Sights of Chennai City

Places to see in Chennai (Madras)

Recently there was a query in Reddit on what are the places in Chennai as a tourist one must see if they have, say, two weeks in the city. I shared the following list, that I am reposting here.

Welcome to our city with lovely people. I have given below a list of places I have written about in the past, that you may check out while in Chennai. I was born in Chennai (aka Madras), been living here for over 4 decades and so I know a bit about the city!

  1. Fort Museum – This is the first place in India the British bought in 1639 and started their colonization.
  2. Egmore Museum – Bronze gallery and Art gallery.
  3. Kapaleeshwarar Temple. If you wish to go to more of temples: Vadapalani Murugan temple, Sri Parthasarathy Temple (Near from Marina Beach, the next item), Tiruneermalai
  4. Santhome Church (San Thome Basilica)
  5. Marina Beach
  6. Vivekanandar Illam (Ice House)
  7. High Court of Madras – Not open to the public unless you are on a group tour
  8. Chepauk Palace and Amir Mahal – You need to be part of a tour with prior permission to go inside, as the first is a functioning government office and the second is the residence for current Arcot Nawab.
  9. Dakshina Chitra – this is about 25 kilometres from the city, i.e. half-way to Mahabalipuram. If you are going here and like to see Crocodiles, then Madras Crocodile Bank
  10. Mahabalipuram (aka Mamallapuram), the historic town 50 kilometres from Chennai city. Hon’ble Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping (习近平) along with Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi visited in October 2019. Here is a brief history (2000 years old) of the place.
  11. If interested on the local leaders who led the place – Kamarajar Memorial House and MGR Memorial House.
  12. Saravana Stores shopping – the place will be crowded, go there only if you like the crowd. From here, in walking distance will be the newly renovated Pondy Bazaar (Market) – walking market.
  13. Local Food – Hotel Palmgrove Nungambakkam or Paati Veedu T.Nagar or Seena Bhai 1977 Dosa Centre Sowcarpet or Gujarati Mandal – there are more vegetarian restaurants (I am a vegetarian :-))
  14. If you are near the areas, Chetpet Eco Park or Anna Nagar Tower Park or to Sowcarpet (The North Indians locality in Chennai)
  15. A ride in Chennai Suburban train – if you haven’t travelled in one in India
  16. If you are into books – Higginbothams Book Shop or Anna Centenary Library.

For the museums, a guided tour will make it more appreciatable. The information signs will not be very informative.