Go crazy on a roller-coaster, capture the panoramic view on a cable car, splash at the Himalayan water ride or get puzzled at the Mirror House. With more than 50 rides spread over an area of 70 acres, this amusement park is a major draw for children and adults alike. You can also find food and beverages outlets that are located within the park. Established in 2003 by Rajam Hotels Private Limited, Queens Land is just a 30-minute drive from central town of Chennai and ideal for a family outing in Chennai. While they have a huge car parking, you can also take regular buses from Guindy and T. Nagar area in Chennai.
Kishkinta Theme Park:
Inaugurated in 1995, Kishkinta is encouraged by Navodaya Films Private Limited, Berjaya Leisure, Malaysia and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO). Advance across 120 acres of man-made grazed hills and lakes, this colossal pleasure park is placed near Vandalur Railway station and is just 13 kilometres away from south of the Anakaputhur. From six to sixty years old, whether you travel in group or with family, this theme park will surely entertain you with its attractions, kids’ rides, water games and various other amusement avenues. While most of the rides are included in the entry pass, you might have to pay extra for boating, go karting and few others. The park also provides locker as well as dormitory facilities for guests.
Dash N Splash:
Located on the Bangalore National Highway, this water park is approximately 30 kilometres away from Chennai city centre. Started in 1995, it was the first water park in not just Chennai but South India to have exclusive water rides. The beauty of this park lies in the refreshing shade provided by the coconut trees which cover the entire park and provide complete relaxation to the visitors. With swimming pools, wave slide, free-fall, spiral slide and a rain shower which is a huge respite in Chennai summers, this theme park is frequented by tourists and locals alike. There is a separate changing room for men and women as well as a shower area to freshen up after the water rides.
Stretching 13 kilometres in length from St. George Fort to Mahabalipuram, Marina Beach enjoys the spotlight of both tourists and residents for being the second longest (urban) natural beach in the world. Witness cricket matches, fish markets, children flying kites and fortunetellers at the beach side as you take a walk along the shoreline. Owing to an active undercurrent, unfortunately, swimming is closed at this beach. Though afternoons can be very hot especially during the summer season in Chennai, evenings and early mornings allow you to experience the cool waves and winds as you sit and relax at the beach. You will also find a rare species of olive ridley sea turtles at the beach since it lies on the extreme stretch of coast. Since the beach attracts a lot of people every day (almost 30,000 tourists per day during weekdays) the area has good parking and is guarded by cops to ensure security.
Also known as Thirumayilai, Mylapore is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. A few kilometres drive to the South of Chennai, Mylapore is the main commercial centre of Chennai and is easily accessible by road, buses and MRTS system. A day trip to Mylapore is a good idea if you wish to cover some famous tourist attractions in the area. Mylapore is home to one of the oldest residential areas of Chennai. The town’s area spreads across approximately 4 kilometres from north to south and 2 kilometres from east to west. Apart from renowned historical sites like San Thome Basilica and Madhava Perumal temple, many educational institutions and prominent schools have been built here too. Some of them are Vidya Mandir Secondary School, Vivekananda College, Image College of Arts, Animation and Technology, to name a few.
San Thome Church:
This 155 feet high church has huge significance as there are only three basilicas that are built over the tomb of St. Thomas (One of the seven Apostles of Jesus Christ, St. Thomas was buried in Mylapore) in the world. The first one is in Rome, the second in Spain and the third is in Chennai, close to the Marina beach. People from different parts of the world come especially to visit the San Thome Church. Right below the basilica, there is an underground chapel where His Holiness Pope John Paul II prayed in the year 1986. The church has been designed in Gothic style and has some unique artworks including the stain glass painting of St. Thomas’ meeting with the resurrected Christ. Needless to say, Christmas is the best time to visit the church and witness the true splendour of the San Thome Church.
Madras High Court:
Chennai’s major landmark, Madras High Court is close to Marina Beach and St George Fort at the Parry's corner. It is highly acknowledged by tourists and locals alike as it was one amongst the three High Courts that were prevalent in pre-Independent times under Queen Victoria’s rule in the 19th century. Also, it is the second largest judicial complex in the world. Established in the year 1862, it was created by merging the Supreme Court of Judicature at Madras and the Sudder Dewanny Adawlut. Designed in an Indo-Saracenic architectural style by ace architect, Henry Irwin, the building has beautiful domes and corridors that represent the ancient architecture really well. The ceilings and stained glass doors inside the court are a marvel in themselves, unlike any other courts in India.
Cholamandal Artists Village:
Placed on the East Coast Road, almost eight kilometres from the south of Chennai, Cholamandal Artists' Village performs an essential arts centre in the integrated state of Tamil Nadu. Advance over eight hectares of land, it lies close to the Bay of Bengal and has become a great tourist terminal. Established in 1966, it is the largest conglomeration of artists from South India. It is home to 20 resident painters and sculptors who work together to gain self-sufficiency and create beautiful paintings, sketches, terra-cotta, stone or metal sculptures, batiks and handicrafts for their living. These art works are then displayed in an exhibition at this complex. Apart from the exhibitions, the centre has a museum, an art gallery and an amphitheater for staging plays.
National Art Gallery:
Situated on Pantheon Road in Egmore district, the National Art Gallery building is made in pink sandstone, reminiscing that of the Jaipuri-Jaina style. Established in the year 1907 by T. Namberumal Chetty, the gallery was once known as the Victoria Memorial Hall. Displaying Mughal era paintings, religious statues and artifacts, it is also home to handicrafts from tenth and eleventh centuries - that can be found on display here. The gallery has been divided into four segments - Tanjore Painting Gallery, Decorative Art Gallery, Indian Traditional Art Gallery and Ravi Varma Painting Gallery (whose paintings are considered to be national treasures).
Thousand Lights Mosque:
As the name suggests, it is said that almost one thousand oil lamps were lit up to illuminate the hall of this Mosque. Located in Anna Salai close to the Anna flyover, Thousands Lights Mosque is one of the largest mosques in India. Built in the year 1810 by Nawab Umdat-ul-Umrah and displaying a classic architectural style, this mosque is a must visit when in Chennai. It has many domes and two minarets (towering up to 64 feet) on either side. The mosque has a main hall meant for praying by men; women have a separate praying area. There is a Dargah on the second floor which is a sanctuary of Imam Hossein and Abolfazl-al-Abbas. The mosque also has a burial ground, library and some guesthouses.
Dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, this monument is also known as Ice House. It is believed that in the year 1900, the great soul stayed in this house for six weeks. Established in 1877, this two-storey building is a Victorian architectural marvel with great designs of sunburst and gabled roof. Vivekananda’s bedroom has now become a room for meditation. Here, you can find the dining table (as was located in his time) next to the fireplace. Up next is the kitchen where Vivekananda often cooked food and the garden where he loved to play with kids. The followers of Swam Vivekananda often come here to breathe through the physical reminders of his life and rekindle the principles.
The Anna Centenary Library:
An eight-storey structure, the Anna Centenary Library undoubtedly makes for South-Asia’s largest library. It is a perfect retreat for all those who look forward to take a break by simply reading a book amidst the calm atmosphere of the library. Built in September 2010, the library is spread across an area of 3.75 lakh square feet. It has more than five lakh books (and still counting) on a wide range of subjects. It also has a Braille section (for the visually impaired), own books reading section, children section, periodicals and newspapers section, Tamil books section and English books section. In addition to this, the library boasts of a conference hall, auditorium, exhibition hall and amphitheater.