There are many stories related to the origin of its name. Some say that, it has been named after the demon King Mahabali, who was famous for his kindness and on the other hand, others believe that it has been named after the King Narasimhavarman I of the Pallava dynasty, who was a great warrior and that his name was Kept because of his achievements. Whatever may have been the origin, one thing is for certain – Mahabalipuram is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu. And together with Chennai and Kanchipuram, it forms 'Golden Tourism Triangle' on the shore of Coromandel Coast. This 7th century port city of the Pallavas, which was a dynasty of Dravidian civilization, includes several historical monuments which were mainly structured in that era.
It was during the rule of the pallavas, great poets, dramatists, artists, artisans, scholars and saints emerged. As one can say that the pallavas are the pioneers and forerunners of new styles both in art and architecture and Mahabalipuram is the best place to praise off their skill and talent. New sculptures and unique paintings were innovative and exuberant. This place Mahabalipuram itself became their exploring field and they made the best use of the resources.
The richness in Mahabalipuram was not known to many, as these pallavas did not outlet and expose their quality and innovative creations to the outer world for obvious reasons. The aestheticism in Mahabalipuram was hidden until the late 18th century. What is special about Mahabalipuram? Of course every one can point out the rock - cut caves, temples made from a single rock, temples and strives of different structures, and bas-reliefs which are so artistic and sheer creativity. Mamallpuram is referred as an ‘open-air museum’. The great pallava kings Narasimha I and Rajasimha have well preserved these stylistic qualities that one enjoys in Mahabalipuram even in the present day.
The beauty of the place is not only due to these architecture but the vast casuarinas trees, the silvery beach the classical hand made crafts around have made them all to a collective splendour form. Any visitor who visits Mahabalipuram will remain startled and intoxicated with the grandeur. They feel hand hearted and more out from this historical and fascinating tourist spot.
Dakshina Chitra is an exciting cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India. The main mission is to exhibit, promote and preserve aspects of the broader, more inclusive cultures of the states and to bring these arts to the public in a participative, enjoyable and engaging way. Dakshina Chitra Heritage Museum, a project of Madras Craft Foundation an NGO was opened to the public on December 14th 1996.
Dakshina Chitra has a collection of 18 authentic historical houses with contextual exhibitions in each house. All the houses bought and reconstructed at Dakshina Chitra had been given for demolition by their owners. The authentic homes in a regional vernacular style are purchased, taken down, transported and reconstructed by artisans (Stapathis) of the regions from where the houses came.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park is one of the modern and scientifically managed zoos of the country. Arignar Anna Zoological Park (abbreviated AAZP), also known as the Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, a suburb in the southwestern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Guindy National Park is a 2.70 km2 (1.04 sq mi) Protected area of Tamil Nadu, located in Chennai, South India, is the 8th smallest National Park of India and one of the very few national parks situated inside a city. The park is an extension of the grounds surrounding Raj Bhavan, formerly known as the 'Guindy Lodge', the official residence of the Governor of Tamil Nadu, India. It extends deep inside the governor's estate, enclosing beautiful forests, scrub lands, lakes and streams. The park has a role in both ex-situ and in-situ conservation and is home to 400 blackbucks, 2,000 spotted deers, 24 Jackals, a wide variety of snakes, geckos, tortoises and over 130 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, over 60 species of butterflies and spiders each, a wealth of different grasshoppers, ants, termites, crabs,snails, slugs, scorpions, mites, earthworms, millipedes, and the like. These are free-ranging fauna and live with the minimal of interference from human beings. The only major management activity is protection as in any other in-situ conservation area. The park attracts more than 700,000 visitors every year.
The year 1644 adds another glorious chapter in the history of the South Indian city Chennai, then known as Madras, conferring upon it a gift of the St. George Fort along the shores of Bay of Bengal. Historically famous as White Town, the fort has taken its name from St. George who is believed to have a significant influence in the region during that era and whose birthday coincides with the day of completion of the construction of the fort. The fort is considered to be the first establishment of the British in India. Initially erected as a trading post, it later served as the origin of the modern Indian Army. A live example of the military architecture marvel, the St. George Fort is probably the most noticeable ancient monument in Chennai. The fort holds great historical importance and is looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Government Museum of Chennai is one of the most popular sightseeing pots in the city. Though initially it was set up in an edifice on the College Road, Nungambakkam, in 1851, later on, in 1854, it was shifted to the present locale in Egmore. Today, it proudly stands as the second oldest museum-after the Indian Museum of Kolkata which was set up in 1814-and is also one of the leading museums in South Asia. It is mainly affluent in archaeological and numismatic collections and also has a vast collection of Roman antiquities, outside of Europe. Some of the edifices in the campus of the museum are over 100 years old. The Museum grounds comprises of six buildings and 46 galleries, covering the total area of about 16.25 acres.
“Phoenix Marketcity Chennai” is a joint venture of Phoenix Mills Ltd & Sharyans Resources. The Marketcity is a concept born out of a bold vision to offer India’s urban consumers a place where they can find the best brands, fantastic entertainment options, superlative dining and an overall exciting experience. ‘Phoenix Marketcities’ are aimed at a quality and brand-conscious consumer, and each project offers the increasingly affluent Indian, the most enjoyable shopping experience with the best products the world has to offer. Phoenix Marketcity Chennai is one of the biggest malls in the city and it is revolutionising the retail & entertainment experience in the city. It is strategically located in Velachery and spread over 1 million square feet.