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A complete guide to see Chennai within 48 hours

So, you are on a sightseeing journey in South India and you happen to make your pit stop in Chennai. Even a very perfect plan is prone to failures and you can be stranded in an unintended place. Well if that place happens to be Chennai, we have you covered. The capital city of Tamil Nadu is one of the cities with a rich history, culture and tradition all co-existing with modernity. The city has a contrasting outlook which is bound to surprise you on every turn. So, if you happen to be here with your love or with friends or family, we have curated a list of things to do in just 2 days that will expose you to all the wonderful and amazing places Chennai has to offer. Don’t just kill your time locked in your hotel room, rather book hotels on an hourly basis and hire a car to drive around this magnificent city.

First Day- Morning

Kapaleeshwarar Temple

This 7th-century temple is dedicated to Kapaleshwar and Karpagambal, a form of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The temples’ Dravidian architecture is sure to leave you spellbound with its carved pillars and huge structures. The temple is located in Mylapore is a buzzing marketplace where you can buy a variety of things. Get out of your hotel in chennai early and start your day with a visit to this beautiful architecture and get enamoured by this grand structure.

Kapaleshwar Temple

 

Mahabalipuram

If you are more into temples and that too ancient ones, you might want to visit the Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram, a 6th-century wonder with numerous cave temples carved brilliantly. Its also a UNESCO world heritage site so you know how important this thing must have been in the past as well. The caves are located on a hill in Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu. The most impressive is the carving of Goddess Durga killing the demon Mahishasur on one of the walls of the cave. You will be astounded with the brilliance and magnificence of these caves.

Mahabalipuram

 

First Day- Afternoon

San Thome church

You can stretch your cultural tour of this historic city by visiting the 16th century San Thome Church. Built by the Portuguese back then, the church contains the remains of one of Jesus’ 12 apostles who came to India to preach Christianity. It’s only one of the 3 remaining such churches in the whole world. This white cathedral sports a 183-foot high spire and displays excellent neo-Gothic architecture. The church not only looks splendid from outside, but it is also marvellous from the inside.  A statue of Saint Thomas is built over the glass-encased marble alter over his tomb. The church complex also houses a museum, a library and a shop which sells cards and prayer items.

San Thome Church

 

Government Museum

The word Government sure don’t have the nice ring to it but don’t be hesitant, its a huge complex consisting of 6 British era structures comprising 46 galleries of the most amazing collection of artefacts of as late as 6th century. You will find sculptures and piece of art belonging to the once-mighty Cholas, Chalukyas, Pallavas and Vijayanagar empire. You will also find galleries dedicated to Rajputs, Mughals and other great civilizations that have ruled on the Indian subcontinent. That’s not all, there are galleries dedicated to zoology as well. If you love to read and see past remnants, the Government Museum is the perfect place to spend your afternoon.

Government Museum

 

First Day- Evening

Surely you must be exhausted with the cultural and historical tour during the day. Its time to enjoy the nightlife in the beach town. Chennai has a lot to offer to the party animals. You will have a variety of options to choose from. You can either have the best Tequilla shots at 10 Downing Street or enjoy the lip-smacking food at Chipstead. You will fall in love with the Irish themed Gatsby 2000 or dance out the night at Moon and Six Pence. If you want a rooftop view of the city, visit The Flying Elephant, a terrace restaurant that offers amazing views. All in all, there are plenty of mind-blowing restaurants, bars and pubs where you can spend your evening. If you are here with your partner, there are some of the best couple friendly hotels in chennai where you could peacefully retire after an excellent day.

10 Downing Street, Chennai

 

Second Day- Morning

St Thomas Mount

Believed to be the site of St Thomas’ martyrdom in AD 72, St. Thomas is a small hillock with the Church of Our Lady of Expectations built atop it by the Portuguese in 1523. The church is reckoned to have a fragment of Thomas’ finger bone and across he carved. The shrine can be visited between 6 am and 8 pm and boasts beautiful views of the city.

St Thomas Mount

If you are a fitness lover and missing your schedule, you can visit St Thomas Mount. Now don’t confuse here, the Mount is situated on a small hill in Guindy. So you will have to hike to the place and believe me it is worth the effort. Get up and leave your hotel in Chennai early otherwise the sun will be so bright you will be left exhausted. The shrine was originally a lighthouse to the ships in the colonial era. There are 130 steps up to the shrine and are made up of granite. The shrine itself is an architectural marvel. The stone carvings, wall paintings and the elaborate artwork on even the ceilings make it worthwhile to have a look at. The view at the top with a lot of rocks, trees and the shrine amidst all that is breathtaking and you will surely love this view with the rising sun in the backdrop. The place is suited for an early morning visit because it tends to get too hot once the sun is up.

 

Fort St. George

The fort was made by the British for the mere purpose of creating a colonial stronghold in Chennai. It houses both, the first British Garrison settlement and the British residential settlements within the fort. Chennai even owes its origin to this grand structure. Once the fort was built, slowly the city sprawled around it with small towns and villages ushering around it. There is a museum inside the fort that has a huge collection of over 3600 relics and artifacts of the colonial past. There is also the oldest Anglican Church known as St Mary’s Church housed inside the fort. The fort is now protected by ASI and also houses the administrative offices of Tamil Nadu Government. However, the church and the museum are open to the public. You can start your morning by walking into this beautiful fort and you won’t regret.

Fort St George

 

Second Day- Afternoon

Guindy National Park

The Guindy National Park is the eighth smallest national park in India and spreads over just 2.7 square kilometres. This protected area was once part of the Raj Bhavan or the Governor of Tamil Nadu’s residence. Now, it has been declared a protected area and is taken care of by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. This small piece of land has a dense forest cover and is lined with streams and lakes all over. The park also hosts wildlife of varied species and receives a large number of tourists every year. The famous snake park is housed inside the Guindy national park. It came into being by the efforts of Romulus Whitaker, a herpetologist in 1972. The snake park houses 39 species of reptiles. It includes snakes such as adders, pythons, vipers, cobras, crocodiles, tortoise and Lizards as well.

Guindy National Park

 

Second Day- Evening

Marina Beach

No visit to Chennai can be complete without a visit to the iconic Marina Beach. The beach runs along the coast for an astounding 13 kilometres making it the longest natural urban beach in the country and 2nd longest in the whole world. Being that large it attracts about 30000 visitors at any given day. Stand anywhere on the beach and you can see the beach running all the way down to the horizon on both ends. Such is the feel and view from the white sandy beach. The place is also buzzing with so any activities and events. There are ferries, merry go rounds and a variety of shops that make the atmosphere a lively one. Spend the last evening here at Marina beach and watch the sun go down the horizon into the sea. You won’t get such an amazing view anywhere else.

Marina Beach

 

Watch a movie in Local theater

You must have heard of the craze the South Indians have for their stars. If you want to be enthralled by these larger than life stars, you must visit a local theater and watch a South Indian flick of our very own Thallaiva AKA Rajnikant.  The roars, claps, whistles of the excited crowd will make you enthralled and it will be a heart-thumping moment for you. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you must go for one such shows. Not just Rajnikant but any movie that you find there. You will get to know these loving people and how fun-loving they are.

Kamala Theatre

 

This schedule covers almost every angle of a proper Chennai Darshan. If you are visting with friends or even your lover, the 2 days will be well spent exploring rather than just killing your time locked up in hotel room. You can also book hotels on hourly basis to avoid spending on it when you will be only spending the nights in your hotels. There is more to Chennai that can’t be explored in just 48 hours, so make some plans and visit this city for an extended holiday. You will definitely love every moment spent in this beautiful beach city.

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