Chennai Travel Guide

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Chennai Travel Guide

Chennai Local History

Chennai grew out of a small village called Madraspatnam when in 1639 it was selected by members of the East India company for English settlement. In 1644 a small fort was built in the city and named Fort St George.

During the 18th and 19th centuries the city was part of the struggle between the British and the French in their battle for supremacy in India. In 1876 construction of the Madras harbour commenced and was completed in 1905. In 1997 the government of Tamilnadu changed the name of madras to Chennai. Now one of the country's principal ports Chennai is far less congested and polluted than other major metropolitan regions.

Chennai Attractions

Top Attractions

Fort St George The fort today houses the Secretariats and the Legislative Assembly of Tamilnadu as well as the St Mary's Church the oldest Anglican church in the east and the fort museum. South of the fort is the War Memorial dedicated to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the first World War. The fort museum contains a collection of paintings, exhibits of weapons, uniforms, medals and artefacts.

Santhome Cathedral The name is derived from St Thomas who was believed to have come to Madras in 52AD. The original church was rebuilt as a cathedral in 1606 and has beautiful stained glass windows, beautifully carved wooden plaques and a statue of the virgin Mary.

National Art Gallery and Museum Founded in 1857, this museum and gallery houses some fine works of art and exhibits covering archaeology, geology, botany, zoology, anthropology and more.

Hansel & Gretel Kids Play Center H&G has a great indoor play area (Safely furnished with kids in mind ) for children with WiFi access. A library, a mini-theatre and an outdoor area makes it a perfect place for kids. It is open every day of the week. Check out www.hanselandgretel.in
submitted by Jayanthi, 04/07/08

Vanilla Place for Babies Vanilla has got a play gym for children, a Wi-Fi vegetarian cafe,an outdoor play area for children (where they can actually drive cars), a beautiful children furniture and furnishing shop, a library, a massage center and exercise classes. It is open even on Sundays!
submitted by Lakshmi, 01/02/08

Chennai Shopping

The city of Chennai has several emporia along Mount Road (Anna Salai is its popular name), here you will find almost anything.

Chennai Activities

Birla Planetarium This is the most modern planetarium in the country, housing a fully computerised display system. Alongside you will find the Periyar Science and Technology Museum, which should interest students and scholars.

Snake Park Attracting visitors of all ages, this facility houses a variety of Indian snakes and reptiles that can be viewed up close. A large playground with birds and animals is adjacent to the park.

Chennai Parks & Gardens

Nageswara Park A luscious expanse of pleasant trees and flowers, this park has walkways, benches and fountains.

Chennai Beaches

Marina Beach This famous beach forms the eastern boundary of the city and is supposedly the second longest beach in the world at 12km. The area becomes a virtual fairground in the mornings and evenings with all kinds of entertainment and refreshment stalls.

Chennai Restaurants and Bars

Chennai is the capital of South Indian cuisine, from idli, vada, idiyappam to the uppuma and dosa you will find it all here.

Chennai Restaurants

Dhabba Express Offering authentic Punjabi food, you will find a choice of three restaurants here. Dhabba Lahori is situated in the open-air garden complete with waterfall kebabs are the speciality here. Inside you will find Dhabba Lahori A/C with beautiful paintings and food served in brass plates. Dhabba Express is also situated in a garden and features a lunch buffet, which is extremely popular. The address is 9 Cenotaph Road.

Paramakudi This is a spacious restaurant adorned with mirrors and decorative lighting. The specialty is Chettinad cuisine and the prices are reasonable. Some unusual dishes include Rabbit Fry, however the most popular dish is the non-vegetarian biriyani, which is excellent.

Basera In Urdu, the name means nest and this feeling is conveyed by the way the restaurant is nestled amidst the lush greenery. The menu features an eclectic mix of cuisines from all over the world as well as Indian dishes. The buffet is a good option if you are having trouble deciding. The address is 146 East Coast Road.

Chennai Bars & Clubs

Hell Freezes Over This 6000sq foot club is the hottest spot on the Chennai night scene. With state of the art sound and lighting systems, pool tables, popular music, good selection of drinks and an electric atmosphere, HFO is the place to party.

Wild West Designed to look like a wild west saloon, this place is the place to come in Chennai if you are into pool. There are plenty of tables to choose from here, there are also snacks and beverages available. The address is 769 Anna Salai.

Chennai children's activities

Birla Planetarium This is the most modern planetarium in the country, housing a fully computerised display system. Alongside you will find the Periyar Science and Technology Museum, which should interest students and scholars.

Snake Park Attracting visitors of all ages, this facility houses a variety of Indian snakes and reptiles that can be viewed up close. A large playground with birds and animals is adjacent to the park.

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