Guest Author - Preena Deepak
Chennai (formerly Madras) has much to offer tourists and visitors. A city that is always seeing change and improvement, Chennai showcases ancient monuments like the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram as well as posh multiplexes. Here is a selection of 10 must do things and must see places without which a trip to Chennai loses its flavor.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the group of monuments present in Mahabalipuram, on the outskirts of Chennai offer an interesting Historical retreat for visitors. Must see places here include the Shore Temple, Tiger Cave, the Butter Ball, Pancha Rathas, the lighthouse as well as the Mahabalipuram beach.
A coastal city, Chennai has no dearth for beaches and sea resorts. The Marina Beach in Chennai is one of the longest beaches in India. Some of the other beaches to visit are Elliots beach and Kovalam.
The one stop point to get acquainted with the art heritage of India is DakshinaChitra. Located on the East Coast Road and on the way to Mahabalipuram, DakshinaChitra is an effort to keep age old Indian art and craft traditions alive. For more details on getting to DakshinaChitra click on the link below.
Amusement parks have popped up across Chennai and are an enjoyable option especially for families with young children. Some of the popular amusement parks of Chennai are MGM Dizzee World, Kishkinta, Queensland and VGP Universal Kingdom among others.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park/ Guindy Park/Crocodile Bank/Snake Park
Chennai offers a special treat to nature and animal lovers. The Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) is one of the biggest wildlife sanctuaries, housing animals from several parts of the country as well as the world. Here’s a link to the AAZP for more information.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
The Guindy National Park is another sanctuary for wild animals located right within the city. One of the smallest parks in the country, the Guindy park houses a good number of animals.
Chennai Snake Park is home to different kinds of snakes and makes an interesting visit to all.
The Crocodile Bank is a reptile zoo that was established to safeguard three endangered species of crocodiles – the mugger crocodile, the saltwater crocodile and the gharial.
Malls, restaurants and multiplex complexes are constantly springing up in the Chennai. The best of Indian, Chinese and Western food can be easily procured with no hassels.
Shopping @ T. Nagar
Shopping in Chennai cannot be complete without a peep into the crowded lanes of T. Nagar. The mad rush in narrow roads, the chaotic traffic, the exorbitant prices and endless bargaining form the heart and soul of shopping in T.Nagar.
The Government Museum Chennai and the museum at Fort St. George have served their purpose in preserving the History, art and culture of the country. Here are details on visiting these museums.
Government Museum Chennai
Fort St. George Museum, Chennai
Right next to the Government Museum Chennai is the Connemara Public Library. For more details, click on the link below.
Connemara Public Library
The Anna Centenary Library (ACL) is one of the largest state run public libraries in South Asia and is located in Kotturpuram, Chennai.
Boating at Muttukadu/Pulicat Lake
Facilities for boating are available at Muttukadu lake as well as Pulicat lake. These are popular tourist attractions in Chennai, well worth visiting.
As in any other Indian destination, Chennai has its own share of ancient and interesting houses of worship. Be it Churches, Temples, Shrines or Mosques, Chennai abounds in religious sanctuaries and is open for visitors. However it is advisable to respect the sanctity of such establishments and not resort to careless behavior while visiting houses of worship.