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The Best Tourist Places to Visit in Chennai

Chennai is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the fourth most populous city in India. Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is a major commercial, cultural, and educational center in South India. It is also one of the most visited cities in India, as it offers an array of tourist attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. From world-famous temples, ancient ruins, beaches, and wildlife sanctuaries, to modern shopping malls and amusement parks, Chennai has something for everyone. Here’s a list of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai.

1. Marina Beach

Marina Beach is a natural urban beach in Chennai, located along the Bay of Bengal. This 13 km long beach is the longest urban beach in the country, and is one of the most visited places in Chennai. The beach offers a variety of activities for visitors, such as swimming, sunbathing, and beach sports. The beach is also home to several iconic monuments and sculptures, such as the Gandhi memorial and the statues of eminent personalities like Subhash Chandra Bose and C.N. Annadurai.

Marina Beach also offers a variety of eateries and restaurants lined along the beachfront which serve delicious seafood and other local delicacies. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of recreational activities such as horse riding, camel rides, and boat rides.

The beach is open everyday from 6am to 8pm, and is the perfect spot for a relaxing evening stroll along the shore.

2. Kapaleeshwarar Temple

Kapaleeshwarar temple is one of the oldest temples in Chennai, and is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus. Located in Mylapore, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is one of the few temples in the city that has survived the ravages of time.

The temple’s architecture is a blend of Dravidian and Vijayanagara styles, and it features a 100-foot tall gopuram, which is a pyramidal tower typically found in Hindu temples. The temple is also home to several shrines and sculptures, such as the Nataraja shrine and the Sthala Vriksham (sacred tree).

The temple is open from 6am to 12pm and 4pm to 9pm. It is a great place for visitors to witness the vibrant culture and spirituality of Chennai.

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3. Fort St. George

Fort St. George is a military fort in Chennai, and is the birthplace of the city. Located in the heart of the city, this fort is one of the oldest in India, and is a great place to learn about the city’s history.

The fort was built by the British in 1640 and was the first British fortress in India. Today, the fort houses the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, and is also home to several museums such as the Fort Museum and the Freedom Struggle Museum. Visitors can also explore the St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Anglican church in India, and the Wellesley House, which is the oldest surviving building in the fort.

Visitors can explore the fort from 9am to 5pm on all days except Mondays. The fort is a great place to explore the city’s colonial history.

4. Government Museum

The Government Museum is one of the oldest museums in India, and is located in the Egmore district of Chennai. Established in 1851, the museum is home to a vast collection of artifacts, ranging from prehistoric artifacts to coins, sculptures, and ancient manuscripts.

The museum has six different departments, including the Archaeology, Numismatics, Anthropology, Botany, Geology, and Zoology departments. Visitors can also explore the museum’s art gallery, which has a collection of paintings and sculptures from different periods of Indian history. The museum is open from 9am to 5pm on all days except Fridays, and is a great place to explore the city’s rich culture and history.

5. Vandalur Zoo

The Vandalur Zoo is one of the largest zoological parks in India, and is located in the outskirts of Chennai. Established in 1855, the zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, birds, and reptiles, including tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and more. The zoo also has an aquarium and a reptile house, which are great places to explore the underwater world.

The zoo also has a children’s park, which is a great place for kids to have fun and learn about animals. The zoo is open from 9am to 5pm on all days except Tuesdays, and is a great place to explore the wildlife of South India.

6. Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park is the 8th smallest national park in India, and is located in the heart of Chennai. Established in 1908, the park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including deer, jackals, civets, mongoose, pangolins, and more. The park also has a reptile house, which is home to several species of snakes, lizards, and turtles.

The park also has a children’s park, which is a great place for kids to have fun and learn about nature. The park is open from 8am to 5:30pm on all days except Fridays, and is a great place to explore the wildlife of Tamil Nadu.

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7. Elliot’s Beach

Elliot’s Beach is a popular beach in Chennai, located at the end of the Marina Beach. The beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunset, and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The beach also offers a variety of activities, such as beach volleyball, water sports, and camel rides. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of eateries and restaurants lined along the beachfront, which serve delicious seafood and other local delicacies.

The beach is open everyday from 6am to 8pm, and is the perfect spot for a relaxing evening stroll along the shore.

8. San Thome Basilica

San Thome Basilica is a Roman Catholic minor basilica, located in Mylapore, Chennai. Built in the 16th century, the basilica is dedicated to Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The basilica is a popular pilgrimage site for Christians, and has a rich history, with several legends surrounding its construction.

The basilica is open from 6am to 7pm on all days, and is a great place to witness the vibrant culture and spirituality of Chennai.

9. Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam is a memorial to the great Tamil poet and philosopher, Thiruvalluvar. Located in the heart of Chennai, the memorial is a popular tourist destination and is one of the most visited places in the city. The memorial is built in the form of a chariot, and is adorned with sculptures of Thiruvalluvar and his works. The memorial also has an auditorium, which can accommodate up to 4000 people and is used for cultural and religious events.

The memorial is open from 6am to 8pm on all days, and is a great place to explore the culture and heritage of Chennai.

10. Kalakshetra

Kalakshetra is a cultural academy in Chennai, and is one of the premier institutions in India dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Indian classical arts. Established in 1936, the academy is home to a wide variety of traditional Indian art forms, including music, dance, sculpture, painting, and pottery.

The academy also has a museum, which is home to a wide variety of artifacts, paintings, and sculptures from different periods of Indian history. The academy is open from 8am to 8pm on all days, and is a great place to explore the traditional culture and art of India.

11. Dakshinachitra

Dakshinachitra is a living museum of South Indian culture, located in the outskirts of Chennai. Established in 1996, the museum is home to a variety of traditional South Indian art forms, including crafts, music, dance, and cuisine. The museum also has a craft village, which is home to several traditional craftsmen and artists, who demonstrate their craft and offer souvenirs for sale.

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The museum is open from 10am to 6pm on all days, and is a great place to explore the culture and heritage of South India.

12. Ampa Skywalk

Ampa Skywalk is a shopping mall in Chennai, located in the heart of the city. The mall has several floors, each of which has a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The mall also has an amusement park, which is home to a variety of rides and attractions, as well as a 6D theatre.

The mall is open from 10am to 10pm on all days, and is a great place to shop, eat, and explore the modern culture of Chennai.

Chennai is a great place to explore the culture and heritage of India. From world-famous temples, ancient ruins, beaches, and wildlife sanctuaries, to modern shopping malls and amusement parks, the city has something for everyone. Here’s a list of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai: Marina Beach, Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Fort St. George, Government Museum, Vandalur Zoo, Guindy National Park, Elliot’s Beach, San Thome Basilica, Valluvar Kottam, Kalakshetra, Dakshinachitra, and Ampa Skywalk.