Holidays are always fun and a great way to give a new meaning to life. It is not necessary to choose an international destination to spend your holidays to break the stressful monotony as India has so many beautiful places to spend quality time with your family and friends. Chennai is an ideal choice for people who look for a great destination that offers both quality and variety. With plenty of ancient temples with carved divine images and long spectacular beaches, it is one of the best places in South India to explore.
Travelers can find an array of alluring tourist attractions in Chennai from architecture to nature and from old to modern. Probably, for this reason, this city is in the bucket list for many travelers and holidaymakers. Explore the beautiful tourist attractions of this destination conveniently and without any hassles through Colourful Indian Holidays.
Chennai- a pretty coastal city with serene beaches
Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is the capital city of the South Indian state, Tamil Nadu. It is also a significant cultural and economic center in South India. Fabulous beaches and ancient temples with eye-catching carvings are the prime attraction of this port city. People who visit this destination do not forget to visit the lovely Marine Beach and Elliot’s Beach to relax and watch spectacular sunsets.
Wildlife enthusiasts find it an amazing place to visit because of some attractions like Crocodile Bank, Guindy National Park and Arignar Anna Zoological Park. They can spot a wide range of animal species at these places. It shall be exciting to visit the less-explored places in the country and Chennai is a good option to spend some warm holidays with plenty of water activities.
Tourist attractions in Chennai
Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state Tamil Nadu, offers numerous tourist attractions and plenty of entertaining and engaging activities. Being the cultural capital of South India, Chennai is a favorite hangout for many people. They love to explore the historical, cultural and architectural marvels of this city. Here are the top attractions in this city if you plan to visit it anytime soon.
Marina Beach – Second longest urban beach in the world
Taking a stroll on the sandy Marina Beach shall be a refreshing experience for each visitor. It is the largest beach in the country and the second longest urban beach in the world. Lined up with palm trees, this beach extent from the St. George Fort to the Besant Nagar gives magnificent views.
An old lighthouse is there on the southern end of this beach. Some other nearby attractions includes a swimming pool, a park and an aquarium. Many people visit the beach to enjoy the breathtaking sunrise and spectacular sunsets. This beach also offers plenty of entertainment options for the visitors. Each of them loves to taste varieties of dishes especially lip-smacking seafood from the food stalls which are available at reasonable prices. You can also make your evening relaxing and entertaining with some other activities like beach games, pony rides, and kite flying. Since Chennai is a destination with a hot and humid climate, the best time to visit it from November to March.
Sri Parthasarathy Temple – A temple with old sculptures and a high-rising gopuram
Sri Parthasarathy Temple is a must-visit site in Chennai famous not only for its stunning architecture but also for its historical importance. Also known as the Brindaranya Kshetram, this ancient temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams. Lord Venkatakrishnan is the presiding deity of this temple. Sri Parthasarathy Temple also has some sub-deities such as Lord Rama, Lord Gajendra Varadar, Lord Narasimha and Lord Ranganatha.
Situated at Tiruvallikkeni, it was originally built by Pallavas in the 8th century but Vijayanagar kings renovated it in the 11th century. Colored Rajagopurams (towers) are the exquisite feature of this temple. The gopurams and pillars of the Sri Parthasarathy Temple reflect the beauty of the South Indian temple architecture. Visit this temple during your trip to Chennai for a different travel experience.
Elliot’s Beach – A serene but less-crowded beach in Chennai
You must include the Elliot’s Beach in your travel itinerary to Chennai especially if you are a beach lover. Blessed with many scenic beaches, Chennai is a favorite destination for many honeymoon couples and beach lovers. Now named at Besant Nagar Beach, the Schmidt Memorial is the highlight of the Elliott Beach.
This white structure was built in the memory of a Dutch sailor named Karl Schmidt. The famous AshtaLakshmi Temple and the sacred Velankanni Church are situated on the southern end of this beach. With clean brown sands and panoramic charm, visiting the Elliot’s Beach in Chennai shall be a pleasant experience for each visitor. This scenic beach is approximately 10-15 kilometers away from the Chennai City.
Covelong Beach – known for panoramic surroundings and plenty of activities
Covelong Beach is one of the most major tourist attractions in Chennai. This beach paradise lures travelers with its serene and scenic surroundings. It is almost 35 kilometers away from Chennai and 23 kilometers from Mahabalipuram. Its proximity to the famous tourist destination of Mahabalipuram makes it more popular among tourists.
Besides, several ancient monuments are also near this beach such as churches, mosques, and forts. The Crocodile farm is also a nearby attraction to the Covelong Beach. This beach also was a prominent port for the ships. People can indulge in different water sports on this beach like swimming and windsurfing. It shall be amazing to opt for a beach camping with a bonfire in the clean brown sands of Covelong Beach.
Mahabalipuram – an ancient town with amazing combination of history, heritage and myth
Get a chance to explore the beauty of an ancient town by including Mahabalipuram in your travel itinerary. Located almost 60 kilometers south of Chennai on the Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site where you can experience the unique combination of myth, legend, history, and heritage. Also known as Mamallapuram, this destination is famous for its magnificent cave temples and plenty of rock-cut shore temples.
With so many monuments and captivating temples, Mahabalipuram should be there on the list of your must-visit places in Chennai. It shall be exciting to explore all those nine monolithic temples in this destination which were believed to be built during the 7th century. Ensure to keep a full day for your trip to Mahabalipuram to explore all the tourist attractions in this ancient town conveniently.
Kapaleeshwar Temple – An ancient temple with Dravidian style of temple architecture
The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is known for its beautiful temple architecture and Chennai is not an exception for this. People who made a trip to this city ensure to visit its marvelous temples. Kapaleeshwar Temple is one such temple with eye-catching architecture. Shiva and Karpagambal are two main deities of this temple.
It has a unique Dravidian architectural style with a height of almost 37 meters. The temple head and gopuram are two great features of it. Devotees from different parts of the state visit this temple to participate in its annual festival which held in the month of March or April. The temple complex has a huge tank filled with water which was a fine example of the ancient way of storing water.
Fort St. George – A great historic monument
Also known as the White Town, the Fort St. George is the first fortress built by British in India. Established in the year 1644, this marvelous structure built along the Bay of Bengal shoreline fascinates travelers with its beautiful structure. This architecture was made as a center point during the British reign for official purposes but now has been transformed into a museum.
Visitors can watch several items in this museum such as arms, coins, porcelain, paintings, and silverware. This museum and the St. Mary’s Church are two main sections of this fort. The Flagstaff is a great attraction of the Fort which is one of the tallest structures in India. Often referred to as the ‘Westminster Abbey of the East, the Fort St. George stands tall in Chennai with great grandeur.
Rippon Building – An elegant British architecture with vintage look
Just admire the vintage look of British architecture by visiting the Rippon Building in Chennai. It is one of the most stylish structures in the city that reminds the rich colonial past of the country. It has high ceilings which supported by attractive Teak wood joists and its flooring made attractive using the Cuddapah tiles.
Another fascinating feature of this architectural marvel is the West Minister Quarter Chiming Clock. Built in 1913, Rippon Building attracts travelers with beautiful gardens and parks. Its complex also includes the Victoria Public Hall, the Nehru Stadium and Moore Market.
Mylapore – An exotic destination with a unique culture
Make your holidays in Chennai a special one by visiting the exotic destination of Mylapore. Located almost 8 kilometers away from the Chennai city, this destination attracts travelers with its temples, tree-lined avenues, and the presence of great musicians. One can see the right mix of temples, churches, and mosques in this region. Kapaleeswarar temple, Adi Kesava Perumal Temple and the San Thomas Basilica are must-visit pilgrim centers in Mylapore. Historically known as Vedapuri, it is among the oldest residential areas in Tamil Nadu. People who visit Mylapore also love to taste its unique dishes which have exotic fragrance.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park- for a wonderful wildlife experience
Every nature lover and wildlife enthusiast loves to visit the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai for an amazing travel experience. Home to more than 500 species of exotic wildlife, visiting this wildlife sanctuary shall be a wonderful way to watch many rare and endangered animal species.
A highlight of this zoological park is that it has a separate section for nocturnal animals. This wildlife sanctuary also has an amphibian house, a butterfly house, an aquarium, and a crocodile house to attract visitors. Deer Safari, lion safari, elephant safari, and an aviary are also popular attractions of the Arignar Anna Zoological Park. This park is nestled near the City Center in Chennai.
Crocodile Bank – A unique place to visit
Do not forget to include the Crocodile Bank in your travel itinerary especially if you are on a family vacation to Chennai with children. It is the first crocodile breeding center in Asia with approximately 2500 creatures within the bank. In addition to crocodiles, visitors can watch snakes, alligators, muggers, sea turtles, water birds and gharials in the Crocodile Bank.
A souvenir shop also inside this picnic spot from where you can buy books and memorabilia for crocodiles and other reptiles. Crocodile Bank is located almost 40 kilometers away from the Chennai city and it remains closed on Mondays. Visitors can capture videos and photos by paying an additional fee.
Royapuram Fishing Harbour – a biggest fish market in Chennai
Royapuram Fishing Harbour is a great tourist attraction in Chennai where each visitor can enjoy an exhilarating experience. It is an ideal place in this city to spend some time in leisure and to capture mind-blowing photographs. With so many wonderful vistas, it is a photographer’s delight.
They love to take photographs of the local fishermen who catch fish using nets, pile up the fish they catch and sell them in the markets. With a capacity to accommodate nearly 575 fishing boats, visitors can watch amazing views from this harbor. Located at the northern area of the Chennai port, this picnic is almost 6 kilometers away from the Chennai City.
Guindy National Park and Snake Park – An ideal place to watch varieties of snakes and wildlife
Visiting the wildlife sanctuaries is enthralling and adventurous and the Guindy National Park and Snake Park in Chennai have something exciting to offer you. Situated in the heart of the Chennai City, this park is home to wide varieties of animals, birds, and reptiles. Watching the deer, jackals, tortoise, spotted deer and blackbucks in this park make your children excited.
They also love to see wide varieties of birds in this picnic spot such as the flycatcher, buzzards, partridge, and quail. Visitors can watch different types of snakes such as cobras, viper, and pythons in the snake park. The Guindy National Park and Snake Park is an ideal spot to spend a few hours away from the tensions and worries of your daily life.
Vellankani Shrine -A well known Christian pilgrimage site
Vellankani Shrine is an enormous basilica shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Vellankani. This Christian pilgrim site draws millions of pilgrims and tourists each year. Located on the coast of Bay of Bengal, this holy site is a must-visit destination in Chennai especially for people who search for the historical tourist places in the city.
Stands off the Elliot’s Beach, the white pristine architecture of this church is truly alluring. Many people who seek peace and solace visit the Vellankani Shrine and attend the mass prayer.
Things to do in Chennai
When you spend a considerable amount of time on a vacation, you can make the trip more exciting and refreshing with different activities. It is the best way for each traveler to go back with a bunch of thrilling stories to cherish for a lifetime. Plan to indulge in different activities other than exploring the best tourist attractions in your vacation destination. Here are the best activities that you can try for a wonderful holiday experience in Chennai.
Take stroll around the beautiful beaches in Chennai
Chennai is a marvelous city nestled on the east coast of the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. This city is blessed with some of the spectacular beaches in the country. The Marina Beach is the most popular beach in Chennai which is easily accessible as it is located within the city premises.
It fascinates travelers with its picturesque surroundings, rolling waves, and breathtaking views. This second largest beach in the world has a coastline of nearly 13 kilometers. Elliot’s Beach is another popular beach in Chennai which is also not far away from the city. Located in the Besant Nagar, this beach attracts people with its pictorial beauty. The calm and serene surroundings, less crowded ambiance and easy accessibility also make it a popular picnic spot for many locals and tourists.
It must be thrilling for travelers to opt for beach camping and feel the excitement when the salty breeze touches their face. Beach camping is interesting as it will give you the chance to spend some time with nature under the clear sky at night. People who indulge in this activity also love to laze around the stunning beach and enjoy in some beach activities like Frisbee and volleyball.
It shall be amazing for you to enjoy the scenic beauty of nature while camping under the night starry sky and gaze at the stars. The organizers also arrange a delicious meal for the people who opt for camping in Chennai. Get ready to wake up to a striking sunrise the next morning after a wonderful camping night.
Take a walk through the scenic Thalankuppam Pier
Thalankuppam Pier is a panoramic destination in Chennai which lures travelers with its spellbound beauty. Nestled in the northern part of the city, this small fishing hamlet is an ideal choice for those who seek peace and tranquility in this metro city. This quaint picnic spot is very much popular with the South Indian Film Industry where visitors can enjoy plenty of activities.
Each visitor loves enjoying taking a stroll through this scenic pier. You can watch spectacular golden sun rays playing hide and seek with the glittering waves if you visit this spot either in the morning or evening. Take a walk along this scenic pier to feel its serenity and go back with some beautiful moments of your vacation.
Enjoy some water sports in Muttukadu
Muttukadu is a small town in Chennai blessed with scenic landscapes and lush greenery. Renowned for sparkling backwaters and tranquil nature, this destination is also famous for some thrilling water activities.
It is a favorite spot for many adventure enthusiasts as they can enthrall themselves with some interesting activities during their trip to Chennai. Some of the activities that you enjoy in this place include boating, canoeing, surfing, and kayaking. People who visit this place in February can enjoy the windsurfing regatta organized in Muttukadu.
Enjoy some fun rides in MGM Dizzee World
If you are on a family vacation to Chennai, your kids love to have some fun rides in the MGM Dizzee World. It is a perfect place for those who are fond of amusement parks and indulge in different water sports. You can spend a fun-filled day with several water slides and entertainment rides during your Chennai holidays by visiting this amusement park.
One of the great features of this picnic spot is that it can keep each visitor engaged throughout the day. Travelers to this amusement park love to explore its Water World. Plan a day to the MGM Dizzee World if you look for some exciting and fun-filled things in Chennai.
Enjoy Fishing at Barracuda Bay
People who are on a vacation to Chennai love to try a little angling at the Barracuda Bay for a memorable travel experience. It is a memorable way to spend your holidays. People who wish to be a part of the fishing expedition need to complete the registration formalities in the Barracuda Bay Sports Fishing Club.
Those who completed the registration can avail of different packages and you can choose one of them to depend on the duration and type of the expedition. Some of the popular types of fishing packages offered by this club include the popping, trolling and jigging. You can check the distance one can travel and the species available within that region from the details of the package.
Shopping in Chennai
Your holidays in Chennai do not complete without enjoying its shopping culture. Chennai attracts travelers not only with majestic tourist attractions but this destination is also famous for its fantastic shopping malls that sell both domestic and international brands. The shopping places and bazaars in this city offer a wide range of items at budgeted rates.
Pondy Nagar is a good recommendation for people who search for some trendy clothes and stylish footwear. You can also buy mobile phone, accessories and other electronic items from this place. George Town, T. Nagar, and Sowcarpet are great places to buy textiles. Some of the popular malls in Chennai include the Phoenix Market, Express Avenue, Spencer Plaza, and Abirami Mega Mall. Visit some of these malls and markets for a fun-time shopping in Chennai.
Never miss out the local dishes
Chennai is a city with rich culture and traditions and it can be seen in all spheres of life including their delicious dishes. Many people from across the globe are fond of South Indian dishes and Chennai is one of the perfect places to enjoy such authentic dishes. People who visit this city prefer to try varieties of dosas. Filter coffee is another must-try item during your trip to this city. Some other popular local dishes that you taste in Chennai include the Mulligatawny Soup, Nethili Fry, Masala Dosai, Murukku Sandwich, Mysore Pak, Full Meals, Madras Atho and Kothu Parotta.
Adorned with ancient sculptured temples, majestic churches with eye-catching architecture and tranquil beaches, Chennai is a fantastic heritage destination for a vacation that dwells in the modern day. Travelers can find all the comforts and facilities of a metro city in this destination including a young and bright crowd and an exciting nightlife. It is also a great place for pilgrimage, shopping or gastronomic tours. Contact Colourful Indian Holidays to plan your trip to Chennai to enjoy its stunning beaches, spectacular sunsets, serene ambiance, and traditional dishes.
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