Leisure Places

The pride of Chennai is the second longest beach in the world and has a wide sandy shore. Situated on the beach, are the Samadhis or memorials dedicated to C.N.Annadurai and M.G.Ramachandran, both former Chief Ministers of the state. They attract thousands of visitors everyday. Some of the most beautiful buildings in Chennai such as the University of Madras, the Senate House, Chepauk Palace, Presidency College and the Ice House are located on the beach drive.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is located near Vedanthangal Karikili in the district of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. It covers an area of 0.3 sq km (square kilometers). Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is one of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India, and has been fiercely protected by the local population for well over 250 years.

The best time to visit this sanctuary is from November to March. Vedanthangal is a home for migratory birds such as pintail, garganey, grey wagtail, blue-winged teal, common sandpiper and many more of the like. Realising its ornithological importance, the British government undertook steps to develop Vedanthangal into a bird sanctuary as early as 1798. This was established in 1858. The Karikili Bird Sanctuary is located at a distance of around 9 km (kilometers) from the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary.

The Deer Park, comprising 595 acres, is situated adjacent to RajBhavan. It was originally a part of the Governor's Estate. This is the only National Park in the world to be situated within a Metropolis. Interspersed with more than 30 trees species that include a number of centuries-old gigantic banyan trees. This park with a network of roads, footpaths, nature trails, lakes and ponds, offers good opportunities for viewing wild life.

The main attraction of this park is fauna such as the rare Indian Antelope popularly known as the Black Buck found nowhere else in the world. This is also a sanctuary for the endangered animals and birds can be seen here.

Timings 8.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Holiday Tuesday.

This is situated adjacent to the Children's Park within the Guindy National Park. It houses an impressive collection of snakes. Demonstration of the extraction of venom is an absorbing activity here. The King Cobra,Python,Turtle,Tortoise and the Monitor Lizard are some of the popular reptiles that can be seen.

Timings 8.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Holiday Tuesday.

Animals can be seen in a large open island type enclosure with simulated natural environment. The attractions are the Noctnimal House, Safari Park, a Walk- through Aviary, the Pre-historic Animal Park, Zoo-education and interpretation, Prey-Predator enclosures and an Aquarium. Battery operated vehicles are available to take visitors around the Zoo, apart from Elephant Rides and Lion Safari vehicles. The popularly called the Vandalur Zoo as it is located in Vandalur, 30 km south of Chennai.

Timings 8.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Holiday Tuesday.

There is a crocodile breeding and research centre that is run by the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust. This bank houses several species of Indian crocodiles and alligators from India and around the world. These reptiles are bred in captivity and are kept in their natural habitat in open pools and can be viewed by the public from a safe proximity. This farm breeds crocodiles to augment the crocodile population of wildlife sanctuaries.

Timings 8.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Holiday Monday

Situated 10 kms from the Poondi Reservoir at Alikuzhi Ghats, it is believed to be a pre- historic hominid habitation. There are about 16 rock shelters that are naturally formed like canopy-like structures in the reserved forests. It is the right kind of expedition for trekkers and nature-lovers.

Covelong (Kovalam) is a fishing village in India, 40 kilometres south of Chennai, on the East Coast Road en route to Mahabalipuram. Covelong was a port town developed by the Nawab of Carnatic, Saadat Ali. It was taken over by the French in 1746, and destroyed by the British in 1752.The Dutch built a fort in Covelong during the colonial times, which today has been made the Taj Fisherman's Cove, a private luxury beach resort. Covelong beach is one of the few places in the East Coast where wind surfing takes place.



This is an ideal picnic spot. It is a Boat-House where facilities for boating and windsurfing are available. A wonderful picnic spot. The effect caused by the rocking bridge over backwaters is stunning and exciting. It's a out of the world for people who are connoisseurs of sea food..Its about 30 Kms from Chennai on East Coast road which leads to Mammalapuram. The other picnic spots in near proximity.

Timings : Monday – Sunday 9.00Am-6.00Pm

These the backwaters, sand dunes and the calm beach make this place an ideal picnic spot. Mudaliarkuppam "Rain Drop Boat House" and its island, is located on the Chennai to Puducherry East Coast Road. This place is about 92 km from Chennai or 30 km from Mamallapuram.It was inaugurated in May 2003, and now throbs with tourists and weekenders.

This is an excellant place to spend your weekends and celebrate parties. We will make arrangements to supply both veg and non-veg food. It is spotlessly clean, and total silence prevailed on The Island.

Following the road along the coast down southward from the Marina one reach the Elliot's beach. This long stretch of the coastline has the Velankanni church at one end. Built on similar lines to the church in Nagapattinam this church too attracts a large number of pilgrims. The Ashtalakshmi temple, which houses different forms of Goddess Lakshmi is another favourite place for devotees and tourists.

Sprawling over an area of 22 acres, with rare trees, shrubs, flower beds and bonsais. This garden is situated at the heart of the city, near St. George's Cathedral on Cathedral Road. Seeds, seedlings and plants are on sale. The annual flower show enthuses hordes of visitors.

Entry Time: 1.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Thursday holiday.

The M. A. Chidambaram Stadium is a cricket stadium in Chennai formerly known as Madras Cricket Club Ground or Chepauk Stadium and was established in the year 1916 making it the oldest Cricket Stadium in India which is in continuous use. Commonly known as Chepauk, its first match was played 10 February 1934. Built by the East Coast Constructions and Industries, this stadium is where the Indian cricket team won its first ever Test victory in 1952 against England.

The Madras Light House is facing the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of the Indian Subcontinent. It is a famous landmark on the Marina Beach in Chennai, India. It was built by the East Coast Constructions and Industries in 1976 replacing the old lighthouse in the northern direction. The lighthouse was opened in January 1977. It also houses the meteorological department and was restricted to visitors. On 16 November 2013, it was reopened to visitors. It is one of the few lighthouses in the world and the only one in India with an elevator. It is also the only lighthouse in India within the city limits.

Kishkinta is a theme park located in Chennai, India. Kishkinta Theme Park is located near Vandalur Railway station in remote location which has calm atmosphere to stay away from city life, 13 km away from south of the Anakaputhur. This Park is spread across 120 acres of vast area with a scenic landscape, bushes, fountains, decorations and designs. Along with these, the park has various entertainment places of Wave pools, water ridings, roller coasters, toy trains etc. especially for children who visits for picnics.

The park is located by the Chennai-Bangalore Trunk Road between Sriperumpudhur and Poonamalle. There is parking for cars. Buses are available from Guindy and T. Nagar. All buses going to Sriperumpudhur from Chennai stop at Queensland.Food and drink are available within the park.

MGM Dizzee World has many firsts' to its credit in the entertainment sector - first to bring Jurong's Bird Show of Singapore to India (1999); first time in Chennai - hot air balloon ride (1998); first time in amusement park history - visitors given pick up and drop on a helicopter (2000).

MGM is synonymous with high-energy entertainment owing to the creation of some of the biggest entertainment parks in the country. We believe that some values like qualitative, entertainment bear, no compromise and we guarantee a fun time with a commitment to give you the best in services and experience.

MGM Dizzee World, Chennai, designed by Italian architects is spread out on a huge lush green area and rests against the scenic blue beach front of the East Coast Road, at Muttukadu, about 30 kms away from Chennai city. This Amusement Park is a household name in the whole of Tamilnadu as well as the whole of India. It received ISO / 14001 :2004 and OHSAS / 18001 : 2007certification for environmental Health and Safety etc.

VGP Universal Kingdom' is an amusement park located in East Coast Road in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The park offering small rides during the early days of its history became a full-fledged amusement park in 1997. "VGP Aqua Kingdom" is the latest high tech addition to the South India's immensely popular Amusement Park 'VGP Universal Kingdom'. It is a well known Tourist spot, attracting a huge mass of people, providing joyous retreat and offering healthy and wholesome, activity based entertainment. It has now added an international style Water Park – named as VGP Aqua Kingdom, Designed by the legendary Australian Architect 'Steve Anderson'. It has one of the biggest Wave Pool, of 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) accommodating 1500 people at a time.

As you enter the EVP WORLD the European styled entrance picks yourself up as if you are entering a historic palace, built in Italian art form from the inspiration of Michael Angelo.

Museums & Art Galleries

S The state government had leased this building Sri Ramakrishna Mission. It is an imposing structure on the Marina along the South Beach Road. It was constructed in 1842 to store ice blocks imported from the USA by the Tudor Ice Company and the business continued until 1874, when the ice began to be produced locally. This is why it is called Ice House. Later Bilagiri Iyengar purchased this building in 1885 and called it "Castle Kernon."

In 1897 Swami Vivekananda visited this city and stayed in this historic building from February 6 to 15 in 1897 on his way to Calcutta, after his acclaimed speech at Chicago for the Parliament of Religions. The Government took over the building in 1930 and in 1963 it was named after Vivekananda.Photographs depicting the historical happenings associated with his life and books about him and his own written works are on display and sold here in the Museum.

It houses rare exhibits of weapons, uniforms, coins, costumes, medals and other artefacts and memorabilia of the British period. The flagmast at Fort St. George is the tallest in India.

Timigs 10.00 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.

This huge Indo-Saracenic building is named after Lord Ripon, who was the Governor General and the father of Self-Government in India. This building is the seat of the Chennai Corporation, the oldest city Corporation in India.



A top the 76 metre high hill is believed to be the place where St. Thomas was martyred. An old church, built by the Portuguese around 1514 is located here. Among the interesting relics in the church is an old stone cross that the apostle is said to have clutched in his hand while dying. The Govt. Museum , National Art Gallery & Connemara Library. The Pantheon complex was built before 1789 and was a place of assemblage for the British. The Government bought it in 1830 and later several new buildings were added to it. Today this complex houses the Government Museum, the National Art Gallery and the Connemara Public Library.

The Government Museum was established in the year 1857 and has the country's best collection of South Indian bronzes, both ancient and modern. Among which beautiful bronze icons of Nataraja, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. The museum also has geology and anthropology sections.



The National Art Gallery exhibits several beautiful paintings that include 16th and 18th century ones from Rajasthan, the Mughal period and 17thcentury Deccani art.

Timings 9.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Holiday Friday.

The world headquarters of the Theosophical Society was formed to facilitate and encourage the study of comparative religions, philosophy and science and rational thought. It is situated in the beautiful and sylvan surroundings of the Adyar River. This society was founded by Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in the U.S.A and transferred to Adyar in 1882. Apart from shrines of all faiths and the peaceful Garden of Remembrance, there is a 95 years old library which has a very good collection of rare Oriental manuscripts written on palm leaf and parchment.

Monuments

True to its tradition of preserving its rich cultural heritage, Tamil Nadu can boast of an Art Village. It is otherwise called DakshinaChitra. Situated near Muttukkadu on the way to Mamallapuram it was founded by the Madras Craft Foundation. Dakshina Chitra has models of traditional handlooms and the replicas of the kinds of houses of the four south Indian states. Kancheepuram silk weavers and other craftsmen and the weavers work here demonstrating their skill and dexterity in their specialities.The centre showcases the heritage of the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh Holiday Tuesday.

Valluvar Kottam a popular monument in Chennai, India which is dedicated to the classical Tamil poet, philosopher and saint Thiruvalluvar. Valluvar Kottam is located at the intersection of the Kodambakkam High road and the Village road, was constructed by M. Karunanidhi - the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during 1975-1976s.The monument was constructed in 1976 in the memory of Thiruvalluvar, who wrote his famous Thirukkural about 2,000 years ago. All the 133 chapters of the Thirukkural which include 1330 verses are inscribed on bas-relief in the front hall corridors.

The construction of Valluvar Kottam is like a temple chariot, and it is a replica of the temple chariot in Thiruvarur. A life-size statue of the Thiruvalluvar has been installed in the 39-m-high chariot. The auditorium of Valluvar Kottam can accommodate around 4,000 people. The architect of the memorial is South Indian traditional architect V. Ganapati Sthapati, who is also the architect of the Thiruvalluvar Statue at Kanyakumari.

Incidentally, the original Tiruvarur chariot was burnt in 1922 in an accident caused by Justice Party members during the anti-brahmin agitation under EV Ramasamy Naiker.

Timings 8.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m

In Thiruvanmiyur, beyond Elliots Beach is the Kalakshetra Foundation or the Temple of Art. Rukmani Devi Arundale founded it in 1936. The purpose of this center was to train, encourage and revive interest in Bharatanatyam, the classical dance form of Tamil Nadu.

Madras War Cemetery is a war cemetery and a memorial created to receive Second World War graves from many civil and cantonment cemeteries in the south and east of India where their permanent maintenance could not be assured. The cemetery contains 856 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. It was established in 1952 by the Imperial War Graves Commission with its head known as Saurav Goyal, now known as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), to pay tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives in World War II. It is located in Nandambakkam, Chennai. It is currently maintained by the CWGC in partnership with Government of India.

Places of Worship

Fort st.George occupies pride of place and prominence in Chennai. This bastion derived its name form St. George, the patron saint of England. The State Legislature and the Secretariat are located inside this fort . The St. Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India built in 1680 is situated here. The tombstones in its courtyard are some of the oldest British tombstones in India. The weddings of Robert Clive and Governor Elihu Yale, who later founded the famous Yale University in the U.S.A were solemnised in this ancient prayerhouse.

Santhome at the southern end of the Marina gets its name from St.Thomas, the apostle of Jesus who is believed to have come to India sometime during 52 A.D. It is believed he was killed on St. Thomas Mount just outside the city in 78 AD and his remains interred in Santhome beach where a church was later built.

Several years later, another church was built further inland and his mortal remains were transferred here. Chennai's newest pride is the Tidel Park, the home for the Information Technology Industry. It is spread over 1.28 million sq.ft. of built up area. The Tidel Park is an architectural marvel and houses several large national and international software companies in its premises.

In Mylapore, there is an 8th Century Pallava Temple. The temple 'Gopuram' or tower is made in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. Dedicated of Lord Shiva, this temple has some beautiful sculptures, among which the bronze idols of 63 Saivaite Saints or the Nayanmars. They adorn the outer courtyard. Also in the courtyard under the old Punnai tree is a small shrine depicting Goddess Parvathi in the form of a peacock, worshipping Lord Shiva. It is from this legend that Mylapore derives its name Mayil meaning peacock in Tamil and Oor meaning town. Mylapore is the hub of the Arubathumoovar festival dedicated to the 63 Nayanmars held in March-April every year.

The Parthasarathy Temple is an 8th-century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to the god Krishna, located at Triplicane, Chennai, India. The temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th–9th centuries CE and is classified as among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. The name 'Parthasarathy', in Sanskrit, means the 'charioteer of Arjuna', referring to Krishna's role as a charioteer to Arjuna in the epic Mahabaratha.

It was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century by king Narasimhavarman I. The temple has five of the incarnations or avatars of Vishnu: Narasimhar, Ramar, Varadarajar, Ranganathar and Krishna. The temple is one of the oldest structures in Chennai.There are separate entrances for the Krishna and Narasimha temples. The gopuram (towers) and mandapas (pillars) are decorated with elaborate carvings, a standard feature of South Indian Temple Architecture.

Marundeeswarar Temple is a temple dedicated to Hindu deity Shiva, located in the Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai adjacent to the beach of Bay of Bengal. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints), Appar and Tirugnana Sambandar have glorified the temple with their verses during the 7th-8th century. The temple has been widely expanded by Chola kings during the 11th century. The temple has two seven tiered gateway towers, a huge tank, with the overall temple area covering 1 acre. The Marundeeswarar temple has been a place of curative worship for people with diseases.

Thyagaraja Temple is also called as Vadivudai Amman Temple ,is a Hindu temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. It is located in Tiruvottiyur in the northern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is revered by the Tevaram hymns of Saiva nayanars, the 7th century Tamil saint poets and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The temple is closely associated with the saint poet Sundarar and Pattinathar. The temple has been in vogue from the Pallava times of 7th century and widely expanded by Chola kings during the 11th century. The temple has a seven tiered gateway tower, a tank, with the overall temple area covering 1 acre. The temple draws parallel with the Thygaraja temple in Tiruvarur as both the temples were expanded by Rajendra Chola I and both have the same dance poses of Shiva.

Vadapalani Andavar Temple is located in Vadapalani, Chennai. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga. The temple was renovated in 1920s and a Rajakopuram was built during that time. The temple has grown in popularity believed in part due to the patronage of cinema stars Built about 125 years back, this much-hallowed and regularly frequented Lord Muruga sannidhi has emerged from a thatched shed, an unostentatious one enshrining a Murugan picture only, and established for itself a name on par with ancient places of worship. Around 7,000 couples are married here each year.The entrance to this temple is crowned with a rajagopuram adorned with several stucco images depicting legends from the Skanda puranam. In front of the temple is the temple tank. The eastern tower rises to a height of 40.8 metres. The 108 bharata natyam dance gestures can be seen on the eastern tower as well.Temple