With its historic landmarks and buildings, long sandy beaches, cultural and art centers and parks, Chennai's tourism offers many interesting locations to visitors. One of the most important tourist attraction of Chennai is actually in the neighbouring town of Mahabalipuram with its ancient temples and rock carvings of the 7th century Pallava kingdom.
Chennai is the third most visited city in India by foreigners ranked after Delhi and Mumbai. About 650,000 tourists from USA, UK, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore have visited the city in 2007
The 15 km long and 400 to 500 meter wide Marina Beach features the Light House, memorials, statues, walkways, gardens and drives alongside the beach front. Towards the south of the city of Chennai, Elliot's Beach in Besant Nagar is preferred by younger Chennaiites with its promenade, restaurants and coffee shops.There are a quite a number of beaches and resorts between Elliot’s Beach and Mahabalipuram, along East Coast Road. The most notable of these is Covelong Beach which has a cove and a fort built by the Nawab of the Carnatic
Tourist Attractions in Chennai
Chennai is situated by the side of the Bay of Bengal and had been the British trading post for years. Amongst the must visits, well highlighted by Chennai tourism is the second longest beach in the world - Marina Beach. This beautiful golden beach has shimmering sands that invite innumerable tourists especially during the evenings. The British East India Company's St. George Fort is a famous landmark of Chennai. Another colonial structure in the city of Chennai worth visiting is the Santhome Cathedral. For the religious minded people, visit to the Kapaleeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parthsarthy Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is a must. For animal lovers Guindy National Park and Snake Park of Chennai offer memorable experiences.
Chennai also has the National Art Gallery that offers a good collection of old paintings and sculptures. The Theosophical Society is another must visit here. The lush green gardens with different shrines of various faiths attract tourists and pilgrims alike to Chennai. Being a metropolitan city, Chennai celebrates most of the festivals though during the festival of Pongal the place becomes a perfect destination to visit. The ideal time to visit Chennai is between the months of November to February.
An added attraction in the list of Chennai attractions is the Tidel Park, the home for the Information Technology Industry. It is spread over 1.28 million sq.ft. of built up area. The Tidel Park is an architectural marvel and houses several large national and international software companies in its premises.
Shopping Delight At Chennai
Shopping in Chennai can be an exciting and satisfying experience. There is a wide variety of traditional and trendy merchandise such as carvings on brass, stone, wood and ivory, leather bikinis, bags, shoes, etc, available for you to buy. Traditional items from all over Tamil Nadu can be bought from Chennai like Pattamara Mats and the leaf and palmyra-fiber handicrafts from Tirunellveli, Metal works from Tanjavur, bronze and brass castings and traditional jewellery from Kumbakonam, stone carvings from Mamallapuram and Silks from Kanchipuram. The most popular shopping centers in Chennai are at Rannganatha Street in T. Nagar and Anna Salai.
Chennai tourism offers some good excursion options. There are ancient temple towns like Mahabalipuram and Tirupati (in Andhra Pradesh), traditional townships and villages that specialize in crafts like Kanchipuram, and golden beaches like Covelong.
By Air : The Kamaraj Domestic Airport and the Anna International Airport are located at Meenambakkam about 20 kms from the city. Many major international airlines have regular direct flights to Chennai. Domestic airlines operate daily flights to all major cities of the country from the domestic terminal.
By Rail : Chennai is connected by rail with all major towns and cities in India. Main Railway Stationsof Chennai are, Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore. Trains operate from Egmore Junction to different parts of the state while interstate trains originate from Chennai Central Station.
By Road : Chennai is connected by good network of roads with all important places in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India. Many private vehicles are also available for domestic and interstate transportation. Some major road distances from Chennai to other cities; Bangalore (334kms), Kolkata (1678kms), Hyderabad (704 kms), Trivandrum(790kms), Delhi (2095 km), Mumbai (1329 kms).
Chennai Tourist Attractions and Weekand ToursMamallapuram