Chennai City, with all its hustle and bustle, offers the tourist a wide variety of places to visit. From shopping centres to places of historical importance, Chennai has it all. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai stretches for 19 kilometres along the Coromandel Coast. As you fly into Chennai, you will not only see this amazing coastline, but also notice the vast cityscape that stretches into the horizon.
Some of the places of interest in Chennai are Fort St. George, Anna Memorial, Santhome Church, Birla Planetarium, and Elliot's Beach.
Fort St. George
Built in 1653, and one of the most interesting historical monuments to
be seen in the city, Fort St. George is a splendid example of British
military architecture. The fort was remodelled in 1749. Part of the fort is converted into a museum, which showcases remnants of the first British outpost in India and allows viewers to understand the regality of the age. The other part of the fort acts as the legislative and administrative seat of the state.
is surrounded by a six-metre tall wall, which has withstood numerous
sieges, ranging from the Mughals in 1701, to the Marathas in 1741, and
Hyder Ali in the eighteenth century. There are a number of buildings of
importance within the fort.
Some of the more notable ones are Clive's Corner, which commemorates
Robert Clive, and St. Mary's Church, which is the oldest Protestant
Church in the East. There is also Wellesley House, the place where
Arthur Wellesley, lived during his first active military duty.
Wellesley went on to become the First Duke of Wellington and is
renowned for his contribution in the battle of Waterloo. Fort St.
George is the site for Madras's first lighthouse, first commercial bank, and first club.
St. Thomas Mount
St. Thomas Mount is one of the most visited spots for both tourists and the locals in Chennai.
Renowned as the mount where St. Thomas was caught by his pursuers, the
hill draws people of all religions. The mount is situated close to
Chennai's cantonment area, Defence Colony. It is accessible by a long
flight of steps leading from the base of the mount right up to the top
where an old church is located. The church was built around 1523 by the
Portuguese. The church has a number of relics, such as a stone cross
that is said to bleed. The last occasion it was said to have bled was
Smaller in size than the imposing St. Thomas Mount, the Little
Mount is considered to be the place where St. Thomas resided. This
mount has a small church which has an opening to a small cave where he
used to hide. Access to the cave is possible through a passage cut into
the rock that is so small that most people have to crouch and crawl to
enter it. It is an experience that is definitely not recommended for
Inside the cave there is a small altar and another opening
leading to the east. This opening is said to lead to a passageway
through which St. Thomas fled from his pursuing assailants to St.
Thomas Mount. This tunnel is not accessible to the public. The origin
of the tunnel itself, is thought by some to be a miracle. Near the
tunnel's entrance is a clearly visible palm print, considered to be
that of St. Thomas himself.
Guindy National Park
Guindy National Park is one of India's smallest
national parks and among the very few that are located within a metro.
This park is situated near the Tamil Nadu Governor's bungalow. The park
boasts of a wide variety of flora and fauna for its size. It has more than 24 varieties of trees, 14 varieties of shrubs, 14 types of mammals, and 37 varieties of birds.
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