Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is often referred to as the Gateway to South India. Situated on the beautiful Coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal, this vibrant city is steeped in rich heritage and fascinating history. Notably, the Greater Chennai Corporation holds the distinction of being the oldest municipal corporation in India and the second oldest in the world, preceded only by London.
While Chennai is renowned for its historical sites, museums, beaches, and temples, there are hidden gems of cultural heritage, and natural wonders that remain undiscovered by many. In this blog, we aim to venture beyond the well-trodden tourist trail and unveil the lesser-known wonders of Chennai. Let us take you on a journey to explore the secrets of this remarkable city that are waiting to be explored.
Among Chennai's many treasures, the most prominent well-known place is Marina Beach, the world's second-largest beach, a source of immense pride for the city. In addition to its natural splendour, Chennai has also caught the world's attention by hosting the 44th Fide Chess Olympiad in 2022, showcasing the city's exceptional organisational skills, hospitality, and love for the game.
Join us as we delve into Chennai's hidden gems. Prepare to be enthralled by the lesser-travelled paths that unveil the true essence of this incredible city.
Thirusulam lake is a man-made lake located in Tirusulam, Chennai, India. It was formed in an abandoned stone quarry and is known for its clear blue waters. The lake is a popular spot for swimming, boating, fishing, and bird watching. Over 100 species of birds have been recorded at the lake, including pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, and kingfishers.
De Monte Colony is a neighbourhood in Alwarpet, Chennai, India. The colony was named after John De Monte, a Portuguese businessman who owned the land in the 19th century. . De Monte was a wealthy man, and his colony was home to some of the most affluent families in Chennai. However, De Monte's personal life was troubled. His wife was mentally ill, and his son died at a young age. De Monte himself died in 1890. It was once a thriving community, but it was eventually abandoned in the early 2000s after rumours of hauntings began to circulate. The colony is now in ruins, and it is a popular spot for ghost hunters and thrill seekers.
However, it is important to note that the colony is also a dangerous place, and there have been reports of muggings and other crimes in the area.
Amir Mahal is a beautiful palace located in Chennai, India. It was built in 1798 by the British East India Company and is now the official residence of the titular Nawab of Arcot and his family. The palace is a stunning example of Indo-Saracenic architecture and part of it is open to the public for tours.
The Theosophical Society is a popular tourist destination and is especially known for its gardens, which are home to a variety of plants and trees, including a 500-year-old banyan tree. Theosophical Society is an international organisation founded in 1875 to promote brotherhood and understanding among people of all cultures and religions. It is located in Adyar, Chennai, India.
Cholamandal Artists' Village is a unique community of artists in Chennai, India. It was founded in 1956 by K.C.S. Paniker, who wanted to create a space where artists could live and work together. The village is home to over 100 artists, who work in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography. The village is open to the public, and visitors, there are also a number of workshops and events held at the village throughout the year.
Broken Bridge, Chennai is a bridge that was built in 1967 and collapsed in 1977 due to strong currents in the Adyar Estuary. The bridge is now a popular tourist destination, known for its scenic views of the estuary and the Bay of Bengal.
The Government Museum Chennai is one of the oldest and largest museums in India. It is located in the heart of Chennai, at Egmore, and is spread across an area of 16.25 acres. The museum has six independent buildings with 46 galleries, which showcase a wide range of artefacts from different periods of Indian history.
Muttukadu Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Chennai district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is a popular tourist destination, especially for weekend getaways from Chennai. The lake is home to a variety of birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and kingfishers. It is also a popular spot for boating, fishing, and picnicking.
The Submarine Museum in Chennai is a must-visit for anyone interested in naval history. The museum is home to two decommissioned submarines, INS Kursura and INS Vela, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the life of a submariner. Visitors can also learn about the history of the Indian Navy and the role of submarines in warfare.
Dakshinachitra is an open-air museum in Chennai, India that recreates the art, architecture, and culture of South India from the 6th to the 18th centuries. all of which have been painstakingly recreated using traditional materials and techniques.
All these lesser-known tourist destinations offer a unique and enriching experience that sets them apart from most visited popular places. Whether you're a local or a visitor, you can plan your weekends around these hidden places for a unique adventurous experience. So, embark on a journey to these offbeat destinations, immerse yourself in Chennai's rich heritage, and create unforgettable memories.