Chennai is beautifully situated on the shores of Coromandel Coast and boasts of a rich cultural heritage that has been passed on to it from generations to generations. Chennai depicts an aesthetic blend of elegant past and vibrant modernism. Thecontemporary city is also nicknamed as the 'Gateway to South India'. Chennai was earlier known as Madras. Chennai has been efficientlyable to restore its ethnic charm. Amidst the long stretches of beach waters, parks, sculptures and historic memoirs one can visualisea lively city which is continuously amalgamating itself with modern trends. One can easily conclude that Chennai is a vibrant mix of culture and tradition. The harvest festival of Pongal reflects the sublime art of Tamil Nadu. Marina Beach is one of themost attractive spots in Chennai. There is a famous place called Milapur where ancient shrines like Kapileswara temple, St. Thomas Basilica, St. Thomas Mount and a Portuguese church are located. One can begin the journey from St. George where there is a grand museum, the Clive Houseproudly stands as a landmark of British legacy and St. Mary's Church which is touted as one of the oldest Anglical churches in Asia.
CONNECTIVITY TO CHENNAI: Chennai is connected to all the major metros of the country owing to an efficient rail network. Anna International Airportis connected to major cities abroad and Kamraj Airport is the domestic airport in Chennai which is well connected to all major cities in India. TSRTC and other private bus services provide services to all cities in the State.
ATTRACTIONS IN CHENNAI:
-CONNEMARA LIBRARY: The library stores a collection of over half a million books. Henry Irwin, the renowned architect designed the building in the Pantheon complex in Chennai. The library began in 1861 as part of the Madras Museum and was opened to the public in 1896 by Lord Connemara, the then Governor of Madras Presidency.
-FORT ST. GEORGE: is situated on the eastern side of the city on the shores of Bay of Bengal. It was built in the British regime under the supervision of Andrew Cogon in1640 AD. The 46m fkagstaff at the front is a mast secured from the 17th century shipwreck. The fort houses St. Mary's church and museum. Thick massive walls and moats surround the fort.
-NATIONAL ART GALLERY: also known as Victoria Memorial Hall is a pink sandstone building that was built in Jaipuri Jaina style. The gallery contains varioustraditions of Indian paintings.
-RIPON BUILDING: is an enticing white structure which is rectangular in shape. The classic structure represents a sordid mix of three architectural styles-Gothic, Ironic and Corinthian. The walls are raised with stock bricks and plastered in lime mortar. Teak wood pillars support the roofs. A huge clock of8 feet diameter and a tall tower of 132 feet adorn the building. The clock is equipped with a mechanical system and is wound every day.
-VELLUVAR KOTAM: is an auditorium having a capacity for 4000 people and was built in remembrance of the poet saint Tiruvalluvar. Verses of the poet areembellished on the pillars and an alluring attraction is the 101 feet chariot structure which attracts many tourists.
-VIVEKANANDA HOUSE: also known as Ice House is the shrine and pilgrimage of Swami Vivekananda who stayed in this house for six weeks in 1900. It representsa victorian style of architecture with its typical designs of sunburst and gabled roof. The bedroom where Vivekanand stayed is now a safe haven for meditation. Devotees can stroll through the kitchen where he prepared food, the parlor where he spoka and the garden in which he played with children.
-ASHTALAXMI TEMPLE: is a highly revered shrine on the shores of Bay of Bengal. The deities are installed in four levels and architecture is simply astounding. The presiding deities are Goddess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu. There is a separate shrine for Ashtalaxmi forms and there is a shrine for Dasavatars of Lord Vishnu.
-PRAKASAM SALAI: It is a grandiose building in Indo Sarcenic style and composed of red bricks. Prakasam Salai, earlier known as Popham's Broadway, a distance off George Town, has a cluster of old shrines that include Kandaswamy Koil, Tucker's Church, a Wesleyan Chapel and the Anderson's Church.
-SANTHOME CATHEDRAL BASILICA: is an ancient pilgrim centre built by Portugese around 15th century. The cathedral near Chennai Beach got its name from St. Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ. A museum is located near to this place and one of the attractions of the museum is 16th century map of South Asia.
-MARINA BEACH: one of the chief attractions of the city is the second longest beach in the world and is having a wide sandy foreshore. One can see statuesof Tamil heroes and political leaders.
-MGR FILM CITY: established in fond memory of MG Ramachandran. The film city comprises of a film school, indoor and outdoor shooting locations, replicas of village and urban areas, temple, church, mosque, post office, police station, prison, courtroom, and landscaped gardens in Italian, Japanese and Mughal styles. The recently opened MGR Knowledge Park is an additional attraction.