Chennai attracts tourists for its Carnatic music, bustling food scene, idyllic beaches, and the vibrant Pongal festival. But if you are taking a Port Blair to Chennai flight anytime soon, consider adding the city’s historical monuments to your itinerary. Most of them were built under the colonial influence and can truly excite history buffs like you. Visiting them is a great opportunity to time-travel back to the rich cultural past of South India. Each one of the iconic structures reflects history, heritage, art, and architecture. Planning a leisure or work trip to Chennai is incomplete without visiting at least one of the following. Read on.
Fort St. George
The East India Company used this as their trading post during British Raj. It was built in 1640 and was divided into two parts: one for the dock workers and the other for the Europeans. Today it is home to the Legislative Council Chambers of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The Archaeological Survey of India takes care of the Fort and is presently also used as an Indian Army Base. You can see St. Mary’s Church, Fort Museum, Wellesley House, and Flag Staff inside the complex.
A chariot-shaped stone monument established in 1976, Valluvar Kottam is a popular tourist spot hosting many exhibitions and events. It was built in the fond memory of Tiruvalluvar who was a famous literary figure of Tamil Nadu. People flock here to see its innovative designs and layouts and Asia’s largest auditorium with 4,000 (at a time) seating capacity. See the timings of this monument while booking flights online.
The Pallavas built it back during the 7th century CE. It has a Dravidian architectural style and is truly a spectacular beauty. Goddess Uma was known to worship Lord Shiva here in the form of a peacock. But the temple was demolished by the Portuguese. It was rebuilt by the Vijaynagar dynasty and stands tall today in all glory. The Thaipusan Festival is celebrated here in January with much pomp and grandeur.
San Thome Cathedral Basilica
The Portuguese explorers built it in the 16th century and is officially called the St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica. It has a Neo-Gothic architectural style. The church preserves the 2000 years old bones of the saint St. Thomas and the spear that pierced him to death. If your Port Blair to Chennai flight dates can be flexible, book around July 3 to enjoy a special mass on that day which takes place only 3-4 times a year.
This is the official seat and headquarters of the Chennai Corporation. You can see a stunning blend of Ionic and Corinthian styles that makes up the neoclassical architecture. You can also see a hint of Gothic and Indo-Saracenic designs here. It is an all-white building with exquisite and eye-catching detailing. The Westminster Quarter Chiming Clock is also installed here which is one of the key attractions. It completed 100 years in 2013.
Try to cover Wallajah Mosque, Victoria Public Hall, Adyar Theosophical Society, Annai Velankanni Church, and Madras High Court before boarding your Chennai to Port Blair flight back home.