One of the many cultural, religious, and historical thrones of South India, Chennai is a city that grows with you and on you. If you’ve lived long enough in Chennai, you’ll know that it may tend to get monotonous. But that’s only because you haven’t yet explored the city from the perspective of a first-time tourist. Even if you have, there’s no harm in reconnecting with your city again, is there? By Shubhanjana Das
1. Marina Beach
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A day spent on the beach is a day well-spent. Sometimes, when we look for an escape from the city life, the answer lies right inside the city itself, and that’s the case with Chennai and Marina Beach. When you have India’s largest beach, lined with palm trees, why go anywhere else for a quiet day ‘away’, right?
2. Kapaleeshwarar Temple
Religious or not, one can always marvel at the sheer architectural intelligence and excellence of the temples of Chennai. Like Kapaleeshwarar Temple, which is an important religious site in Chennai. Devoted to Lord Shiva, this one is a classic example of the Dravidian style of construction and is a delight to behold, courtesy its lively colours and absolutely marvellous 3D-like details.
3. Santhome Church
A city of just temples? Wrong. Chennai has its share of religious diversity and you can witness a part of it here at Santhome Church, a revisit to the colonial times. It’s dainty glass paintings are all reminders of Colonial architecture, which make Santhome one of the must-visit places in Chennai, as much for tourists as for the residents themselves. There is a museum and a library for religious reading and buying prayer materials.
4. Thousand Lights Mosque
If you’re a local and haven’t yet seen Thousand Lights Mosque yet, you may be missing out on what even outsiders vouch for as one of the most important architectural and religious seats in the city. Hailed as one of the biggest mosques in India, the Thousand Lights Mosque gets its name from the 1000 oil lamps that light up its hall. With two minarets and multiple domes, each telling stories of its glorious past, this mosque is surely an integral part of the city’s cultural blueprint.
5. Connemara Public Library
Bored with the tiny study room in your home? Make Connemara Public Library your seat, bibliophiles, for this one is a treat for every person who lives from book to book. A proud collection of over 600,000 books from centuries-old publications, held safely by the broad arches of the library make for the perfect inspiration for you to ditch your room and make this 19th-century library your second address. Not to mention, Connemara is also one of Asia’s largest libraries.
6. Fort St. George
Made to serve as the headquarters to carry out official agenda and work during the Colonial period, Fort St. George now stands as a proud bearer of the city’s history. The fort is a now a museum of paintings, coins, silverware, arms, porcelain and documents.