Neither East nor west, south is the best. Chennai, a place known for its humidity and heat is one of the oldest (400 years) and largest cities in the world. Chennai is known for many things, and gives many reasons for you chennaites out there to be proud.
According to the list by Lonely Planet, the city’s Dravidian temples, institutes that are dedicated to the study of Indian classical dance and its second largest movie industry and a beach packed with residents at all hours of the day and night makes it one of the best cities to visit. Let’s take a look at a few things that made Chennai the city it is today.
1. Adeeshewar temple is one of the most oldest and famous temples in India.
The bustling metropolis of Chennai, like any of the other big cities of the world, is on a fast track of growth and expansion. In all the pandemonium that is associated with city life, serene and divine places like temples provide a safe sanctuary to briefly get away from the chaos. If you want to pay a visit to a temple then you need not look too far. The Adeeshewar temple was founded in early first Century B.C. and has several legends backing its existence.
2. The YMCA College, established in 1920 is Asia’s very first college for physical education.
The young mens Christian association college was established by Harry Crowe Buck back in 1920. The college became co-educational in 1940 and is one of the first colleges of physical education to promote sports for the handicapped. The college has also designed orientation and mobility training for blind people.
3. Chennai central prison is one of the oldest prisons in the country.
Yep. Chennai got to lock up the bad guys since a very long time, 1837 to be exact. It was previously called Madras penitentiary until 1855 after which it was renamed to Central jail. Recently, 5 years ago it was demolished and the prisoners were relocated to the newly constructed puzhal central prison.
4. Madras High Court building is the second largest judicial complex in the world, following London.
Where do you think all the baddies in the central jail came from? The Madras high court exercises original jurisdiction over the city of Chennai and appellate jurisdiction over the entire state as well as extraordinary original jurisdiction, civil and criminal, under the Letters Patent and special original jurisdiction for the issue of writs under the Constitution of India.It consists of 52 judges and a chief justice who is in charge of the general policy adopted in the administration of justice.
5. Spencer plaza is India’s oldest shopping mall.
Your nearest shopping destination, which has over a hundred retail stores is the 11th largest mall in the country. So, the next time you decide to go on a shopping spree, you needn’t look far.
6. Cancer institute established in 1920 is the oldest Cancer hospital in India.
Education, law enforcement, justice, social life, it doesn’t end there people, Chennai is also famous in the health sector. Cancer institute is a cancer specialty hospital which has been fighting cancer in India since the 1920’s.
7. The Marina beach is India’s longest natural urban beach and the second largest in the world.
This is the Eiffel tower of Chennai. One simply doesn’t leave without visiting the beach, without flying a kite or shooting some balloons or without eating hot samosas whilst sitting on the beach listening to each wave reaching shore. It’s a beautiful feeling and will definitely leave you nostalgic the next time you visit.
8. The cultural capital of India.
Chennai is home to one of the largest music festivals in the country. The madras music season which started in 1927 is testimony to that. It takes place every year in the tamil month of marghazhi. For you carnatic music enthusiasts out there, check out the madras music academy, it was inaugurated in 1928 and its quite a privilege for any carnatic artist to perform there.
9. Tidel park.
Sprawling across 1.28 million sq. ft, Tidel park is one of Asia’s largest IT parks. Built in 2000, this 13 storey, 338 crore project currently hosts various software, telecommunication and BPO companies.
10. The food (need I say more?).
Steaming idlis, hot sambar and golden ghee roast dosas is what Chennai is famous for, but truth be told, there’s a small hotel in mount road, which opened its doors in 1951. It makes the best ‘chicken-65’ which is served best next to a piping hot biriyani, for a sumptuous meal.
Southie: Akshay Kolli