No:2 New Railway Road , Kumbakonam, IN
- Phone: (91) 435 241-1110
- Fax: (91) 435 241-1113
This charming city in the Southern part of India is blessed with beautiful beaches and a rich cultural backdrop. Chennai is the fourth largest metropolitan in the country and has a population of over 4 million. The city still retains many buildings from its colonial past and this lends an air of historic prominence. Vast sandy beaches are the signature trait of the city and a leisurely walk through the scenic Marina Beach promises to be a memorable experience. The religious sights in the city are all architectural marvels with Dravidian style temples, churches with Portuguese and Victorian leanings and Mughal-inspired mosques. The public transportation facilities are excellent too with a very efficient local train system and governement buses. Drive through the beaches, indulge in the spicy Chettinad cuisine or splash around in the rains and you just might feel the pulse of this vibrant city inside you.
Built in the 19th century, the historically prominent Thousand Lights Mosque is a glorious structure infused with traditional Islamic architectural elements. The mosque got its name from the exceptionally large hall where a thousand lamps were illuminated at a time. This is an important religious sight for devout Muslims in the city, and there is a separate praying area for women. When fully illuminated, Thousand Lights Mosque is a spectacular sight to behold, as its architectural brilliance is accentuated by the magical lighting, and there for all of Chennai to see by night!
Opened in the late 1940s, the Ethiraj College for Women is one of the city's most respected educational institutions. Being affiliated with the University of Madras, it makes sure it maintains high standards and provides the students with everything they need to grow into adults with a perspective that helps them take on the rest of their lives. Do call the college for more information.
Built to commemorate the renowned Tamil poet Thilluvaruvar, Valluvar Kottam is a fascinating tourist attraction in Chennai. Built in the form of a temple chariot in 1976, the structure is a brilliant work of art by the illustrious architect Ganapati Sthapati. A lifelike statue of the poet inside the chariot evokes a sense of awe in onlookers, while leafy gardens near the structure adds a serene charm to the place. Another attraction at Valluvar Kottam is the large auditorium, which is purported to be one of the largest in India.
The Connemara Public library is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive resources of rare books and publications in Chennai. With books being added every year, this still growing collection is one treasure trove which every knowledge-thirsty person can avail of. Historically significant books and periodicals which are quite helpful to researchers and students can be found within these precious archives.
Frequented by health conscious locals, this lush green park off Harrington Road is a peaceful place for an early morning jog or a leisurely evening stroll. A range of attractions including the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium and the MRF Pace Foundation are located in the vicinity. A welcome respite to busy city life, this functional park is maintained by Chenai Corporation, and sports a clean and well pruned look at all times.
Hidden in a busy street and easy to miss, is the small Sri Periya Palayathamman Temple. The resident deity here is Amman, an intense avatar of Goddess Parvathy who is popularly known as the healer of diseases. With bright splashes of red upon it, the temple somehow evokes a feeling of the fervent religious practices one see in rural India. Regular 'pooja' or offerings are held here which scores of devotees attend regularly.
The Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School is part of the renowned Madras Christian College which was set up in 1837. Every child enrolled at this school is guaranteed a comprehensive education which does not solely revolve around rote-learning. Extra-curricular activities are greatly encouraged. Call for further details.
The Sri Jain Sangh place of worship for the Jain community in Chennai, is indeed a pretty sight to behold. The pristine white color of the structure emanates a radiant peacefulness and harmony, while 2 beautifully carved elephants at the entrance lend a royal touch to the enclave. Groups of barefooted devotees clad in white robes, are a common sight here. There is also a large wedding hall attached to the temple, while a concert hall nearby which can be hired on rental basis. The management works for different social causes in and around the city.
Established in 1925 by the French Jesuit Francis Bertram, Loyola College is an autonomous and somewhat prestigious institution that has carved a niche for itself in India's education scene. Consistently churning out notable alumni such as world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand, India's home-minister P. Chidambaram and actors Surya and Arvind Swamy, this college offers graduate and post-graduate degrees in arts, science and commerce. Spread across 100 acres, it's easy to get charmed by the stately old buildings and the Gothic Chapel within.
Located near Egmore Station, the beautiful Egmore Corporation Park is a refreshing sight in Chennai. Welcoming all visitors and definitely a major attraction, is the colossal statue carved out of stone. The well pruned lawns make for a pleasant spot to just lie down and soak in views of the endless blue sky overhead. This park is a welcome change of scenery for a busy traveler in Chennai, who needs a break from the cacophony of blaring horns, traffic and teeming crowds.
If reading goes beyond being just your hobby then you must head to Eloor Libraries in Chennai. This place is popular among book-enthusiasts and has been in the circuit for long. You can borrow or buy from their wide collection of books. Be it Philosophy, Fiction, Classics, Computer, Sports or Cookery, their collection is diverse. From writers, journalists, professionals or even students, the library has varied members. You can even get access to some of their exclusive press clippings. Visit website for more information.