalli or Trichy near Chennai has as its most famous landmark, The Trichy Rockfort Temple which sits on top of a huge rock. The city also has the Srirangam Vaishnavite Temple, the biggest functioning Hindu Temple in the world.

Mahabalipuram near Chennai

Mahabalipuram near chennai is  a famous tourist spot and a UNESCO world heritage site

Mamallapuram was the original name for Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram was declared a Unesco World heritage site in 1984, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/249 described thus on their site “ was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas(temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.” Being only 60 Kilometers from Chennai, the easiest way to visit is by taking one of the many luxury bus tours with an English speaking guide included.

Velankanni Church Wiki

Velankanni, or Vailankanni the official spelling, is 350 kilometers from Chennai and is a famous Catholic pilgrimage centre in India. The church ‘Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health’ is known worldwide as having miraculous health curing powers and is a pilgrimage centre in India, like Lourdes is in France. Veilankanni is 350 kilometers from Chennai and 12 kilometers south of Nagapattinam, the nearest railway station for Vailankanni.

The Velankanni Church was built around the 16th century because of some Miracles which took place on the land where the Church stands. Three miracles are attributed for building the Church, one; Mother Mary's apparition to a shepherd boy, two; the miraculous cure of a lame man and three; the saving of a Portuguese ship in a hurricane at sea. The Velankanny Church was made a Basilica by Pope John XXIII in 1962. About 20 million people come to visit the church every year from all over the world. The feast of the Velankanny church is on 8th September, but celeberations start from 29 August to 8 September.

A tragedy happened at the Velankanny Church when the disastrous Tsunami of 2004 hit the Church, while mass was going on in the morning on the Sunday after Christmas, 28 December, 2004. "We are still pulling out bodies from the beach. It would have been celebration at this time of the year in our church. But sadly, our shrine has suddenly turned out to be a burial ground," said Father P Xavier, rector of the shrine after the incident. After this calamity in Velankanny, A picutre of the Holy Shroud of Turin, believed by millions to be a miraculous picture which Jesus left on his burial cloth, is prominently displayed in the Church over the miraculous statue of Our Lady in Velankanny. For more about the Shroud of Turin visit www.PhotoofJesus.com

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