Government Museum was established in 1851 and is the second oldest museum in the country after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. Situated in Egmore suburb of Chennai, it is built in the Indo-Sarcenic style and houses a rich collection of the works of Raja Ravi Varma.
Chennai’s Marina Beach is famous around the world for being the second-longest urban beach in the world. It is counted among the most popular beaches in India and is undoubtedly Chennai’s biggest landmark. In fact, more than a landmark, it was indeed this long and wide coast that led to the British founding the city of Madras here in the first place. Apart from its history, the beach is also a cultural identifier for Chennai and preferred venue for everything from weekend picnics to political rallies and protests.
MGR Film City
Having been established in the year 1994, a considerably new structure, the MGR Film city is managed by the Government of Tamil Nadu in loving memory of MG Ramachandran who was not only a crowd-pleasing tamil actor but also a longtime CM of Tamil Nadu.
Covering a massive 70 acres at Taramani in Chennai, the MGR Film City is a popular tourist hotspot and the place-to-be for several South Indian films directors. Besides being the best place to catch a glimpse of a popular Tamil actor and the film city also has a film school, indoor and outdoor shooting locations, replicas of village and urban areas, temple, church, mosque, post office, police station, prison, courtroom, and landscaped gardens in Italian, Japanese and Mughal styles. They recently opened the MGR Knowledge Park which has been adding to the attraction.
Dedicated to revered spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda, Vivekananda House is maintained by Sri Ramakrishna Math and houses a permanent exhibition on his life and Indian culture. There is a meditation room on the second floor where the Swami stayed after his return from the west in February 1897.
The distinctive Victorian-style building is more than 150 years old and was originally built to store ice. It was subsequently purchased by Biligiri Iyengar, an advocate of the Madras High Court, who named it Castle Kernan. Vivekananda House is located opposite Marina Beach in Triplicane. It's open from 10.00 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. until 7.15 p.m, daily except Mondays. Tickets cost 20 rupees for adults and 10 rupees for children.
With a history going back nearly a 1,300 years, the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Chennai‘s Mylapore is one of the oldest places of worship in the city. Apart from being a religious landmark, the temple is a major centre of culture and regularly hosts several classical music and dance performances. The surrounding area of the temple still retains its traditional Agraharam style of architecture and the temple complex also includes a large water tank. The temple’s tallest Gopuram stands at over 40 m, while there is another smaller Gopuram facing the water tank.
The Theosophical Society is one of Chennai’s oldest organisations and boasts a continuing history of more than a century. But what this organisation is best known for in Chennai is its sprawling international headquarters campus in Adyar that cuts across the Adyar river estuary. One of the best-maintained green spaces in the city, the campus is a cultural and spiritual centre with a fully-fledged library and also hosts a number of talks and events. It is also home to the Adyar banyan tree, which has a history of more than 450 years and is one of the largest banyan trees in the country.