Sights to See
Places of Worship
Gujarati Shwetambar Murtipujak Jain Mandir (Kutchery Road, Mylapore)
Gujarati Swetamber Murtipujak Jain Mandir is one of the most important Jain temples in the city. Credited to be the first Jain temple in South India with three gopurams and five doors, it is completely built of marble. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Parsvanatha, the 23rd Tirthankara in Jainism.
Kapaleeswarar Temple (Mylapore)
The replica of an underwater temple, the Kapaleeswarar Temple is extremely ancient dating back 300 years. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Shivlingam here is believed to have been set up by the Lord Brahma. The 10-day festival also attracts numerous devotees. Timings: 6 am-1 pm, 4 pm-8 pm; Tel: 044 24641670
Santhome Cathedral Basilica (Santhome High Road, Mylapore)
Situated to the south of Marina Beach, the Santhome Cathedral has seen several renovations with the foundation stone being laid in July 1523 for the first time. The present structure was constructed in 1896 in accordance to the Gothic style of architecture. A statue of Virgin Mary, imported from Portugal is also housed here. Mass Timings: Tamil 6 am, 8.15 am, 6 pm; English 7 am, 9.30 am, 12 noon Tel: 044 24985455
Shri Parthasarathy Temple (Triplicane)
Dating back to the 8th century, the Parthasarathy Temple was built by the Pallavas and later reformed by the Vijayanagar Kings during 11th century. Parthasarathy literally means the charioteer and thus the presiding deity is Lord Krishna. The coloured gopuram of the temple is an exquisite feature. Timings: 5.30 am-12 noon, 4 pm-9 pm; Tel: 044 28442449, 28442462.
St. Mary’s Church
Situated in the famous Fort St. George, the St. Mary’s Church is also called the Westminster Abbey of the East. It is the first Anglican Church in Asia and is presently preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. A unique and cunning feature of its design is a bomb-proof roof, so as to cause cannon-balls to ricochet. Timings: 9 am-5 pm; Tel: 044 25672023
Chennai Snake Park & Children’s park (Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Road)
Situated next to the Guindy National Park, the Snake Park is a popular spot. Established in 1972, it houses a variety of snakes such as king cobra, pythons, vipers and other reptiles. There is also information about different types of snakes and the common misconceptions surrounding them. The adjacent Children’s Park has numerous rides and a play park. Entrance Fee: Adult/Child: Rs.10/2; Timings: 8.30 am-5.30 pm; Closed: Tuesdays; Tel: 044 22353623.
Guindy National Park (Guindy)
The Guindy National Park was earlier the property of Gilbert Rodericks used as a hunting preserve until it was bought by the then Madras Government in 1821. The National Park boasts over 24 varieties of trees, 14 types of mammals and 37 varieties of birds. Entrance Fee: Adult/Child: Rs.10/1; Timings: 9.30 am-5.30 pm; Closed: Tuesdays; Tel: 044 22301328.
Semmozhi Poonga (Cathedral Road)
Semmozhi Poonga, literally translated to “Classical Language Park”, is a world-class botanical garden near Anna flyover in Chennai. Recently developed by the horticulture department the garden encompasses an area of 20 acres. The garden has more than 500 species of plants in addition to the 80 pre-existing trees of which some are more than 100 years old. The garden has 22 exclusive areas including palm court, tree court, golden garden, rock garden, butterfly garden, fern garden and theme garden. It also houses 25 thematic gardens including herbals, aromatics, mazes and cascade adorn every corner of the park. Timings: 6 am-8 am; Morning Walk: 10 am-8 pm; Entry fee: Rs. 5.
Fort St. George (Island Grounds)
Established in 1639 along the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Chennai, this site is often believed to have marked the birth of the city. The Fort museum inside is decorated with cannons of Tipu Sultan and displays many interesting artefacts. Today the fort houses the Legislative Assembly with the tallest flag pole at 150 m and is known as the Secretariat Building. Entrance Fee: Indian/Foreigner: Rs.5/100; Timings: 10 am-5 pm; Closed Fridays. Tel: 044 25671127
National Art Gallery
Valluvar Kottam Kodambakkam (Valluvar Kottam High Road)
The memorial of the poet-saint Tiruvalluvar is shaped like a temple chariot and is the replica of the temple chariot in Thiruvarur. The memorial has a 33 m life-size statue of the saint and 133 chapters from Thirukkural depicted in bas-relief. The auditorium here can accommodate up to 4,000 people at a time. Timings: 8 am-6 pm; Tel: 044 28172177.
The society was founded by Madame. H.P. Blavatsky and Col. H.S. Olcott of the U.S.A to study religion and philosophy. In 1892, the society moved to Chennai and was set amidst a vast expanse of woods on the estuary of Adyar. The Shrines of all Faiths, Garden of Remembrance, almost a century old library and the research centre on oriental arts are worth a visit. Above all, the largest Banyan tree, several hundred years old, is found on this campus. It spreads its branches and roots covering a space of over 40,000 sq ft giving a serene ambience. Entry free. Time: 8.30 am to 10 am, and 2 pm to 5 pm. Sundays closed. Tel: 24912474
A renowned training institute for the classical dances of India, this ‘Temple of Arts’ was founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale in 1936, to train and encourage young artists and to revive Bharatanatyam, the classical dance form of Tamil Nadu. It imparts training on various branches of theatrical art, in the ancient ‘Gurukula’ system and in sylvan surroundings. It is located at Tiruvanmiyur. Entry free. No holidays.Time: 10 am to 6 pm.Tel:24521169
Tamil Nadu Science & Technology Centre, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Behind CLRI, Chennai-600025
Tel : 044 24410025, 24416751, 24915250
Timings : 10 am-5.45 pm
Show Timings : 10.45 am, 1.15 pm, 3.45 pm (English) 12 noon, 2.30 pm (Tamil)
Closed : National Holidays
Entry Fee : Adults/Children: Rs. 40/25
Fort St. George, Chennai-600009
Tel : 044 25671127
Timings : 10 am-5 pm
Closed : Fridays & National Holidays
Entry Fee : Indians/Foreigners: Rs. 5/100
Kamarajr Salai, Chennai-600005
Tel : 044 28446188
Timings : 10 am-12 pm,3 pm-7 pm
Closed : Wednesdays & National Holidays
Entry Fee : Adults/Children: Rs. 2/1
Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai-600008
Tel : 044 28193238, 28193778
Timings : 9.30 am-5 pm
Closed : Fridays & National Holidays
Entry Fee : Adults/Children/Students: Rs.15/10/5 (Indian);
Adults/Children/Student : Rs.250/125/75 (Foreigner)
Camera/Video : Rs. 200/500 per camera
Regional Rail Museum
Avadi Road, ICF, Near ICF Bus Stand, Chennai-38.
Tel : 044 26201014
Timings : 10 am-6 pm
Closed : Mondays & National Holidays
Entry Fee : Adults/Children: Rs. 15/10
Elliot Beach (Besant Nagar)
The favourite rendezvous of the younger generation, this was once a popular bathing beach. This beach is named after Edward Elliot, the Governor of Madras. Good roads, pavements and illuminated sands make a visit to this beach a real pleasure.
The 13 km long Marina Beach forms the city’s east coast, from Fort St. George to Mamallapuram and is one of the longest beaches in the world. Numerous statues of famous personalities adorn the roadside along the beach.
The Anna Salai market is famous for the government-run handicraft shops interspersed with swanky malls. The souvenirs sold here are sometimes expensive due to the fact that they have been sourced from all over India.
Spencer Plaza (Anna Salai, Mount Road)
Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah
Chennai Citi Centre (Mylapore)
Ampa Skywalk, Aminjikarai
Pondy Bazaar (Thyagaraya Road)
Pondy Bazaar is a long road with endless makeshift shops right on the pavement. Elegant footwear, leather bags, crockery, toys, costume jewellery, cotton garments, stationary, posters of anything and anyone, music accessories, stuffed toys, plastic household goods and almost anything under the sun is available here.
Burma Bazaar (Rajaji Salai)
All sorts of imported goods ranging from electronic gadgets to readymade items and perfumes are available in Burma Bazaar. Almost all kinds of goods can be bought here at reasonable prices.
Ranganathan Street is a shopper’s paradise and a foodie’s feast. From pavement shops to food joints this street is heaven for bargainers.
The George Town market is famous for being the wholesale centre of Chennai.
With its myriad street stalls, Egmore Street is the ultimate destination for bargain hunting.
T Nagar Market
The busiest market in Chennai, it is the main hub for silk saris and gold in the region. Always busy, crowded and most colourful, it is the biggest market area in South India.