Chennai in India - Travel and Touring Guides.
About the Indian City of Chennai which is located in Tamil Nadu State, India.
Situated on the eastern side of India beside the Bay of Bengal and originally known as Madras, Chennai is one of India's largest cities and is the capital of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. As far as sightseeing and things to look at in the City are concerned, Chennai has some excellent old colonial buildings, several
beautiful churches, mosques, temples and of course the huge beach on offer for visitors. The city has a quite spacious feel to it and quite green with lots of trees lining it's streets - plus there is always nice fresh air to be had beside the beach.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger picture - use the back button to return to this page. ]
Getting in and out of Chennai - flights and by rail.
Situated around 12kms south of the City, Chennai (formerley Madras) International Airport handles both domestic and international flights and is one of the busiest in India. Internationally there are direct flights available including London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok.
There are a huge number of domestic flights available with all of India's airlines operating frequent services too and from the city.
Getting from the terminals into Chennai is probably easiest by taxi for people lugging suitcases etc. - the taxis are pre-paid with the fares controlled by the Government. As normal at Indian airports you will certainly be approached by touts but it is pointless and likely to be more expensive taking non-official taxis.
As far as Indian Railways are concerned, Chennai is the origin and
final destination for quite a few of India's long distance trains - direct destinations include Bangalore, New Delhi, Howrah Junction, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
Accommodation i.e. hotels in Chennai.
As is now normal in a large Indian City there is a huge variation of quality and facilities available and with just about all hotels now available to book on the internet, picking one is simple. From the point of view of where to stay in Chennai - somewhere near the beach or maybe nearer to George Town is pretty good from the point of view of sightseeing. However there are plenty of taxis and autos around so getting somewhere is easy enough. Do as always in India ensure your price
before setting off somewhere though!.
Fort St. George and Buildings at George Town, Chennai.
If you don't mind walking a few kilometres then a good way of seeing things is to be dropped off at the Fort and look in there and also at some of the old colonial buildings - for instance several which are just to the north on Rajaji Salai. From there you can walk south along Marina Beach in the cooling sea air as far as the Lighthouse which is around 6 or 7 kilometre. Along the route
you will find places to stop and have a drink or something to eat if you wish.
With all the excellent forts which can be looked round and admired in India, visiting St. Georges Fort at Chennai is a major disappointment - actually a non-event as far as looking round it is concerned. This was actually the first such fort to be built in India and was constructed by the all powerfull East India Company. The fort
was completed in April 1644 on St. Georges Day and therefore so-christened with his name. Maps indicate there are huge fortifications and walls situated around the fort's perimeter but ordinary visitors are unable to see most of these as the area is closed. Even getting into the Fort is through security who will try and take your mobile phone, camera and don't even like any small bags
etc. Sometimes entry is not allowed anyway because someone or other who is deemed important is going, coming or visiting. There is a huge military presence at the fort and it is also the headquarters of the Chennai State Governor so most of the fort's
interior is therefore official.
One thing you can see within the fort is the oldest Anglican Church in India - St. Marys was constructed around 1680 and was where Robert Clive (of India) got married to Margaret Maskelyne during February 1753.
Visiting the Armenian Church in George Town and St Andrews Church, Egmore, Chennia.Located on Armenian Street in George Town, Chennai and originally built in 1712 by Armenian silk, spice and gem merchants, the church is one of the oldest in India. Visitors to the church are welcome but it should be noted that the church is only open from 0900 to 1430 hours each day. The church boasts six bells in it's tower - with each of the bells a different size and not all cast at the same time - the bells are rung each Sunday morning.
A little way from the above - which is probably a little too unpleasant to walk in so much horrible traffic so a quick hop in an auto is a good idea - is the beautiful St. Andrews Curc which is located at Sampath Rd, Periyamet (Egmore).
St Andrews Church
There are one or two unusual features about the way St Andrews Church was constructed. Firstly because of the nature of the ground on which it was built i.e. marsh so prone to flooding especially during monsoon season - the church is sat on 150 wells. These wells allow the excess water to rise within them and therefore protect the foundations from damage. The design
of the church is also unusual in that it has a front double collonade of columns which are very Greek looking, it's shape is circular rather than the typical rectangular shape for churches and the mahogany pews are set in a circle right under the beautiful blue dome. This magnificent church has a huge 160 foot high spire, beautiful Scottish stained glass windows especially above the altar and
beside the altar there is a Yorkshire built pipe-organ which was installed in 1883.
St Andrews Church Organ
St Andrews Church
St Andrews Church
St Andrews Church