5 Places Not to Miss When Visiting Chennai

5 Places Not to Miss When Visiting Chennai

Chennai is an amazing city. A city that had been European before it was Indian. Boasting tourist attractions that are deservedly world famous, you’re likely to have a plan before you arrive. You must see the Kapaleeshwarar temple, right? Fort St George? A city such a gem of the Crown, that the British swapped Québec just to get it back from the French. The old Madras however has less-known treasures you shouldn’t miss. Visiting Chennai George Town, the old city you’ll find plenty of such places. Within easy reach of the Elements Hostel!

The British East India Company founded their compound on land leased from Vijayanagar rulers in 1640. The Company needed a port to protect its routes near the Malaccan Straits. Legend has it, however, the reason for this particular spot was that Francis Day wanted to be close to his Portuguese mistress in San Thomé (now part of Chennai). The fort was completed in 1644, named Fort St. George, after England’s patron. Fort St. George now houses the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu state. An attraction nobody visiting Chennai would miss.

The Black Town was traditionally the settlement of the loyal local subjects outside Fort St. George. As opposed to White Town, where the Europeans lived – actually named after their white houses. In the 18th century part of the district was demolished for defense purposes, with a defense area designated by pillars. Black Town shifted northwards, expanding quickly. It was renamed George Town in honor of King George V in 1911. Yet it is still the old town of Madras, offering the most interesting local and colonial memories when visiting Chennai.

Here are five landmarks and sights you might not have planned on seeing, but for someone visiting Chennai they are a must:

 

 

 

 

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