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Know Chennai

Welcome to the city!

If you're visiting Chennai for the championship, welcome! There are some amazing things in and around the city you'll love to see when you want to relax from serious chess.

Marina Beach

You haven't experienced Chennai until you've experienced the Marina beach. 'The memorials and statues, morning walk, joggers' track, lovers' spot, aquarium, etc., make it a hangout for people of all ages. The sea is rough and waves are strong. There are so many things to see here, you're sure be surprised.

Chennai Beaches

Chennai is situated on the eastern coast of India and is the capital city of the coastal state of Tamil Nadu. Attributed to its location, Chennai boasts of a number of serene beaches. Though the ancient city of Madras is known for its rich historical and cultural heritage, it is surely not behind on the scenic beauty front also. Mother Nature has bestowed the city with enormous natural wealth, which is a blessing for the tourists as well as the residents. Chennai has turned into a fast paced hustling bustling metropolitan city, which gives people very little time for themselves. As a respite to the people, these beaches and natural surroundings come to the rescue. Therefore, on your trip to Chennai, do not forge to visit these exotic beaches and unwind yourself from the worries of the daily routine.

Covelong Beach

Covelong Beach is one of the finest beaches on the coast of Coromandel. It is located at a distance of 40 km from Chennai. The beach is situated amidst picturesque locals and serves as the perfect retreat, away from the hum drum of the city life.

Elliot's Beach

Elliot's Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in the city of Chennai. It is located towards the south of Marina Beach and is an extremely calm and tranquil place. The beach is known as 'Bessei' amongst the locals. As the beach does not offer much activity, it is ideal for long walks.

Valluvar Kottam

Located at walking distance from the SDAT Tennis Stadium, you really have no excuse for not visiting this amazing chariot structure constructed in memory of the great tamil poet Tiruvalluvar. The verses of the Thirukkural for which he is most famous are inscribed in the front corridors. A life size statue of the poet is inside the chariot.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple

This amazing temple is an awe inspiring structure - a breath of fresh air in the hustle and bustle of Chennai's crowded cultural hub, Mylapore. The most outstanding features here are the huge temple tank and the temple's gopuram (tower at the entrance). This is a modern structure rebuilt in the 16th century.

Vivekanadar Illam

This is the place where Swami Vivekananda, one of the key figures in the introduction of Vedanta and Yoga in America and Europe stayed in Chennai when he visited in 1897. It is now an exhibition on Swami Vivekananda, run by Ramakrishna Math which was founded by him.

Fort St. George

George The first British fortress in India, built in 1639. It contains the oldest Anglican church in India, St. Mary's Church. A museum with weapons, uniform, medals and other relics from the British period is also in the fort. It is now the administrative building of the Government of Tamil Nadu, and is open to the public in certain places.

Guindy National & Anna Zoological Parks

This neighbouring combination of a national park and a zoo (with a snake park thrown in) in the interior of the city is sure to appeal to the nature lovers. The national park has a wide variety of flora and fauna, and the zoological park is the first and largest one in India with an area of about 1300 acres.


Within accurate reconstructions of heritage houses of the south, you'll find artifacts from that culture, along with texts that help you learn about the time. You'll also be able to learn a bit of various crafts, see puppet shows, have a palmist check you and more.

San Thome Basilica

San Thome Basilica is a Roman Catholic (Latin Rite) minor basilica in Santhome, in the city of Chennai (Madras), India. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers, and rebuilt again with the status of a cathedral by the British in 1893. The British version still stands today. It was designed in Neo-Gothic style, favoured by British architects in the late 19th century.


Christian tradition holds that St. Thomas arrived in Kerala from Israel in 52 A.D. preached between 52 A.D. and 72 A.D., when he was martyred on St. Thomas Mount. The basilica is built over the site where he was believed originally to be interred. San Thome Basilica is the principal church of the Madras-Mylapore Catholic Archdiocese. In 1956, Pope Pius XII raised the church to the status of a Minor Basilica, and on February 11, 2006, it was declared a national shrine by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. The San Thome Basilica is a pilgrimage centre for Christians in India. The church also has an attached museum

Mamallapuram 58 kms from Chennai

In the 7th century by the Pallava King, Narasimha varman I, also known as Mamalla, " Great Wrestler", this spectacular site, situated on the Bay of Bengal, extends across a boulder strewn landscape and comprise rock cur caves and monolithic shrines structural temples and huge bas-reliefs that are considered the greatest examples of Pallava art. The stone-carving tradition that created these wonders is still alive in the many workshops scattered around the village.

The Spectacular Shore Temple, perched dramatically on a promontory by the sea, has survived the ravages of time and erosion. It was built by mamalla for vishnu, while the two shiva shrines were added by Mamalla's Successor Narashima Varman II. The Temple has a low boundary wall, with rows of seated nandis surrounding it. Placed inside are a reclining Vishnu a 16- Faceted polished linga and reliefs of somaskanda composite form of shiva with his consort parvati and sons Skanda and Ganesha.

From the shore temple in the Village Centre is the celebrated bas-relief Bhagiratha's Penance, also known an Arjuna's Penance or the Descent of the Ganges the panel depicts in great detail the story of the sacred river's decent from the sky. This divine act, made possible by the penance of the sage Bhagiratha, is witnessed on the panel by celestial and semi-celestial beings ascetics and animals. The sysmbolism is best understood during the monsoon, when rainwater flows down the cleft and collects in the tank below. Nearby are the unfinished Panch Pandava Cave Temple and Krishna's Butter Ball, a natural boulder perched precariously on a slope. South of Bhagiratha's penance is the Krishna mandapa, a huge bas-relief showing the god lifting Mount Govardhan to protect the people from torrential rains as well as performing his tasks as a cowherd. The Olakkanantha Temple above the mandapa was once used as a lighthouse. On the ridge southwest of Bhagiratha's penance are three cave temples. the Mahishasuramardini cave Temple has a graceful portrayal of Goddess Durga on her lion mount, subduing the buffalo-headed demon mahisha, on the northern wall. This panel seems to emanate life and motion, in contrast to one on the southern wall, where Vishnu reclines in deep meditation before creating the earth. Nearby the Adivaraha Cave Temple has interesting panels of Pallava rulers with their consorts. The Lion Throne on top of a hill further west, is a raised platform with a seated lion, discovered near the piles of brick.

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