Top 10 Must Visit Places in Chennai
Chennai, also known as the “Gateway to South India,” is a bustling city with a rich cultural heritage. From ancient temples to modern shopping malls, Chennai offers a mix of traditional and modern attractions. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 places to visit in Chennai, along with timings and other information.
- Marina Beach: Marina Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Chennai, and for a good reason. The beach stretches for around 13 kilometers and offers stunning views of the Bay of Bengal. Visitors can enjoy a walk on the beach, watch the sunset, and indulge in some local street food. Marina Beach is open 24/7, and there is no entry fee.
- Kapaleeswarar Temple: The Kapaleeswarar Temple, located in the heart of Chennai, is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple features a stunning gopuram (tower) and a beautiful tank. Visitors can witness the daily rituals and puja (worship) ceremonies performed at the temple. The temple is open from 5:30 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm every day, and there is no entry fee.
- Fort St. George: Fort St. George, built in 1644, is the first English fortress in India. The fort houses several historic buildings, including St. Mary’s Church and the Fort Museum. Visitors can explore the museum and learn about the history of the British rule in India. Fort St. George is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day, and the entry fee is INR 5 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners.
- Government Museum: The Government Museum, established in 1851, is one of the oldest museums in India. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, including sculptures, paintings, and archaeological finds from around the country. Visitors can explore the various galleries, including the Bronze Gallery and the Amravati Gallery. The Government Museum is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm every day except on Fridays, and the entry fee is INR 15 for Indians and INR 250 for foreigners.
- Mahabalipuram: Mahabalipuram, located around 60 kilometers from Chennai, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient temples and rock-cut monuments. The town features several attractions, including the Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, and the Krishna Mandapam. Visitors can explore the town on foot or hire a guide to learn more about the history and significance of the monuments. Mahabalipuram is open from 6 am to 6 pm every day, and the entry fee starts at INR 10.
- San Thome Basilica: San Thome Basilica, located in the Mylapore neighborhood of Chennai, is a Roman Catholic basilica built over the tomb of St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. The church features a stunning Neo-Gothic architecture and houses several relics of St. Thomas. Visitors can attend the daily mass and explore the museum inside the church. San Thome Basilica is open from 6 am to 9 pm every day, and there is no entry fee.
- Guindy National Park: Guindy National Park, located in the heart of Chennai, is a peaceful oasis in the midst of the city’s chaos. The park houses several species of flora and fauna, including blackbucks, spotted deer, and several bird species. Visitors can enjoy a nature walk, visit the Children’s Park, and explore the Guindy Snake Park inside the park. Guindy National Park is open from 9 am to 5:30 pm every day except on Tuesdays, and the entry fee is INR 20 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners.
- Chennai Rail Museum: The Chennai Rail Museum, located in the Perambur neighborhood of Chennai, is a must-visit for train enthusiasts. The museum houses several historic locomotives, including the Fairy Queen, the oldest working steam locomotive in the world. Visitors can explore the various galleries and learn about the history and evolution of Indian Railways. The Chennai Rail Museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day except on Mondays, and the entry fee is INR 50 for adults and INR 25 for children.
- Birla Planetarium: The Birla Planetarium, located in the Kotturpuram neighborhood of Chennai, is a popular attraction for science enthusiasts. The planetarium features several shows, including a sky theatre and a virtual tour of the universe. Visitors can learn about astronomy and space exploration in an interactive and engaging way. The Birla Planetarium is open from 10 am to 5:45 pm every day except on Tuesdays, and the entry fee is INR 60 for adults and INR 30 for children.
- Valluvar Kottam: Valluvar Kottam, located in the Nungambakkam neighborhood of Chennai, is a monument dedicated to the Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar. The monument features a 39-meter-high chariot-shaped structure and a massive auditorium that can accommodate over 4,000 people. Visitors can learn about the life and works of Thiruvalluvar and attend cultural events and exhibitions held at the auditorium. Valluvar Kottam is open from 8 am to 6 pm every day, and the entry fee is INR 10 for Indians and INR 125 for foreigners.
In conclusion, Chennai offers a plethora of attractions for tourists, from ancient temples to modern museums. Visitors can explore the city’s rich cultural heritage, learn about the history of Indian railways, and marvel at the wonders of astronomy. Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or a science enthusiast, Chennai has something for everyone. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for an unforgettable trip to the Gateway to South India!