India Guide

Things To Do In Chennai Chennai Temples, Tours Parks

Things To Do In Chennai Chennai Temples, Tours Parks

Chennai Things To Do

Chennai really is a great place to stay with such a variety of activities. Touring the temples is an absolute must, soaking up the sun at the many beautiful beaches will warm the soul, as will heading for an oil treatment at a spa. There are amusement parks for the whole family and much shopping to do, so make sure you stay for a reasonable period to experience it all.

There are a few temples in particular that are worth visiting, most have a free entry except for the Shore Temple and the Five Rathas. The first is the Kapeleeshwarar Temple. When you arrive you will be greeted with a highly detailed pyramid like entrance to the temple with hundreds of colourful figures enveloping the exterior. Once you enter you will be further inundated with colourful domes sitting upon low standing buildings. The temple is of a Dravidian architectural style, something rather spectacular to feast your eyes on.

Next you should plan to escape the chaos of the inner city and head to the Ramakrishna Mutt Temple. Here, what seems to be a world away, you will find orange clothed monks gliding around the magnificent temple. The temple pays homage to India’s major religions creating a place for followers from all religions to meditate in peace side by side. The temple itself is rather bland in comparison to some of India’s more ostentatious temples, with a cream exterior and a burgundy path to the entrance. It is not one of the most spectacular temples, but one that represents peace between religions.

The next temple is best viewed in the evening when floodlights pour over the rock form. The Shore Temple looks out over the Bay of Bengal symbolising the best of Pallava architecture and the aspiration of the Pallava kings. The temple’s granite structure represents the ‘perfect cosmic body’. What is most exciting about this temple is that not only is it a World Heritage Site, more structures are being uncovered hidden beneath the sand, a great archaeological find.

Lastly is the Five Rathas located in Mamallapuram just south of Madras. These uniquely build temples each represent a different Hindu God. What is fascinating about these temples is that each was carved out of a single piece of stone! A remarkable feat creating truly dedicated shrines.

For something a little more adventurous, and to keep the kids happy (or the child tendencies within you!), take a trip to one (or all) of the excellent amusement parks. There is the Dash n Splash approximately 30km from Chennai which sports several rides and dotted with souvenir shops. Dolphin City is slightly further away but well worth the trip to experience the open air theatre, slides, sea lion performances and to dig into the range of cuisines available. Alternatively there is Kishkintha which is a hi tech version of an amusement park with space shuttle rides, a wave pool and white water rides. So there is something for everybody, now it’s up to you to decide which one you head to first!

Make sure you satisfy your shopping needs at the Pondy Bazaar or one of the several malls. For a large shopping mall experience with lots of entertainment head to the City Centre Mall head to the popular Spencer Plaza that has many international brands within its fully air conditioned walls. For jewellery, and lots of it, the Gold Mall is the latest in trends dedicating the entire complex to jewellery and everything gold. Try wondering through the many food markets as they are full of energy and a great place to get better aquainted with the colourful ingredients.

Once you are shopped out, and ready to relax, there are the beaches to relax on and oil treatments to indulge in. There are several beaches (link to beaches section) in the area where you can take romantic strolls or enjoy the sight of flying kites and eager fortune tellers in the sea breeze. For a bit of stress relief and rejuvenation, take a break and indulge in an oil treatment and you will feel like new!