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CHENNAI                                        General Information of Chennai

Chennai (formerly known as Madras), the largest city in South India and the fourth largest city in the country, is located on what is popularly called the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is really a lot more than the Gateway to South India. The varied aspects of traditional South Indian culture existing alongside the lifestyle of a modern city complete with its plush hotels, restaurants offering a range of continental to typical South Indian cuisine, long and uncrowded stretches of beaches, modern shopping malls, cinema halls. While moving around in the city one cannot overlook the obvious british influence which is so evident in the various cathedrals, buildings in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, wide tree lined avenues… the undeniable English legacy but Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil Hindu culture

Attractions In & Around
ANNA SQUARE B.M. BIRLA PLANETARIUM
BIG MOSQUE CHILDREN'S PARK
CHENNAI MUSEUM CROCODILE BANK
DASH 'N' SPLASH DEV CENTRE FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
ELLIOT'S BEACH FILM CITY
FISHERMAN'S COVE FORT ST. GEORGE
GOVERNMENT MUSEUM GUINDY NATIONAL PARK
GURUDWARA HIGH COURT BUILDING
ICE HOUSE JAIN TEMPLE
KISHKINTA KALAKSHETRA
KAPALEESWARAR TEMPLE LITTLE FOLKS
MADRAS UNIVERSITY MARINA BEACH
MGR MEMORIAL NATIONAL ART GALLARY AND MUSEUM
PARTHASARATHY TEMPLE PRIME TIME
RAJIV GANDHI MEMORIAL RIPON BUILDING
SAN THOME BASILICA SNAKE PARK
ST. MARY'S CHURCH ST.THOMAS MOUNT
THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY THOUSAND LIGHTS MOSQUE
VALLUVAR KOTTAM VEDANTHANGAL BIRD SANCTUARY
VELANKANNI CHURCH VGP GOLDEN BEACH
VICTORY WAR MEMORIAL
ANNA SQUARE

Anna Square which is at the northern end of the Marina Beach. It is located in the centre of a beautiful park, the entrance to which is a spectacular contemporary-style arch in the shape of twin converging elephant tusks. Here the mortal remains of Dr. C.N. Annadurai, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was buried.

B.M. BIRLA PLANETARIUM

B.M. Birla Planetarium located at Kottur in Chennai, houses a modern fully computerised projector which depicts the heaven on a hemisperical dome. The planetarium presents to the visiting public and students audio-visual programmes on various themes in astronomy.

BIG MOSQUE

This mosque is definitely one of the most attractive ones in South. It was built in 1795 of grey granite rather than wood of steel

CHILDREN'S PARK
Children Park is on Sardar Patel Road, the main attractions of the Park are the elephant and pony rides

CHENNAI MUSEUM

The Chennai Museum established in the year 1857, is undoubtedly one of the country's best museums. It has sections devoted to geology, archeology, anthropology, numistics, botony, zoology and sculpture besides which there is a good collection of arms and armour as well as several other specimens of anthropological interest. Museum exhibits from the Stone and Iron ages, exquisite carvings and a fairly large collection of South Indian musical instruments and jewellery

CROCODILE BANK

On the way to Mahabalipuram at 42 km point from Chennai is the Crocodile Bank. This is a farm where several species of Indian and African Crocodiles and alligators are bred in' captivity

DASH 'N' SPLASH

South India's exclusive water park Dash ‘n’ Splash, 30 Kms from Central Station has wave spiral and free fall slides and flumes from height of 12ft to 35ft

DEV CENTRE FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

An exquisite collection of ancient and modern musical instruments, both original and prototype can be found here

ELLIOT'S BEACH

This beach is comparatively quieter and an ideal place to go sea bathing, ideal for sunset strolls. It is located near Besant Nagar. The road down south from Marina leads to the alluringElliot’s beach. The shore is an enjoyable stretch for fun and leisure and is frequented during the sweltering summer months. The Astalakshmi temple and Velankani Church are revered spots of faith on the shores.

FILM CITY

Here several sets of artificial sceneries like forest, water fall, market place etc., are built here to serve as background for the shooting of films. This is a specially designed to serve the film industry

FISHERMAN'S COVE

A picturesque fishing village en route to Mamallapuram, Fisherman's Cove has an idyllic golden beach and a charming luxury hotel beach resort that has been integrated with the remains of the fort built by Nawab of Carnatic. The resort offers delicious sea food and facilities for swimming and windsurfing

FORT ST. GEORGE

Fort St. George originally was built by the British East India Company in 1653. It was one of the first bastions of British Power in India. Fort St. George's towering flagstaff is, even today, the tallest in India. Fort marks the beginning of Madras as a modern city. Today the fort is used by the state legislative assembly and as the secretarial offices of the Tamil Nadu government

GOVERNMENT MUSEUM

This Government Museum is loacted on Pantheon Rd, between Egmore and Anna Salai, It is a grand repository of ancient historical treasures. The buildings originally belonged to a group of eminent British citizens, known as the pantheon Committee, in charge of improving the social life of the British in Madras

GUINDY NATIONAL PARK

Guindy National Park with rare species of the Indian antelope (black buck), along with spotted deer, mongoose, civet cats, jackals and a variety of monkeys provides some excitement

GURUDWARA
Sri Guru Nanak Sat Sangh Sabha at T.Nagar is a placeof remarkable serenity and traquility
HIGH COURT BUILDING

The High court building was built in 1892, it is built in red Indo-Saracenic design at Parry’s Corner is the main landmark in George Town. It is said to be the largest judicial building in the world after the Courts of London

ICE HOUSE

Ice house, this relic of the Raj era was used to store enormous blocks of ice cut from the Great Lakes in the northern USA and shipped to India for refrigeration purposes

JAIN TEMPLE
Jain temple is two-tiered,70' high temple is built of lime-and- soapstone and marble giving it a dazzling appearance
KISHKINTA
Offers among other amusuments hi-tech ones like space shuttle, wave pool, white water, flume ride, Kiddies Kingdom
KALAKSHETRA

A renowed school for learning arts and crafts, Kalakshetra was founded in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale. A section of the institute is famed for its sarees and textiles woven in traditional patterns. The students and their teachers live within the campus so as to have a truly rewarding experience. It is devoted to the revival of traditional dance, textile designing, and weaving which are taught in naturally harmonious environs. Visitors may fix an appointment with the concerned authorities prior to the visit.

KAPALEESWARAR TEMPLE

An exquisite depiction of Dravidian architecture is Kapaleeswarar temple. This 8th centuryPallava temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated in the traditional part of Madras at Mylapore. It is believed that Parvati in the from of peacock worshipped Lord Shiva at this spot. This ancient Shiva temple is a delightful introduction to Dravidian temple sculpture and architecture. The magnificent 37 m tall gopuram is profusely carved. The crowded cosmogeny of stucco gods, goddesses and saints depict important Puranic legends. The Punnai tree in the temple courtyard is one of oldest trees in Chennai and shades a small shrine depicting the legend that gave Mylapore its name. Parvati is worshipped in this temple as Karpagambal. The Kapaleeswarar temple is famous for being the site of a miracle when Saint Gnanasambandar sang to resurrect a dead girl. This miracle is sculpturally represented in the shrine of the saint in front of the temple flagmast.

LITTLE FOLKS
A great amusement complex for children. Has a Giant-Piano. Toy Train, Rainbow Fountain,Slide-into-pool, Cartoon show & Paddle-Pool. It is 46 Kms towards Mahabalipuram.
MADRAS UNIVERSITY
Madras University is just opposite to Anna Square. Its ground and buildings are examples of the Indo-lslamic style of architecture
MARINA BEACH
Marina which extends for 13 km is the pride of Madras. The City's Marina Beach, bordered by gardens, lies just to the South of the War Memorial. It is claimed to be the second largest in the world
MGR MEMORIAL
MGR MEMORIAL where M.G.Ramachandran, former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu was buried. Located on the Marina Beach adjacent to Anna Square
NATIONAL ART GALLARY AND MUSEUM

Chennai National Art Gallery was originally intended to be a memorial to queen Victoria. An impressive certal dome flanked a series of smaller domes supported by pillars on each side. After independence, it became an art Gallery in 1951. It was established in 1857, the museum can justify its claim to being one of India's best. It houses various sections on geology, archaeology, numismatics, anthropology, botany and zoology. There is also a fine collection of sculpture and armoury in the museum. It is open on all days except Fridays from 8 am to 5 pm.

PARTHASARATHY TEMPLE

Sri Prthasarathy Temple located at Triplicane High Road. This Hindu Temple, devoted to Lord Krishna, was built in the 8th Century by Pallava King. Enshrined here is Lord Krishna an incarnation of Vishnu. It houses the idols of the five avataras of Sri Vishnu and has a small temple shrine dedicated to Vishnu's consort called Vedavalli Ammai in this part of the country

PRIME TIME
Annanagar, Extravagant indoor amusement park, especially for children packed with bumper carrides,play pens and all sorts of new games
RAJIV GANDHI MEMORIAL
Place were Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. Also the birth place of Sri Ramanujar, the Vaishnavite saint
RIPON BUILDING

A palatial white building west to the central station, "Ripon Building", housing the oldest city corporation in India. The Chennai Corporation, the first in India, was created in 1687 by a Royal Charter of James II. The building which was constructed in 1913, was named after Lord Ripon, a former Governor General of India


SAN THOME BASILICA

It is located at the Southern end of Marina Beach is the one of Chennai's historic landmarks, the SanThome Cathedral. It is named after the apostle of Chirst, St. Thomas. San Thome Cathedras of today is dominated by a towering neo gothic spire which is 55 metres high.Close to the seashore, the impressive Basilica is built over the tomb of St.Thomas which contains in it's crypt a small hand bone of the Apostle and the head of a lance which is said to have been used in the attack on him

SNAKE PARK
The famous Snake Park. Adjacent Childrens' park is the interesting park. The snake park houses a vast variety of reptiles, ranging from the dark deadley 'King Cobra' 'Banded' Krait' to puff adders', vipers, pythons and allegators. The snake park will interest visitors of all ages
ST. MARY'S CHURCH

St Mary’s Church was originally about 60'*90', had outer walls 4' thick and a bombproof curved roof. It is the oldest Anglican church in Asia built in 1680 AD is the St. Mary’s Church that conjures up images of the British era. Names of bygone Englishmen are engraved on the pillars. The tombstones in the courtyard are in fact the oldest British monuments in the country. The church continues to be an important place of worship

ST.THOMAS MOUNT

It is situated near the Airport, the small hillock is believed to be the place where the apostle was killed by his assassins. A place of pilgrimage, St.Thomas Mount is located near meenambakkam. The paintings of "The Holy Lady and The Child" in the church and "Our Lady of Expectations" are widely believed to have been painted by St.Thomas himself

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY

The world Headquarters of the spiritual society Founded by Col. Olcott and Madame Blavatsky in New York, USA. In 1886 Adayar was chosen as the headquarters of this spiritual movement, headquarters was shifted to Adyar, Madras. It is lying on the banks of the Adyar river is the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society known for its Indological Research Centre. The famous library here is a priceless storehouse of rare manuscripts and books of all faiths. It is more than 120 hectares of gardens


THOUSAND LIGHTS MOSQUE
Built in mid-1800's in the land donated by Nawab Wallajah, this mosque last rebuilt in 1981, hastwo 64' tall minarets. The mosque also houses a library, a urial ground and a guest houses.

VALLUVAR KOTTAM

Valluvar Kottam, shaped like a temple chariot is a memorial to the Tamil Saint Tiruvalluvar. The immense stone structure at Nungambakkam built in 1976 has alife-like statue of the saint. A life size statue of Thiruvalluvar is seen in the shrine. It is located at the junction of Kodampakkam High Road and Valluvar Kottam Road.The auditorium attached to this complex is one of the largest in Asia


VEDANTHANGAL BIRD SANCTUARY

Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is the 85 Kms south of madras which is one of the major ones inindia. Every year during the rainy season an average of 1,00,000 birds come here.


VELANKANNI CHURCH
This church is in honour of Our Lady of Health,the Madonna of Velankanni

VGP GOLDEN BEACH

A popular beach resort and amusement park filled with children's games, is 30 Kms from Madras


VICTORY WAR MEMORIAL

Victory War Memorial which housed the coastal battery and was formerly called 'Cupid's Bow the Memorial honours those who have laid down their lives for their country since the First World War. It is adjacent to the Fort St. George.


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Getting in, Around & Away
WATER

Currently on boat, the MV Nancowry, which sails from Chennai every 10 or so days to Port Blair, on South Andaman. The trip takes about 52 hours. Once a month, the boat sails via Car Nicobar. This voyage takes an extra two days. Tickets are issued at the Directorate of Shipping Services at 6 Rajaji Salai (opposite the Customs House) in George Town. Foreigners must get a permit for the islands before they buy a boat ticket

AIR

Chennai is an international arrival point and an important domestic airport. The Anna International Airport is well organised and not too heavily used, making Chennai a good entry or exit point. In additon to the flights from Chennai, Domestic Airlines, East West Airlines flies daily to Mumbai and Delhi; Modiluft has daily flights to Mumbai and six times a week to Hyderabad Damania Airways flies daily to Mumbai and Calcutta; and Jet Airways has services twice daily to Mumbai

RAIL

The train reservation office is at Central station on the 2nd floor of the building adjacent to the station. In this booking hall, you can also make reservations for trains originating in Ahmedabad, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Pune and many other places. Here is the ‘Tourist Cell’, which deals with Indrail Pass and tourist - quota bookings. This ‘cell’ is immensely useful for foreign visitors unfamiliar with the Indian Railways system. The reservation office is open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm and 2.15 to 8 pm; Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm

ROAD

The Tamil Nadu state bus company, Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation (TTC), and its bus terminal are on Esplanade Rd in George Town, around the back of the High Court building. Interstate buses, which are run by the affiliated Jayalalitha Jayaram Transport Corporation (JJTC), also leave from here. The state bus stand is on the other side of Prakasam Rd. The main reason to use this stand is for buses to Mahabalipuram. Number of private bus companies run superdeluxe video buses on a daily basis to cities such as Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichy


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