Chennai has always held the image of a sacred destination, known for its deeply revered heritage and classical traditions. However, in the last few decades, it has become one of the few Indian cities that are leading the country into the future. Today this vibrant metropolis is a graceful mix of rising townships, high-tech businesses, patches of lush greenery, and quiet older pockets. While luxury 5 star hotels such as Vivanta by Taj – Connemara, Chennai & Vivanta by Taj – Fisherman’s Cove, Chennai can be seen thriving in one section of the city, the remote parts of the city continue to preserve many classical south Indian art forms and magnificent ancient temples. Often featured in the lists of top cosmopolitan cities of the world, Chennai is a prominent business and leisure destination.
- The Marina Beach: Chennai prides itself on being home to the world’s second longest beach. The Marina’s vast, golden sandy stretch is on the bucket list of all travelers to this city. The shoreline runs along the Bay of Bengal with clean surf to play in. Though the locals can be found enjoying this beach throughout the day, it comes alive in the evening. After a beautiful sunset, a number of entertainment options take up the beach drive. Magnificent buildings such as Presidency College, Chepauk Palace, the Ice House, the Senate House, and the University of Madras are also located near the beach. A good number of five-star hotels such as Taj Coromandel, Chennai, Radisson Blu Hotel and The Leela Palace are located nearby.
- Tidel Park: The hub of Chennai’s ambitious younger generation, Tidel Park is a reflection of Chennai’s future. A brand new addition to the city’s landscape, it is home to many affluent businesses, a flourishing Information Technology industry and plush business hotels such as The Gateway Hotel IT Expressway, part of the Taj group. An architectural beauty in itself, Tidel Park also offers many recreational facilities and entertainment options.
- Mamallapuram: Mamallapuram is home to some of the best beach resorts in Chennai. It is located close to the city, and is also home to ancient monuments that are known for architectural designs from the Pallava period of the 7th and 8th centuries.
- Guindy National Park: A city can only look towards the future if it honors the gifts of nature. Chennai does that with the Guindy National Park. Located right within this bustling metropolis, it is primarily a vast deer park covering an area of 595 acres. Guindy is a lush natural reserve of unique vegetation. As you walk through this serene place, you will come across over 30 species of trees, including humongous banyan trees that are several centuries old. The park also has trekking trails, ponds and lakes.
- Kapaleeswarar Temple: Situated in the Mylapore suburb, the origins of this Pallava Temple can be traced back to the 8th Century. The presiding deity here is Lord Shiva. Apart from a deeply sacred site for the locals, Kapaleeswarar Temple is known for its classical Dravidian architecture. The temple’s tower, or ‘Gopuram’, instantly catches one’s attention. Visitors will find exquisite sculptures and a collection of 63 Saivaite saints’ idols in the outer courtyard of the temple. The suburb of Mylapore gets its name from a small shrine inside the temple. This shrine of Goddess Parvathi reflects her in a peacock form (locally called ‘Mayil’). Visit Mylapore between March & April so you can witness the famous Arubathumoovar festival that honors the 63 Saivaite saints.