Located on the Coromandel Coast, Chennai also recognized as the “Gateway to South India ” is a city that seamlessly combines tradition and contemporary elements. With its past legacy, culture, and breathtaking beaches, Chennai presents numerous opportunities for travellers in search of an authentic Indian encounter. Whether you have a penchant for history, a passion for delights or simply crave a tranquil escape, here are ten must-do activities in Chennai that will leave an indelible mark on your visit.
- Marina Beach
Begin your exploration of Chennai, at Marina Beach, which’s the second-longest urban beach in the world. This beach is known for its sands, calm waves and breathtaking sunrise views. It’s a place to enjoy a morning jog, take a stroll or simply relax by the sea.
- Kapaleeshwarar Temple
To experience the heritage of Chennai, make sure to visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple. This stunning temple showcases Dravidian-style architecture where intricately carved towers are called Gopurams. Located nearby is a marketplace that adds to the temple’s atmosphere. Exploring this temple will give you insight into Chennai’s traditions and spirituality.
- Fort St. George and Museum
Step back into history at Fort St. George, the English fortress established in India. Within its grounds, you will find St. Mary’s Church, which holds the distinction of being the church in all of Asia. Additionally, the Fort Museum is a treasure trove of artefacts showcasing a wide range of items such as weaponry, uniforms and captivating portraits. Immerse yourself in Chennai’s past as you explore these relics and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s fascinating heritage.
To truly experience the richness and diversity of South culture, DakshinaChitra is a must-visit destination. This living museum beautifully encapsulates aspects of Indian life, artistry and architectural styles. Wander through houses that represent states within South India while marvelling at intricate crafts and captivating art forms on display. It’s a journey that provides a glimpse into the vibrant tapestry that makes up this region.
- Santhome Basilica
For those seeking a blend of spirituality and history, look no further than Santhome Basilica in Chennai. This remarkable basilica stands tall upon the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle. The place exudes a sense of serenity with its gothic architecture and magnificent views overlooking the sea. It serves as a sanctuary, for reflection. It offers visitors an opportunity to connect with their spiritual side amidst this historical landmark.
- Chennai Food Trail
Exploring the delights of Chennai is a part of any visit to the city. Make sure to try favourites like idli, dosa and filter coffee at eateries such as Murugan Idli Shop and Saravana Bhavan. Don’t miss out on experiencing the Chettinad cuisine renowned for its spices and delightful flavors.
- Government Museum and National Art Gallery
For those with an interest in art and history, a visit to the Government Museum and National Art Gallery is a must. You can satisfy your curiosity by exploring their collection of artefacts spanning from times to contemporary art. You can marvel at the bronze sculptures, archaeological discoveries and traditional crafts that are on display.
To immerse yourself in Chennai’s scene, head to Mylapore. This vibrant neighbourhood is famous for its streets, ancient temples and captivating music and dance performances. Don’t forget to visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and savour the flavours of South Indian cuisine at local restaurants.
- Vandalur Zoo
Nature enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a trip to Arignar Anna Zoological Park, commonly known as Vandalur Zoo. With its environment, this zoo provides an opportunity to observe a diverse range of wildlife including tigers, lions, elephants and more.
- Besant Nagar Beach
Conclude your journey in Chennai by visiting Besant Nagar Beach, also known as Elliot’s Beach. This peaceful location is perfect for unwinding in the evening, taking a stroll or enjoying the food stalls. The sight of the sun setting and painting the sky with shades of orange and pink is truly enchanting.
In conclusion, Chennai offers a captivating blend of history, culture and natural beauty that caters to every kind of traveller. From the tranquillity of its beaches to the liveliness of its markets and temples, this city provides a range of experiences that leave a lasting impression on your heart. Whether you’re exploring temples, indulging in cuisine or immersing yourself in art and history, Chennai’s charm will undoubtedly captivate your senses, making it a destination that stays with you long after you’ve left.