History And Geography

Chennai, besides being the capital city of Tamil Nadu is also an important district of the state. The district city is one of the four metropolises of India, playing significant role in the historical, cultural and intellectual development of the nation. The district is located on the north-east end of Tamil Nadu on the coast of Bay of Bengal. Surrounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east and the remaining three sides by Chengalpattu and Thiruvallur Districts, Chennai has an even topography of land with slight rising from the sea level. The district city is important from various aspects. It is the political, cultural and educational heart of Tamil Nadu. It has tremendous opportunities in travel and tourism. The worth visiting places include Anna University, University of Madras, IIT, TIDEL Park, Fort St. George (Secretariat), Government Museum & Art Gallery, Connemara Public Library, Ripon Building (Chennai Corporation), Marina Beach, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Santhome Church, Thousand Lights Mosque, Anna Memorial, MGR Memorial, Valluvar Kottam, Vivekanandar House, Raj Bhavan, Central Railway Station etc..


Chennai is a metropolitan city in the southern region of India. Due to the fast paced development taking place in the urban area, it has become the hub of all the major activities. This has attracted a huge influx of the people to Chennai for various purposes, such as employment, business, education etc. This has given the city its cosmopolitan character, with people from different caste, community, religion and regions residing in its heart. However, the natives of Tamil Nadu are very particular about their value system and their beliefs. People of Madras are world-famous for their hospitality and warmth. They strongly adhere to their age-old custom and traditions. Usually the day of a Tamil household begins with early rising and performing religious rites. The doorsteps are decorated with kolam, on a daily basis. Kolam are patterns made from rice power or white stone powder, which has both decorative as well as religious significance. People are very religious and visit the temples daily, but a major chunk of the population pays a visit on Friday. All the religious ceremonies, rites and festivals are celebrated with great pomp and show. People are content, mainly owing to the fulfillment of their relatively simple needs and desires. People are very helpful and cooperative, so if by chance, you find yourself lost in the meandering streets of the city, do not panic, somebody will definitely help you. The residents of Chennai strongly believe in 'love thy neighbor'. They build harmonious relation with everybody in their vicinity and leave no scope for isolation. Apart from this, there are a number of other people from different cultures residing in the city. This has made Chennai an absolute blend of varied cultures and lifestyles. There is a considerable population of Sindhis, Gujaratis, Malayalees, Muslims, and Kannadigas in the city, who live in perfect harmony with each other and present an excellent example of unity in diversity. Thus, Chennai is a paradise for all those who want to experience the true spirit of the country we call India.


Chennai is the gateway to South Indian peninsula; also a place of historic importance. It is a pulsating city, ever changing and ever expanding. The city is probably the most peaceful and green metropolis of India. It was once a group of small villages until the appearance of East India Company to set up a new trade centre in the place. This land was known as Fort St. George during British era. The city is connected by four main roads. Georgetown is to the northwest while Egmore, Triplicane and Mylapore are to the south of Chennai. The city is a blend of temples, churches, monuments and several other prime destinations. Its fascinating monuments and churches date back to the Portuguese and British period. The spectacular Marina Beach stretches 13 km along the city’s eastern flank which is a favourite place for the city dwellers and visitors. The Fort St. George is another widely visited spot of the city that depicts colonial influence of British and Portuguese on the city. Major places of worship are Parthasarthi Temple, Kapaleeswarar temple, Wallajah mosque, “Thousand lights” mosque and San Thome Basilica.

How to reach Chennai

By Road: Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal (CMBT) is one of Asia’s largest bus stations and is well connected to major cities in Tamil Nadu
By Train: Chennai is having two main railway terminals. Chennai Central station, the city’s largest, provides access to other major cities as well as many other smaller towns across India, whereas Chennai Egmore provides access to destinations primarily within Tamil Nadu
By Air: Chennai International Airport is located at a distance of 7 km from the main city

Tourist Information
Commissionerate of Tourism,
Tamil Nadu Tourism Complex,
No.2 Wallajah Road,
Chennai – 600002
LandLine : 044-25333850, 044-25333851
Email :

Places of Interest

Marina Beach

Marina beach in Chennai along the Bay of Bengal is India’s longest and world’s second longest beach. This predominantly sandy of nearly 12 kilometers extends from Beasant Nagar in the south to Fort St. George in the north. Chennai Marina beach was renovated by Governor Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff in 1880s. All tourists traveling to Chennai never miss visiting this grand Chennai beach.Marina beach is easily accessible by buses, taxis, two and three wheelers.

Marina Beach Activities: Marina beach is full of activity in the early morning hours and in the evenings. Walking along the beaches during sunrise and sunset is a pleasant experience for all. In the evening this beach becomes a fair ground with numerous stalls selling artifacts, handcrafted showpieces, ethnic jewelry, and food items. Children play games and frolic around. Going into the sea should be done under expert guidance as the undercurrent is strong. Flying kites and pony riding are popular activities on this beach.

Marina Beach Attractions: The aquarium and the Ice House are the main attractions on the Marina beach. The Chepauk Palace, Senate House, PWD office, Presidency College, and the Chennai University are historical buildings located on the beach drive. The Victory of Labor and Mahatma Gandhi are two prominent statues on the Marina beach. The other statues lined along this Chennai beach include those of Swami Sivananda, Avaaiyar, Thanthai Periyar, Tiruvalluvar, Dr. Annie Beasant, G.U. Pope, Sir Thomas Munro, Subramaniya Bharathiyar, Kamarajar, Robert Caldwell, Kannagi, Kamarajar, M.G. Ramachandran, and Shivaji Ganesan.  

Government Museum

Established in 1851, Government Museum of Chennai is popular as the Madras Museum. Factually being the second oldest museum of India (after Kolkata’s Indian Museum), this museum is a treasure in itself! As a rich repository of finest masterpieces of art, archaeology, anthropology, numismatics and much more, the Madras Museum assures to lure one and all. Spread across an area of 16.25 acres of land, the Government Museum is also counted among the largest museums of South Asia. Its campus has six independent buildings with 46 galleries. These are:
Main building, where you will find artifacts and sculptures from the past, animal galleries, botany galleries and philately gallery.
Front building has a very interesting puppet gallery and galleries preserving the folk art and music.
Bronze gallery – Besides the bronze artifacts, there are also numismatics and chemical conservation galleries.
Children’s Museum is one section that fascinates all kids with is doll section, technology and science galleries.
National Art Gallery has some excellent paintings and pieces of artistic marvels.
Contemporary Art Gallery – From rock and cave art to British portrait to modern art, one can see how the art of ‘art’ has evolved over ages.

Government Museum Houses An Art Gallery, A Museum Theatre, Connemara Public Library And Department Of Natural History. Government Museum Is An Amalgam Of Various Sections Like The Ones Devoted To Geology, Anthropology, Numismatics, Botany, Zoology, Archeology And Sculpture. Watch Out Exquisite Carvings, A Good Collection Of Arms, Armour, A Collection Of South Indian Musical Instruments, Jewelry And Exhibits From The Stone And Iron Ages. The Bronze Of Ardhanariswara, An Incarnation Of Lord Shiva, The Relics From The 2nd Century Ad Amravati Buddhist Site And The Prehistoric South India Are Some Of The Most Priced Collections Of Government Museum In Chennai.

Location: Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Government Museum Is Open For Public On All The Days From 9:30am To 5pm.

Fort St. George

The Fort is a stronghold with 6 metres (20 ft) high walls that withstood a number of assaults in the 18th century. It briefly passed into the possession of the French from 1746 to 1749, but was restored to Great Britain under the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which ended the War of the Austrian Succession.

The Fort now serves as one of the administrative headquarters for the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu state and it still houses a garrison of troops in transit to various locations at South India and the Andamans. The Fort Museum contains many relics of the Raj era, including portraits of many of the Governors of Madras. The fort is maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India as a ticketed monument.

St Mary’s Church

This church is the oldest Anglican church in India. It was built between 1678 and 1680 on the orders of the then Agent of Madras Streynsham Master.[12] The tombstones in its graveyard are the oldest English or British tombstones in India. This ancient prayer house solemnised the marriages of Robert Clive and Governor Elihu Yale, who later became the first benefactor of Yale University in the United States.

Fort Museum

The Fort Museum exhibits many items of the period of English and later British rule. This building was completed in 1795 and first housed the office of the Madras Bank. The hall upstairs was the Public Exchange Hall and served as a place for public meetings, lottery draws and occasional entertainment. These relics are reminders of British rule in India. The objects on display in the museum are the weapons, coins, medals, uniforms and other artefacts from England, Scotland, France and India dating back to the colonial period. Original letters written by Clive and Cornwallis make fascinating reading. One set of quaint period uniforms is displayed for viewing, as well. However, the piece de resistance is a large statue of Lord Cornwallis.

The National Flag of India was designed by Pingali Venkayya and adopted in its present form during the meeting of Constituent Assembly held on the 22 July 1947, a few days before India’s independence from the British on 15 August 1947. The first ever flown flag after the independence is stored in 3rd floor of the museum. Public are allowed to see but not to touch or take photographs.

The museum is mentioned in the novel The Museum of Innocence, by Nobel-laureate Orhan Pamuk.

Wellesley House

The first floor of the building includes the Banqueting Hall, which holds paintings of the Governor of the Fort and other high officials of the Regime. The canons of Tipu Sultan decorate the ramparts of the museum. The 14.5 ft statue stands at the entrance near a stairway in the museum. This statue was created by Charles Bank in England to be brought to India. The pedestal of the statue is carved with a scene depicting Tipu Sultan’s emissary handing over Tipu’s two sons as hostage in lieu of a ransom he was unable to pay to the British. It takes its name from Richard Wellesley, Governor General of India, and brother of the Duke of Wellington.

Namakkal Kavingyar Maaligai

Namakkal Kavingyar Maaligai is a 10-storeyed building at the campus and is the power centre of state secretariat. It houses offices of the secretaries and departments. Between 2012 and 2014, the building was renovated at a cost of 28 crore, with additional facilities like centralised air-conditioning and new electrical wiring system.

In recent years the entire complex is administered by the Department of Defence. The fort building is a three-storeyed one housing the offices of the chief minister and other ministers, the chief secretary, home ministry, treasury, etc. The remaining offices are housed in the 10-storeyed Namakkal Kavingyar Maaligai, which houses more than 30 departments.

Fort St George complex housed the administrative buildings of the Government of Tamil Nadu till March 2010. The Legislature of Tamil Nadu and the secretariat (with headquarters of various government departments) was situated in the fort. The fort itself was open to the public however only to a certain area. The main building or the secretariat was open only to government officials and the police. The cannons and the moat which guarded this old building have been left untouched. In 2010 the legislature and the secretariat moved to a new location and the old assembly complex was converted into a library for the Central Institute of Classical Tamil. Following the 2011 assembly elections and the return of J Jayalalithaa as the Chief Minister of the State, the Tamil Nadu Assembly and the Secretariat have been restored to Fort St.George.

Valluvar Kottam

Established In 1976, Valluvar Kottam Is Located On Kodambakkam High Road And Village Road In Chennai. It Was Built In Honor Of The Acclaimed Tamil Poet, Thiruvalluvar, Whose Most Famous For His Classic Work, The Kural. Designed In The Temple Car Of Thiruvarur, Valluvar Kottam Is A Shrine Worth Paying A Visit During Chennai Tours. Get To Know More About Valluvar Kottam During Chennai Tours.

Valluvar Kottam Comprises Of A Massive Auditorium That Is Large Enough To Accommodate Up To 4000 People At A Time.eliminating The Pillar Support, The Auditorium In Valluvar Kottam Was Built With Grid Type Roofing. Stone In The Corridor Running Inside And Outside The Auditorium Are Engraved With Couplets From The Tirukkural. The Auditorium In Valluvar Kottam Is Considered As One Of The Largest Auditoriums In Asia. Valluvar Kottam Is A Memorial That Was Created With Over 3000 Blocks Of Stone.

Valluvar Kottam Is Open For The Public On All Days Except Fridays And National Holidays. Timigs Are From 8am To 6pm. The Beauty Of The Life-size Statue Of Thiruvalluvar Is Captivating With Its Pure Expressions. This Statue Is A Replica Of The Famous Temple Chariot Of Thiruvarur. So, You Know, You Have To Visit Valluvar Kottam, One Of The Popular Tourist Attractions In Chennai During Chennai Tours.

Gandhi Mandapam

The Government of Tamil Nadu has established Gandhi Mandapam and Museum in Guindy, Chennai as a symbol of praising and honoring the sacrifice of Mahatma Gandhi. The Government of Tamil Nadu had erected a statue for Gandhiji at Kamarajar Road, Marina beach. On 30th January the day of his commomeration. Gandhiji’s statue is garlanded and paid floral tribute by the Government of Tamil Nadu on 2nd October, the day of his Birthday. Mohan das Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbander, State of Gujarat. His father’s name is Karamchand Gandhi. His Mother’s name is Putlibai and Kasturi Bai is his wife.

Gandhi after completing School Education went to England at the age of 18 to study Barrister. Gandhi travelled to South Africa with the aid of Abdullah & Co., Indian firm knowing that a Job for his Qualification is available in South Africa. Gandhi after completing School Education went to England at the age of 18 to study Barrister. Gandhi travelled to South Africa with the aid of Abdullah & Co., Indian firm knowing that a Job for his Qualification is available in South Africa.

Gandhiji got friendship with Gopala Krishna Gokale and Rabindranath Tagore. Gandhiji Joined in Indian National Congress and involved with full Swing in the freedom struggle against the British. Gandhi influenced by the themes of Bhagvat Gita, Jainism and Writings of Leo Tolstoy, practiced Truth and Non-violence throughout his life. He lived by eating vegetarian foods especially Fruits, Groundnut and Goat milk. He also mentioned that he came to know by experimentation that vegetarian foods are healthy than Non-vegetarian foods for human body. After Returning to India from South Africa, Gandhi started wearing Indian style of clothes avoiding western style.He adviced the people of India to wear khadi dresses manufactured domestically the Country.

Gandhi was called as Mahathma by Rabindranath Tagore. Mahathma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse on 30th January 1948 in the garden of the former Birla house . Now Gandhi Smiriti where he stayed for 144 days at the end of his life. In the year of 1924, Gandhi was selected as the leader of Indian National Congress. On February 1930, British Government levied tax for the Salt manufactured by Indians. The British Government also passed an act that the salt manufactured by Indians in India should not be sold by any others than British Government. The petition submitted by Gandhi seeking exemption was not accepted. Gandhi deaded to challenge the British-imposed salt tax by practising Satyagraha and started 240 miles of Dandi Salt March on 2nd march 1930 with 78 Satyagrahis from Ahmedabad to Dandi along with seashore of Gujarat. After 23 day of March, Gandhi along with reached Dandi shore and prepared salt by boiling sea water and distributed it to public as against British Law. This incident called as “Salt Sathyagraha” is considered to be a turning point in Indian Freedom Struggle. Gandhi also played a major role in calling for British to “Quit India” in 1942.

On 12th February 1949 Gandhiji’s Ashes were kept in Kanyakumari for paying tribute by people and then spread in the area where three Oceans meet. Gandhi Memorial was established in memory of the place where the ashes (Urn) were kept. A stage is raised in the place where the Urn is kept in the Memorial and it is designed architecturally in such a manner that Sun light falls on the stage on 2nd October 12 p.m. to 12.39 p.m., the birthday of Gandhiji. There is an exclusive Museum for Gandhi in Madurai district.