A Brief Historical Background
Chennai was initially known as "Madraspatnam". It was a part of the Tondaimandalam province in the 2nd century which was ruled by the Cholas. The 3rd century brought with it a new dynasty for the region - the Pallavas - who ruled the region for a pretty long period. By the end of the 9th century, the hold of the Pallavas over the region weakened and the Cholas once again rose to power.
The Pandayas defeated the Cholas after over four centuries of rule, but could themselves rule for a very small period. The Bahmani kingdom overpowered them. They were later replaced by theVijayanagar Empire.
The present Chennai began to form with the arrival of the Britishers. They built the St George Fort to carry out their trade related activities. Gradually St George Fort and the surrounding areas became Madras. Post India's independence, the city became the capital of Tamil Nadu.
Places to See in Chennai
Marina Beach - Marina Beach is the perfect gateway for local population from their hectic work schedule. It is the longest beach of India extending over 13 km stretch from Fort St George to Mahabalipuram. Every evening, the silvery beauty of the Marina beach transform into a glittering beauty. Food stalls and various entertainment options lend a festive feel to the beach environment.
St. George Forte - With a historical background that is so significant, St. George Forte, quiet obviously becomes a must visit attraction in Chennai.
Parthasarthy temple - Amongst the most ancient temples of region, the Parthasarthy temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The Pallavas built it in the 18th century and the Vijaynagar rulers further renovated it in the 16th century.
Kapaleeswarar Temple - This temple is the perfect piece of architecture showcasing the Dravidian art. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and non Hindus are not allowed into the main shrine.
Places to See Around Chennai
Mahabalipuram - Just 55 kms away is the town of Mahabalipuram, quiet well-known for its beach and temple. Offer your prayers at the Mahabalipuram temple in the afternoon and enjoy a beautiful sunset view in the evening.
Kanchipuram - Include Kanchipuram to your Chennai and Mahabalipuram tour and you are all set to explore the Golden Triangle of the Coromandal Coast. As much for its temples, Kanchipuram is also known for its fantastic silk weaving. Do remember to pick up a couple of sarees from Kanchipuram.
Covelong Beach - Covelong is an absolute delight for all those adventure sports lovers who are disappointed at the Marina Beach. Enjoy swimming, windsurfing and other water sports at Covelong along with a bit of sightseeing.
Tirupati Temple - While in Chennai, do not miss a chance to visit the famous Tirupati Temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara. The richest temple of the world is a wonderful example of the Dravidian architecture and attracts devotees in large number every year.