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The Gateway to South India
Temples in and around Chennai
Tamarapu Sampath Kumaran
About the Author:
Mr T Sampath Kumaran is a freelance writer. He regularly contributes articles on Management, Business, Ancient Temples and Temple Architecture to many leading Dailies and Magazines. Having worked in the Indian Council for Cultural Relations at Chennai, and being one among the first batch of Tourist Guides trained by the Government of India Tourist Office, Chennai, he had good exposure of handling VIP guests from abroad as well Foreign and Indian Tourist groups. He is well versed of the archaeological and Historical places of tourist interest in Southern India. He was associated in the production of two Documentary films on Nava Tirupathi Temples, and Tirukkurungudi Temple in Tirunelveli distrct of Tamilnadu. His books “The Path of Ramanuja”, “Guide to 108 Divya Desams”, “Guide to 275 Siva Sthalams” and “Vision of Guru Raghavendra” have been well received in the religious circles.
The Gateway to the South is turning the hub for tourists visiting Southern India. A comprehensive Guide covering all the segments has been a long felt need to the visitors.
This Guide highlights the minute details of information of all the areas, and is designed as one stop travel shop for all the travel related information on Chennai. First of its kind, you will find details of the history and culture of Chennai, places to religious and tourist interest, travel agents, tour operators, Hotels and airlines, shopping and other relevant travel tips. The objective is very simple, to provide one with complete information to plan their schedules and organize their trips in and around the city. Since several authors have referred to the original texts, a certain degree of coincidence is likely to occur in my presentation with regard to choice of words and phrases, which is not intentional. While the inputs have been compiled from authentic sources, I take no responsibility regarding the locations of establishments and telephone numbers, as they are subject to change from time to time. I am confident that this Guide will be found useful to the tourists. I convey my sincere thanks to the Department of Tourism, Archeological Department of Government of India and HR & CE department of the Government of Tamilnadu, and several other institutions for their assistance in compiling the information presented in this book, as well permitting me to borrow the texts from the records available with them.
- T Sampath Kumaran
• History of Madras – Chennai • Climate • Cultural activities • Chennai Cuisine • Festivals Shopping in Chennai Medical Tourism • Places of Tourist importance in the City • Introduction to South Indian Temples • Temples in the City • Temples around Chennai • Other religious places in Chennai • Places of Tourist interest around Chennai • Annexture
History of Madras – Chennai
Chennai, earlier known as Madras, a sleepy fishing village, was founded in 1639 by the British East India Company, when the local ruler Damerla Venkatapathy Nayak of the suburb of Vandavasi, granted land to build a trading settlement. The Portuguese arrived in 1522 and built a port called San Thome (Which is now a part of the City) after the Christian apostle, St Thomas, who is said to have preached in the area between 52 and 70 CE. In 1612, the Dutch established themselves near Pulicat, just north of the city. But they could not sustain to establish a rule over the land.
18th Century painting of Fort St. George
Later the British built a fort, Fort St. George (which today is the legislative and administrative seat of the state). It was named after the Patron Saint, since it was completed on St George's day, 23rd April, 1640. The settlement which had grown up around Fort St. George, was named Chennapatanam, in honour of Chennappa Nayak, father of Venkatapathy Nayak, who controlled the entire coastal country from Pulicat in the north to the Portuguese settlement of Santhome. In course of time another small village to the south, called Madraspatnam also started developing. This small village known as Chennapatnam later merged with Madraspatnam, and was called Madras in a shortened form. In 1746, Fort St.George and Madras town and its outlying villages were captured by the French under General La Bourdonnais, the Governor of Mauritius. The British regained control in 1749 through the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle and by the late eighteenth century, the British established the Madras Presidency conquering most of the regions of the present states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and adjoining Tamil Nadu and made Madras as the capital. The city grew up around the English settlement of Fort St. George, (the area is still known as George Town) and gradually absorbed the surrounding towns and villages. The British developed the city into a major urban centre and established a naval base. During the World War I, German light cruiser “SMS Emden” shelled an oil depot at Madras, as it raided shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean, causing disruption to shipping.
Chennai, the fourth largest metropolis in India is the capital of Tamil Nadu, and is popularly regarded as the Gateway to the South. It is, located on a 17 km stretch of the
Coromandel Coast, of the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is one of the rapidly growing and changing cities of India. Once a conservative society, Chennai with the global spurt in technology and communication, today boasts of a technology savvy population in the Southern region. Chennai the most vibrant and enchanting cities of the South is also a classic example of the peaceful coexistence of the ancient with the modern. The city presents a strange mix of British Raj-era monuments, Portuguese churches, Pallava architecture and Hindu temples, as well with the natural settings of one of the longest urban beaches on earth. C Two rivers pass through the City, the “Coovam River” through the centre and the “Adyar River “to the south. These rivers were earlier used to navigate commercial goods, but today they are highly polluted and are an eye sore to the public. Chennai is currently divided into four parts: North Chennai - primarily an industrial area, Central Chennai - the commercial heart of the city, South and Western Chennai which were residential areas and have now grown fast with business houses, and very recently an IT Corridor has been established.
Since Chennai lies on the coast and closer to the thermal equator, it does not have variations in seasonal temperature. For most of the year, the weather is hot and humid. The hottest part of the year is during May, June, and July popularly known in Tamil as Kathiri Veyyil, with maximum temperatures hovering around 40 °C (105°F). The cooler months are December and January with an average temperature of 24 C which is the best time for the tourists to visit the city. Chennai summers being humid and sultry; it's advisable to move around during the day with an umbrella and bottled water. During September, October the city gets most of its seasonal rainfall from the north-east monsoon, and sometimes it will pour heavily for a couple of days resulting in heavy flooding of roads and traffic disrupted. Chennai city has a population of around 7.5 million, of which the slum dwellers form around 20%. Migration from villages continues to swell.
Cultural activities: Chennai calls for eoration.
Chennai's culture reflects its diverse population. The city is known for its classical dance shows and Music programs. Each year during December, Chennai holds a month long Music Season, conducted by various Sabhas. It features performances (kutcheries) of traditional Carnatic music by eminent artists in and around the city. Chennai is an important cultural centre for Bharatanatyam with its headquarters at Kalakshetra. Chennai is the base for the large Tamil movie industry, located at Kodambakkam, named as Kollywood after Hollywood. It's not just temple Gods who are worshipped here, much as in California, screen gods are adored by the local population, who even paved the way to get elected to the highest political office. In fact, the majority of Tami Nadu's leaders had their footing of their careers on the big screen. Chennai has a vibrant theatre scene, with a large number of Tamil plays being performed. Chennai's theatres present many Tamil plays – with political satire, comedy, history, mythology. English plays are also popular with Chennaites. Though Tamil is the main language of the people, English is widely spoken especially among white collar professionals, business, and educational institutions. Chennaites love to use their own mother tongue Tamil, and a sort of loose linguistic amalgamation of words mixed from Tamil, English, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi, exhibiting the national integration called “Madras bashai”, is predominantly spoken in the city. This is more popular among the slum dwellers. There is also a sizeable Telugu speaking minority in the city. Other languages spoken include Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Urdu. Being a regional hub since British times, Chennai has a large number of Marwari traders. Other prominent communities are the Anglo Indians, Bengali, and Punjabi as well people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Accommodation and dinning facilities in Chennai offers a great variety of options and it can accommodate people with varying choice and budget without any hassles. .
Chennai is well connected by Air, Rail, and Roadways. The International Airport, named Anna International Airport and the Kamaraj Domestic Airport combined are the third busiest airports in India. The city is connected to major hubs in South Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America through many international carriers. The airport is also the second busiest cargo terminus in the country.
Chennai Port, is one of the largest artificial ports, and is India's second busiest container hub, handling automobiles and general industrial cargo. The Ennore port handles cargo such as coal, ore and other bulk products. A smaller harbour at Royapuram is mainly used by local fishing boats and trawlers. Chennai is well connected to other parts of India by road and rail. The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) is a well planned terminus for all intercity buses, and it is the largest bus station in Asia. Government-owned transport, as well of Private operators, run services to and from Chennai. MRTS Train station in Chennai The city has two main railway terminals. Chennai Central station, the city's largest, provides access to trains to major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Coimbatore. Chennai Egmore operates trains primarily within Tamil Nadu. The Chennai suburban railway network, connects the suburban area, and the recently commissioned elevated Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) which links Chennai Beach to Velacheri provide rapid transport within the City as well interlinked with the remaining rail network. Buses, trains, and auto rickshaws are the most common form of public transport within the city. The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) runs an extensive city bus system consisting of nearly 3000 buses on more than 550 routes and transports an estimated 3.85 million passengers daily. Vans, popularly known as Maxi Cabs, ply many routes in the city providing an alternative to buses. Metered call taxis, tourist taxis and auto rickshaws are also available on hire. Though metered one has to bargain much with the Autoriksha drivers to fix a reasonable price to travel. Though Chennai's transportation infrastructure provides easy coverage and connectivity, of late it has caused traffic congestion and pollution.
Tamil Nadu provides the visitor with a wide variety of delicious food both for the vegetarians as well non-vegetarians and the staple diet for most is rice. The basic food is prepared of grains, lentils, rice and vegetables. Spices are added to give a distinctive taste. Many of the city's restaurants offer light meals or tiffin, which usually include ricebased dishes like pongal, dosai, idli and vadai, served with steaming hot filter coffee, as Chennaites have contempt for instant coffee. Tiffin or Light meals are served for breakfast or as a snack.
Lunch or meals consists of cooked rice, served with an array of vegetable dishes like sambar, chutneys, rasam (a hot broth made with tamarind juice and pepper) and curd (yogurt). For a non-vegetarian lunch, curries or dishes cooked with mutton, chicken or fish is included. The meals are incomplete without crisp papads or appalam. A typical Tamil meal (Lunch or Dinner) will be served on a banana leaf. Chewing of a few betel leaves and nuts after the meals was popular till very recently. Chettinad cuisine is a specialty in Chennai and is a delight for those who like hot and spicy non-vegetarian food. Recently quite a number of restaurants have sprung up serving North Indian delicacies in Thali, a round tray. Generally no service charge is added, but it is customary to leave a moderate tip. It is popular to eat at Fast food restaurants located on the street, as many maintain them clean. The price is comparatiely very cheap and the service is fast, preferred by those in a hurry. There are many popular sweet meat shops which cater both South Indian and North Indian items.
Festivals in Chennai
Chennai is no exception to the festivals and fairs that are celebrated throughout India. Pongal, a four-day harvest festival is the most celebrated festival of Chennai and Tamil Nadu. Pongal is a Dravidian festival and is independent of religion. Pongal is also known as Tamizhar Thirunal or the festival of Tamils The first month in the Tamil calendar is Chittirai, which generally falls on April 14 or 15 of the English calendar and Tamil New Year is another event of major celebration. Most of the Indian festivals like Ganesh Chathurthi, Holi, Diwali, Dussehra, Eid and Christmas are celebrated with gaiety and fervor in Chennai city.
Shopping in Chennai
Chennai offers a wide variety of traditional and trendy merchandise, such as carvings on brass, stone, wood and ivory. It is popular for leather bikinis, bags and shoes. Chennai is one of the major trade centers of south India and is a fantastic place to shop for a diverse variety of items. Traditional items from all over Tamil Nadu like Mats woven like carpets from Pattamara 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 beautiful Kancheepuram hand woven silk sarees - are being sold in Chennai. The most popular shopping centers are in located in T. Nagar, Mylapore and the arterial Anna Salai. For Handicraft items Victoria technical institute, Poompuhar and the Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan at Anna Salai are the best.
Plastic goods, stationary items, household items and the typical textiles and fabric in wholesale at bargain price are available at Parry's Corner, which is yet another shopping center. Close to Parry's corner is the Burma Bazaar which is popular with imported electronic goods, and perfumes. Recently many Malls have sprung up for shopping in air-conditioned comfort.
Chennai offers the World Class Medical Attention
Medical tourism - where foreigners travel abroad in search of low cost, world-class medical treatment - is gaining popularity in India particularly in cities like Chennai. Chennai corporate hospitals excel in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, joint replacement, orthopedic surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, and transplants. Many of the surgeons at these hospitals in Chennai are leaders in their field, working with the latest and best equipments available providing their expertise at a remarkably Low cost.
Places of Tourist interest in the City
Connemara Library, located in Egmore, is one of the oldest libraries with a rare
collection of books.
Government Museum, and National Art Gallery in Egmore, has interesting and
rare archaeological collections as well bronze icons. The National Art Gallery constructed in 1906 presents a fabulous Indo-Saracenic edifice.
Fort St. George, built in 1653 by the East India Company houses the Secretariat
and the legislative Assembly. There is a museum presenting the history of the British rule. The fort also comprises the oldest Anglican Church, the church of St Mary. Guindy National Park, This is the smallest national park in India and one of the few located in a metro. Adjacent to this is a Children's Park with collections of animals and birds. Guindy Snake Park, housing the deadly King Cobra, pythons and vipers as well other reptiles. Is next to the Guindy National Park,
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Marina Beach, is the second longest beach in the world, lavishly spread over an
area of 13 km. Stalls put up on the beach offer local delicacies, sundal and murukku. Elliots Beach is in the Besant Nagar suburb of Chennai, which is popular, a place to cool off from the city’s heat. It is a nice beach, and a safe and good place for picnicking. Breezy Beach is located in the quiet neighbourhood of Valmiki Nagar. It is smaller and less popular than the Elliots beach. This beach is not as commercialized as the Elliots beach, and is hence is more quiet and peaceful.
Valluvar Kottam, at Nungambakkam, is an auditorium built in memory of poet
Tiruvalluvar. All the verses of the poet's 'Thirukkural' are inscribed on the pillars around the auditorium. The memorial to the poet-saint Tiruvalluvar is shaped like a temple chariot and is, in fact, the replica of the temple chariot in Thiruvarur. A 33m.tall, life-size statue of the saint has been installed in the chariot. The 133 chapters of his famous work Thirukkural have also been depicted in bas-relief in the front hall corridors of the chariot. Birla Planetarium at Kotturpuram, located between Adyar and Guindy, is the most modern planetarium in the country. It houses a fully computerized projector to depict the skies. Adjoining the planetarium is the Periyar Science and Technology Museum, which will be of interest to students and other science scholars.
Kalakshetra: In Thiruvanmiyur, beyond Elliot's beach, is the 'Temple of Art'. It
was founded in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale to train, encourage and revive the interest in Bharatanatyam, the classical dance form of the state. This institution is among the finest of its kind in the country and is run on the ancient gurukulam system. Throughout the year Kalakshetra conducts music recital and dance performances in different parts of Chennai. It also houses a textile designing and weaving section. Kalakshetra sarees are famous for its designs. Theosophical Society, representing different faiths was founded in 1875 by Madam Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in New York and then during 1882 shifted its headquarters to Chennai. The society is set amidst the fantastic natural setting comprising of large and tranquil gardens with several shrines of different faiths and a Serene Garden of remembrance. There is a huge Banyan tree spreading over a large area.
Vivekananda House: Popularly known as “Ice House”, is on the Marina. This building was supposed to store ice by the then British traders. Since Swmi Vivekanand stayed at this place during his tour of South India, it is being named Viveknanda House. There is a museum depicting the life and teachings of Vivekananada.
Amusement Parks, Water Sports Centers, Beaches:
The East Coast Road (ECR), which was then known as the New Mahabalipuram Road, had VGP Golden Beach and Romulus Whittaker's crocodile bank. Now one can pick and choose from Amusement Parks, Water Sports Centers, Beaches, Eco Conservation Cultural and Religious Centers, Restaurants or Resorts to spend a day, for a perfect entertainment and relaxation from the daily tiring routine of life.
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Prarthana Drive-In Theatre: Approximately 10 Kms from Adyar, this complex
offers both a drive-in restaurant, and a cluster of drive-in theatres. Golden Beach: The first amusement park in Chennai, about 11 Kms. away from Adyar. Still a landmark of Chennai, this park offers rides for the fun seeker, with an access to the beach. Ahaa Water Park: A spot for frolicking in water, the Ahaa Water Park offers a variety of water sports and fun activities, and has a wave generator, which can generate waves of upto 3.5ft.
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Cart Attack: A center that fulfills the speed maniac's desire for thrill in a safe and
secure environment. This centre has placed Chennai on the go carting map of India. Mayajaal: A sprawling 100,000 sq.ft of air-conditioned space, with a multitude of activities and entertainment avenues, including movie theatres, bowling alleys, video games, multi-cuisine food courts. MGM Dizzy World: Spread over 27 acres, this theme park offers joy rides, food stalls and other games. It features one of the first roller coaster rides of Chennai, and the swimming pool with its water slides. Little Folks & Dolphin City: Specifically aimed at providing entertainment for the kids. The Dolphins are not currently maintained. Muttukadu Boat House: Maintained by the Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation, this backwater area is located at 23 Kms from Adayar, offers rowing and speedboat riding. Cholamandalam Artists Village: Set up by a group of artists, this village offers the ambience needed for creativity to flow and is inhabited only by artists. The village offers guesthouse facilities exclusively for artists, so that they could also benefit from the environment provided by the place. This is a tourist attraction to those who appreciate the finer things of life. Crocodile Bank: Romulus Whittaker, the acknowledged specialist on reptiles, who established the Snake Park, has set up this for the preservation and propagation of several endangered species of Indian and African crocodiles and alligators. The Crocodile Park is spread over 3.2 hectares of lush vegetation. The Crocodile Bank in Chennai is the largest crocodile-breeding site in the country Dakshinachitra: A venture of Deborah Thiagarajan and her associates from the Madras Craft Foundation. Dakshinachitra is an amazing place to visit. Various kinds of traditional houses have been transported to Chennai in a dismantled form from interior parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala and rebuilt here. The Covelong beach, closer to Mahabalipuram, has a fort, built by the Nawab of Carnatic, the Muslim ruler. It was at the Covelong beach that the French General Laboudonnais landed his troops in 1746. Later it was taken over by Robert Clive, the then British Governor in 1752 and destroyed. The Beach is separated from the mainland by the canal running from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. Taj Group of Hotels runs the Fisherman's Cove Resort with rooms in the main buildings and cottages on the sandy beach.
Introduction to South Indian Temples
By the 17th century AD, Southern India was ruled by various provincial leaders; most notable among them were the Nayaks, who continued the process of construction of monumental architecture. The temples of Chennai exhibit the splendor of culture, religion and architecture of Tamil state. Patronized by different ruling dynasties, the temple art touched its zenith in Tamil Nadu. Monuments of great artistic value, these temples speak of the greatness of the bygone era. The Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Vijayanagar rulers, the Nayaks all contributed to the Southern style of temples. The Chola and Pallava art and architecture dominates the skyline of the entire state. The Vimana and the Gopurams are the distinctive characteristics of the Southern style. A distinctive feature of the Tamilnadu temple is the Gopura, the huge tower at the entrance. They are huge pylon like structures, consisting of seven, nine or eleven storey. In contrast the tower over the sanctum, called the Vimana, is small. The Chola kings of the 9th century AD built temples of modest height in granite.
Special attention was paid to the sanctum sanctorum where deities were placed in niches as prescribed in the ritual treatises. Rajaraja Chola constructed the most grandiose of the south Indian temples, 85 m in height, which is a marvel of symmetry and structural design. 5 m high dwarapalakas (guardians) stand at the entrance. From the 16th century AD, the gopurams (entrance towers) under the Vijayanagar King Krishna Devaraya spiraled to greater heights as much as 60 m. They came to be known as rayagopuras (royal towers) after his name. The bases of these towers were built of stone and the entire superstructure was of brick and mortar, painted and studded with hundreds of stucco figures. These temples, some of which are more than 1500 years old, exhibit intricate carving and sculptures bearing testimony to the craftsmanship and creativity of the artisans, sculptors and artists of ancient India. During olden days Temples acted as the place of learning, where discourses and cultural programs were regularly held. It also provided as a meeting place for the residents for social gathering. A trip to Chennai will never be complete unless one plans a tour to these temples.
Temples in the City
(These temples have the religious and historical background)
Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore
The Kapaleeswarar Temple is a very ancient temple. This 8th century Pallava temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated in the traditional part of Madras at Mylapore. The original temple was submerged under the sea and the present temple structure was a later construction. The Moolavar is Kapaleeswarar and the Amman is Karpagambal. There are separate sannadhis for several deities such as Vinayagar, Annamalaiyar, Murugar, and
Saneeswara. There are several other deities such as Durgai, Dakshinamurthy, Chandikeswarar located within the main Sannadhis of Kapaleeswarar and Karpagambal. Karpagambal (Parvati) is said to have worshipped the Lord in the form of a peacock (Mayil in Tamil) and hence the area came to be called Mylapore
As many as 63 Saivite saints or nayanmars sculpted in bronze adorn the outer courtyard. The Nayanmars glorified Lord Shiva with enchanting hymns. A well known landmark in the heart of Chennai, this temple is visited by thousands, especially during the famed 'Arupattu Moovar' festival in the month of Pisces in March - April when the icons of all the Nayanmars are taken in a procession around the temple. The Teppam or float festival in the large temple tank, and the biweekly Pradosham festival also draw huge crowds here. The Punnai tree in the temple courtyard is considered to be one of oldest trees in Chennai which shades a small shrine of Parvati worshipping Siva as a peacock, depicting the legend that gave Mylapore its name Saint Poet Sri Thiruvalluvar, the famous author of "Thiru Kural" was born in Mylapore.
Located in the Triplicane (Tiruvallikkeni) area of Chennai city, Parthasarathy Temple is one of the major South Indian temples and the well visited Divya Desams for Vaishnavaites. Tiruvallikkeni is a well known landmark in the Chennai metropolis. This temple devoted to Lord Krishna was built in the 8th Century by the Pallava Kings and has been renovated since then. Legend says that Krishna after fighting the Great Kurukshetra War came to rest here at the pond full of "alli" flowers, reason why the place is called Tiruvallikeni. During the British rule it was shortened to Triplicane.
The face of the Utsava vigraha of Sri Parthasarathy in this temple is full of scars, supposed to have been created by the arrows of the Great Bhishma when Krishna acted as the charioteer for Arjuna in the Kurukshetra war. There are shrines to Ranganathar and his consort Vedavalli, Sri Rama, as well to Varadarajar and Narasimhar
Vadivudai Amman Temple, Tiruvottiyur
There are three Sakthi Temples - Ichchaa Sakthi - Thiruvudai Amman, Gnaana Sakthi Vadivudai Amman, and Kriyaa Sakthi - Kodiyidai Amman
The temples for these three sakthis are located near Chennai. The form of the Devi in all the three temples, are identical. It is considered auspicious to get darshan of all three sakthis one after the other on the same day, especially on a full moon day and in particular on a full moon day which falls on a Friday. The Sakthi to be visited first, early in the morning is Thiruvudai Amman - Ichchaa Sakthi (the Devi who will fulfill devotees wishes). The temple is located in Meloor near Minjur. Special prayers are offered to this Devi by offering yellow saree and mangoes for neivaedhiyam. The Lord is Thirumanangeesar. The Sakthi to be visited second, in the morning is Vadivudai Amman - Gnaana Sakthi (the Devi who will bless us with Gnaanam). Special prayers are conducted to this Devi by offering red saree and jack fruit for neivaedhiyam. The Lord is Thyaagaraaja Swaami. The temple is located in Tiruvotriyur. In this temple there are 27 lingams in a row, one for each of the 27 stars. The Sakthi to be visited third, in the evening is Kodiyidai Amman - Kriyaa Sakthi (the Devi who assists us in all our actions). Special prayers are offered to this Devi of green saree and bananas for neivaedhiyam. The Lord is Maasilaamaneeswarar. This temple is located in Thirumullaivaayil, outskirts of Chennai. One can plan the visits by car or city buses, easily available.
Luz Anjaneyaar - Thanneer thurai Anjaneya Swami Temple, Mylapore
This temple was popularly known as "thanneer thurai Anjaneyar koil"since this temple is situated near "thanneer thurai" vegetable market This is perhaps the oldest Anajaneya temple in the city. In this temple, only the profile of the Lord can be seen, facing south as if planning a trip to Sri Lanka. This temple is believed to have the swayambhu vigraha of Anjaneya with the right hand as the abhaya hasta and the left hand placed on the thigh. This temple was built on a piece of land granted by the Nawab of Arcot, by Salivahana Chettiars who migrated to Mylapore from Mysore.
Marundeeshwarar temple, Thiruvanmiyur
This ancient shrine is of great significance to Lord Shiva as Thyagaraja. The 18 Natanams of Tyagaraja enacted during the festive occasions are of great interest. As per the legend Valmiki Maharishi is said to have worshipped Shiva here, and there is a separate temple for Valmiki closeby. Kamadhenu is said to have poured her milk over the Shivalingam and offered worship. Shiva is also known as Marundeeswarar or Oshadeeswarar as He is believed to cure ailments and diceases. The Vedas and the Devas are said to have worshipped Shiva here. The unfinished gopuram in front of this temple has very recently been renovated and consecrated.
Vadapalani Murugan Temple, Vadapalani
The temple of Sri Murugan in Vadapalani built in a large spacious ground is of very old origin and fame. The temple tank is believed to have curative powers. The temple celebrates Skanda Shasti, and Thai Poosam, attracting a very large number of pilgrims. Marriages are regularly celebrated in this temple and it is recorded that more than 7,000 couples get married here each year. There are very many sannidhis in the vast courtyards, like Varasiddhi Vinayaka, Chokkanāthar, Mother Parvati, Kāli, Bhairava, Shanmuga with Valli and Devasenā
Built around 1000 years ago, this temple located in North Chennai, houses Mallikeswara swamy, or the lord of Jasmine blooms. Legend has it that one of the Chola kings, while hunting in this area, came upon a bunch of Jasmine shrubs. The king orders his soldiers to clear up the weeds and create a beautiful garden around the jasmine shrubs. While this was being done, they discover a Shivalingam buried under sand. The king immediately ordered a temple to be built around the lingan, and thus is born Mallikeswaran temple.
Kalikambal Kamateswarar Temple, George Town
The Kalikambal temple located in Thambu Chetty Street in the heart of George Town in the business district of Chennai is among the most visited temples. This temple enshrines Kalikambal (Kamakshi) and Kamateswarar and a host of parivara devatas. The history of the temple goes back to a few hundred years. The original idol was said to have been worshipped at the place where the St. George Fort is presently located. Hence she is referred to as Kottai Amman. The great Maratha ruler Shivaji is said to have visited the Kalikambal shrine in Chennai, during his tour of the southern region of the Indian subcontinent. The Knitter - a chariot lined with metal cymbals is unique to this temple, and the knitter procession in the month of Vaikasi attracts large crowds. The Navaratri and the Vasanta Navaratri festivals are also of a unique nature in this temple.
Gangadhareswarar Temple, Purasaivakkam
In the ancient days, Purasu trees such as Palaasam, Murukku, and Kinjukam were found in this place, and hence named Purasaipakkam. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Siva, called Gangadhar. Responding to the prayers of Bhageeratha, the Lord held Ganga, the river Ganges in his Jadamudi and later allowed her to flow to this earth. Hence the Lord was given the name Gangadhar. Facing east Lord Gangadhar is found under the Purasai tree. Ambal Pankajakshi is seated facing south blessing her devotees. As a sign of Lord Siva holding the Ganges, water in the temple tank is found all through the year. It is believed that Bhageeratha and Lord Anjaneya have worshipped at this temple and attained the grace of this Lord.
Velleshwarar Kamatchi amman Temple, Mylapore
According to the Puranas while Mahabali was offering “arghyam” to Lord Vishnu in His Vamana Avataram, Sukracharya the Guru of Asuras took the form of a bee and blocked the flow of water from the kamandalam. Noticing this and to clear the blockage. The Lord pocked the neck of the kamandalam with a dharba grass. In this act Sukrachaya lost his eyes. He is believed to have prayed to Lord Siva at this shrine, and got back one eye. Siva in this shrine is called Valleswarar – having blessed Sukra also known Vellai (white metal). This temple has a separate shrine for Sukra, Sarabheswarar and Saneeswarar. The abhishekam to Lord Sarabheswarar during Rahu kalam on Sundays attracts a very large crowd.
Pathala Ponniamman Temple, Purasavakkam
The 300-year-old Pathala Ponniamman temple has an idol which was dug out from a well. The devotees were excited to retrieve another idol of Amman, made of pancha loha - an alloy made out of five different metals - from the well. They constructed a temple for these two idols, and since the deity was found in the pit dug for a well they called her “Pathala Ponniamman”. This deity is considered to be the Guardian Angel of Purasawakkam and is called Ellai Amman - or the deity guarding the limits of the area of Purasawakkam
Kaaraneeswarar Temple, Saidapet
This is a very famous temple situated at Saidapet, a residential suburb of Chennai, located next to the railway station. This temple has a 7-storied Gopuram with two prakarams. The main deity is Lord Karaneeswara and Goddess Swarnaambikai. This temple has a beautiful tank and is a main attarction apart from the tall gopuram. Annual ten day Brahmotsavam takes place in the Tamil month of Chithirai – April
MundaKanni Amman Temple
Located in Mylapore, this temple, believed to be 1,300 years old, has a three tiered Rajagopuram, and is very famous for "Snake Worship". It is believed that Mundagakanni is one of the Saptha Kannigas. Some people believe that Renuka Devi Amman is called Mundagakanni Amman.The Goddess present in this temple has got "Big Eyes" (Munda Kannu). It is believed to be a place of worship to ward off diseases, and in particular eye defects. The Garbh Griha has no permanent covering on the top; the idol is kept open to the elements of nature because she is believed to cure all maladies caused by climatic changes and the deity could be worshipped from the road
Siva Vishnu Temple, T.Nagar
This temple has shrines for Siva and Vishnu in the same complex, and is a popular place of worship by a large number of devotees. There are separate temples devoted to Lord Ram, Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesh.
Sri Santhana Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Mogappair
Sri Santhana Srinivasa Perumal Temple is located at Mogappair. Mogappair was once called Maga-p-peru (meaning "blessed with a son"). This name is derived from the belief that the deity Santhana Srinivasa Perumal granted the blessing of parenthood to childless couple. The pronunciation has no doubt changed to its present form. Due to this belief childless couples throng to this holy place and offer their prayers, and it is said that their wishes have come true after the visit of this shrine
Adipureeswarar Temple, Thiruvotriyur
Tiruvotriyur is a famed Shivastalam to the North of Chennai. Tiruvotriyur is a well renowned shrine known for Tyagarajar. Sundara Natanam the dance of Shiva is the main attraction in this temple.
Valithaya Nathar Temple, Padi (Tiruvalithaayam)
This Shiva Stalam in Padi near Villivakkam is the 21st of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region of South India. Legends hold that Bharadwaja Muni (Valiyaan) and Hanuman worshipped Shiva here, and hence the name Valithaayam.
Apparswamy Temple, Mylapore
An ancient temple, which is in the heart of the city, is dedicated to Shiva. Has sannadhis for Kala Bhairavar, and Durga.
The Adi Kesava Perumal Temple
This temple located at Mylapore is dedicated to Keshava or Lord Vishnu who stands here along with his celestial consort Goddess Lakshmi who carries the name of MayuraValli Thayar "The Goddess of Wealth". This is one the beautiful temples that boasts of the exquisitive architecture of the Hindu type of temples.
Sri Vedantha Desikar Devasthanam,
It is located just beside the Adi Kesava Perumal Temple. A vigraha of Sri Vedanta Desika, who lived over 730 years ago in South India and wrote erudite commentaries on Ramanuja's Sribhashyam, Gita Bhashyam, was brought from the adjacent Kesavaperumal temple and installed here. Since elders felt that the Acharya should not preside alone, a vigraha of Lakshmi Hayagriva modelled on the idol of the Mysore Parakala mutt was brought and installed. There are shrines for Venkatachalapathi, Alarmelu manga Thayar.
Madhavaperumal Koil, Mylapore
This temple is dedicated to Lord Narayana and Amrutavalli Tayar. There is sannadhi for Pezhazwar. The engravings in the temple depicts, Pezhazwar riding on a parrot, swan, elephant and a horse. The Lord is in a sleeping posture on the lap of Andal, as in Srivalliputtur, the birth place of Andal.
Kandaswamy Temple Chennai
This temple dedicated to Muruga, is in busy business locality of North Chennai. According
to historical records the Kandaswamy temple dates back to the 11th century A.D. . The inscriptions on the temple structure, provides some insights of the era that was dominated by the Chola kings. The shrines contained in the temple are those of Kadaswamy, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.This temple attracts a very large crowd of devotees during festival days, in particular during the celebration of Skandasashti and Panguni (annual festival).
Temples of recent origin:
(Do not have much of historical importance)
Ramakrishna Temple in Chennai represents three hundred years of faith and devotion. With the guidelines laid down by Swami Vivekananda for the temple of Sri Ramakrishna at Belur Math as its basic, the temple features various architectural features familiar to the region along with a universal outlook. The floor of the prayer hall of the temple is at a height of 10 feet from the ground level.
A newly constructed Arupadai Veedu Murugar Temple is located at Besant Nagar, on the shores of Bay of Bengal, in Chennai. Arupadai Veedu Murugar Temple offers the devotees
an opportunity to worship all the ‘arupadai veedus of Muruga' in a single shrine. Thaipusam, Panguni Uthram, Aadi Karthikai and Skanda Shashti are the major festivals celebrated here amid much pomp and religious fervor. The festivals are celebrated in traditional style with Kavadi Attam and Paal Kudam. Dr. Alagappan, who is the pioneer in building Hindu temples in USA, built this temple complex
Ananthaa Padmanabha Swaamy Temple, Adayar
The Maharaja of Travancore built this temple complex which is the replica of the famous Padmanabhaswami temple at Trivandrum. There are sannadhis for Ganesh, Garuda, Anjaneya, Sudarsanar, Narasimhar and Durga. This is a contemporary temple built in 1962 on land donated by His Highness Chitra Thirunal. Anantha Padmanabha, name derived from the words Padma (lotus) and nabha (navel), is depicted to be offering worship to Lord Shiva in the form of Linga. The inner chamber houses the statue of Lord Vishnu in the form of Anantha Padmanabha as placed in Trivandrum. There are three doors through which one can see the divine head, mighty body and lotus feet of the Lord who is lying on the divine snake Adisesha with its hood caring the Lords head. The right hand is resting and worshipping the Siva Lingam and the feet on a lotus. Springing from the navel is a lotus stem with flower on which Brahma is seated.
Ashtalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar
The Chennai Ashtalakshmi temple is situated in Besant Nagar, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, known as the Elliot's beach. The temple's architecture is unique, with the deities installed in four levels. The shrine of Mahaalakshmi & Mahaavishnu (the principal deities) is in level two. Here one can see the imposing, bigger than life vigrahams facing the eastern horizon overlooking the sea. Walking up the stairs to the third tier, the path leads to the shrine of Santaana Lakshmi (bestower of offspring) facing south. Next we get the darshan of Vijayalakshmi (bestower of success in all ventures, vijaya - success), on the western side on the 3rd tier. Vidyaalakshmi (associated with learning & wisdom) sits facing the northern side & the shrine of Gajalaskhmi (bestower of all round prosperity) is located facing the eastern side on the 3rd tier. A flight of few steps above leads one to the 4th tier, where the Dhanalakshmi (Goddess of wealth) shrine is located facing eastward. Her's is the only shrine on the 4th level. Exiting the main shrine - the principal deities, at the ground level on the southern flank of the gopuram is the shrine for Aadhi Lakshmi. One the western flank is the shrine for
Dhaanya Lakshmi (Goddess of food grains). Dhairiya Lakshmi's (the Goddess of courage & strength) shrine is situated on the northern flank. There are shrines for Tumbikai Aazhwar (Ganesha), Guruvaayurappan, Chakrathaazhwar & Narasimhar (on either side of the same idol), Aanjaneyar & Dhanvantri.
Guruvayurappan Temple, Nanganallur
This temple dedicated to Lord Guruvayurappan, is being worshipped on the pattern as in Guruvayur.
Madhya Kailash Temple, Adyar
The recently built "Madhya Kailash" temple has many novelties. This is the only temple in Tamil Nadu established according to the cult of Ganapatyam, which is one of the five cults Adi Shankara talks of and is very popular in Maharashtra. The "Moolavar" or main deity, Venkata Ananda Vinayakar, is surrounded by shrines to Lord Siva, Surya, Devi and Vishnu. In response to the wishes of the people, there are also "Sannidhis" to Anjaneya, Swarna Bhairavar and Onpankol, though these fall outside Ganapatyam practices. The temple has become famous for its unique idol of "Adhyantha Prabhu", which is part Ganapathy and part Anjaneya. The right side is Ganesh and the left Hanuman
Periaapaalayathamman Temple, Adyar
The Periaapaalayath Amman temple, dedicated to Goddess Periyapalayathamma, an incarnation of Shakti (Supreme Mother Goddess), is an important religious and tourist place in Chennai In ancient times, the people of Tamilnadu used to visit the famous shrine of Periapalayam, where Goddess Bhavani gave her bountiful prowess to her devotees. The problem of reaching Periyapalayam after many days of pilgrimage prompted the establishment of many a temple devoted to Bhavani Amman at Chennai. This is one of the oldest and most visited temples on the Lattice Bridge Road, a few minutes away from the Adyar Junction. The temple comprises shrines of other gods like Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Muruga and many others. Navagrahas (the nine planets of the Solar System) are also worshipped here. Hanuman worship here is special and done in great grandeur
Ragavendhraswami Temple, Triplicane
The followers of Madhvacharya have built this temple for Sri Raghavendra as a Brindavanam, for regular worship. The temple and "Mutt" complex are the main attractions for any visitors,
Ratnagirishwarar Temple, Besant Nagar
This temple dedicated to Siva has sannadhis for Parvati, Ganesar, Subramanya, Sri Rama and Hanuman. Regular discourses and Rudram classes are being conducted in this temple. On Pradosham day large number of devotees throng to this temple. Maha Sivarathri is another celebration which draws very big crowd throughout the day performing religious rituals. All important festivals are celebrated in a majestic manner following Vedic formalities and customs. The particular mark of these rituals in this temple is that every abhishekam and aradhanas is performed amidst Vedic chanting by a large number of people trained in Vedic chanting.
Shirdi Saibaba Temple, Mylapore
The devotees of Sai baba have constructed this temple for regular worship. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shirdi Sai. Devotees throng the temple on Thursday, the special day for Sai Baba. The temple also has shrines dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Ram, the two incarnations of Vishnu.
Varasiddhi Vinayakar Temple, Besant Nagar
Temple dedicated to Ganesha attracts a large number of devotees. Regular Homams are being conducted in this temple. Other deities worshipped here include Lord Muruga as Balasubramanyan, Sri Sathyanarayana Perumal, Sri Surya Narayanar, Lord Dakshinamurthy, Gajakesari Lalithambikai and Nagaraja.This deity is also called “Dollar Pillayar”, since the temple regularly receives contributions from abroad.
Visvaroopa Anjaneyaar Temple, Nanganallur
A huge structure of 32 feet idol of Anjaneya molded out of a single rock forms the main deity in this temple which attracts many devotees. Visvaroopa Baktha Anjaneyaar Temple is located at Nanganallur. The Kumbabishekam was performed in 1995, by Kanchi Paramacharyar. Other deities worshipped here are Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna with his consorts Bhama and Rukmini, Lord Rama, Lakshmana, Sita and also Lord Raghavendra. Devotees are attracted to this temple on two special days Ekadasi and Amavasai in a month on which days special Abhishekams are performed. It is believed that visiting this temple assures the blessing for better health for devotees.
Sri Ayyappa Temple, Mahalingapuram
Situated at Mahalingapuram, this temple is fashioned in the Keralite style. A lot of pujas are conducted here during Nov-Dec. This temple is a fine example of the Kerala art and architecture. Sri Guruvayurappan, Sri Devi are also enshrined. The temple priests are Keralites who conduct puja in the Keralite fashion.
Ayyappa Temple, Raja Annamalaipuram
Constructed in the style of the temple at Sabarimala, this temple has the sacred “18 steps” and is being visited by devotees when they are not able to visit Sabarimala, to offer their prayers.
With Headquarters in Bengal, the followers of Chaitanya established this center, at Royapettah, Mylapore. Dieties of Krishna, Radha and Chitanya are being installed in this mutt.
Temples around Chennai
Sri Neervanna Perumal Temple. Tiruneermalai
In this Sthalam, the Perumal is found is various positions as Nindraan, Irunthaan, Kidanthaan and Nadanthaan Thirukkolam. The main shrine is situated on a hillock and this is one of the 108 Divya Desams. The deity gives darsan in four different positions. • • • • Neervannar - Nindra Thirukkolam. (standing posture) Lord Narasimhar - Irundha Thirukkolam. (Sitting posture) Lord Ranganathar - Kidantha Thirukkolam. (Reclining posture) Lord Thiruvikrama - Nadantha Thirukkolam. (Moving posture)
Maangaadu Kamakshi Amman Temple
Maangaadu Kamakshi Amman Temple is one of the famous temples in Chennai. Situated around 20 kms from the City it boasts of a rich heritage Parvati Devi, mother of the universe once playfully closed the eyes of Lord Shiva while he was in penance. The act was just a romantic gesture but resulted in the whole world becoming dark. Lord Shiva's two eyes are believed to be the Sun and Moon and since Parvati closed the eyes, the whole world plunged into darkness and life became stand still. Lord Shiva got angry and cursed Parvati Devi that she would be born in earth as a human being and needs to worship Shiva to get married to Him again. Born in earth, Kamakshi (Kama + Akshi - one who controls "Kama" or Sexual desire) she grew up and also started worshipping Lord Shiva. The place where she worshipped was then a Mango Forest and hence the name "Maangaadu" meaning forest of mangoes. Her worshipping became fierce since Lord Shiva didn’t turn up and she started penancing with one leg facing up and hands over her head in the form of a flame. Lord Shiva got pleased with her and asked her to come down to Kanchipuram where they got married. Adi Sankara during his pilgrimage installed a meru before the deity to which poojas are being conducted
Vedapureeswarar temple, Tiruverkadu
This Siva temple is one of the oldest temples, of Siva representing the four Vedas.
Karumariamman Temple, Tiruverkadu
While Lord Siva was ruling Thiruverkadu along with Balambiga, Devas who were tortured by demons rushed to Lord Siva and prayed him to save them. Lord Siva wanted to remove their sufferings and to give them peaceful life. So Lord Siva told Uma Devi alias Thiruverkkani that he is going to the kingdm of Deva to redress their grievances and till His return He empowered Thiruverkanni to perform all the five sacred duties ( Creation, Protection, Destruction, maintain and bless) and gave her ashes from his body. In turn, Goddess Verkkani ordered Agasthiar to select a place at north eastern side to rule the world. It is supposed that Agasthiar selected this place in Tiruverkadu where she settled to perform the penance. She performed five sacred duties with the help of ashes given by Lord Siva. At that time she appeared in the form of seven divine powers. This pilgrim center attracts a large number of devotees.
Located in Injambakkam, on the outskirts of Chennai The ISKCON Temple at Chennai like other ISKCON centres is the axis point from where the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya are spread. The deities worshipped in the temple include those of Rukmini and Krishna. The image of deity Satyabhama, is also housed in the temple premises. Other deities worshipped in the temple include Jagannath, Baladeva, Subhadra and Gaura-Nitai. ISKCON Chennai also promotes and protects traditional art and craft of South India.
Sai Baba Temple:
Located approximately 8.5 kms from Adyar, designed like the one in Shirdhi. this temple is peaceful, clean and breezy.
Located on the way to Mahablipuram it is an exact replica of the Puri Jagannath Temple. Those who have not been to Puri can take a look at this temple.
Tiruvidanthai Nithya Kalyana Perumal Koil:
This temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara, and every day the celestial marriage of the presiding deity is being celebrated. Devotees worship for the early marriage of their children. This is one of the 108 Divya Desams. In this place lived Kalava rishi, along with his 360 daughters. The Lord heard the rishi's prayers, came down from Heaven as a bachelor and married all of his daughters, one a day, in turn he came to be known as "Nithya Kalyana Perumal". On the last day, he merged them all into one, known as Akila Valli Naachiyaar and seated the Devi to his left, revealing his divinity. The Lord's Consort has a shrine of her own here and is known as Komala Valli Thaayaar. The temple is on the East Coast Road, about 42 km from Chennai, about 16 km before Mamallapuram.
Places of worship of other religions:
Chennai city, like the state at large, is known for some awe inspiring temples. The temples built by the ancient dynasties behold the strangers with awe and fascination. Equally interesting are other sacred places including popular churches and mosques. These popular attractions in the city witness large numbers of tourists and pilgrims paying visits throughout year.
The Grand Mosque
Located in Triplicane, the heart of the City, in Red Stone was built by Nawab Wallajah Mohamed Ali Grand Father of the Present incumbent of Amir Mahal and the Prince of Arcot. This is supposed to be bigger than Delhi Juma Masjidand
Thousand Lights' Mosque
This is a beautiful cream-colored, multi-domed mosque with walls bearing sayings from the Holy Koran. It is located close to Anna Salai, a main artery of the City. It derives its name from the ancient practice of profusely lighting this triangular wedge of hallowed Muslim buildings. The original mosque was constructed here by Nawab Umdat-ul-Umrah during 1800 for the assemblage of Shia Muslims during Muharram.
Makka Masjid is one of a very important Mosque in Chennai city. Hundreds of
worshippers can be accommodated in this Mosque at a time. This mosque is situated behind Baba Hasarth Syed Moosa Hadari Dharga, in Anna salai
This is a popular centre for Buddhists and in particular to those from Srilanka on their way to Saranath. Buddhists from abroad take part in the worship here. This Buddha Vihar is situated in Egmore
The Jain Temple, Mylapore
The Jain Temple in Chennai is contrary to all other temples built in South. Most of the temples in south are built with rocks where as the Jain Temple has been built with the lime-and-soapstone and marble, which has given it a sparkling appearance. This is a significant temple among the modern style of architecture. The temple also includes some beautiful sculptures of Lord Mahavira, other tirinthkaras and Lord Shantinath to whom the temple is dedicated. First Jain temple in South India is in Chennai, this temple is known as Shree Gujarati Swetamber Jain Mandir. Lord Parshwanatha, the 23rd Teerthankar is the presiding deity of this renowned shrine. The three gopurams and five doors of the Mandir have marble carvings based on the architectural principles of the famous Dilwara temples. Only marble has been used in the construction, and the architects, carvers and workers were brought in from Rajasthan. The idol is made of Quartz selected from the Chellur mines in Karnataka.
The chief among Sikh Guru is Guru Govind Singh. His preaching stress on temperance and silence as natural methods to see God. The Sikhs holy pilgrimage is the golden temple situated at Amirstar in Punjab. A sizable number of Sikhs worship at this Gurudwara located at Teynampet.
The Erstwhile Madras now renamed as Chennai, it is the cultural heartland as well as the focal point for India’s 1950 year old Christian faith.,
John Anderson arrived in Madras as one of the Scottish missionaries. He started the John Anderson General Assembly School in 1835. He founded many educational institutions. It is indeed ironical that this zestful educationalist is now remembered not for what he actually stood for rather his name was given to the church situated in George Town where once the Madras Christian College stood. The church is located in Broadway.
Andrew’s Kirk Church
Described in the British days as the ‘Noblest edifice in Hindustan’, St. Andrew’s Kirk, located in Egmore, is an almost two-century-old church. It is perhaps one of the ‘best examples of Georgian architecture in Asia. The name itself is suggestive of the Scottish connections the City had, during the British days. The St. Andrew's Church, Egmore is popularly referred to as 'The Kirk'. It was consecrated in 1821 AD especially for the Scottish Community in Chennai. The church was the result of efforts of Major Thomas Fort de Havilland and Colonel James Caldwell. St Andrew's Kirk was built to serve the members of the Scottish Church serving in the East India Company.
Avella Theresa Church
This church in Nungambakkam is the first Bishop House in Chennai. It was here, the first Bishop performed his duties and later his office was changed to Mylapore. The Holy Mary of this Holy Church is Mother Avella Theresammal.
Chinnamalai (Little Mount)
Is another church, situated near Saidapet bridge, where in a cave hewn out of a small mount the Apostle St. Thomas is believed to have lived and preached. It was from here that he leaped out through a small opening in order to escape from his assailants. An imprint found on the boulder on the other side of the cave is said to have been left by him. There is also a well with a natural spring gushing out water. During the turn of this century a circular church was constructed in this holy spot. A flight of 160 steps takes you to the church on St. Thomas Mount. In the church at St. Thomas Mount, you can find the painting of the Madonna that is said to have been done by St. Luke. The Bleeding Cross is an interesting relic here. This cross has stains resembling bloodstains that seem to reappear even after they are scrubbed off. The Cross is said to have 'bled' first during Mass in 1558. At the entrance of the tunnel, you can find a visible palm print that is believed to be of the Apostle himself. Little Mount has an ancient church that was built by the Portuguese in 1551. The perennial spring that passes by the church is reputed to have curative powers. A festival is held at Little Mount every year just after Easter.
By the busy Mount Road is situated the impressive building of the Christ Church. Rev. Henry Taylor, Chaplain in the Service of East India Company, realizing the sad plight of the poor people in and around the Mount Road area, opened a large room for public worship in July 1842, which of course, marked the humble beginning of the Christ Church.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica
Further down south on Marina, in Mylapore is the Santhome Cathedral Basilica. According to the legend one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ - St. Thomas, in his mission to spread Christianity in Asia, came to Chennai soon after Jesus was crucified. He lived and preached in St. Thomas Mount and later took asylum in the caves at Little Mount. He was assassinated and his body was buried here. This Cathedral has been built on his burial site.
St. George’s Cathedral
This Cathedral which is 188 years old is remarkable for its splendid architectural beauty. Built in 1815 with a 45m spire and elegant Ionic columns of brick and lime, it is of special historic interest for the several fine memorial tablets remembering such outstanding men as Bishop Caldwell - the eminent Philologist, Bishop Heber, ardent missionary, Dr. Carrie, first Anglican bishop of Chennai, Dr. Anderson, the famous doctor who introduced silk manufacture in Chennai and William Parry and John Binny, merchant entrepreneurs whose names are still remembered in the city’s oldest business establishments. Unusual too, is the adjacent graveyard with its unique guard rail made up of musket barrels, bayonets and spikes taken at the capture of Sri Rangapatnam in Karnataka during1799.
St. Mary’s Church - Fort St. George.
St. Mary’s Church, the first Anglican Church in India, was constructed in 1680. It was here that the marriages of the then Governor of Madras Elihu Yale- the one who established the Yale University in USA - and Robert Clive were solemnized. The tomb stones found in its
courtyard are the oldest British tomb stones in India.
St. Thomas Mount Church
St.Thomas Mount is a small hillock situated south of Chennai, where St. Thomas - the Apostle of Jesus, preached Christianity. It is interesting to note that the bleeding cross said to be carved in stone by St. Thomas was found here and installed at the altar of the Church of ’Our Lady of expectation’. The mysterious blood stains on the bleeding cross remained for years even after deliberate scrubbing and the wear and tear of centuries. The Church also holds a fascinating painting of Holy Mother and Infant Jesus said to have been painted by the apostle St.Thomas himself during the 1st century AD.
This church located in Besant Nagar, is dedicated to our lady of Health, the Madonna of Velankanni. Though much smaller than the original church at Velankanni, this church at Elliot’s Beach still attracts swarms of pilgrims who have implicit faith in the miraculous healing of the Madonna.
There is a Parsi Temple at George Town, near Royapuram, serving a handful of Parsis in the City.
Places of Tourist interest around Chennai
Besides the tourist attractions in Chennai city, there are many tourist places in the neighboring areas. These excursion points range from wildlife sanctuaries, artist village, bird sanctuaries and temples.
Vedantangal Bird Sanctuary
Vedantangal is located 85km southwest of Chennai and is one of the best bird breeding sanctuaries in India. There are several kinds of egrets, herons, pelicans, black cormorants, storks, spoonbills, grebes and many other types of birds. The best period is November to January. Vedanthangal has the reputation of being one of the oldest water bird sanctuaries in India. Records reveal that this sanctuary has been in existence for more than 200 years. Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is located at about 86 km from Chennai. The sanctuary spans across 72 acres of marshy land. The Barringtonia Acacia nilotica trees along with dry evergreen scrub and thorn forests are part of the flora of the sanctuary.
Pulicat Island is located 60 kilometers north of Chennai and is surrounded by ocean and salt-water rivers. Pulicut has a population of approximately 30,000, which is comprised predominantly of fishermen who belong to the traditional marine fishing caste called Pattanavan.
Mahabalipuram, also called Mamallapuram, is 60 kilometers south of Chennai Mahabalipuram was the capital of the Pallava Kings around the seventh and eighth centuries. The Pallavas were master sculptors. This town boasts of some of the finest rock cut caves and sculptures in the world. The Shore temples of Mahabalipuram are an architectural wonder.
Anneture (Important information useful to the Tourist. This is not a comprehensive list) POLICE: 100 POLICE (Traffic): 103
Airlines in Chennai Airports Authority of India (AAI)
KAMARAJ DOMESTIC TERMINAL Tirisulam, Chennai - 600 027 Tel : 22560551 (9 lines) Fax : 22560841. ANNA INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL Tirisulam, Chennai - 600 027, Tel : 22560551 (9 lines) Fax : 22560841.
AIR INDIA 19, Rukmani Lakshmibathy Road, Egmore Chennai - 600 008 AIR DECCAN AEROFLOT - RUSSIAN AIRLINES Russian Cultural Centre 74, Kasturi Ranga Road, Alwarpet, Chennai - 600 018 AIR MAURITIUS 6, Aarti Chambers, 189, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 006 AIR NEW ZEALAND 144/145, Kodambakkam High Road, Chennai - 600 034 AIR SEYCHELLES 43/44, Montieth Road, Chennai - 600 008 ALITALIA 2-D, Century Plaza, 560-562, Anna Salai Chennai - 600 018 ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS
Tel : 28554477, 28554488 Fax : 28555055 Tel: 9840377008
Tel: 24983367, 24983378 Fax: 24983396
Tel : 28226149, 28226150 Fax : 28269151
Tel : 28592564 Fax : 28570703
Tel : 24349822, 24349254 Fax : 24328781
672, Anna Salai, Nandanam, Chennai - 600 035 AMERICAN AIRLINES 43/44, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 AIR FRANCE 43/44, Montieth Road Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 AUSTRIAN AIRLINES 43/44, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 BIMAN BANGLADESH 43/44, Montieth Road, Chennai - 600 008 BRITISH AIRWAYS Sigma Wing, 177, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 002 BRITISH MIDLAND 2/96, Montiteth Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS Hotel Connemara, Binny Road, Chennai - 600 002 CONTINENTAL AIRLINES 672, Anna Salai, Nandanam, Chennai - 600 035 CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES 144/145, Kodambakkam High Road, Chennai -600 034 DELTA AIRLINES 144/145, Kodambakkam High Road, Chennai - 600 034 EGYPT AIR 758, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 002 ELAL ISREAL AIR
Tel : 24330211 Fax : 24330170
Tel : 28592564, 28592915 Fax : 28540703
Tel : 28554916, 285524844 Fax : 28553428
Tel : 28592915, 28592564 Fax : 28570703 Tel : 28592564, 28592915 Fax : 28570703
Tel : 28604680, 22560952 Fax : 28551601, 28603803
Tel : 28554455 Fax : 52148486
Tel : 28522519, 28522418 Fax : 28522716
Tel : 24330211, 24330444 Fax : 24330170
Tel : 28226151, 28269140 Fax : 28269151
Tel : 28262315, Fax : 28269151
Tel : 28523913 Fax : 28524507
733, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 006 EMIRATES RIAZ GARDEN, 12, K. H. Road, Chennai - 600 034 ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES 23, Kasi Arcade T. Nagar, Chennai - 600 017 EVA AIR 72, Marshalls Road, Egmore Chennai - 600 008 FINN AIR 733, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 002 GULF AIR 52, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 INDIAN General Enquiry Reservations Arrival & Departure 19, Rukmani Lakshmibathy Road, Egmore Chennai - 600 008 IRAQI AIRWAYS 66, Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 JAPAN AIRLINES Hotel Ambasador Pallava, Chennai - 600 008 JET AIRWAYS 43/44, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 KENYA AIRWAYS 733, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 006 KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES 10, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 KOREAN AIR 733, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 006 KUWAIT AIRWAYS
Tel : 28587990, 28587991 Fax : 28523427
Tel : 28223700 Fax : 28233622, 28240103
Tel : 28151395, 28150284 Fax : 24347966
Tel : 28511489, 28511490 Fax : 28554520
Tel : 28523459 Fax : 28523427
Tel : 28554417 Fax : 28554028
1400 / 1401 / 1402
Tel : 28265616, 28261740 Fax : 28224502
Tel : 28592333, 28592335 Fax : 28592334
Tel : 28414141, 28511103 Fax : 28555108
Tel : 28524532 Fax : 28523427
Tel : 28524427, 28524467 Fax : 28524329
Tel : 28522921, 28523427 Fax : 28523427
43/44, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 LUFTHANSA GERMAN AIRLINES 167, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 002 MALAYSIA AIRLINES Arihant Nico Park, 90, Dr. R.K.Salai, Chennai - 600 004 NORTH WEST AIRLINES 10, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008 OMAN AIR ‘Oxford’ 20-22, College Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai - Chennai - 600 006
Tel : 28553797, 28553978 Fax : 28553806
Tel : 28418568, 28525095 Fax : 28523381
Tel : 52199999 Fax : 52199299
Tel : 28524427, 28525372 Fax : 28524329
Tel : 28211212 (6 lines) Fax : 28222020
PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES 758, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 002 Tel : 28523913 Fax : 28524507 QANTAS AIRWAYS Eldorado Buld.112, Nungambakkam High Road, Chennai - 600 034 ROYAL BRUNEI 672, Anna Salai, Nandanam, Chennai - 600 035 ROYAL JORDANIAN 43/44, Montieth Road, Chennai - 600 008 ROYAL NEPAL AIR 672, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 035
Tel : 28278680, 28278649 Fax : 28240608
Tel : 24330211, 24330444 Fax : 24330170
Tel : 28592564, 28592915 Fax : 28570703
Tel : 28587990, 28587991 Fax : 28523427
SAHARA AIRLINES Hotel Park Sheraton, 132, T.T.K. Road, Chennai - 600 018 Tel : 52110202 Fax : 52110303 SAS 144/145, Nungambakkam High Road, Chennai - 34. SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES 7, Century Plaza, 560-562, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 018
Tel : 28226151, Fax : 28269151
Tel : 24346157, 24349666, 24337309 Fax : 24347966
SINGAPORE AIRLINES 108, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai - 600 004 SOUTH AFRICAN AIRLINES 144/145, Malavika Centre, Kodambakkam High Road, Chennai - 600 034 SRI LANKAN AIRLINES 76. Cathedral Road. Chennai - 600 086 SWISS AIR 19, Hamid Building, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 006 THAI AIRWAYS 672, Anna Salai Nandanam Chennai - 600 035 TURKMENISTAN AIRLINES 672, Anna Salai, Nandanam Chennai - 600 035 UNITED AIRLINES 144, Kodambakkam High Road, Chennai - 600 034 US AIRWAYS Sri Kalyan Squar, 83,Pantheon Road Chennai - 600 008 VIRGIN ATLANTIC 144/145, Malavika Centre K.Hg Road, Chennai - 600 034 Indian Railways Online Railway Reservation Railways - Telephone Enquiry Services General Enquiry Reservation Enquiry Train Arrival & Dep (B.G) Central Train Arrival & Dep (M.G) Egmore Reservation Enquiry (Egmore)
Tel : 28473982, 28473995 Fax : 28473364
Tel : 28269151 Fax : 28269151
Tel :28111535/6/7 Fax : 28111153
Tel : 28524783, 28522541 Fax : 28523453
Tel : 24330211, 24330255 Fax : 24330170
Tel : 24322286, 24330542 Fax : 24330560
Tel : 28226290/914 Fax : 28269151
Tel : 28586868, 28588953 Fax : 52146952
Tel : 28262315 Fax : 28269151
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Interactive Voice Response System Ticket Enquiry In English
In Hindi In Tamil Rail Reservation Centres in Chennai (Reservation Hrs 08:00-14:00 & 14:15-20:00 Sun:08:00-14:00) Avadi Rly Station Annanagar Airport Besant Nagar Central Railway Station Egmore Railway Station Mambalam Railway Station Mylapore Railway Station Perambur Railway Station Saidapet Railway Station Tambaram Railway Station Tiruvotiyur Railway Station Beach Railway Station
26555408 26631188 22560551 24901186 25353816 28194579 24643755 24954252 25510359 24329970 22365921 25735314 25234397
Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus: Near Coimbedu Market, Chennai-108, This is the biggest bus terminus in Asia. It has 30 arrival and 150 departure terminals, 3 restaurants, 31 shops, 15 drinking water out-lets and 76 toilets. The main lounge can seat 536 people. Express / Deluxe / Super Deluxe buses to many Cities and Towns in Tamilnadu and neighboring states operate from here. For Enquiries: Ph : 24794705
Hospitals in Chennai
Apollo Hospitals Aysha Hospitals Amrit Hospital A. K. N. Nursing Home AVM Medical ENT Research Foundation Balaji Hospitals Bharath Hospital Billroth Hospital B. R. Hospital B. M. Orthopaedic Hospital Balakrishna Eye Hospital & Eye Research Centre Chennai Kaliappa Hospital Childs Trust Hospital CSI Rainy Hospital Communicable Diseases Hospitals Dr. Mehta's Nursing Home Dr. Rex's Hospital Dr. Duraiswamy Eye Hospital Dr. George Nursing Home Dr. Rajan Dental Hospital Devaki Emergency Hotline First Med Hospital Kilpauk Medical College Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care Centre H. M. Hospital Harvey Heart Hospital Hindu Mission Hospital & Blood Bank
28293333/28290200 26426930 25226786 26445015/26440665 24970876/24994957 22343313 24843512 28441777 28259222/28235859 26570707/26571644 24359514 24936098 24936098 25955902 25952686/25952687 28281881 26424656/26426465 24341044 26421065 28472266 24970474 28211111/28212222 28255331 26454949 24996648 28234209 22262244
Hande Hospital Hemophilia Hospital Society Madras Chapter Institute of Mental Health Institute of Child Health Hospital J. V. Hospital K. J. Hospital Kumaran Hospital Kasthuri Hospital K. K. R. Ent. Hospital & Research Institute Lakshmi Nursing Home Madras Port Trust Hospital MIOT Hospitals Madras Medical Mission Malar Hospital M. R. Hospitals Madras Blood Directory M. V. Diabetes Specialities Centre Medindia Digestive Diseases Hospital Mohan Hospital Mohan Rau Memorial Hospital Madras ENT Research Foundation Philips Hospital Public Health Centre Parvatiben Trikamji Bhatt Gujarati Sahaykari Hospital R. M. Hospital Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine Railway Hospital Raju Hospital Rajan Eye Care Hospital Red Cross Blood Bank Raghav Hospital for New Born Babies Reach T. B. Care Rigid Hospitals Ragas General Hospital
26447538 22541652 26421085/26421089 28191135 24725582 26411513 26411860/26413357 22263752/22263573 26411444/26411987 22362883/22362724 25362201 22492288/22493636 26565961/26561801 24914737 24755419 25212419/24832538 28200700/28200703 28311415/28204757 24752990/24756490 26424396/26411621/26412474 24981973/24671453 22366569/22366501 24893101/24893172 25352604 24511477/24510963 25955519 26461256 24341901 28259635 28554425/28554548 24356222 28418179/28525074 26447747/26450225 24492171/24492191
Ramiah Hospital Stanley Hospital St. Isabel Hospital Sri Ramana Surgical Clinic Santhosh Hospital Sooriya Hospital Sundaram Medical Foundation Sugam Hospital Sampath Nursing Home Sri Devi Hospital Sakthi Nursing Home & Scan Centre St. Thomas Hospital Sasthalaya Hospital Trinity Hospital The Tamilnadu Dr. M. G. R. Medical University Blook Bank Sri Ramachandra Hospital Vijaya Hospital
25953351 25261345/25261353 24991081 24340974/24347474 24917646 23761750 26268844 25733830 24980572 26266900 28442626 22343233/22343363 28170131/28171599 24990880 22301871/22353577 24768403 24768403
Government Hospitals Govt. General Hospital Royapettah Hospital Govt. Optholmic Hospitals Govt. Kasthurbai Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children Arignar Anna Govt. Hospital Govt. Hospital for Thoracic Medicine Durgabai Deshmukh Gen. Hospital and Research Centre Govt. RSRM Hospital Govt. Thiruvateeswarar TB Hospital Govt. Hospital for Women and Children Govt. Peripheral Hospital (Anna Nagar) Govt. Peripheral Hospital (Tondairpet) Govt. Peripheral Hospital ( K. K. Nagar) 25363131/25363143 28483051/28283056 28555281/28554338 28545001 26214844/26281563 22368450/22368427 24938311 25229362 26461336/26461337 28251982 26262136 25953157 24892530
Speciality Hospitals CSI Kalyani Multi Speciality Hospital Dignity Foundation Senior Clients Life Enrichment Services Hospital Eye Bank - 24 hrs - Sankara Nethralaya Lions Eye Bank Trust (24 hrs) Rotary Medical Centre (24 hrs) Voluntary Health Services Sankara Nethralaya Sneha Sucide Helpline Rotary Central TTK-VHS Blook Bank Lions Blood Bank Iswari Prasad Dattatreya Orthopaedic Centre Jeevan Blood Bank & Research Centre 24 Hours Pharmacy Appollo Hospital Balaji Hopitl CSI Kalyani Malar Hospitl Mehta Medical Centre Shanta Medicals Sri Ramachandra Pharmacy Swarnam Hospital Tamilnadu Hospital Trinity Hospital Vijaya Hospital 28290200 / 28293333 22343863 28541101 24911728 25389190 26442517 24828027 24417905 24414003 24991488 24801598 28473306/28470642 26473165 1919 28553840 26258616 22541972/22542971 28271616 28115050 22542829/22541692 28415959/28414949 24938311 28220494/28231911
24 Hours Ambulnce Service: Appollo Hospital Devaki Hospital Madras Medical Mission Malar Hospital MIOT Accident Rescue Scheme St. Johns Ambulance Sri Ramachandra Trauma Care 1066 24992607 26565961 / 26565991 24911728 4847802 28554251 24828402
Regional Passport Office:
IInd Floor, Shastri Bhavan 26, Haddows Road Chennai - 600 006 Phones : 91-44-28203591, 28203593, 28203594 Fax : 91-44-28252767 Tele Enquiry : 91-44-28235554 Shastri Bhavan Haddows Road Chennai – 600006 Phone: 2345 4970 Fax: 2345 4971
Foreighners registration Office:
Consulates and High Commissions in Chennai
Austria "Kothari Building", 115, Uthamar Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600 034 Tel: 91-44-28334556, 91-44-2828334515 Fax: 91-44-28334560 Belgium Spic House 88, Anna Salai, Gunidy Chennai - 600 032 Tel:91-44-22350877, 91-44-22352336 Fax: 91-44-22350308 Chile 7, Adyar Club Gate Road, Chennai - 600 028 Tel: 91-44-24340610 Fax: 91-44-24335216 Czech 64, Thirumalaipillai Road, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600 017 Tel: 91-44-28158886/87/88 Fax: 91-44-28156666 Denmark 9, Cathedral Road Chennai - 600 086 Tel: 91-44-28118140/41 Fax: 91-44-28112185
Finland 742 (New No: 202), Anna Salai Chennai - 600 002 Tel: 91-44-28524141, 91-44-28523622 Fax: 91-44-28521253 France 2, Rue De La Marine, Pondicherry - 605001 Tel: 91-413-2334174/4058 Fax: 91-413-2335594 Germany 49, Ethiraj Salai, Mico Building Chennai - 600105 Tel: 91-44-28210810, 91-44-28210824 Fax: 91-44-28273542 Greece H3 Alsa Manor 72, Harrington Road Chennai 600 031 Tel: 91-44-28269194 Hungary Taim House 72, Rajaji Salai Chennai - 600 001 Tel: 91-44-25231265 Fax: 91-44-25225205 Iceland Bhavani Mansion, 2nd Floor 4th Lane 3, Nungambakkam High Road Chennai - 600 034 Tel: 91-44-28331946/28333631 Fax: 91-44-28330314 Indonesia CONSULATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA 2-D, ‘El Dorado’ 112, Nungambakkam High Road Chennai 600 034 Tel: 044-2825 3337 / 2820 6845 / 2820 6085 Fax: 044-2824 1411 Italy 19, Rajaji Salai Chennai - 600 001 Tel: 91-44-24337224 Fax: 91-44-25341136 Japan 12/1Cenetoph Road
Teynampet Chennai - 600 018 Tel: 91-44-91-44-24323860/61 Fax: 91-44-24323859 Korea 'Chaitanya' 12 Khader Nawaz Khan Road Chennai 600 006 Telefax: 91-44-28331224 Malawi 83 (Old No:41), Armenian Street Chennai - 600 001 Tel: 91-44-25265243,91-44-25219524 Fax: 91-44-25279009 Malaysia 252/A, T.T.K. Road Alwarpet Chennai - 600 018 Tel: 91-44-24982306 Fax: 91-44-24982405
Mauritius 94/95, Thiru-vi-ka Industrial Estate, Chennai - 600 032. Tel: 91-44-22346693/7051 Fax: 91-44-22348181 Netherlands Catholic Centre 64, Armenian Street Chennai - 600 001 Tel: 91-44-22510214 Newzealand "Maithri" 32, Cathedral Road Chennai - 600 086 Tel: 91-44-28112472 Fax: 91-44-28112449
Norway 44/45, Rajaji Salai Chennai - 600 001 Tel: 91-44-25232981/82/83 Fax: 91-44-25233235
Philipines Spic House, Annex Building, 4th Floor
88, Anna Salai, Guindy Chennai - 600 032 Tel: 91-44-22354063 Fax: 91-44-22352062
Russian Federation 33, Santhome High Road Mylapore, Chennai - Chennai - 600 004 Tel: 91-44-24982320/30 Fax: 91-44-24982336
Singapore 17-A, North Boag Road, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600 017 Tel: 91-44-28158207/08 Fax: 91-44-28158209
Spain 'Lawdale' 6/8, Nimmo Road, Santhome, Chennai - 600 004 Tel: 91-44-24942008 SriLanka 196, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai - 600 086 Tel: 91-44-24987896, 91-44-24987612 Fax: 91-44-24987894
Sweden 6, Cathedral Road Chennai - 600 086 Tel: 91-44-28112232 Fax: 91-44-28110294
Switzerland 224, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai - 600 018 Tel: 91-44-2435886, 91-44-24332701 Fax: 91-44-24342363
Turkemenistan 3, Magesh Street, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600 017 Tel: 91-44-24343777 / 3627 Fax: 91-44-24343627
Turkey 202, Lingi Chetty Street, Chennai - 600 001 Tel: 91-44-2510214 United Kingdom 20, Anderson Road Chennai 600 006 Tel: 91-44-28257422, 91-44-52142151, Fax: 91-44-52192321 United States Of America 220, Anna Salai Gemini Circle Chennai 600 006 Tel: 91-44-28273040 Fax: 91-44-28262538
There are lots of hotels in and around Chennai city to facilitate the accommodations for visitors of the Chennai City. There is a variety of choice like Five Star Hotels, Four Star Hotels, Three Star Hotels, Two Star Hotels, One Star Hotels, and Budget Hotels
Chennai Five Star Hotels *****
Fisherman's Cove, Covalong Beach, (Kanchipuram Dist.), Chennai - 603 112. Taj Connemara Hotel, No.2 Binny Road, Chennai - 600 002. Taj Coromandel, 37, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600 034. The Trident, 1/24, G.S.T. Road, Chennai - 600 027. Chola Sheraton, 13, Cathedral Road, Chennai - 600 086. Park Sheraton, 132, T.T.K. Road, Chennai - 600 018. Le Royal Meridian, 1, G.S.T. Road, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai - 600 016.
Chennai Four Star Hotels****
Hotel Ambassador Pallava, 30, Montieth Road, Chennai - 600 008. Benz Park Tulip, No. 41, Thirumallai Pillai Road, T. Nagar, Chennai - 600 017. GRT Grand, No. 120, Sir. Thyagaraya Road, T. Nagar, Chennai - 600 017. Hotel President, No. 25, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Ramada Raj Park, No. 180, T.T.K. Road, Alwarpet, Chennai - 600 018.
Savera Hotel, 146, Dr. Radakrishnan Road, Chennai - 600 004. The Aruna Chennai, 144, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600 034. The Residency Towers, Sir Thyagaraya Road, T. Nagar, Chennai - 600 017.
Chennai Three Star Hotels***
Aadithya Hotel, 155/1, Arcot Road, Vadapalani, Chennai - 600 026. Ambika Empire Best Western, 79, 100 Feet Road, Vadapalani, Chennai -600 026. Ampa Crystal Inn, 623, Poonamallee High Road, Aminjikarai, Chennai - 600 029. Breeze Hotel, 850, Poonamalle High Road, Kilpauk, Chennai - 600 010. Atithi Hotel, No. 90, G.N Chetty Road, T-Nagar, Chennai - 600 017. Grand Orient, 693, Mount Road, Thousand Light, Chennai - 600 006. Hotel Abu Palace, 926, Poonamallee High Road, Chennai - 600 084. Hotel Kanchi, 28, Ethiraj Salai, Chenna - 600 105. Hotel Mars, 768, Pammal Main Road, Pallavaram, Chennai - 600 043. Hotel Maurya International, 168/169, Arcot Road, Vadapalani, Chennai -600 026. Hotel Palm grove, No13, Kodambakkam H.Rd, Nungambakkam, Chennai -600 034. Hotel Shelter, 19,20 & 21, Venkatesa Agraharam, Mylapore, Chennai -600 004. Madras Hotel Ashoka, New No. 47, Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai -600 008. New Victoria Hotel, No.3, Kennet Lane, Egmore, Chennai -600 008. New Woodlands Hotel, 72-75, Dr. Radhakrishnan Road, Chennai -600 004. Quality Inn Sabari, No.29, Thirumalai Pillai Rd., T.Nagar, Chennai -600 017. Radha Park Inn International, 171, Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, Chennai -600 106. The Residency, 49, G.N. Chetty Road, T. Nagar, Chennai - 600 017. The Sindoori Hotel, 26/27, Poonamalle High Road, Chennai - 600 003.
Chennai Two Star Hotels**
Hotel Maris, New No.11, Cathedral Road, Chennai - 600 086. Hotel Pandian, 15, Kennet Lane, Egmore, Chennai -600 008. Hotel Ranjith, 15, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Chennai - 600 034.
Chennai One Star Hotels*
Tourist Home, 45, Gandhi Irwin Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008.
Chennai Budget Hotels
Beverly Hotel, 17 Rajarathinam Road, Kilpauk, Chennai - 600 010. Buena Vista, Beach Road, Neelangarai, Chennai - 600 041. Hotel Arunachala, New No.11,Kodambakkam High Road, Chennai-600 034. Hotel Goutham Manor, 74, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Chennai - 600 034. Hotel MGM Grand, No. 31, Santhome High Rd, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Hotel Nirmala Dakshin, No.122, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 002. Hotel Peninsula, 51, G.N. Chetty Road, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600 017. Hotel Sree Krishna, Peters Road, Gopalapuram, Chennai - 600 086. Hotel Vaigai, 3, Gandhi Irwin Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008. Liberty Park Hotel, 9, 1st Main Road, United India Colony, Chennai - 600 024. Nilgiri's Nest, 105, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004
Picnic Hotel, 1132/1, Poonamalle High Road, Chennai - 600 003. Quality Inn MGM Beach Resort, 1/74East Coast Rd, Mutukadu, Chennai-603112. Hotel Mallika, No. 14, Meeran Sahib Street, Mount Road, Chennai -600 002. Hotel Premier, 22, Poonamallee High Rd, Chennai -600 003. L.R Swami Hotels Pvt. Ltd., 105, Usman Road, T. Nagar, Chennai - 600 017. Nellore Meals Lodge, 75, Govindappa Naicken St., Chennai - 600 001. Radisson GRT Hotel, 531, G.S.T. Road, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai - 600 016. Sudha Inn, 97, Poonamallee High Road, Chennai - 600 084. Udipi Home, 34,Police Commissioner's Office Road, Egmore, Chennai-600 008.
Eating Out in Chennai
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Abirami Sweets & Snacks Amaravathi Restaurant Andhra Meals Hotel Apoorva Sangeetha Veg. Fast Foods A/C Hall Apoorvas Sangeetha Fast Foods Archana Sweets & Restaurant Ashok Nagar Woodlands Beach Castle Restaurant Cafe Picasso Coconut Grove Restaurant Copper Chimmey Restaurants Dahlia Dasaprakash Restaurant Dhaba Restaurant Little City Restaurant Lius Waldorf Mandarin Chinese Restaurant Mangal Restaurant Mathura Restaurant Matsya (Udipi Home) Nanking Chinese Restaurant New Tandoor Restaurant Nic Nac Fast Food Palimar Restaurant Pallavi Restaurant Pantry Car Restaurant Paramount Restaurant Parkland Restaurant Rangis Chinese Restaurant Redsun Chinese Restaurant Sangeetha Saravanas Fast Foods(veg) Sea Rock Restaurant Seetharama Restaurant Shansi Restaurant
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Silver Shark Restaurant Southern Chinese Restaurant Tharamani Talkies The Canton The Cascade Restaurant The Grand Canyon Tic Tac Restaurant Vasantha Bhavan (Veg) Vasantha Bhavan(Veg. Restaurant) Vasantha Lunch Home Wangs Kitchen Woodlands Drive in Restaurant Yadghar Restaurant Yamuna Lunch Home Yamuna Restaurant Duchess Restaurants Geetha Cafe Geetha Coffee Centre (Veg Restaurant) Geethaanjali Restaurant Gowri Shankar Hotel Gowri Shankar Restaurant Greenpark Restaurant Hira Restaurant Hot Bread Restaurant Hotel Ganesh Bhavan Hotel Liberty Park Hotel Pandiyan Restaurant Hotel Saravanabhavan(High Quality Veg. Restaurant ) Hotel Sribhavan Veg. Restaurant Hotel Sudhara A/c Restaurant Hotel Vasantha Bhavan Kabul Restaurants Karaikkudi Restaurant Korea House Kwality Fun Foods And Restaurants Little City Restaurant Mangal Restaurant Mathura Resturant
Chennai Sweet shops
Adyar Ananda Bhavan, Mylapore Agarwal Bhavan, Parrys Archana Sweets, Adyar, T.Nagar Gangotree, Mylapore Grand Sweets & Snacks, Adyar Nandhinee Sweet Stall, Adyar New Bombay Halwa House, Royapettah 24460607 25369219 24344440 28111664 24914213 24918274 24981736
Saravana Selvarathinam Sweets, Mylapore, T.Nagar 24352595 Sri Krishna Sweets, Mylapore 28112829 Suriya Sweets, Mylapore 24348937
Jewellers in Chennai
Mehta Jewellery 64, Thirumalai Pillai Road, Chennai, 600017 - 044 28158886 Vummidi Bangaru Shrihari Sons 11, Nageshwara Rao Road, Chennai, 600017 - 044 24342455 G R Thangamaligai Ltd 136, Usman Road, Opp Chennai Silks, T Nagar, Chennai, Chennai - 044 24345065 Prince Jewellery 13,Nageswara Rao Road, Panagal Park, Chennai, 600017 - 044 24363137 Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers Rani Seethai Hall,603,Anna Salai,Parallel To Gemini Flyover, Anna Salai, Chennai, 600006 044 28291573 Murthy Jewellers 8/1, New No 36, Mathala Narayanan St, Mylapore, Chennai - 044 24957240 Ambica Pearl & Jewellers 14 Basement,Alsa Mall,Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai, 600008 - 044 28553642 Original Kerala Jewellers 91,Usman Road, T Nagar, Chennai, 600017 - 044 24340027 Palsani Jewels 87, Dr R K Rd, Mylapore, Chennai - 044 28110585 Jnr Jewellery 10,North Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai, 600004 - 044 24951834 Dhanalaxmi Jewellers 59/2, Opp Pothy'S Textile, Usman Rd, T Nagar, Chennai - 044 24345242 Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers 603,, Mount Road, Chennai, Tamilnadu 600006 - 044 28291574 KFJ 17,Shanthi Vihar Complex,140,Royapettah High Road, Mylapore, Chennai, 600004 044 24984617
S R K Jewellers 27,North Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai, 600004 - 044 24640586 Sagunthala Jewellers 2, Opp Kabaleswar Temple, C P Koil St, Mylapore, Chennai - 044 24611670 Mehta Gems Co Old No 329,New No 373, Mint Street, Chennai, 600003 - 044 25355205 Bapalal & Company Jewellers 37, Cathedral Road, Chennai, 600086 - 044 28113030 P V Thanga Maligai 32 2,East Coast Road, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, 600041 - 044 24483412 Lalitha Jewellery
Silk Sarees / Kancheepuram sarees
Nalli Silks Kumaran Silks Pothys Sundari Silks RmKv silks Vardharams on Harrington Road Tulsi Silks Rasi or Radha silk emporium BM Silks India Silk Emporium Co-optex Saree Museum on Pantheon Road Chennai Silks Sri Kumaran Stores 24344115 24343544 24310901 28143615 28144705 28266667 24991087 24941906 24940291 24991683 28269271 24310888 24342744
Spencer Plaza on Mount Road Alsa Mall, Cisons Complex, Fountain Plaza Prince Plaza in Egmore. Globus, Westside, Lifestyle,
Victoria Technical Institute (VTI) Anna Salai, - 28523153 The Central Cottage Industries Emporium, Temple Towers, 476 Anna Salai, Nandanam, 24330226 Poompuhar Sales and Show Room, 818 Anna Salai Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan, #44AnnaSalai Chennai - 600 002 Tel2858 4312 / 2858 4313 New Kashmir Arts & Crafts Mount Road & Spencer Plaza Chennai - 600 002 - 28546560 Gurjari Shop No: A, Chaitanya Building, No-12,KhaderNawazKhan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai Tel:22010708,22004533
M/sHiggin Bothams Anna Salai, Chennai. Phone : +91-44-28522420 Landmark Spencer Plaza, Anna Salai, Chennai. Phone : +91-44-28495767 Odyssey 6, First Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai. Phone : +91-44-24420393 The Alliance Co. P.O. Box 617, 244, Ramakrishna Mutt Road, Mylapore, Chennai-600 004, Tamilnadu, India. Tel: 91-44-494 1314 Vanathi Pathippakam , Publishers and Booksellers 13, Deenadayalu Street, Chennai-600 017, Tamil Nadu, India Tel: 044-434 2810 Sri Ramakrishna Mutt 16, Ramakrishna Mutt Road, Mylapore, Chennai-600 004, Tamilnadu. Tel: 044-494 1231/1589; Fax: 493 4589 The Little Flower Co (LIFCO) 43, Ranganathan St, POBox 1028, T. Nagar, Chennai-600 017, Tamilnadu. Tel: 044-434 1538
Giri Trading Agency (Religious books) Kapaleeswarar Sannadhi Street, Mylapore, Chennai – 600004 - 24940376
If one can perform a pooja by himself, nothing like it. It gives the best results. However not many know how to perform a ritualistic pooja, or the patience to do repeated mantra japa with concentration. Those who don't know take the help of the priests to do it for them. Chennai has a few learned scholars who are highly qualified in conducting religious ceremonies strictly adhering to the agama sastras.
Music Sabhas in Chennai
Kapali Fine Arts No. 78, Vinayaga Nagar, Kutchery Road, Mylapore, Chennai-4. Phone : 24941322 Kalarasana No. B-15, Mookambigai Apartments, 20, Srinivasa Avenue Road, R.A.Puram, Chennai-28. Phone : 24939539 Kartik Fine Arts No. 39, New No.16, Bheemanna Garden Street, Chennai-18. Phone : 24997788 Krishna Gana Sabha No. 20, Maharajapuram Santhanam Salai, T.Nagar, Chennai-17. Phone 28140806 Tamil Isai Sangam Raja Annamalai Mandram, Chennai-108. Phone 25341425, 25341958 Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha No. 103, Vani Mahal, G.N.Chetty Road, T.Nagar, Chennai-17. Phone : 28152166 Nandi Fine Arts No.S-4, A-Block, Vasanth Apartments, 140, V.M.Street, Chennai-14. Phone 28268755 Nada Inbam
No. 85/2, Luz Avenue, Chennai-4. Phone : 24992672 Narada Gana Sabha No. 314, T.T.K.Road, Chennai-18. Phone : 24993201, 24990850 Nungambakkam Cultural Academy No. 64/67, Ganapathy Street, West Mambalam, Chennai-33. Phone : 24834823, 24805050 Bharath Kalachar No. 17, Tirumalai Pillai Road, T.Nagar, Chennai-17. Phone : 28223045, 28267892 Brahma Gana Sabha No. 50, Alamelumangapuram, Mylapore, Chennai-4. Phone -24942767, 56106425, 28265353 Mylapore Fine Arts No. 45, Musiri Subramaniam Salai, Mylapore, Chennai-4. Phone : -25997755, 24640055 Music Academy No. 168, T.T.K.Road, Chennai-14. Phone 28112231, 28115162 Mudhra Fine Arts No. 10/4, Shenoy Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai-34. Phone : -28232702, 28220453 Rasika Ranjani Sabha No. 30/1, Sundareswarar Street, Mylapore, Chennai-4. Phone : 24941767 Hamsadhwani No. 2, 8th Lane, Indiranagar, Adyar, Chennai-20. Phone : 24915555 Sri Rama Bhaktha Jana Samaj No. S-17-B, Ponnambalam Salai, K.K.Nagar, Chennai-78. Phone : 24830546, 247228318
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