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Famous Historical Places in Chennai

The slideshow lists the most famous historical places in Chennai. Though home to an endless list of historical monuments and temples, here is a slideshow of the most prominent ones.

The Theosophical Society

The place which facilitates and encourages the study of philosophy, science and rational thought and comparative religions is the theosophical society based here near the Adyar river. Here is present the 95 years old library which has great and rare collections of the oriental manuscripts. Also present are the shrines of all faith and the garden of remembrance which attracts many a visitors.

For more details contact:

International Headquarters
The Theosophical Society
Adyar, Chennai 600 020 INDIA
Telephone: (044) 2491 2474
Email: intl.hq@ts-adyar.org

Valluvar Kottam

The Valluvar kottam – a dedication to the great Tamil poet and philosopher – Thiruvalluvar is a great piece of architecture on the corner of Kodambakkam high road. It comprises of an auditorium and a temple chariot. The poet’s epic – the Thirukkural are inscribed on the granite pillars that surround the auditorium. The temple chariot is 101 feet high with a life-size image of the great Thiruvalluvar. The base of the chariot marks the 133 chapters of the Thirukkural and is a place of interest for the Tamil lovers, poets, writers and philosophers.

Ripon Building

The white coloured, indo-saracenic style of architectural structure representing the Gothic, Ionic and Corinthian style is the seat of Chennai Corporation and is located near Central Station, Chennai. The main attraction of the building is the Westminster Quarter Chiming Clock which is a mechanical one wound every day and comprises of 4 bells. The three-storied building is named after Lord Ripon. The domed features of the building add to its beauty and magnificence.

Vivekananda House & Museum

The Vivekananda House or the Vivekananda Illam is one of the attractions along the beach road. The place gains its historical significance from two main factors. Swami Vivekananda stayed here for a period of 9 days when he visited Chennai in 1897. To add to the attraction, there is a permanent exhibition on Swami Vivekananda that was established by the Chennai Branch of Ramakrishna Math. The place has another history attached to it which dates back to 1842. Constructed in 1842, this place was originally used to store ice blocks imported from USA by the Tudor Ice Company, which is why it holds another famous name – The Ice House. This went on until 1874 when they decided to produce ice locally. In 1885, the building was purchased by a Bilagiri Iyengar and named it “The Castle Kernon”. The building was later taken over by the government in 1930 and in 1963 it came to be called the Vivekananda House. Books and photographs of the great Monk illustrating the historical happenings associated with his life and his own writings are on display and even sold in the museum.

Fort St. George

Fort St. George was built by the British East India Company in 1640 AD giving it a military architecture. It bestows pride and caliber in Chennai. The fort was inaugurated on April 23rd coinciding with St. George’s Day. Hence the Fort was named after the patron saint St. George. The Fort faced the sea and became a prominent place of merchandise which paved way for the formation of a town called George Town which enveloped the other villages and was popularly called as Chennaipattinam. Now it is being preserved and sustained by The Archaeological Survey of India. Within the boundaries of Fort St. George, the St. Mary’s church and Museum is located with awe-inspiring paintings, medals, letters and antiques belonging to the colonial period. The glass windows, teak plaques still glitter with their beauty and are a delight for the eyes. The Fort St. George Museum was built in 1976 and honored as one of the oldest surviving buildings. The 150 feet tall Flagstaff is a fascinating feature of the Fort. It is made up of teak wood. The statue of Lord Cornwallis in front of the museum is a masterpiece and has historical importance to it. Presently, the Fort houses the Administrative Headquarters, The State Legislature and the Secretariat.