Marina Chennai’s seashore hosts one of India’s largest urban beaches, stretching for 13km (8miles) along the city’s eastern flank. The marina, connecing Fort St George with San Thome Basilica almost 5 kms away, was built by Mounstuart Elphinstone grant-Duff, the governor between 1881 and 1886. Described by architectural historian Philp Davies as ” One of the most beautiful marine Promenads in the World”. it is a favourite place for chennai’s citizens to escape the humid heat of the city and enjoy the sea breeeze. The walk along Kamarajar Salai ( earlier known as south beach Road) takes in parks, tree-lined cobbled streets, spectacular colonical and Indo-Saracenic Buildings.
Anna Park The Walk starts from the Victory War Memorial which marks the north end of Kamarajar Salai. This Memorial originally commemorated the victory of the allied armies during World War I and was later dedicated to the memory of those soldiers from the Madras Presidency who lost their lives in World WarII. To its south, in Anna park, is the Anna Samadhi, a Memorial erected in honour of CN Annadurai, the former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, who introduced significant political and social reforms in the state. Further south is the MGR samadhi a commemorative garden with gateways and pathways built in honour of the popular Tamil film icon and Chief Minister, MG Ramachandran. An array of souvenir shops and eateries can be found along this stretch of the beach, attracting tourists from the rest of the state, particulary interesting is the sunday market with its curious jumble of goods.
Across Kamarajar Salai is a series of imposing red brick buildings built in a combination of architectural styles, which include Indian and Moorish feaures. The Indo-Sarcenic Madras University was founded in 1857, making it one of the oldest universities in India. An architectural marvel the Senate House was designed by Robert Chisholm in a mixture of Byzantine and Saracenic styles. This became the headquarters of Madras University in 1879. These buildings now stand in what was once the sprawling estate of the old chepauk palace. This splendid indo Saracenic structure, on Wallajah Road, was once the home of the Nawab of Arcot. Though the palace was built in 1768, Chisholm added the extensions, including the tower that once connected the two wings. It now houses government offices. Chepauk Stadium, Chennai’s famous cricket ground, lies behind the palace. Further down the road is Presidency College, the first institution in South India for higher education founded in 1840. This rather austere structure has aribbed dome with four clocks on its surface. Among the famous alumni of the college are the first Indian governor-general C.Rajagopalachari and the Nobel Prize- winning Physicists, CV Raman and his nephew, S Chandrasekhar.
South Marina Further South, an inpressive landmark on Kamarajar Salai is the statue. This sculpture was created by Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhary, who became the first Indian Principal of the Madras School of Arts and Crafts in 1929. West of the main road, off Annie Besant road, is the Ice House. In the 1840s, this circular building with a stone pineapple perchd on its roof, was a storehouse for ice, which was imported all the way from New England. It was also the site from which Swami Vivekanda delivered his speeches when he visited the city. It has now been handed over to the Ramakrishna Mission which has plans to restore it. Further south is Queen Mary’s College, today the Madras College for Women. Opened in July 1914, this was Chennai’s first women’s College. A bust of the queen still graces the entrance of the building. An imposing lighthouse marks the southern end of the Marina.
Kishkintha The first amusement theme park Kishkintha, is near Chennai. It is situated 28 Kms south of Chennai near Tambaram. It spreads over an area of 110 acres. Kishkintha park offers exciting rides and attractions. Timings: week days 11 am to 7 pm. Sunday and Holidays 11 am to 8 pm.
M G M Dizzy world
This amusement park is situated at Muttukkadu, enroute to Mamallapuram. Timings: 10.30 am to 9 pm.
Dakshina Chitra It is a unique heritage village situated at Muttukadu on the new Mamallapuram Coastal Road, 20 Km from Chennai. It offers the visitor an unforgettable and authentic insight into the lifestyles of the diverse people of South India.The Arts and Crafts village, Dakshina chitra narrate the story of the South Indian Culture. The Tamil history, language and way of life can be experienced with a guided tour. Architecture of the past 200 years is represented in the real rural setting. Every house is typical of its own professional group. Traders, potters, weavers, and others working in the traditional way make exquisite pottery, baskets, and carved stone items, some of which are for sale. The center is now developed to include the cultural replicas from all four states of South India. The folk and classical dance performances can be seen here.
Replete with historical monuments such as forts, churches, mosques, and a lovely beach, Covelong is a place where you can experience the history of Tamil Nadu as a whole. If you are in Chennai, don’t miss out on a visit to this place.
It is situated in Pantheon road. This is not for its exquisite collection of more than 2000 Indian bronzes and Amaravathi marbles. Three great buildings of architectural value – the Museum Theatre, the Extension Hall and the Connemara Public Library are in this complex. The present Museum has several sections, four galleries- Hindu sculpture gallery, the Amaravathi gallery, the Bronze gallery and the National art gallery constitute the main attractions.
Visit : Tuesday to Saturday From 09.30 to 17.00 hrs.
It is at Fort St.George. The museum has 10 rooms displaying the documents of Indian history. The old uniforms, coins, padlocks, old prints and palanquins are displayed here. The banquet hall upstairs has a collection of paintings of the Governors and officials of the British regime.
Timing : Saturday to Thursday From 10.00 to17.00 hrs.
M.G.R Film City
One of Chennai’s newest attractions is the Film City, dedicated to the memory of the hugely popular matinee idol, MG Ramachandran. This is now the most popular location for Chennai’s flourishing Tamil Film Industry which is second (next to Mumbai) in film production. A fantasy world of extravagant sets and hitech equipment, film city attracts Starstruck fans from all over Tamilnadu, who come here to catch a glimpse of their favourite film stars.
Government decision to begin “development works” there as part of its efforts to make it a “knowledge park.” A public notification mentioning the ban has been put up in front of the main entrances. The closure would enable the TIDCO (Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation), the nodal agency, to embark on the project. According to official sources, in the area allocated for MGR Film City, 24.78 acres remain unutilised. This area is to be placed at TIDCO’s disposal to develop the proposed project that would support research activities in information technology, biotechnology and telecommunications. The Information and Tourism Department and TIDCO will outline the specific area for the knowledge park and ensure that proper access to the area through the existing Film city is developed.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, has proposed to set up a project for research in Communication and Information Technology. TIDCO has approached several institutions to set up research facilities in bio-technology. Such institutions can be located in this area. TIDCO will take steps to commission the project in this financial year.
Official sources said the State had positioned itself well for development of areas commonly classified as “the knowledge sector.”
A sound technical and educational infrastructure and the vast pool of technical manpower available in the region were cited as the key factors for the speedy development in the knowledge industry. The Government was of the view that support of research activities in this field would yield significant results for the development of the industry in the State.
By Air :
Chennai international airport is well connected to London, Framkfurt, Singapore, Malaysia, Middle-east, Arabiancountries, Newyork, Hong kong,etc.
The distance from Chennai airport to city is 20kms.It is advisible to take prepaid taxi from the airport as the fair is fixed else taxi or auto drivers are will be lot of bargaining.
By Rail :Chennai has two main railway stations They are Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore.