Best Historical Places in Chennai for a Peek into History

Art & Culture Sightseeing

List of Historical Places in Chennai

The historical places in Chennai are a standing testimony to the rich heritage and culture of the city. The magnificent monuments and historical places are splattered all over the city making it one of the most touristy cities in the state. From the Madras High Court to Higginbotham's and Napier Bridge, all of these ancient historical places are fully functional and can be visited any time of the year owing to the pleasant climate and environment. Reflecting the charm and splendour of the bygone era, these majestic historical places attract a large number of tourists both domestic and international. We have compiled a comprehensive list of the top historical places in Chennai, have a look now!

Here is the list of 18 Best Historical Places in Chennai for a Peek into History

1. Madras War Cemetery

Madras War Cemetery

The Madras War Cemetery houses the last remains of around 855 martyrs who laid down their precious lives at the battlefronts in the devastating Second World War and also a Memorial stone for 1000 more who died fighting in the Great War before that.

2. Government Museum

Government Museum

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 making it a spectacular historical place in Chennai.

3. St. Thomas Mount Church

St. Thomas Mount Church

St. Thomas Mount Church is a shrine situated atop a hillock called St. Thomas Mount in Chennai, which is also known as Parangimalai. The shrine was built in 1523 and is dedicated to Mother Mary - "Our Lady of Expectation". You can reach this historical placs in Chennai through 160 steps leading to the hill top.

4. Fort St. George

Fort St. George

The origin of the great white historical place in Chennai of Fort St. George is inextricable from the history of the city of Chennai itself. Popularly called the 'White Town', the sole purpose of establishing this massive fort compound was to build a British stronghold in the Coromandel Coast and the rest of south India.

5. Vivekananda House, Chennai

Vivekananda House, Chennai 3.2 /5

Vivekananda House also popularly known as The Ice House, is a shrine and pilgrimage centre for the admirers and followers of Swami Vivekananda. It is in this house that Swami Vivekananda stayed for six weeks in 1900.

6. Marundeeswarar Temple

Marundeeswarar Temple 4.3 /5

Marundeeswarar Temple, in Tiruvanmiyur, near Chennai has the temple deity Shiva in the form of Marundeeswar or Aushadeeswarar, the God of Medicines. Given the name, Marundeeswarar Temple has been a place of worship especially for people with diseases and those facing various problems with their health. A fine specimen of Dravidian architecture, this temple is a must visit for anyone visiting Chennai or nearby cities.

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7. Santhome Cathedral Basilica

Santhome Cathedral Basilica 3.2 /5

Santhome Cathedral is a historical place in Chennai and ancient pilgrim centre, which was built during the 14th to the 15th century A D by the then reigning, Portuguese.

8. Connemara Library

Connemara Library 4.2 /5 View 5+ photos

The Connemara Public Library at Chennai holds the prestigious status of being amongst one of the four deposit libraries in India which entitles them to a copy of every publication in India.

9. Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Arignar Anna Zoological Park 4.2 /5 View 48+ photos

Perhaps one of the most popular picnic spots in Vandalur, Kanchipuram District, the Arignar Zoological Park is an amazing place to discover the flora and fauna of the region. A favourite weekend spot with both children and adults alike, the Arignar Zoo is situated at a distance of 32 kilometres from Chennai city. It is the largest zoo of its kind in South East Asia and is sprawled over an area of 1260 acres. In addition to having an extensive collection of endemic and exotic animals, visitors can experience the wild first hand with a trip to safari parks where lions and deer can be easily spotted.

10. Higginbotham's

Higginbotham's

Built in 1905, Higginbotham's is the oldest bookstore in the city. Situated on the Mount Road in Chennai, the bookstore was originally opened by Abel Joshua Higginbotham- a British stowaway.

11. Santhome Church

Santhome Church

San Thome Church is among the only three in the world that house the tombs of one of Christ's original disciples. If you visit this historical place in Chennai, you will be stepping into a historical tale that will take you back a couple of centuries. The museum inside displays souvenirs of the great saint and his legend.

12. Ripon Building

Ripon Building

A classic example of Neoclassical style architecture, Ripon Building was constructed in the year 1913 to seat the Madras Corporation. Currently, it is occupied by the Greater Chennai Corporation. The building is splendid to look at and can only be visited with prior appointment.

13. Madras High Court

Madras High Court

Constructed in 1892, Madras High Court is an important landmark in the city of Chennai. It is one of the three courts in the country established by letters patents granted by Queen Victoria.

14. Prakasam Salai

Prakasam Salai 3.2 /5

Built in 1795,a milestone in the history of Chennai, located Opposite Parry's Corner, Prakasam Salai is an impressive stylish building in Indo-Saracenic style with eminence in red bricks.

15. Thousand Lights Mosque

Thousand Lights Mosque

The Thousand Lights Mosque of Royapettah, Chennai is among the most esteemed mosques of the city as well as the state of Tamil Nadu. Built in the early 19th century by the Wallajah family of the Carnatic rulers, it is till date a popular gathering place for the daily prayers and festive occasions like Muharram.

16. Napier Bridge

Napier Bridge

Napier Bridge is the oldest bridge in the city, built by Francis Napier in 1869 who the then Governor General. The bridge is constructed over River Coovam and connects Fort St. George and Marina Beach.

17. Mylapore

Mylapore

Mylapore is one of the oldest and culturally enriched neighbourhoods, located in the southern part of Chennai. It is very much traditionalist to its core and boasts many temples, churches and historical places in Chennai.

18. Sri Ramakrishna Math

Sri Ramakrishna Math

Located in Mylapore, Ramakrishna Math is a spiritual centre and monastic organization for men. It was the first branch of Ramakrishna Math established in South India. This peaceful Ramakrishna Math was started in 1897 by swami Ramakrishnanada. 

Which of these historical places in Chennai have you visited? Let us know your experience in the comments below!

This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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