Capital city of Tamil Nadu state, Chennai lies on the Coromandel Coast. Referred as the “Gateway of South”, Chennai is an ideal city to spend a holiday with your loved ones. From shimmering beaches, theme parks, historical buildings and museums, religious sites, shopping hubs to amazing spread of highways and hi end facilities Chennai has a wide variety of choices for every visitor. Chennai Tourism is ideal for all kinds of travel ranging from long family holidays to quick weekend getaway to school or college tours.
The city is also referred as the ‘Detroit of India’, as it is home to various automobile industries. Not only for automobiles and industries, Chennai city is also educational, commercial and cultural hub of the South India. The blend of modernity and tradition that Chennai presents has been acknowledged and appreciated throughout the world. For instance, the cuisine of Chennai was ranked second in the world by national geography while Lonely Planet has recognised it as the ninth-best city in the world.
History of Chennai
It was called as Chennapattinam by the local residents. There are many stories behind the name of the city. According to some, the name Chennai was given in the honour of Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, who was the father of Damarla Venkatapathy Nayak, a Nayak ruler, while as per others, the name has been derived from Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple.
The city was also called as Madrasapattinam during Nayakars reign which later became Madras. According to some, the name Madras was given by Portuguese. ‘Mae de Deus’ which is Portuguese phrase meaning mother of God, lead to this name of the city. Later in 1996, the state government changed the name of the city from Madras to Chennai.
Initially Chennai was a fishing village under the reign of Vijayanagar Kingdom which eventually came under British rule. The city was also under the reign of Pallavas, Cholas and Pandyas. Later during Portuguese rule, the city developed further when in 1522 Sao Tome port was constructed. Later in 1612, Dutch settled near Pulicat, after which East India Company came in. However in 1746, the city came under the control of French and later to British in 1749 through a treaty called Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
It was during the British rule that the Fort St. George was built. The same place is now home to many state legislature buildings. The recorded modern history of the city dates back to period when British settled at Fort St. George. While as per Archaeological Survey of India, the city has pre-historic settlements; traces of a megalithic cultural establishment in Pallavaram have been found.
Place to visit in Chennai
While on a Chennai tour, you will many interesting choices for sightseeing. From beaches, lakes, parks to museums, magnificent architectures, art galleries to religious sites, there are many places to see in Chennai that are worth exploring. In Chennai with these places to visit you will be pleasantly occupied.
The historical building of Fort St. George is a place not to be missed. Built by British, this fort now is home to state legislature and the Secretariat; serving as the administrative complex for the state government. Another two popular sightseeing places St. George museum and St. Mary’s church are also located here. Other architecturally beautifully places to see include Madras High Court while ancient religious places such as San Thome Church, Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Thousand Lights Mosque, Santhome Cathedral Basilica, Kapaleeswarar Temple and Annai Vailankanni Shrine are also a must visit in Chennai.
For beach lovers, Marina Beach, Covelong Beach, Nettukuppam beach, Elliot’s Beach and Breezy beach are a few beaches to visit. Crocodile Bank, Guindy National Park and Snake Park, Semmozhi Poonga, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Kolavai Lake, Pulicat Lake are some more places to visit for nature enthusiasts.
Other sightseeing places in Chennai are Birla Planetarium, Dakshina Chitra, Vivekananda House and Museum, National Art Gallery and Connemara Public Library.
Location of Chennai
Chennai is located on the south-eastern coast of the country, in the north-eastern part of the Tamil Nadu state.
How to reach Chennai
Chennai city enjoys good connectivity to the rest of country via airway, railways and roadways. The Chennai airport is well connected to all the major cities in the country as well world.
For those, travelling by train, there are three railway stations in Chennai namely Chennai Central, Egmore and Tambaram that connect the city to other places such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, etc. as well as to many parts within the state.
It is also connected by 5 highways, so travelling by road is also a popular mode of transportation. These highways run towards the cities of Bangalore, Kolkata, Madurai, Pondicherry and Tiruvallur. Chennai boasts of one of the Asia’s largest bus stations- CMBT as well. Hence, whether you are travelling by bus or a private car, you will not find any trouble reaching Chennai.