Chennai or formerly known as Madras is one of the oldest and largest cities in India situated on the Coromandel Coast in South India. It is also the capital of Tamil Nadu. Not only industries, but this city is also popular for its peculiar culture and heritage. Chennai is also famous for its clean sandy beaches, infrastructure, temples, parks, cultural centres, and food. Well, Chennai’s nightlife is not limited to pubs and nightclubs. If you have a chance to explore this city, you might not want to miss out on its nightlife.
Chennai is also well known for its historical past. The Britishers built Fort St. George which became the heart of the growing colonial city. The only town that was attacked during the First World War I was Madras. After India got independence in 1947, Chennai became the capital of Madras state.
My Chennai Experience:
If I talk about my Chennai Experience, then it was astounding i.e. Namma Chennai. I have lived for 5 years in the cultural capital of India. When someone comes from North India to places like Chennai in South India, which has a different culture, tradition, and language, then he gets a unique experience.
Well, most people like to communicate in Tamil here but almost everyone understands English here. Yeah I’m a Punjabi, so it’s very difficult and different initially but I got used to it eventually. The beautiful thing about this place I noticed the most is its simplicity. Looks don’t matter here, like in the North. Nobody will criticize you and award you a character certificate based on your dressing sense, your makeup especially if they don’t know all the facts. The best thing is people are intelligent here yet very down to earth and no one meddles in others life. This has been my perception of this city, which is surrounded by sea. Apart from this, Chennai is the place that makes me reminisce on my life experiences.
How to Reach Chennai
Chennai Central Station is the nearest railway station which is well connected to all major cities. Tourists can take direct trains from Nagpur, Gwalior, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and many other cities, even the most distant city Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Guwahati, etc.
Chennai airport is located in Tirusulam which is 21 km from the City Centre. It is one of the busiest airports in Asia. Also, good connectivity with all states of India and other nations too.
Top Alluring Places To Visit In Chennai:
1. Marina Beach
Marina Beach is the second longest beach in the world stretching a length of 13 km. The top attractions of Marina Beach are the bird’s eye view of Chennai from the tall lighthouse. When you’re taking a stroll on the sands, you will meet the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, the Triumph of Labour statue, George Uglow Pope, and Robert Caldwell along the way. Tourists can see how fisherman start their day in the early morning and the evening, people are coming with their families.
Unfortunately, it isn’t the cleanest stretches of sand and ocean. That’s why you can ditch this place and head to these less crowded, lovely beaches in Chennai i.e. Elliot’s Beach, Golden Beach, Kovalam Beach, and Mahabalipuram Beach. I still remember the sudden burst of excitement I got, when I first filled my lungs with the salty smell of the sea on Marina Beach. The first time I dipped my toes on the beach, it was the most wonderful feeling. But if you love the city’s soul and love to watch the people, you will love this place.
Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
2. Elliot’s Beach
Elliot Beach is also known as Besant Nagar Beach. If you don’t want to squeeze with the crowd and you’re fond of watching serene beauty and clean brown sands, you could have a whale of a time here in the beautiful atmosphere. An early morning walk at Elliot Beach is a must to feel the core beauty of Chennai.
During my college days, I used to visit Elliot Beach to capture the spectacular sunrise and feel the peacefulness of life in Chennai. Make sure you make it to Elliots Beach at least once to enjoy the mystical sunrise.
Location: Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
3. M. A. Chidambaram Cricket Stadium
M. A. Cricket Stadium is also well known as Chepauk Stadium. The cricket stadium was established in 1916 in Chennai, India. Did you know that Chennai cricket stadium is the 3rd oldest cricket stadium after Eden Gardens in Kolkata and Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi? Well, Chepauk stadium serves as the practice ground for the Indian Cricket Team, Tamil Nadu state-level cricket team, as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Chennai Super Kings. The beautiful ground also hosts national and international level cricket matches, with the capacity to seat a crowd of approximately 50,000. If you’re a cricket fan then this place is best for you. Moreover, the distance from Stadium to Marina Beach is hardly 1 km.
Location: Walajah Road, Chepauk, Chennai
4. Thousand Lights Mosque
Thousands Lights Mosque is one of the oldest and largest mosques in the country and a privileged place of worship for Muslims and azadari for Shia. The thousands lights mosque is multi-domed in Anna Salai and it was built by the Nawab Umdat-ul-Umrah in 1810. The reason behind its name is because of the thousand lamps situated in the hall of the mosque.
Its immense holy effect and the series of carved replicas of Shia Shrines are the reasons it attracts many tourists every year. Well, if you’re an atheist or believe in one universal God then I would say you must visit here. I’m a Hindu by birth but still, I love to visit this place because of its beauty, architecture, and its peaceful vibes. Besides this, I’m an Omnist and believe in all religions by nature.
Location: Royapettah, Peters Rd, Peters Colony, Thousand Lights, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600086
5. Kovalam Beach
It is one of my favourite and most visited beaches in Chennai because of the pristine natural beauty of the surroundings and the plenty of activities it offers to its travellers. Kovalam or Covelong Beach is the best place for sunrise, sunsets, and also watersports with windsurfing and swimming.
From my College to this never-ending beach is just 35 km. When I to be at the top of the world, I used to go to this place. From my morning runs, few workouts to evening strolls, the beach has always been my go-to place when I wished to unwind.
Location: East Coast Road, Kovalam, Tamil Nadu
6. Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Arignar Anna Zoological Park is also popular by its name Vandalur Zoo, which was established in 1855. Vandalur Zoo is India’s first and largest zoo spread over an area of 602 hectares and also home to more than 500 species of wild beings where some of which are endangered. If you’re a nature and wildlife lover, you can come here to see the mystical White Tigers and many more. They tend to sit as they’re the Maharajas (kings) of the zoo.
Well, it takes 4-5 hours to explore on foot. But if you feel slothful or don’t have the mood to walk, battery-operated cars are a better option. You can also hire a bicycle much cheaper than any other. Apart from this, elephant rides and lion safaris are also available. It’s up to your comfort, what you would choose.
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm
Entry fee: Rs 30 for adults and Rs 10 for children
Location: GST, Vandalur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
7. Kapaleeshwarar Temple:
Kapaleeshwarar, the most ancient temple has been built around the 7th century. The unique Dravidian-style architecture of the temple makes this temple the best place to visit in Chennai. Do you know that the most famous temple is dedicated to Shiva and Karpagambal? There is a myth behind the temple that is goddess Uma worshipped Shiva in the form of a Peacock.
The beautiful temple is situated in Mylapore and Mylapore means Peacock. Well, the most important thing is there is a wishing tree lying at the heart of the temple. Besides this, people believe that if you place a yellow thread on it, you might be able to tie down the hunk and your dreams!
Location: Vadakku Maada Veethi, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
8. Semmozhi Poonga
If you’re tired of visiting buildings, populated areas, and hectic life then you must have explored the exotic and rare flora and fauna, scenic landscapes, and lush green gardens. Semmozhi Poonga Park is a botanical garden located at the center of the city covering an area of over 20 acres.
Tourists can explore the 500 varieties of trees and plants and also probe the natural beauty with ducks swimming in ponds, dancing lights. If I had to energize with fresh air and breath of flowers then this was my first option. Just come here to give visual delight to your eyes.
Location: Cathedral Rd, Ellaiamman Colony, Teynampet, Chennai
9. South Indian Cuisines Masala
Chennai isn’t only for seafood lovers but it also offers a lot of options for vegetarians. Chennai is also popular for its unique style of delicious foods i.e. Dosa, Adai, Thayir, Vadai, Idli, Fish Curry, Chicken Biryani, and Medu Vada. While at this place try out the Junior Kuppanna, Annalakshmi, and the hotel Saravana Bhavan for South Indian dining in the city.
Apart from this, if you’re looking for the best bars and lounges to visit in Chennai then Le. Waterina, Pasha, Bike & Barrel, The Vault Bar Stock Exchange, The Flying Elephant, Radio Room, Q Bar, and The Crown are there. So I suggest you don’t look for places in Chennai far away from good restaurants and dining options. There’s nothing better than that!
Chennai the name is enough to reminisce of my unforgettable memories. Talking of a city like Chennai has given me a lot of friends, memories, and lifelong experiences. Chennai is every time tempting me again and again. Hope I’ll come back soon. I hope these beautiful tourist places in Chennai you must love it. Do share your experiences suggestions and recommendations. I would love to hear about your experiences too. For more stay connected!