1. Backwaters of Alamparai Fort
A very lesser known place on the outskirts of Chennai is the Alamparai Fort. It is insteresting Facts about chennai. It is in an almost destroyed state now. The sandy beach and the scenic backwaters is a must-see attraction of this place. The scenic beauty of this place is also a favourite of some notable Tamil movie makers. You might also get to tramp some sea shells and a variety of crabs on the shore.
2. The ‘Zero Point’ of Chennai
Driving past this point may not been enough for you to notice its milestone. This is the zero point of the city. On the pavement in the middle of the Muthuswamy bridge is an the obscure milestone with a messily painted 0/0.
4. The Historic Chepauk Stadium
The M.A. Chidambaram Cricket Stadium located in Chepauk was set up in 1916. It holds the distinction of being one of the oldest stadiums of the country. It is where first ever match of the Ranji Trophy was held on 4th November 1934 between Madras and Mysore at Chepauk. More than its glorius history, what stands out at Chepauk is the atmosphere and the crowd, reputed to be amongst the most knowledgeable and appreciative in the country.
5. The Majestic Chepauk Palace
Apart from the ever so famous stadium, there is a palace in Chepauk too! Chepauk Palace was the official residence of the Nawab of Arcot from 1768 to 1855. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. The Chepauk Palace comprises two blocks—the northern block is known as Kalsa Mahal while the southern block is known as Humayun Mahal. However, today, it is impossible to enjoy the beauty of this majestic building in its entirety due to the rapid development of buildings around it.
7. Karl Schmidt Memorial
This architectural landmark in Elliot’s Beach was built in honor of a Danish sailor who drowned in 1930 trying to save the life of a girl. According to historians, the Danish sailor, who had gone to the beach, saw an English girl getting into the water who soon started struggling against the tide. In a successful attempt to save her life, he lost his own. The then governor built the memorial to mark Schmidt’s gallant act.
8. Bombing of Chennai in First World War
The only India city that came under the direct attack of the Central Powers was Chennai in the First World War. A German Cruiser called Emden was the one that bombarded Madras on the night of 22nd September, 1914. Although the raid did little damage to Madras, it was a severe blow to British morale, and thousands of people fled the city. Emden indulged in ‘fancy shooting’ causing widespread damage. Many unexploded shells lay scattered across the city.
10. The First Cinema Theatre in Chennai
The erstwhile Gaiety Theatre, which was pulled down recently, was the first permanent cinema theatre in Chennai. This was the first in the chain of theatres built by Raghupathy Venkaiah in South India. Following Gaiety, the othe theaters built by him were the Crown Theatre on Mint Street, Globe on Purasawalkam High Road, followed by Imperial Theatre in Madurai.
11. Kathipara Flyover
The Kathipara Flyover is one of the largest cloverleaf interchanges in the whole of Asia.
13. The Beautiful Adayar River(Really..I mean it!)
Adayar river was a thing of beauty. Today, the Adyar river is just an eyesore, with high levels of pollution and contamination!
14. Chennai High Court
The Chennai High Court, with a sprawling size of 107 acres, is one of the largest Judicial Complexes in the world. The court is one of the three High Courts in India established at the Presidency Towns by Letters patent granted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, bearing date 26 June 1862.
16. From Madras to Chennai
The name was Madras until 1996 when the city was renamed. An explanation is that it could have been derived from a fisherman named Madrasan. We South Indians are still being grouped under the term ‘Madrasis’ which evolved from Madras.
17. The Detroit of India
The perfect combination of a number of factors such as the location, proximity of sea port, our infrastructure, flexible industrial and government policies have attracted the giants of the automobile industry to set up their plants in Chennai. So much so that Chennai is now known as the Detroit of India. Most major manufacturers such as Ford, Hyundai, BMW, Renault Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Daimler have transformed the city into an automobile hub.
19. Shopping in Pondy Bazaar
You just can’t afford to miss one the busiest shopping streets in India if you’ve come visiting Chennai. It is also known as “Soundarapandia Bazaar” named after Justice Party politician W.P.A. Soundarapandian Nadar. If you ever wondered about the bronze statue at the entrance to Pondy Bazaar, it is that of Soundarapandian Nadar. All the streets in and around this area have been named after Justice Party leaders. One interesting fact is that Lifco Books shop which functions even today was set up years ago when there were just three shops in the area.
20. The World Bank Office at Chennai
A certified LEED Silver building which isn’t very well known is the World Bank Chennai Office in Taramani. It is built on a 3.5-acre campus. By 2012 it had almost 500 staff after it set up a permanent back office in Chennai. Recently the World Bank group president Jim Yong Kim visited the office for the first time and appreciated the improvements made in the automobile industry.
22. Connemara- not just an old library but a National Depository
We all do know that Connemara Public Library at Egmore is one of the oldest libraries that have overcome the test of times. It is also one of the four National Depository Libraries that receives a copy of all the books, periodicals and newspapers being published in India. It is also a depository library for the United Nations.
23. The delicious Chicken 65
Buhari Hotels’ chain has graced Chennai since 1951. One of the favourite dishes of Chennai, the Chicken 65, is believed to be introduced at Buhari by its founder A.M. Buhari. Interestingly they also offered Chicken 78, Chicken 82 and Chicken 90. A.M. Buhari was also made the Sheriff of Madras in 1973-1974. Ever wondered that there could be such a history for that dish on your plate?
25. The Big Banyan tree
A 450 years old banyan tree is located inside the Adyar Theosophical Society. It is one of the oldest banyan trees in the world. The area it occupied was around 40,000 square feet but after a cyclone hit in 1989, the main trunk was uprooted leaving only a part of it now. It boasts with the pride of being acquainted with great personalities such as Annie Besant and Maria Montessori who addressed a number of people under the tree. The Theosophical society is open between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. It is one the calmest and serene places located in the middle of the city.
26. The Madras Boat Club- one of the oldest in India
The madras Boat Club in Chennai is almost 140 years old. It was founded by a few Englishmen in the year 1867. It was first started in the backwaters of Ennore. In 1892, it was moved to the location on the banks of Adyar River. Now the club has acquired the latest boats and oars from USA and is well-equipped. So, what are you waiting for?
28. Go bargaining on the cotton street
The cotton street in the Pantheon road is a one stop destination if you want to explore cotton clothes with a combination of vibrant colours. The better you are at bargaining, the less you spend on this street. It is up from almost 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is definitely worth a walk through the street.