Chennai, the enthralling capital city of Tamil Nadu grabs the attention of travel enthusiasts from various parts of the country and the world. Astounding temples, informative museums, and renowned monuments makes it a memorable destination. Explore the treasures of the captivating city with our exclusive one day Chennai local sightseeing city tour by private car.
It earned its name as Madras from Madrasapattinam, a fishing village set near Fort St. George. This 400 years old city was ruled by notable rulers of Pandya, Vijayanagar, Cholas, Cheras and Pallava dynasties. All these rulers had made major contributions to the growth of the city.
In 16th century Armenia, Portuguese and the Dutch engaged in trade from Santhome at Mylapore in Chennai. In 1639 Britishers landed in Chennai which progressed as their administrative centre. From Madras it was then renamed as Chennai in 1998.
It grew as one of the most prosperous city with several industries like automobile, information technology, healthcare and hardware. With a strong base of banking and trading it is now referred to as the Banking Capital of India.
The vibrant and vivacious city has several sightseeing spots to be witnessed especially with our one day Chennai local sightseeing city tour by private cab.
Package Glimpse of One Day Chennai Local Sightseeing Tour
As you navigate the capital city with our one day Chennai local sightseeing tour, you would visit the key hotspots that make for a remarkable journey. Take a peek into the city’s historical past with the visit to its historical monuments and imposing museum.
Some of its claims to fame include Marina Beach, Vadapalani Temple, Government Museum, Parthasarathy Temple, Kapaleeswarar Temple and Valluvar Kottam.
A pivotal part of the British rule, Fort St. George was built to commemorate the Patron Saint of England, St George. This historic structure became an administrative centre of the presidency in 1652.
A representative of the East India Company, Andrew Cogan purchased a piece of land from the Nayak rulers to build the Fort with walls soaring to a height of 6 metres. Fort was attacked by the French and later by Sultan of Mysore, Hyder Ali, post which modifications were done in the year 1783.
It is home to a remarkable structure called Wellesley House named after the Indian Governor called Richard Wellesley. This celebrated fort built at a cost of £3000, accommodates St. Mary’s Church and an imposing Fort Museum. It today holds the administrative office of the Tamil Nadu Government and serves as its state legislative.
Fort Museum features an array of rare artefacts from the British Raj which includes coinage, weapons, and uniforms dating back to colonial period. It also exhibits letters from renowned people Robert Clive and Lord Cornwallis.
A noteworthy feature is the 14.5 tall statue of Lord Cornwallis with the carvings at it pedestal narrating the fact that Tipu Sultan had to hand over his two sons as he could not pay his dues to the Britishers.
- Must See / Things to Do: History buffs will adore the 150 feet high flagstaff and the Portraits of Madras Governors
Full day packed Chennai local sightseeing tour takes you to the glorious Kapaleeswarar Temple situated in Mylapore. Dedicated to Lord Shiva who appears as Kapaleeswarar and Goddess Parvati as Karpagambal, this significant Hindu temple was built during the 7th century by the Pallavas.
The ancient temple was demolished by the Portuguese and rebuilt by the Vijayanagara Kings in the 16th century. It is said that Goddess Parvati had become a peahen due to a curse and as such she did penance under the sacred Punnagai tree which is the Sthala Vruksham to regain her original form. Mylapore has been said to have derived from the word Mayil which means peacock in Tamil.
Pilgrims are greeted with striking gopurams at the east and the west entrance gates. Gopuram at the east entrance rises to a height of 40 meters. Kapaleeswarar is a combination of two words Kapalam which means head and eswarar denotes Lord Shiva.
Legends state that when Lord Brahma had gone to the Kailash he did not give respect to Lord Shiva who had then removed one of his head. Seeking his forgiveness Lord Brahma started worshipping him in the form of a Shiva Lingam at this place in Mylapore.
- Must See / Things to Do: Shiva Lingam appearing as Kapaleeswarar and image of Karpagambal
One of the most recognizable buildings of the city is the Saint Thomas Church located in Mylapore, Chennai. This religiously significant site is built over the tomb of St. Thomas. He is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ who is said to have accompanied him during his ministry in Galilee. He had come to India in A.D. 52 and martyred in A.D. 72.
This Roman Catholic Church is one of the three churches of the world built on the tomb of the apostles. It was initially built by the Portuguese explorers in the 16th century and reconstructed by the Britishers in 1893. This sacred place of worship stands as an example of Neo-Gothic style of architecture.
St. Thomas was one of the prominent disciples of Jesus who had come to Kerala in A.D. 52. He is often referred to as the Patron Saint of the India, for his contributions in spreading Christianity in India. His mortal remains were buried here on which sits the Basilica.
The cathedral’s dramatic towers, stone sundial and stained glass are the most impressive features of the church. Stained glass exhibits the image of St. Thomas and other apostles of Jesus.
A walkthrough the museum of the church introduces the visitors to the life of St. Thomas. It features the apostle’s fingerprint, the lance head that killed him, an earthenware pot with bloodstained mud and a rare piece of his precious bone.
- Must See / Things to Do: Tomb of St. Thomas
Head to one of the oldest temple of the city with our full day packed Chennai tour, the revered Parthasarathy Temple. A glorious temple that is one of the 108 Divya Desams enshrines Lord Krishna in the form of Parthasarathy, the Charioteer of Arjuna.
According to legends a King worshipped Lord Venkatachalapathy at Tirupati requesting him to appear as Parthasarathy. He was then directed to this place which was known as Thiruvallikeni or Triplicane. Pilgrims can worship Lord Krishna here as Narasimha, Varaha, Rama and Krishna. Glorious temple has two towers at the entrance one facing the east and the other facing the west.
Pilgrims can also worship Lord Goddess Vedavalli Thayar, Swami Manavala Mamunigal, Andal, Hanuman, Alvars and Ramanuja. Towers embellished with beautiful carvings at the western and eastern entrance add charm to the majestic temple. While eastern Rajagopuram leads to the Parthasarathy shrine, the western gopuram leads the visitors to the Narasimha shrine.
A significant mandapam or hall called the Thiruvaimozhi Prabanda Mandapam depicts several figures from the pre Pallava period. Other notable mandapams are the Dwajarohanam Mandapam, 36 pillared mandapam, Kalyana Mandapam and the four pillared mandapam.
- Must See / Things to Do: Outer most mandapam with beautiful images of Lord Vishnu featuring him in his different avatars
Step back into history as our one day Chennai local sightseeing tour takes you to the prominent Government Museum located near Egmore. This second oldest museum of the country is a must visit for history and art aficionados. Spanning over an area of 16.25 acres, it is also popular as Madras Museum.
Ramble through the museum halls and admire the incredible archaeological and numismatic collections. Archaeological gallery displays a wide range of South Indian sculptures. Specific sections of this building are dedicated to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain sculptures.
Take a trip back to the time when you visit the inspiring Museum Theatre built by the British in the 19th century. A main hall was built that could accommodate 600 people for holding theatrical performances. Admire the walls and the pillars intricately decorated with floral motifs.
Walk though the Bronze gallery and learn about the bronze made articles from the Pallava era till the modern time. Bronze sculptures gained momentum during the Chola period.
See marvellous works of art as you stroll through the National Art Gallery built in Indo-Saracenic style. It features Thanjavur paintings and Indian miniature art work. Move through the Contemporary art gallery which showcases the rock and cave art. It also displays prehistoric British paintings.
Another interesting building within the campus of the renowned museum is the Children’s Museum with displays of dolls, technology and science galleries. It has been divided into three subsections that include the civilization gallery, kid’s corner and the transportation gallery.
- Must See / Things to Do: Bronze idol of Ardhanarishvara, a form of Lord Shiva and Parvati dating back to the 11th century
Head out to the famed Valluvar Kottam, an inspiring monument built to commemorate great poet and saint, Thiruvalluvar. Set beautifully at the confluence of the Kodambakkam High Road and the Village Road, it holds a stone sculpture of the renowned Saint in it.
An interesting feature of the temple is that it stands without the support of any pillars. Built by the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi in 1976 it raises to 39 meters in height. Designed by architect V.Ganapati Sthapati it takes a form of temple chariot. It also has a huge auditorium with a seating capacity of 4000 people.
- Must See / Things to Do: The idol of saint Thiruvalluvar
Continuing your amazing one day Chennai local sightseeing tour you are taken to the one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city, the Vadapalani Murugan Temple located in the centre of the city that inspires faith in all visitors.
Dedicated to Lord Murugan, the temple has been built in the 19th century with the image of God Muruga in the standing posture. The strikingly colourful Rajagopuram with beautiful sculptures narrating the stories from Skanda Puranam draws the attention of visitors. It is considered to be one of the most important Hindu shrine.
- Must See / Things to Do: Gaze at the striking 108 Bharatanatyam figures at the rajagopuram at the eastern entrance
8. Marina Beach
Make a final stop at Marina Beach, one of the favourite hotspot of our one day Chennai tour guests. Stretching from St. George till Besant Nagar, it draws huge crowd. Tourists often visit the place to soak up the riveting sight of the sunset which offers an invigorating experience.
Take in the beauty of the ocean as you walk along the coastal line or relax at the amazing beach. Travellers often visit the beach to enjoy the picturesque sunsets and deep blue waters.
Visitors can enjoy the visit to the aquarium and the statues of the Triumph of Labour, Gandhiji, Avvaiyar, Thiruvalluvar, Kambar, Kamarajar, Subramania Bharati and Sivaji Ganesan.
- Must See / Things to Do: Memorials built of the renowned leaders Arignar Anna, Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran and J Jayalalitha
With our exciting one day Chennai local sightseeing tour you take home the memories of its rich history and culture. Exploring its ancient marvels is going to be rewarding experience that introduced you to its traditions and customs of the people. There are several beaches in the city but the major draw is the Marina Beach. Do not forget to browse our well crafted one day tours from Chennai.