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Chennai

TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City
Exoticism sprung from here—famed for its marvellous temples, coconut fringes, silk sarees, and cutworks Chennai is truly the cultural and commercial capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Exploring the rich, traditional art and culture and the green environment of the city should be on every traveller’s list. Formerly known as Madras, the seat of power for many South Indian Kingdoms, the city was developed by the British, making it an urban centre with a strong naval base. The Kapaleeshwar Temple, Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, are only some examples of the religious fervour of the city’s inhabitants. Fort St George and the Santhome Church are some beautiful structures to be explored and to offer your prayers. The famous beaches are a great place to relax; Marina beach the longest in the world is a treasure to be discovered. The Royal Enfield Tour offers insight into the world of motorbikes and how they are assembled. With tradition and urban development forming the ethos of this historical city, Chennai is truly an explorer’s dream come true.
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Kapaleeshwar Temple

Kapaleeshwar Temple

Admire the beautiful Dravidian-style architecture of the 7th century Kapaleeshwarar temple, the oldest in the city. The original structure was torn down by the Portuguese and the present one is believed to have been rebuilt in the 16th century. Visit the temple during one of the six daily rituals and witness the elaborate ritual showered on Lord Shiva. A remarkable feature worth gazing at is the 37 m tall Gopuram (minaret). The temple also hosts four festivals every year, of which the 10-day Arubathimoovar festival, held between March and April, is celebrated in honour of the 63 saints of Lord Shiva.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Pongal Festival

Pongal Festival

Experience the lively vibe reverberating in the city during the four-day long Pongal Festival held in mid-January every year. This harvest festival is celebrated in a very colourful manner where Tamilians wear new clothes, eat the lovely sweet Pongal—dessert made of jaggery, milk and rice; draw kolam (drawing made of chalk powder or rice flour); and adorn the cattle with a garland and paint their horns. Visit the South Indian temples to witness the bells, drums, clarinets and conch shells played in full zest and vigour on the joyous occasion of Pongal.

Image Courtesy: Natesh Ramasamy via Flickr
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Beaches

Beaches

Beach lovers can have their share of beach fun in Chennai, home to three beaches namely, Covelong Beach, Marina Beach and Elliot's Beach. Stroll on the popular Marina Beach, one of the longest beaches in the world. Elliot's Beach is more popular amongst the youth; , it is cleaner and less crowded than Marina Beach. You could combine your visit to Elliot's Beach with a stop at Ashtalakshmi temple or the Church of our Lady of Health, Madonna. Covelong Beach is fringed with beautiful palm trees and a good place to enjoy water sports.

Image Courtesy: www.beachindia.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Sri Parthasarathy Temple

Sri Parthasarathy Temple

The famous Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple at Triplicane is a delightful visit for every history lover. The temple, built in the 8th century, is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is one of the oldest temples in the city. Admire the colourful Gopuram, intricate carvings, ancient inscriptions, a fascinating mural depicting the Kurukshetra war, and a splendid colonnade adorning the main entrance. Consider visiting the temple in the evening and then walk a short distance to watch the mesmerising sunset at Marina beach.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Gastronomical Delights

Gastronomical Delights

Indulge in gastronomical delights in the land known for its steamed white idlis, sambhar and perfectly brewed filter kapi (coffee). Savour the other mouth-watering delicacies such as the crisp dosa stuffed with potatoes and fried onions, the hot and crispy Thayir vadai, plain white rice soaked in rasam—a currry made with potent spices, deep fried molaga bajjis with coconut chutney, the sweet Pongal or you know what, why not indulge in a rich Madrassi thali (platter). For the non-vegetarians, the fiery Chettinad Chicken is best enjoyed with plain rice or dosa.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Semmozhi Poonga

Semmozhi Poonga

Experience peace and serenity in the heart of the city as you set foot inside the vast green expanse of the 20-acre Semmozhi Poonga Park. This botanical park is a treasure trove for nature lovers and those interested in botany, for it houses an amazing variety of exotic flora and rare plant species from across the world. It also has some medicinal and aromatic herbs. An artificial pond has ducks, which is a fun element for children.. Enjoy a lovely walk in the picturesque garden boasting of a beautiful water and rock garden, a butterfly garden, a fern garden, and other themed gardens.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Kalakshetra

Kalakshetra

Visit Kalakshetra, a prestigious school of Tamil classical dance and music whose students are now India's most renowned artists in Bharatanatyam (a classical Indian dance form) and Carnatic music (classical Indian music). Book a guided tour of this cultural hub and gain insights into how this academy nurtures its students in the fine and graceful art forms such as music, dance, fine arts, and theatre. Explore Kalakshetra Craft Centre to witness the beautiful Kanchipuram-style handloom weaving technique as well as the rare and impeccable Kalamkari art—hand-painted textiles using vegetable dyes.

Image Courtesy: sanskkriti.blogspot.in
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Walking tour with Storytrails

Walking tour with Storytrails

Hear fascinating stories, interesting legends, crazy myths, and superstitions on an informative walking tour with Storytrails. Take your pick from a range of walking tours offered by this tour operator such as the Bazaar Trail, British Blueprints, Dancer's Trail, Simply South Trail, and many more. Walk through the narrow and zigzag streets of Chennai and let your guide enlighten you with a little bit of history, mythology and folklore. The tour is partly on foot and in some cases combined with a fascinating rickshaw ride.

Image Courtesy: rdmosley.wordpress.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

Any devotee of the Saint Sai Baba must visit the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple in Mylapore. The saint, born in Shirdi, is highly revered throughout India and has many temples dedicated in his loving memory. Spend some time in this peaceful Hindu temple and offer your prayers to this beloved saint who believed in the religion of love, peace and harmony. See part of the flame that was lit by Sai Baba himself in Shirdi and if possible, attend the Agni Pooja on Sunday. The beach, near which the temple is located makes the ambiance more tranquil and peaceful for a worshipper.

Image Courtesy: www.buzzntravel.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Madras Crocodile Bank

Madras Crocodile Bank

Spreading over an area of eight and a half acres of land and considered to be one of the largest reptile zoos in the world, is the Madras Crocodile Bank. It is located about 45 km from Chennai, make sure you have enough time on hand to make the most of your visit here. Take a guided tour of the zoo and get interesting insights about these reptilian creatures. The zoo boasts of over 2,000 animals including various species of crocodiles, turtles, snakes, lizards, and even iguanas. A great option for a family outing.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Fort St George

Fort St George

Known as the ‘White Town’ in the pages of history and believed to be the foundation of British rule in India, the St George Fort is a military architecture marvel. Within the confines of this massive structure are the St Mary’s Church and St George Museum. St Mary’s Church is considered as the oldest surviving churches built by the British and also the oldest Anglican Church in the country. Do visit the museum as it displays an impressive collection of antiquities of the British such as medals, coins, paintings, letters, etc. A visit to St George Fort is a must, especially for history buffs.

Image Courtesy: wikitravel.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Theosophical Society

Theosophical Society

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat to the vast green expanse and vehicle-free zone, facilitated by the Theosophical Society. The highlight is the 260-acre Huddleston Gardens offering an extraordinary experience for bird enthusiasts. Explore the peaceful surroundings comprising of a church, mosque, Zoroastrian temple, Hindu temple, and Buddhist temple. Be spellbound as you stumble upon the Banyan Tree, which is over 400 years old and sprawling the 59,500 sq ft area. Book lovers can make their way to the impressive Adyar Library.

Image Courtesy: Ram Karthik via Flickr
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Also called as the Vandalur Zoo and located at a distance of about 31 km from the city, this zoological garden is an absolute thrill for children and adults alike. Spanning over 1,300 acres, this is one of the largest zoos in South Asia housing 170 species of mammals, birds and reptiles and over 2,500 species of flora and fauna. Meet the chimpanzees and spot exotic wildlife such as the Bengal Tiger, European Brown Bear, White Tiger as well as some rare species of birds. You will also see the wild buffalo, deer, jackal, hippo, elephant, giraffe, gorilla, and many more interesting species of animals.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Santhome Church

Santhome Church

Located in Mylapore and to the south of Chennai is the Santhome Church, a highly revered religious place for the Christian-Catholic community all over the world. The importance of this church, also known as San Thome Basilica, is due to the fact that it is one of the three basilicas in the world that is built over the tomb of an apostle. Here, it is St Thomas, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ who brought Christianity to India. Experience the serenity and appreciate the Neo-Gothic style of architecture. Since it is situated over a hilltop, one can enjoy sweeping views of Chennai city from here.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City The Royal Enfield Factory Tour

The Royal Enfield Factory Tour

For all the bikers passionate about the brand—Royal Enfiled, taking a factory tour in their Chennai plant, where the Royal Enfield motorcycles are still made in the traditional way, is a must. Be awestruck as you explore the factory premises and learn how this world-class motorcycle is assembled. The tour is conducted only on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month and do ensure you adhere to the time as specified by the management.

Image Courtesy: royalenfield.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Cholamandal Artist Village

Cholamandal Artist Village

Art aficionados will enjoy exploring the 10-acre charming artist village that holds a prestigious position in Asia and is a haven for international artists to explore. It was established in 1966 by a community of artists of the Madras Movement. Admire the impressive collection of paintings, terracotta sculptures, fine sketches, beautiful ‘batik’ prints, and a lot more. Marvel at artworks by KCS Paniker, SG Vasudev, M Senathipathi and S Nandagopal, which are all housed here.

Image Courtesy: bobpigo.org
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House

Swami Vivekanda, believed to be one of the first English-speaking Indian religious figures who created an interest for Indian scriptures and Yoga in the western countries, stayed here for nine days after returning from the West. The house is also known as Vivekanandar Illam in Tamil. Observe the interesting structure of this building that looks like a huge white cake. Go indoors and witness a wonderful pictorial representation of Swami's life. You may enrol for a free weekly one-hour meditation class here.

Image Courtesy: www.chennaimath.org
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City DakshinaChitra Museum

DakshinaChitra Museum

Take a tour of the fascinating museum, DakshinaChitra that literally means ‘a picture of the south’. The museum features exhibits of art and craft, architecture, performing arts, and the displays depict the lifestyle of the people from South Indian states. Get insights into the customs and traditions of the various South Indian communities, which are displayed in 18 traditional historical houses. Children as well as those culturally-inclined will enjoy exploring this sprawling 10-acre heritage and cultural hub. The venue also plays host to many events, seminars and regular folk performances throughout the year.

Image Courtesy: dakshinachitra.net
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Anna Centenary Library

Anna Centenary Library

Spanning an area of eight acres is the massive nine-storey Anna Centenary Library, a state library, which is also one of the largest of its kinds in Asia. Browse through an impressive collection of over 500,000 books and various genres of newspapers and periodicals from across the globe. Grab a seat on one of the soft comfortable sofas in this air-conditioned library overlooking the gardens and enjoy a pleasurable time reading here. If you are travelling with kids, visit the children's section that ignites the minds of these young-budding readers thanks to its fun-filled décor equipped with multimedia kits and storybooks.

Image Courtesy: annacentenarylibrary.blogspot.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Government Museum

Government Museum

The Government Museum is a great place to explore and appeals to travellers of varying interests. It is the second oldest museum in India, wherein visitors are enthralled by the extensive collection of exhibits in the field of human history, art and culture, fine archaeological finds, and more. Browse through the Bronze gallery housing an impressive collection of South Indian bronzes, the archaeological section showcasing exhibits of South India as well as exclusive rooms, which are dedicated to sculptures of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain origin. The National Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery and Children’s Museum within the complex are worth exploring as well.

Image Courtesy: Sam DCruz / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Thousand Lights Mosque

Thousand Lights Mosque

The plain white-washed Thousand Lights Mosque spread over three acres, is a medieval architectural marvel with its three large domes and two minarets, towering up to 64 ft on either side. Apparently, a thousand oil lamps were lit up to illuminate the hall of the mosque, which gave the mosque its name. A special place of worship for the Shia community, the mosque is an interesting piece of architecture in itself. One of the largest mosques in India, the main hall serves as a praying room for men, whereas there is a separate praying room for women.

Image Courtesy: www.buzzntravel.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Connemara Public Library

Connemara Public Library

You do not need to be a bibliophile to visit the Connemara Public Library. The building complex is an architectural wonder reflecting a mix of Indo-Saracenic, Gothic-Byzantine, Rajput Mughal and Southern Hindu Deccani styles. Explore this place representing the depository library for the UN and boasting of an impressive collection of ancient publications and noteworthy literary works of India. Walk across a floor dedicated entirely to books on Indian languages, a Braille Library and an IAS study centre.

Image Courtesy: www.seattlepi.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Shopping

Shopping

One should not leave Chennai without buying a Kanchipuram silk saree. While there are numerous stores selling this traditional saree, Nalli Silks is the most famous store. Also consider visiting Fabindia—a chain of stores in India known for its ethnic design and pure cotton fabric, it is the perfect place to pick up a kurta (long shirt) available for both men and women. Wander through the busy lanes of Cotton Street in Egmore area, home to over 60 shops selling cotton textiles and fabrics of various colours and designs.

Image Courtesy: www.fabindia.com
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Chennai Lighthouse

Chennai Lighthouse

You do not have to travel too far to see the lighthouse when you are in Chennai. Located within the city limits, stands the Chennai Lighthouse on Marina Beach. Take the elevator or climb to the top of this 46 m tall structure and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Bay of Bengal from the viewing gallery situated on the 9th floor. There is also a technical museum housed within the lighthouse that focuses on the maritime history of Chennai. It is open from 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm on all days, except Mondays.

Image Courtesy: Darshan Simha via Flickr
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Vadapalani Murugan Temple

Vadapalani Murugan Temple

Dedicated to Lord Muruga, the 125 years old Vadapalani Murugan Temple is religiously symbolic to the local people of the city. If you are lucky you can get a chance to witness a traditional and religious ritual or a marriage ceremony that is a popular scene here. Marvel at the elaborate and colourful carvings of the temple of which the 108 Bharatnatyam dance gestures is a notable feature found on the eastern tower. Also, images depicting legends from the Skanda Purana adorn the Gopuram at the entrance.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram

Take an excursion to Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) located at a distance of 60 km from Chennai city. The place is dotted with plenty of historical monuments, sculptures and natural beauty. Added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, the major attraction of this historical place is the Shore Temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Explore the ancient rock cut temple and admire the intricate carvings, attractive motifs and the architectural design of the entire temple complex.. The Five Rathas, Thirukadalmallai Temple and Sculpture Museum also feature as the major attractions of this town.

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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Pulicat Lake And Bird Sanctuary

Pulicat Lake And Bird Sanctuary

A paradise for bird lovers, the Pulicat Lake and Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of migratory birds. You are likely to spot the pink flamingos, pelicans, kingfishers, herons, painted storks, spoonbills, and ducks here. You can also enjoy a scenic boat ride on the lake. The 16th century Dutch Fort and Cemetery are worth a visit. Of particular interest are the tombs and graves that are carved with skeletons rather than the cross. The best time to visit is period between October to March as you could spot some 20,000 migratory birds that make this place their home for breeding.

Image Courtesy: jitendraghij
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Madras High Court

Madras High Court

Established in 1862 during the rule of Queen Victoria, the Madras High Court has a deep history worth digging into. Not only that, i its beautiful domes, long corridors, tall painted ceilings, stained glass doors, and an imposing Indo-Saracenic architectural structure is a treat to the eyes. The complex houses the High Court, the Small Cause’s Court and the City Civil Court. Located near St George Fort, it is a popular tourist sight in Chennai and is supposedly, the second largest judicial complex in the world.

Image Courtesy: Yoga Balaji via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro India Chennai Featured City Thanjavur

Thanjavur

Dive into South India's deep history and rich architectural heritage at Thanjavur (formerly Tanjore)—land of the Great Living Chola Temples, designated with the title of UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. Admire the Dravidian style of architecture of Brihadeeswarar Temple, whose sanctum walls are adorned with paintings from the Chola period. The Gangaikonda Cholesvarar Temple leaves one dumbstruck with its amazing engineering feat. Other places of interest in the city include the Saraswathi Mahal Library, Sivaganga Park and its five museums. Buy the beautiful Thanjavur or Tanjore painting, an important form of classical South Indian painting, to enhance your home décor.

Image Courtesy: Kochapz via Wikimedia Commons
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HOTELS

“Nothing speaks like experience.”

A list of hotels we recommend, coming up soon.

RESTAURANTS

“One has not truly experienced a place,

until he has dug into a plate of their food!”

We will soon have a taste of the land and it’s food. And of course we will serve up a list of the Restaurants you must hit while in Chennai.


If you have visited the city or in fact live there, do fill us in with your recommendations.


Copyright © 2015-16 TraveLibro Online Private Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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