Madras (Chennai) and vicinity tour / attractions

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Madras or Chennai, as it is called now, is the capital of Tamilnadu (formerly Madras). It is one of chief metropolis of the south.

The main attraction of Chennai (Madras) is the Marina Beach - one of the longest beaches of the world. (And it is pretty wide too). Made of pure, clean, coarse-grained, golden sand, it extends several miles. The beach forms the eastern boundary of the city. So, it is right in the city. You don't have to travel to another place, to enjoy the beach. There is Marina Aquarium on the beach displaying specimens of fish and other sea creatures found in the Bay of Bengal. The aquarium is located across from the Madras University's Marina campus. One can also see the Madras harbor right from the beach.

You can click on any stamp image on this page to see a better picture and/or to learn more about the subject.

Madras University
Madras University

One important attraction in Chennai (formerly Madras) is the St. Andrew's Church or the St. Andrew's Kirk. Located on the Poonamallee High Road near the Egmore railway station, the church was consecrated in 1821. St. Andrew's Church is sometimes called the "Queen of Scottish Churches in the East". The architecture of the church is considered as one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the whole of Asia. The following Indian stamp shows the St. Andrew's Church of Chennai.

St. Andrew's Church, Chennai
St. Andrew's Church, Chennai

Another landmark of Chennai city is the Connemara Public Library. The library is located on Pantheon Road in Egmore, adjacent to the Madras Museum and Art Gallery. The library, named after Lord Connemara, the then Governor of Madras State, was opened in 1896. This world class library is housed in a building of colonial ambience and the library is worth visiting. Its collections are huge. The interior is richly decorated and has stained glass windows, very high ceilings, and teak book shelves! Connemara Public Library has been featured on the following Indian stamp.

Connemara Public Library
Connemara Public Library

Museum Theatre, Government Museum, Chennai
Museum Theatre, Government Museum, Chennai

India issued the following postage stamp in 1986 to commemorate 200 years of Madras GPO (General Post Office). As you can see from the stamp image, the General Post Office or Head Post Office building is quite impressive.

Madras GPO
Madras General Post Office

Another landmark of Chennai is the Madras High Court (still called Madras High Court, not Chennai High Court). The court celebrated its centenary in 1962. On that occasion, the Indian postal authorities issued the following stamp:

Madras High Court
Madras High Court

M.G.Ramachandran or MGR is a special name to all Tamilians, and for that matter, to all Indians. He was a renowned Tamil film actor for many years during which time he had acted in 138 films. Then he became a politician. He was the Chief Minister for the State of Tamilnadu for 10 years until his death in 1987. He was also a philanthropist. After his death, the Government of India awarded him the Bharat Ratna award posthumously, the highest award the nation can give.

A memorial has been built in Chennai to remember Dr. M.G.Ramachandran. Visitors to Chennai usually go to see the MGR Memorial. India issued the following stamp in 1990 to honor Dr. M.G.Ramachandran.

Dr. M.G.Ramachandran
Dr. M.G.Ramachandran

A new stamp has been issued by the Indian Post & Telegraphs Department in 2009 showing the beautiful Chennai Central (Railway) Station which I am including below.

Chennai Central Station
Chennai Central Station
(Click on the stamp for more info)

There are some important tourist attractions located near Madras city. The most important one that nobody visiting Madras should miss is Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram. Mahabalipuram is about 60 kilometers from Chennai in the Kancheepuram district of Namilnadu. It is a 7th century port city of the South Indian dynasty of Pallavas. Mahabalipuram has various historic monuments built between 7th and 9th century AD. The monuments are mostly rock-cut and represent Dravidian architecture. There are cave temples, sculpted reliefs, structural temples, and monolithic rathas or chariots. Mahabalipuram is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place affords wonderful scope for photography. The shore temple is exquisitely beautiful.

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram
Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram, or Mamallapuram as it is called now, holds a Dance Festival every year between December and February. If you can plan your visit during this time, you will come back with a memory that will last for a long, long time. Be sure to check the local events calender way in advance as the dates of this festival vary from year to year.

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