Chennai, aside from being one of the biggest metropolitan cities in India, has a lot of history behind it. Chennai’s history has been shaped by many people over the years, ranging from the ancient Chola and Pallava kings to the British and Portuguese traders. There are many places of historical importance that have made their mark in the city. In order to make your trip to Chennai interesting, we have made a list of the top 7 monuments to visit in Chennai. Scroll down to check them out.
St. George’s Fort
St. George Fort is one of the oldest buildings in Chennai. It was built in 1644 by the British East India Company for trading activities and was the first British fortress in India. It houses the St. Mary’s Anglican Church and the Wellesley House which has paintings of the Governor of the Fort and other high officials. The Fort was built on uninhabited land and later, more settlements grew around it. So in a way, Fort St. George was a nucleus around which the city of Chennai grew. The Fort currently houses the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.
The Kapaleeshwarar Temple can be found in the area of Mylapore, which is in the heart of Chennai. It is one of the most celebrated temples in the city and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva’s consort Parvati is worshipped at this temple in the form of Karpagambal. The temple was built in a Dravidian style during the 7th century. The temple has six daily rituals which occur between 5:30 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. The most prominent ritual celebrated in the festival is the Arubathimooval which is celebrated during the month of Panguni. There is also a peacock and peahen caged inside the temple. This is done to symbolize the tradition that Karpagambal came in the form of a peahen to plead with Kapaleeshwarar.
The Ripon Building is an all-white structure built in the Indo-Saracenic style by the British Raj in 1913. The building was named after Lord Ripon, who was the former Governor-General of India. This building is a highly visited tourist destination and is located next to Chennai Central Railway station. It currently houses the Chennai City Corporation.
Thousand Lights Mosque
Thousand Lights Mosque is one of the popular places of worship for Chennai’s Muslim community. It has 5 domes and 2 minarets. The mosque was home to Ghazi Moulana Ghulam Mahadi Khan, a Muslim saint. It is located in Anna Salai.
The Government Museum is one of the largest museums in India. It is built in an Indo-Saracen style and houses a huge collection of archaeological and numismatic items with Roman antiquities outside of Europe. The art gallery houses rare works of painters such as Raja Ravi Varma. Many theatrical shows and concerts also take place at the Museum Theatre which is inside the property. It is located in Egmore.
Chennai Central Railway Station
Chennai Central Railway Station is the main railway station of Chennai city. It is located next to the Ripon Building and is one of South India’s important railway hubs. The station was opened in 1873 and electrified in 1931. It was built in the Gothic Revival style by George Harding. The main building was built in a combination of Gothic and Romanesque styles. The clock tower is one of the attractive parts of the main building. There are also a variety of shops for commuters to buy things.
St. Andrews Kirk
St. Andrews Kirk is one of the oldest churches in Chennai. It was built in 1821 to serve the Scottish community in Chennai. The church was built in the Palladian architectural style. The dome of the church has a brick framework with an annular arch supporting it. Lapis Lazuli mixed crushed sea shells forms the inside of the dome. The church also boasts of beautiful stained-glass windows behind the main altar and the pipe organ which was installed in 1883. The church is still active and follows the Presbyterian tradition. It can be found in Egmore area, before the Gandhi-Irwin Bridge.
These monuments have played great roles in shaping the history of Chennai. They have contributed immensely to the beauty of the city in their own unique way and have become synonymous with Chennai. Visiting them will definitely be a great experience for you and your family. If you plan on coming to Chennai soon, do stay with us at Feathers Hotel for the best accommodation in town.