Apart from the main attractions within Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, there are a host of other places around it which are worth paying a visit. These excursions will add on to your experience of traveling to Madras and will make your trip unforgettable, for a long a time to come. The rich cultural heritage and historical legacy exuberated by these tourist places are simply spell bounding. A trip to the various excursions will not only enlighten you about the glorious past of the state but will also charm you by their ethereal beauty and splendor. So, came and explore Tamil Nadu, the bounty land of India.
Crocodile Bank is situated at a distance of 40 km from Chennai, near Mahabalipuram. It is more of a sanctuary for the reptiles, which came into existence in 1976. It was founded by Romulus Whitaker and other like minded people to conserve the three species of reptiles namely, the Mugger - Crocodylus Paluster, the Gharial - Gavialis Gangeticus, and the saltwater Crocodile - Crocodylus Porosus. The bank extends over an area of 3.2 hectares and provides refuge to the different species of reptiles.Crocodile Bank started with a mere population of 30 crocodiles, which has now grown to 2400 reptiles, of varied species. One of the main attractions of the bank is the Crocodile Conservation Center. It is the largest breeding center of crocodiles in India and has bred thousands of crocodiles since its inception. Crocodile Bank consists of lush green flora, which makes it ideal for the habitation of reptiles, just like their natural habitat. Moreover, several African and Indian species of Crocodiles and alligators are kept in captivity here.
There are eight rathas here, which are in the form of monolithic temples - designed as chariots. The fascinating fact about these rathas is that their carvings are done with such meticulous details that it appears as if the rathas are made up of wood. The fine lines visible in timber are engraved in stone to give it the required look. Five of theses rathas are dedicated to the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi. Dharmaraja Ratha is the largest, while the Draupadi Ratha is the smallest.
Mahabalipuram city is also known as Mamallapuram and is located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. The city was once the capital of Pallava kings and was named after the Pallava King, Mamalla. It is flanked by a number of historical monuments of the yore. Considering the antiquity and the significance of the monuments, it has been listed amongst the world heritage sites of UNESCO. Throwing light on the glorious past of India, these monuments are a delight from travel and tourism point of view.
Situated at a distance of 60 km from Chennai, the rock cut temples and caves situated here are the finest in the world and originated between 7th and 9th century. The main attraction of Mamallapuram is the Shore Temple, which is renowned for its intricate carvings and skilled craftsmanship, the world over. The temple is located on the shore facing the sea. The most striking feature of this temple is that it is dedicated to both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
Pulicat is a small town situated at a distance of 60 km from Chennai. It houses a Dutch cemetery dating back to the 17th century. The Dutch built a fort here in the year 1609, to ensure a comfortable stay at the Coromandel Coast for a long time. It was finally occupied by the British in 1825. After independence, the fort became a part of Madras state of India, which was later renamed as Tamil Nadu, in 1968. There is also a Dutch Church here, which has withered away in spite of renovation.
Thanjavur is a royal and historic city near Chennai. It is known as the 'Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu' and is the granary of South India. The city, also known as Tanjore, was the capital of Chola kingdom between the 9th and 13th century and reached heights in the sphere of knowledge and culture. The strong historical background of Thanjavur attracts a number of tourists every year. It is an excellent place to be explored from travel and tourism point of view.Thanjavur is famous for its splendid temples, their intricate carvings, sculptures and architecture. One of the main attractions of Thanjavur is the Bragatheeswarar Temple, which is also known as the Big Temple. It was built by Rajaraja Cholan, the Great Chola King. The most interesting feature of the temple is the Saraswati Mahal Library, which was established in 1700 and has the rarest collection of manuscripts. To enrich your experience further visit the Thanjavur Palace