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Chennai is one among the biggest metropolitan cities in India. Once a main center of British Raj, it is known for its historical and modern Buildings and landmarks. There are numerous Monuments of Chennai that should be visited to understand the City better.

santhome church photo

Photo by VinothChandar

Here are a few monuments, both ancient and modern that you can visit if you have some time on your hands during your visit to this southern city…

  1. Ripon building

It was built in the year 1913.  Located near the Chennai central railway station, this white building is an example of Neo-classical architectural style.  It was named after the then Governor General of British India Lord Ripon.  You will not miss these two distinct features of this monument on a visit here…

  • 43 meters tower
  • 5-meter clock.

Presently this building is the official address for Greater Chennai Corporation, Chennai.


  1. Kapaleeshwar Temple

The Kapaleeshwarar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the Gods of the Hindu Pantheon.   It is amongst the ancient monuments of Chennai built in the 7th Century.

While the religious offer their prayers at the sanctum sanatorium, others can admire the Dravidian style architecture that includes Gopurams towering at 40 meter.

This religious spot is located in Mylapore, central Chennai.

  1. Valluvar Kottam

This is relatively a modern monument built in the 1970s and is dedicated to the Tamil poet Valluvar. It is located in between two famous localities Kodambakkam and Nungambakkam.

The whole building consists of a

  • decorative arch,
  • a mandap engraved with 1330 couplets, called Kural written by the Valluvar.
  • An auditorium
  • A 39 meters tall temple in form of a chariot with 11feet diameter wheels. The chariot has a life-size statue of the famous poet.
  1. Gerorge Fort

It is a monument of Chennai from the days of British Raj, established in 1638.  It was the first fortress of the British in India. It is well preserved 380 years on.  The oldest Anglican Church in India is inside the precincts of this fort.

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It is now the seat of The Government of Tamil Nadu, India.

  1. Freemansons Hall

Freemansons Hall is located in Egmore, Chennai.  It is a Greek-style double storied building built to help military residents of Britishers looking after the area.

  1. Armenian church

This church is also called Armenian Church of Virgin Mary.  It is located in George Town locality and was built in 1712.  The heavy belfry is one of the major attractions here

  1. The Nanganallur Hanuman temple

This temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman.  The main feature of this temple is the Statue of the presiding Lord itself, towering at 32 feet and carved out of a single stone of granite.

  1. Thousand lights mosque

This mosque is one of the biggest ones in the country.  It is located in Anna Salai, a central point in Chennai.  It was built in the 19th century by Wallajah family belonging to the Carnatic ruler dynasty.

The walls of this mosque are decorated with lines from the holy Quran.  It is said that 1000 lights were lit on festive occasions at one time in history and hence it got its present name.

  1. St Thomas Cathedral Basilica

This Basilica holds the Bone relic of St Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.  Built-in Neo-gothic style, its construction was completed in 1523.  Some of the divine miracles of St. Thomas are still visible at this place.

  1. Prakasam salai

This famous one among the various monument of Chennai is again a heritage building. It is situated opposite Parry’s corner near the City’s Central Railway station.

The building was built in 1795 and now has a Wesleyan Chapel, Kandaswamy Temple and Tucker’s church inside its gates.

  1. Madras High court
madras high court photo

Photo by Octobit

It old architectural marvel. It is the second largest judiciary building globally. It is close to the Mariana beach and one can view its grandeur from outside.

  1. Karl Schmidt memorial
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You can view this memorial on your trip to Elliot Beach.  It was built to commemorate Karl Schmidt, a European soldier who died in the year 1930 while trying to save a young girl from the harsh sea waters.

It has since been renovated and is a popular spot for all Chennai dwellers.

  1. Doveton House

This place was built in 1798 and served as a prison at that time.  Presently it is the administrative building for Women’s Christian College

  1. Connemara Public library

This library is working since 1890 and has books and publications since that time.

It is a national depository library, which means that a copy of all the books and periodicals that are published in the country are sent here. So your search for any documents, new or old, can end at this famous repository in Chennai

  1. Napier Bridge
napier bridge photo

Photo by vishwaant

This is a 138m long bridge on Coovum River that was constructed some 149 years ago.  Of late, the bridge has special lights underneath it and when they are switched on at night you feel as if the bridge is floating in the water.

  1. Chennai Central
chennai central photo

Photo by Arian Zwegers

This is one of the main railway terminus in Southern parts of India.  More than 350,000 passengers use this terminus every day.  It lies adjacent to the Egmore railway station.

This building is about 100 years old and was designed by George Harding.

The Madras War Cemetry, the lighthouse, Santhome church, and Anna Memorial are other monuments that you can view in Chennai.

Featured Photo by soham_pablo

Monuments Of Chennai You Should Not Miss When You Visit This City

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