Are you planning a trip to India? You should consider heading to Chennai. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu and functions as an important economic center. The atmosphere is less busy and more welcoming than in other large Indian cities.
Chennai is a very popular touristic destination. It it a real gateway to South India and can boast the highest number of touristic arrivals. Emirates recently added flights to Chennai, which makes traveling to this city even easier.
Plan on spending a few days in Chennai so you have time to see everything. There are plenty of things to do in Chennai:
The Kapaleeshwarar Temple
This is one of the oldest temples in Channei and it is still being used. The architecture of the temple is absolutely breath-taking, especially its gopuram or entrance gate.
The Marina Beach Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thomas
This great cathedral was built over the tomb of St. Thomas. There are only three churches in the world built over the tomb of an Apostle of Christ. Pilgrims have the possibility to go pray at the tomb inside the underground chapel. You will also find a museum and a theater dedicated to the life of the Apostle.
Marina Beach is the longest beach of the country. It is also the world’s second longest beach. You cannot swim there but it is a great place for leisure. You will find an aquarium, some swimming pools, a nice promenade and a lot of restaurants. The atmosphere is very pleasant. If you are interested in Indian culture, you will get plenty of opportunity to see what people do for fun. You will also see a lot of statues, memorials and buildings dating back to the British colonial period.
The Government Museum
The Government Museum is located in the heart of Chennai. It is a 16.25 acre museum complex made from six building. You will find 46 galleries divided in eight sections, including a fun Children’s museum. The Museum was created in 1857 and it is one of the oldest museums of the country.
Fort St. George
This fort is named after the patron saint of England. It was built in the 1600s by the British East India Company. The fort was used to support spice trading activities. The fort helped Chennai become an important commercial hub. The fort is now used as headquarters for the Tamil Nadu’s legislative assembly. There is also a museum where you will find artifacts from the Raj era.
The Royal Enfield Factory
The Royal Enfield Factory is located 17 kilometers from Chennai. It is one of the oldest motorcycle factories in the world. It still builds Royal Enfield motorcycles in a traditional manner. The Bullet 350, a legendary motorcycle, has been produced there since 1955.
St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Churhc is the oldest Anglican Church of the East. It is also the first English church built in India and one of the oldest churches still standing in India. The church is in Fort St. George and you will notice that the church was built so it could be defended. The church has thick walls because the environment was not safe for English colonizers at the time. Some original elements such as the glass windows or the wall paintings have been preserved and you can take a tour to see them.