10 Historical Places In Chennai | Best Historical Monuments!
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Last Updated: 09 Sep 2020
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Tamil Nadu's monuments remain closed Updated: 26 Aug 2020

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The historical places in Chennai include Government Museum, Valluvar Kotam, Fort St. George, Alamparai Fort, San Thome Cathedral, Vivekanand House and other places.

A tour of the historical places of Chennai will take you surfing through vast resources preserved at the city’s many museums, the most notable among which is the British era Government Museum housing as many as 46 diverse galleries! There are also a number of memorial buildings dedicated to luminaries like Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, C.N. Annadurai and others, scattered around the city, shedding light on their lives and times.

The city, till date, remains a maze of carefully preserved historical sites. Touring the streets of Chennai, you will frequently come upon imposing British-era buildings where at present, the city’s administrative centers are housed, as at Fort St. George. There are also old market squares and heritage shops like the Higginbotham’s bookstore. There truly is a reminder of India’s chequered history at every turn and in every alley of Chennai.


Here is the list of historical places in Chennai

01

Government Museum

Government Museum
One of the most important historical places of Chennai, this museum is an important repository of art, archeology, anthropology, numismatics, and a whole lot of other treasures and is counted among the largest South Asian museums, with about 46 galleries.

The main building houses invaluable sculptures from the past, zoological and botanical galleries, a wide philately gallery, a vibrant puppet gallery, and a gallery of preserving folk art and music. There is a rich exhibition room featuring bronze artifacts, a numismatics collection, and chemical conservation galleries. Another wing of the museum holds the Children’s Museum which has a major draw for young and inquisitive minds, with a vast gallery of dolls, technological marvels, and science galleries.

Location: 
The Pantheon Road in Egmore, Chennai 

Timings: 
9:30 am to 4:30 pm except for Fridays.
Read more
02

Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam
Situated at the intersection of the Kodambakkam High Road and the Village Road in Nungambakkam locale of Chennai, Valluvar Kottam is a temple architectured like a chariot, established by Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi to pay homage to the Tamil poet and saint- Thiruvalluvar.

Valluvar Kottam is part of the heritage of the city and one of the most important historical places in Chennai to visit, most appropriately during the early morning and dusk when the magnificent architecture of the monument is underlined in the sublime light.

There is an air-conditioned auditorium within the monument complex where a number of handlooms and handicrafts exhibitions are held regularly for the visiting art aficionados. Notably, you can find a few beautiful saplings planted by Mother Teresa herself on this ground, as commemorated with a stone plaque mentioning the year 1984- the year of her visit.

Location: At the intersection of the Kodambakkam High road and the Village road in Nungambakkam

Timing: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm, Everyday 
03

Fort St. George

Fort St. George
The foundation of the monumental white outlines of the Fort St. George is inseparable from the history of the origination of Chennai. The White Town in Chennai, unofficially known as Fort St. George, was established on the coasts of the then Madras city, forming one of the greatest British strongholds in Southern India.

The fortress is located only a kilometer away from Chennai Railway Station and can be reached easily from any other point in the city by bus or cab. The fort, being one of the important historical places in Chennai today is protected by the Archeological Survey of India and houses many departments of the Tamil Nadu state government. The St. Mary’s church and a Museum inside are important historical places in Chennai to visit. 

Location: Rajaji Rd, near Legislature and Secretariat, 

Timing: 9 am to 5 pm on all days except Fridays.
04

Alamparai Fort

Alamparai Fort
Image Credit : Sudhamshu
About 100 km away from the East Coast Road, the Alamparai Fort built in the 17th-century is a magnificent sight to behold. The fort has been a witness to two counts of devastation, once by the British forces (1760) and later in the tsunami (2004).

You can find a winsome view of the Bay of Bengal from the fort, extending to glimpses of ethereal beaches and backwaters. Though entrance inside the fort complexes has been prohibited in recent years, it is still a great thrill to trek up to the fort braving the harsh sun.

Among the most notable historical places in Chennai to visit, this fort can be accessed any time during the day on a long road trip down the famously scenic East Coast Road, for splendid views, to trek a few good miles, and go voyaging on fishermen’s boats nearby.

Location: 
Edaikazhinadu, Tamil Nadu 

Timing:
Anytime
05

San Thome Cathedral

San Thome Cathedral
Embodying a stunning architecture and fascinating religious history, this Cathedral is the final resting place of Saint Thomas, the apostle. Built in the 16th century and immaculately preserved till date, the Cathedral is one of the important historical places in Chennai to visit to understand the city’s catholic heritage.

Visitors can explore the Cathedral’s museum which preserves paintings depicting the saint’s life, the lance that infamously beheaded him, an episcopal chair, and also the apostle’s fingerprint. Located in the vicinity of the Chennai Beach on the San Thome High Road, the cathedral is recognized for its ornate interiors and elegant stained-glass windows, as well as a stunning steeple.

Location: 38, Santhome High Road, Chennai,

Timing:
  6 am to 9 pm, and the Sunday morning mass is a particular highlight for city tourists.

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06

Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House
One of the notable historical places of Chennai, this heritage house located on the Marina Beach Road, Neelam Basha Dargapuram in Triplicane, is where Swami Vivekananda had stayed for six weeks. Swami Ji’s coming here had played an important role in the Ramakrishna Movement in South India, documentation and memorabilia of which are preserved to date inside the house.

The meditative silence reverberating through the halls of the Vivekananda House is calming on the senses. One can surf through the articles from Swamiji’s stay in the house preserved in each room, to remember the virtuous life that he had led and thus set as an example for his followers.

Location:
 
Marina Beach Road, Neelam Basha Dargapuram,

Timing:
10 am to 12:30 pm and 3-7 pm. The house remains closed on Mondays. 
07

Kapaleeshwarar Temple

Kapaleeshwarar Temple
Dating back to the times of the Vijayanagara kingdom, this temple of Shiva is counted among the notable historical places in Chennai with religious significance. The temple is located on the Kesava Perumal Sannathi St. in the Mylapore district in Chennai and has a large number of pilgrims coming in during all seasons.

Elaborate temple rituals dedicated to the deity Kapaleeshwarar are offered six times a day at 6:00 am, 9:00 am, 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 9:00 pm. Visit this historical place in Chennai to appreciate the Dravidian architecture of the 7th century and observe the majestic temple complexes dedicated to Shiva, Parvathi, and other gods and goddesses.

Location: 
Kesava Perumal Sannathi St, Vinayaka Nagar Colony, Mylapore, 

Timing: 
05:30 AM - 12:00 PM, 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM  everyday, except on Mondays.
Read more
08

Connemara Public Library

Connemara Public Library
A later extension to the building of Government Museum- another of the historical places in Chennai, this library located at Egmore, Chennai is one of the four National Depositories of India. You can find a huge collection of rare books and ancient texts and records at this library, also including decades-old periodicals, a video room for watching documentary films, a Braille Library, and an IAS study center.

Visitors can come here to read books and view multimedia resources completely free of cost, though only members are allowed to take things home. Except on the national holidays and state declared holidays,

Location: Museum Compound, Pantheon Road, Egmore

Timing:
- 9 AM to 7:30 PM from Monday to Saturday 
             - 9:30 AM to 6 PM on Sunday. 
09

Anna Memorial

Anna Memorial
Established on Marina Beach, this monument is dedicated to the memory of C. N. Annadurai- the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and leader of the organization Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. To the northern side of the memorial, there’s a museum on Annadurai which might be interesting for those interested in the personalities of Indian politics.

It is one of the better known historical places of Chennai owing to the legacy of Annadurai as well as the beautiful landscaping of the monument. There are parks and aquariums inside the compound and a notable arch shaped like an elephant tusk at the entryway.

Location: D6, Santhome High Rd, Navalar Nagar, Chepauk,

Timing:
 6 am to 10 pm.
10

Sri Ramakrishna Math

Sri Ramakrishna Math
Located on the Ramakrishna Math Road in the Mylapore locality of Chennai, this ‘math’ or monastery was started in 1897 by Swami Ramakrishananda- a disciple of the great mystic- Sri Ramakrishna.

One of the most visited historical places of Chennai, this place is known for its charitable and welfare projects- publishes a great number of books and monthly journals on spiritual topics in Tamil and English, houses a girls’ higher secondary school, conducts moral and cultural forums, vocational training in nursing assistance, and Sanskrit learning courses.

Visit this historical place in Chennai to take part in the grand celebrations on the birth anniversary of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, Vivekananda, and Ramakrishnananda, or to take a tour of the monastery steeped in a deeply meditative ambiance.

Location: 31, Ramakrishna Mutt Rd, Alamelu Manga Puram, Sankarapuram, Mylapore
 
Timing: 
 5:00 am to 11:45 am and 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm
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People Also Ask About Chennai

  1. Which are the places I can visit in Chennai in one Day?

    There are many places to visit in Chennai in one day, Click here to know more

    1. Government Museum
    2. 
    Kovalam Beach
    3. 
    Marina Beach
    4. 
    Valluvar Kottam
    5. San Thome Cathedral Basilica

  2. Which are the affordable beach resorts in and near Chennai for stay?

  3. What is special in Chennai?

    Chennai is known for its rich and lively Tamil culture and tradition-- the pomp and show of Jallikattu festival featuring specially bred Bos indicus bulls for fighting, the vibrant harvest festival of Pongal, a myriad of decorative temples characterized by the towering gopurams at the entrance, the large and populous tropical Marina Beach, Carnatic Music, Bharatnatyam classical dance, lavish south-Indian spreads served on plantain leaves, lip-smacking street food like ‘sundal’ from local vendors on the Marina Beach, Chettinad food- spicy and packed full of flavors, and a number of British-era architectures and historical monuments.
  4. Which places are famous in Chennai?

    Marina Beach- the second largest natural urban beach in the worlds along the Bay of Bengal; Government Museum- the second most ancient museum in the country noted for its Indo-Saracenic architectural style and a large collection of rare historical articles; Arignar Anna Zoological Park- the zoo shelters 3000 species of flora and fauna including 46 endangered species; Valluvar Kottam- an auditorium with verses of the saint-poet Tiruvalluvar embellished on the pillars.
  5. Which is the most beautiful place in Chennai?

    Edward Elliot Beach, more popularly known as Bessie or Besant Nagar Beach is a quaintly beautiful spot on the sea at the end stretch of the Marina Beach. The beach is especially scenic to visit at night with lights glittering on the shore.
  6. Is Chennai worth a visit?

    Yes, Chennai is a city of the rich heritage of the ancient Tamil culture and a grand stretch of the sea, you will find everything from places of historic significance as well as nature’s exuberance.

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