Situated on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal in southern India, Chennai (earlier Madras) is Tamil Nadu’s vibrant capital and the gateway to its beautiful heritage. The iconic city has been a great centre of Tamil history, arts, literature, and culture since the 1st century CE and was ruled by mighty kings and their dynasties. Around 52 CE, St Thomas, the Apostle of Christ is said to have landed on its shores and preached here. The Dutch, the British, and the French too arrived here to trade. But it was the British who founded Madras – the city grew out of the small British settlement of Fort St George in the 17th century, creating the foundation for modern Chennai, where quintessential Tamil culture continues to live alongside its charming colonial legacy.
The Chennai of today is a sprawling metropolis, complex and layered in which old Madras still resonates in places: Mylapore (the 7th century port); Santhome; Fort St George (today the seat of the state government); Kalakshetra (where Bharatanatyam dance form was reinvented); Adyar (Home of the headquarters of the Theosophical Society); Egmore (Government Museum Complex); and Triplicane (home to the 9th century Parthasarathy Koil temple and Wallajah Mosque).
History apart, the city owes much of its uniqueness to its rich cultural, religious, gastronomical, and sporting heritage – such as the largest classical music festival in the world, spectacular ancient temples, superb heritage walks, a wonderful assortment of cuisines, love for cricket, tennis, and chess, and the best filter coffee in the world!
Travel down Chennai’s beautiful ECR (East Coast Road) to visit Dakshinchitra (a crafts village and museum). Chennai is also the base point for travellers wanting to see the pilgrim town of Kanchipuram (renowned for its temples and Kanchivaram silks) or the beachside heritage getaway of Mamallapuram.
Holxo Tours in Chennai