20 Places to Visit in Chennai, Tourist Places & Top Attractions
An ancient city almost 400 years old, Chennai not only is the bustling centre of Indian economy, but also home to some of its most picturesque tourist destination. While here, you can get a bite of exotica and history as you cruise in the George town area or marvel at the wide expanses of the Marina Beach!
Kishkinta Theme Park

Awaken the child inside you by visiting one of the best theme parks in Southern India. Located in Chennai, near the Vandalur Railway Station, the fabulous Kishkinta Theme Park is spread across 120 acres of land, surrounded by scenic landscapes and lush greenery all around. The park also has a varied range of terrains, along with picturesque fountains, waterfalls and other decorations adding to the beauty of it. 

Catering not just to children, but also to adults alike, the Kishkinta Theme Park has a magnificent water park within its premises. Moreover, it boasts of exciting rides like the water volcano, elephant splash and much more. Additionally, along with water rides, Kishkinta Theme Park also has dry rides, making it suitable for all kinds of visitors. The presence of other kinds of entertainment such as wave pools, roller coaster and toy trains, and a lot more, make a visit to Kishkinta Theme Park even more enjoyable. 

The theme park is designed in a way such that it becomes a great place for a day out with your friends and family. In addition to the many rides, you can also enjoy a great picnic with your near and dear ones. Moreover, from time to time, the park organises many different entertainment shows and other events for visitors. Therefore, it becomes a perfect place for a day’s outing amidst the busy city limits.

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Guindy National Park

Sprawling over 2.70 KM square of land, Guindy National Park has been ranked the eighth smallest national park of India. Also, it is the only park situated right in the middle of a city. Established in the year 1978, the park got its protective atmosphere to preserve some of the rare and endangered species of wildlife. To fulfil this, the park is completely restricted from any human activities like poaching, hunting, etc.

With well-established boundaries, the park successfully houses more than 350 species of vegetation along with 150 species of birds and 14 species of wild animals. You can also spot more than 60 species of butterflies and spiders as well as numerous amphibians and reptiles. Utmost care has been taken to keep up their natural habitats and several restrictions have been made to support the same.

People like to come here to stroll around the park to witness various species and capture them inside their lenses. It is also a good place to come close to nature and understand its importance in our lives. Children should definitely be brought here in order to get sensitized in relation to wildlife and its preservation

As the park is settled amidst the city, commuting to the park and finding various eateries as well as places to stay near it becomes very convenient. With all these facilities, Guindy National Park will not let you go disappointed.

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Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Known popularly as a beautiful and alluring spot for picnickers in Vandalur, Arignar Anna Zoological Park happens to be one of the best places for exploring fauna and flora of this region. Calling on to adults and children for weekend getaways, Arignar Zoo gets a heavy influx of visitors each year. Located at an approximate distance of around 32 km from Chennai and spread across an average area of about 1260 acres, it is known as South East Asia’s largest zoo. 

Sheltering more than 138 species of creatures, Arignar Anna Zoological Park is a paradise for every nature and animal lover. This park houses umpteen varieties of animals, including mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fishes, and butterflies. In addition, the place also has a small Jurassic Park that adds to overall excitement offered by the destination. Other special aspects of this park include a children’s park, a learning centre, and Elephant joy rides. 

Arignar Anna Zoological Park is frequently visited by photo fanatics, wildlife lovers, nature lovers, peace seekers, and experience seekers. The park provides its visitors the opportunities to go on safaris and watch the various animals closely. The park also houses a small library where children as well as adults can get to read and learn more regarding the habitat and living styles of the different animals living in this place. In addition to all these exciting experiences, visitors can also indulge in nature and wildlife photography during their visit to Arignar Anna Zoological Park.

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Semmozhi Poonga

Based in the glorious metropolis of Chennai, Semmozhi Poonga is a lush botanical garden established by a collaboration between the Horticulture and Agricultural Engineering Department of Tamil Nadu. Conceived in 2010, the magnificent Garden is the first botanical Garden of Chennai. The Garden is vast covering an area of about 20 acres and is situated at the Cathedral Road. The Garden is home to temperate and tropical flora and distinct plant species.

It is filled with both native and exotic plants including a variety of bonsai species, shrubs, medicinal herbs and aromatic stems. It is an ideal place to spend one's weekend in if one is a nature lover or botany enthusiast. Semmozhi Poonga is divided into eight sub-gardens showcasing plants of specific varieties such as bonsai, herbal, exotic, tree court and mural walk. The colourful Garden is a feast for all the senses of the mind.

Contrasting natural shades and alluring natural fragrances blend into each other and make a paradise-like scenario. The Garden is also famous for its contrived duck pond and a beautiful golden garden featuring flowers of different shades of gold. Replete with attractions including water and rock garden, fern garden and butterfly garden, the Park is graced with twenty-five thematic gardens. A plethora of rare plant species and natural bounties from all over the country feature in this unique Garden which makes it the perfect site for exploration and education.

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Marina Beach

Famous as the longest beach in India and the second-longest of its kind in the world, Marina Beach is one of the most famous beach holiday destinations in the country. Named so after the Italian word ‘marina’ by the then Governor-General, the beach has been a popular location in Chennai since 1881.

Stretched over 13 kilometres, the glistening sands of the beach are as rejuvenating as they are picturesque. Keeping in mind the popularity of the place, there has been a huge number of significant buildings and monuments build across the promenade since the beginning of the 19th century.

The most famous landmark in the city, Marina Beach is home to several iconic buildings and statues. For instance, it hosts India’s first aquarium which was constructed in 1909. Additionally, walking along the promenade, history lovers could find a great many statues commemorating the lives of some of the most illustrious dignitaries in Indian history.

Whether you wish to take a romantic horse ride by the seashore or enjoy a spellbinding 360° view of the city from the Chennai Lighthouse, Marina Beach is a must-visit in Chennai.

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Dakshinachitra

Dakshinachitra happens to be one of the most renowned and widely held museums situated in Chennai that makes a mark in the living history of Museums in India. The museum has a varied display of Indian artifacts and works of art and crafts, architecture, lifestyles, and performing arts. The museum has been set up in the year 1996 in order to promote the culture of South India in a global scenario.

The entire project was taken up by one of the NGOs in South India, Madras Craft Foundation. The museum is said to offer amazing and engaging tours to visitors coming from all over the world. It displays more than 4220 different artifacts and about 1,000,000 pictorial representations of various happenings in South India. A passage through the galleries will certainly give anyone a vast exposure and depth knowledge of the legacy of the times gone by of South India.

The museum is crafted in the middle of the city in the form of a village. It has about 18 different houses that offer a unique experience to the visitors showcasing various contextual exhibits. These houses are brought to the village from various areas of South India and were reconstructed in a unique style by professional artisans. If you are interested in gaining knowledge about the past happenings and cultural variations of South India, then there is no better place than Dakshinachitra.

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MGM Dizzee World

Infused with a ton of rides and amusing activities, MGM Dizzee World in Chennai is hands down one of the best theme parks in the country. A pioneer in getting the best rides from around the world to India, the place is equipped with euphorias like hot air Jurong bird show from Singapore, Big Wheel, Sky Glider, Rainbow, Super Trucks, and many more rides, adventurous and water sports.

The entertainment park's vast variety of rides and attractions that are suited for anyone from a kid to a large family, makes the places much more engaging and alluring for visitors. Apart from exciting rides and adventures the place also holds a spacious restaurant serving a variety of dishes of both Indian and International cuisines, make the MGM Dizzee World a complete package. So, if you are looking to get away from the crowded city into a land encapsulated with loads of amusements, well, look no further, MGM Dizzee World in Chennai is the place to be.

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VGP Universal Kingdom

Standing proudly on the Eastern coast of Chennai is the VGP Universal Kingdom, the largest water park in Chennai. With its plethora of rides, attractions and other amusement options, the Water Park offers a fun and educational entertainment for people across all ages. VGP Universal Kingdom came into existence as early as 1975, way before Amusement Parks became a commonplace notion in India. The late founder of the Park, Shri V G Paneerdas, conceptualized a new form of leisure, entertainment, and brought his vision to fruition with the construction of the VGP Universal Kingdom.

Primarily built as an entertainment sector, the park was later converted into a full-fledged Theme Park in 1997, and is now the largest amusement park in all of India. Sprawling across a vast 45 acres of land, VGP Universal Kingdom boasts of more than 50 amusement rides, a water Park, a Snow Kingdom, a fully equipped private beach, a Petting Zoo and three restaurants to its name.

The rides are segregated by their difficulty levels, and the park provides attractions catering to people of all ages. The amusement park often hosts live shows and events, bringing performers from around the world to present a gala of music, dance, theatre, puppetry and much more. The live shows usually take place during the weekends, public holidays or on special days like New Year’s Eve. 
VGP Universal Kingdom also has a mascot of its own- Kutti Raja- who, with his retinue of Sepoys, is bent to deliver the best of entertainment and fun to the younger visitors of the park.

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Government Museum

The Government Museum in Chennai boasts of a large repository of curious exhibits defining art, archeology, anthropology, numismatics and diverse other subjects. From a cutting-edge life-size T-rex in animatronics to ancient sculptural specimens, there is a wealth of interesting things to see here. Besides the main building, the museum has a natural history section, a children’s museum, and zoological and botanical galleries.

Those interested in culture can surf through a wide gallery of folk arts, exhibiting puppets, local musical instruments, theatrical costumes, and various other objects. There’s also the  Museum Theatre, capable of accommodating up to 600 people which show enlightening historical documentaries in high-quality acoustics. 

The centuries old museum was established in the year 1851.It is also one of the most ancient in the world and carries the legacy of housing the vastest collection of Roman antiquities outside Europe. Among the ancient Asian heritages preserved here, the bronze statues found in Southern India, dating back to 1000 BC, are the most well-known.

The museum has something to engage everyone, from art aficionados to children. While you spend time admiring Ravi Verma paintings in the arts section, the younger ones in the party can head to the children’s museum featuring vibrant visual exhibits elucidating Nature, Indian history, innovation in technology, and more.

The children’s museum is presently being renovated with an air-conditioned 3D theatre equipped to play five films a day. It takes around 2-3 hours to cover a full tour of the Government Museum complex and get super-knowledgeable about all things under the sun.

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Kapaleeswarar Temple

Tamil Nadu, a land of religious diversity and rich culture, is also home to some astonishing temples. Amongst it, there is Kapaleeshwarar Temple, a holy place situated in Mylapore. According to popular folklore, the temple traces its history back to the 7th and 16th century. This place is known for its history, architectural styles, and spirituality. The temple was built to worship Lord Shiva and other deities.

Kapaleeshwarar temple resonates the rich Tamil religious culture. Its premises consist of sculptures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Moreover, the temple is home to shrines of Tamil Shaivite saint poets Nayaars. The structure of these shrines is marked with towering domes or Gopurams. Every structure light up during major festivals.

From March to April, Kapaleeshwarar celebrates the religious sentiments during the Brahmotsavam festival. Devotees flock this temple and attend the grandeur of spirituality and Pooja services.

Kapaleeshwarar temple hosts five types of Pujas, Ko Puja, Vaikarai Puja, Kaala sandhi Puja, Uchi Kaala Puja, and Ardhajama Puja. Visitors often schedule and take part in the Puja services. With the help of local priests, you can indulge in buying temple offerings and completing rituals. Also, if you are fond of artistic wonders, this place is going to win your heart.

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ISKCON Temple
Located on the East Coast Road in the Sholinganallur locality of South-Chennai, ISKCON Temple is the spiritual and cultural hub of the city. This temple in Chennai is not only the biggest Radha Krishna temple in Tamilnadu but one of the biggest ISKCON temples in India. 

With the history of the ISKCON temple in Chennai dating back to the late 1970s, the construction of the temple began in the late 1990s and was completed in 2012 in many phases. The temple houses the deity of Lord Krishna, alongside Radharani and their friends Lalita, Lord Chaitanya, Lord Jagannath, Baladeva, and Subhadra inside three teak-wood alters which are one of a kind. These deities are sourced from Rajasthan and Orissa.

Under the guidance of Sri Bhanu Swami, the beautiful architecture is inspired by the Kalinga and Pallava kingdoms’ architecture. At the entrance of the temple, one would see the wonderful design of various Hindu universes on the marble flooring. The various universes are circled a central pillar called Mount Meru. The design is implicated from the ancient Vedic Puranas where Mount Meru is described as the centre of all the universes. 

The temple is a blend of various cultures with modern scientific technology. To attract more and more people in the ISKCON movement, the authorities of the temples organize lectures and audio-visual programs about the Hindu philosophy. 

Spread over an area of 1.5 acres, the ISKCON temple or the Hare Rama Hare Krishna temple is built on five floors.
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Chembarambakkam Lake

Brimming with serenity and calmness, Chembarambakkam Lake is also known as Puliyur Kottam. Its blue freshwater creates a perfect contrast with the distinct species of vegetation. The watchtower standing amidst the lake uplifts the beauty as well as the footfall to the place. People like to come here to cherish the surroundings and spend some time near the lake.

They like to spread a mat and enjoy their home-cooked foods and snacks while drowning in the depth of the beauty that surrounds them. Several binoculars could also be seen peeking into the dense trees in search of rare migratory birds. Also, an ancient Shiva Temple and Kanni Koil are placed near the lake which could be visited by the tourists on their trip to the Chembarambakkam Lake.

Apart from aesthetic beauty, the lake also serves a big purpose. With a storage capacity of 3645 million cubic feet, the lake is responsible for providing fresh drinking water to the citizens of Chennai. One of the four reservoirs of the city, the lake is also India’s second-largest Water Treatment Plant. Further, it also gives birth to the Adyar River which is another gift of the lake to the people relying on it.

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Queens Land

A total crowd pleaser, the Queens Land Amusement Park in Chennai is amongst the most favourite tourist attractions in the city. Located on the Chennai-Bangalore Trunk Road, this popular holiday spot, is spread across 70 acres, and was established in early 2003. The park is also quite beautiful, with lush greenery and scenic landscapes all around.

Catering not just to children, but also to teenagers and adults, Queens Land also boasts of a great water park within its premises. Moreover, it has 51 great rides, out of which 33 are for adults and 18 for children. These rides are spread across water as well as on dry land, and are great fun. Some of the exciting rides here include Free Fall Tower, Roller Coaster, Alpen Blitz, Cable Cars, Himalayan water Rides, Boating, as well as the Centrox and the American Wave Pool.

Additionally, the park also has a great swimming pool along with a pirate ship, bumper cars and go karting, which make the park even more enjoyable and fun.
The park is worth every penny, since it is a great place to spend a day out with your near and dear ones. Along with the rides, you can also have a great picnic here, while enjoying the enthralling atmosphere of the park. 

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Santhome Church

Santhome Church is a standing testament to the belief of the Christian followers and is among the three wonders of this world that house the tombs of Christ’s original disciple. The other two are Santiago de Compostela in Spain and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

It was constructed in the memory of Saint Thomas who was an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Santhome Church is the greatest symbol of multi-culture and religious harmony as people from all religions visit this Church to seek solace and eternal peace.This church was built initially as a mausoleum, but it has now transversed into a Basilica owing to it’s gaining popularity and importance. Beneath the towering white embodiment of this basilica lies the body of Saint Thomas who came to India in 52 AD to preach about Christianity.

He was successful in converting a large population of the locals residing in Tamil Nadu and Kerala with his wisdom and powerful preaching. He thereafter formed a community that is now known as Syrian Christians. This church also houses a museum that displays souvenirs of Saint Thomas and gives visitors an insight into the glorious past of this church during the historical times.

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Kalikambal Temple Chennai

Dedicated to goddess Kalikambal, an avatar of Goddess Parvati, and Lord Kamateswarar, a form of Lord Shiva, Kalikambal Temple in Chennai is a living memoir of the ancient history and heritage of this southern Indian city. Located on Thambu Chetty Street, a renowned financial hub at Georgetown, the temple reflects the major features of Dravidian architecture.

Along with goddess Kalikambal and Lord Kamatswarar, Lord Vishnu is also worshipped here. The temple has the sanctity of the two Pancha Bootha Sthalams which are Tiruvannamalai and Kanchipuram. The temple is a major attraction for tourists with great religious inclinations. Southern superstar Rajinikanth often comes to this temple to offer puja.

The temple is the symbol of faith and devotion for all Chennaikars and people in south India at large. Earlier, the temple was situated inside St George Fort, but during the British rule, the temple was shifted here on Thambu Street. Its architecture, idols and legends known by the priests here provide a great amount of knowledge about the history and the Dravidian heritage of ancient India.

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Besant Nagar Beach
Image Credit : Well-Bred Kannan
Besant Nagar Beach also known as Edward Elliot's Beach in Chennai is one of the cleanest beaches of India. Embellished by golden sand beaches, curling waves and limitless stretch of sea, the beach entices tourists from different parts of the world. The serene and tranquil nature of the beach uplifts the human spirit and refreshes the mind and soul.

You can witness the amazing sunrise and sunset at the beach, with the sky being painted by the golden rays of the sun. The beach is named Edward Elliot's Beach after the famous chief magistrate and superintendent police of Chennai, Edward Elliott.

But it is popularly known as Besant Nagar Beach since it is located in the city of Besant Nagar. The city of Besant Nagar was originally named after the famous social activist Annie Besant, who had an immense contribution to the development of India during the British rule. It is said that once a Danish sailor, Karl Schmidt, sacrificed his life while saving a man from drowning in the sea. A monument has been constructed in his honour at the beach and named as “Elliots”. 

Several multi-cuisine restaurants and street side cafes adorn the shores of the beach. Sea foods are one of the key attractions of the beach where you can enjoy the fried fish delicacies with the South Indian dishes. You must also not miss out on some of the beautiful old temples and churches located near the beach. 

The pristine beauty of the beach serves as the perfect weekend getaway, offering a plethora of activities like surfing, boating, sunbathing and relaxing at the seashore. It is amazing to watch the twinkling stars and the moonlit sea waters at night.
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Newly Added Chennai Experience
"Awsm experience... I opted for the Corporate package, I enjoyed a lot in that .... food was also delicious..... private beach having good & calm atmosphere... "
"Had a wonderful Christmas at the country club. The Food was really good. Everything about the buffet was very well organized. Had good fun.. Highly recommend for day outs. "
"Really enjoyed. It was a different quiet ambience. Thank u."
"Had a wonderful experience at VGP Golden Beach Resort. Swimming pool was well maintained. Private beach is another attraction here. Both breakfast and lunch was good and had many options in veg and non veg. Overall a nice place to spend a day with family or friends."
It was nice arrangements by the hotel. Food and amenities were good. Preeti from Thrillophilia team guided and gave us hope on booking. Her follow up was good. Overall it was good experience. Thank u team Thrillophilia.
25 February 2020
Excellent
We had a family outing in the resort. Right from booking to check in, everything was smooth. The ambiance was cool in a clean environment. The staffs were very cooperative and found always attending the guests with smile The food was excellent. Definitely recommend to our friends and relatives in North East. Only one suggestion: The evening high tea quality may be improved. Thanks
28 November 2019
Excellent
Beautiful Cities, this tour covered all the major attractions of Mahabalipuram & Chennai. We enjoyed a lot.
28 October 2019
Excellent
Very good experience overall. Hospitality provided by the entire crew was really good. Welcome drink, Buffet lunch and snacks/tea. The place was nearly maintained - beach, lawn and swimming pool area. Sports items were given too.
"pleasant view.."
"amazing journey"

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