Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the state capital of Tamil Nadu and the gateway to the rich culture of Southern India. Some of the major area in Chennai are as follows:
Adyar, Anna Salai, Egmore, Triplicane, Malapore
- Stretching over a length of 13 kms, Marina Beach is the second longest beach in the world.
The beach extends from Fort St. George all the way to Mahabalipuram. The beach is an excellent venue for any tourists for a relaxing evening on the golden sand. Tips for walkers - Start at the Victory War Memorial (using MRTS train station, bus or taxi) and walk for as long as 5 km (3 miles). Stopping points include a range of eateries, caffes, small shops.
- Constructed in the 13th centuary and dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kapaleeshwar Temple is the oldest temple in Chennai.
The temple is a living example of the architectural skills of the Dravidians. Situated in the Malaypore area of Chennai, the temple is the nucleus of the local tank market and residential quarters around it.
- Built in the 8th century by the Pallava kings, the temple was renovated by the mighty Vijayanagar kings in the 16th century. The temple is situated in Triplicane, another beach in Chennai.
- An important pilgrimage center, the cathedral is built over the tomb of apostle St. Thomas. According to legends, St. Thomas arrived in India from Palestine in AD 52 and died after 26 year. The church was built much later probably by the Persian Christians. The church was refurbished in 1606 and made into a cathedral. A museum in the premises of the temple has a 16th-century map of South Asia.
Fort St. George
- The fort is the most powerful symbol of the British Empire in its early days in India, the fort symbolizes the first piece of real estate for British in India. The fort housed barracks for the British army, a parade ground, and the oldest church of Chennai - the St. Mary's Church.
National Art Gallery - Initially known as Victoria Memorial Hall, this gallery was built in 1906, and is situated in a splendid Indo-Saracenic edifice. The eminent historian Tillotson described it as one of "the proudest expressions of the Indo-Sarcenic movement". The gallery has a great collection of old paintings and sculptures including Tanjore paintings on glass; Rajput and Mughal miniature paintings; Deccan paintings from 17th century; and handcrafts, metalware, and ivory carvings from 11th and 12th century.
Guindy National Park - Located in South Chennai, this predominantly decidious shrub jungle of acacia and large trees like sandlewood, etc. is the home to heards of endangered species like blackbuck (Antelope). The park has over 130 species of bird including many migratory birds. Also located in the park is the Madras Snake Park.
Shopping Centers in Chennai
Chennai has two main shopping areas: Anna Salai and Parry's Market. One can find just about anything in these two shopping areas. Well known handicraft stores include Govt. Emporium and Poompuhar, both in Anna Salai.
The most convenient means of getting around in the city are public busses and private cars or taxis. The local Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) and local trains cover large sections of the city and its suburbs.